The inaugural season of Jodie Whittaker’s tenure in Doctor Who has had its highs (“Demons of the Punjab”) and its lows (“Kerblam!“), but I think last night’s episode, “It Takes You Away,” was one of the best things the show’s done in years.
Set in a forest in Norway, the Doctor and her companions come across a mysteriously boarded up cottage, with the only inhabitant a terrified blind teenage girl who says a monster lurks outside. Spoiler alert, there’s no monster, but there is a portal to another dimension through a mirror in which the dead come back to life. This dimension turns out to be a sentient universe and after an emotional and well-performed episode, its final form has made some fans pretty mad.
That’s because said final form is… a frog. Not some extravagant alien space-frog, either. No, just your common or garden (pond) frog, which chats to the Doctor in the voice of Sharon D. Clarke. It’s a truly surreal scene, the show playing this talking frog completely straight and expecting the audience to go along with it. I thought it was hilarious and kind of brilliant – precisely the kind of bonkersness I want to see out of Doctor Who – but some morons on Twitter don’t agree.
Here’s just a smattering of the responses:
“Really, reeeeaaally thought The Doctor would see River Song, or even an old companion…it was literally the perfect chance. But no, we get a frog.”
“What is this. Is this some sort of joke? A talking frog as the main antagonist of the episode. I love this show usually but this is ridiculous.”
“WE’VE SPENT ALL THIS TIME WONDERING WHO THE DOCTOR WAS BLOWING A KISS TOO AND IT WAS A FUCKING FROG”
“Now we have a talking northern frog in a light box getting a lecture from the Doctor. This is absolutely ridiculous, what a dog’s dinner. Sad times this week on Doctor Who”
“After an intense 45 minutes the tension is negated by a … talking frog… Seriously?”
I’ll confess, after all that time spent explaining that the person the universe appears as is significant, I’d assumed that this was a prime opportunity for an old face to make a cameo. For example, if this was still the Moffatt era of Doctor Who, we’d have probably gotten River Song. However, this season seems designed to shed the weight of continuity from the show and hey, if it’s a choice between predictable fan service and head-scratching weirdness, I’ll take the weirdness any day.
What did you think, though? Was the frog scene toad-ally ridiculous, or was it un-frog-ettably awesome? Maybe I’ll check it out again when it’s ribbet-ed and see if my opinion has changed a tad (pole). Sorry, I’m done now.