And then there was that day in December 2018 when a handful of Doctor Who viewers had hilarious meltdowns when the story gave us an animated frog with whom the Doctor had a conversation about friendship. This was by no means the first time that the big visual effect at the end of a Who adventure was a tad underwhelming, but you’d think the world ended with these fellows. Maybe they were unfamiliar with the original run and missed the end of “Kinda”. Neither that snake nor this frog are especially convincing as “real,” but they are what they are. I get what they were trying to do and I like it.
“It Takes You Away” was written by Ed Hime and the story doesn’t have a villain, just a strange quirk of the universe that ends up briefly looking like a frog. That’s nebulous, but I like it. It’s exactly the kind of outside-the-box thinking that I wish we could have seen in the previous story. “The Witchfinders” needed an alien force or energy or something much more like this frog than what it ended up doing. This is a good story, albeit a sad one, meditating on grief and loss. I’m not sure I buy all of it, particularly the shockingly poor parenting, but it’s an intelligent story with believable, real characters. Foreshadowing: Hime is much more successful in that regard here than in his next story.
One again, this is an installment that our son didn’t remember at all from three years ago, although this time something probably stuck with him. The Doctor claims that in the year 2211, there will be a “Woolly Rebellion” in which sheep and humans renegotiate their arrangements with each other, and he’d now like to see that story, so somebody at the BBC needs to get on that for him. As for me, I also remember something fairly minor more than the rest of the adventure, even the frog. I love how Graham has started packing cheese and pickle sandwiches in his coat because he can’t trust that the Doctor will stop for a meal anywhere and he gets cranky when his blood sugar gets low.