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It Takes You Away

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285 – "It Takes You Away"
Doctor Who episode
Doctor Who Series 11 Episode 9 It Takes You Away.jpg
Promotional image for the episode, showing the Doctor in "the Antizone"
Directed byJamie Childs
Written byEd Hime
Script editorNina Metivier
Produced byNikki Wilson
Executive producer(s)
  • Chris Chibnall
  • Matt Strevens
  • Sam Hoyle
Incidental music composerSegun Akinola
SeriesSeries 11
Length49 minutes
First broadcast2 December 2018 (2018-12-02)
← Preceded by
"The Witchfinders"
Followed by →
"The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos"
Doctor Who episodes (2005–present)

"It Takes You Away" is the ninth and penultimate episode of the eleventh series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who. It was written by Ed Hime and directed by Jamie Childs, and was first broadcast on BBC One on 2 December 2018.

The episode stars Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, alongside Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, and Mandip Gill as her companions, Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair and Yasmin Khan, respectively.

The episode was watched by 6.42 million viewers.


The Doctor and her companions arrive in present day Norway, materialising near a cabin. Meeting its sole occupant, blind teen Hanne, they learn that she and her father Erik moved there following the death of her mother Trine. Her father has since disappeared, with Hanne unable to search for him because she keeps hearing a creature in the cabin every day. Upstairs, the group discover a bedroom mirror with no reflection, revealed to be a portal. While the Doctor, Graham and Yasmin enter it, Ryan remains behind with Hanne. Upon finding speakers around the house aimed at keeping her inside, Ryan's discovery prompts Hanne to knock him out and enter the portal.

The Doctor and the others find themselves in the Antizone, a buffer-space between universes to prevent catastrophic damage. They briefly encounter Ribbons, an alien who guides them through the zone only to become prey for flesh-eating moths when attempting to take the Doctor's sonic screwdriver. The others evade them by entering another portal, finding themselves within a reflected parallel universe, whereupon they encounter Erik talking with Trine, despite her being dead. At the same time, Graham finds himself encountering his own dead wife Grace. The Doctor deduces that they have encountered the Solitract, a sentient universe incompatible with and exiled from their own universe, which is seeking companionship from them. Hanne arrives and immediately identifies that the version of Trine within the Solitract is not her mother.

Hanne is ejected back to the Antizone, just as the Doctor realises that multiple presences within the Solitract threaten to collapse it. While she convinces everyone to leave, Erik refuses to go. The Doctor offers to take Erik's place and give the Solitract her broad experience from travelling the universe. It agrees to her offer and ejects Erik, bringing the Doctor to a room within a white space. Despite her enthusiasm at the prospect of speaking to a sentient universe, as the Solitract assumes the form of a talking frog, the Doctor explains she cannot stay. The Solitract releases her at her request, allowing her to make her way back through the Antizone before the portals collapse. After the adventure, Erik decides to return to Oslo with Hanne, while Ryan bonds with Graham.


During the episode, Yasmin makes a suggestion to the Doctor of "reversing the polarity". This is a reference to a recurring phrase made by the Third Doctor during his stories in the original series.[1]

Broadcast and reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Rotten Tomatoes (Average Score)7.7[2]
Rotten Tomatoes (Tomatometer)100%[2]
Review scores
Entertainment WeeklyB[3]
Daily Mirror3/5 stars[4]
Metro3.5/5 stars[5]
New York Magazine4/5 stars[6]
Radio Times1/5 stars[7]
The A.V. ClubA-[8]
The Telegraph4/5 stars[9]
The Independent5/5 stars[10]
TV Fanatic3/5 stars[11]


"It Takes You Away" was watched by 5.07 million viewers overnight, a share of 25.1% of the total United Kingdom TV audience, making it the fifth-highest overnight viewership for the night and the 27th-highest overnight viewership for the week on overnights across all UK channels.[12] The episode received an official total of 6.42 million viewers across all UK channels, making it the 22nd most watched programme of the week,[13] and it had an Audience Appreciation Index score of 80.[14]

Critical response

The episode holds a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and an average score of 7.7/10 based on 18 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Elevated by Bradley Walsh's comedically empathetic performance, 'It Takes You Away' overcomes most of its tonal incongruities to offer a compelling meditation on grief and guilt."[2]


  1. ^ "Did you spot the sneaky scientific Jon Pertwee reference in Doctor Who: It Takes You Away?". Radio Times. 2 December 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Doctor Who – Season 11, Episode 9". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  3. ^ Coggan, Devan (December 2, 2018). "'Doctor Who' recap: Mirror mirror, on the wall". Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  4. ^ Knight, Lewis (2 December 2018). "Doctor Who series 11 episode 9 It Takes You Away review: "A tonal mish-mash"". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  5. ^ Pearce, Tilly (2 December 2018). "Doctor Who episode 9 review: It Takes You Away is truly Bradley Walsh's time to shine". Metro. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  6. ^ Ruediger, Ross (3 December 2018). "Doctor Who Recap, Season 11, Episode 9: 'It Takes You Away'". Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  7. ^ Mulkern, Patrick (2 December 2018). "Doctor Who It Takes You Away review: after a gorgeous Nordic noir start, it soon becomes staggeringly dull". Radio Times. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  8. ^ Siede, Caroline (December 2, 2018). "A season's best Doctor Who is wonderfully weird and beautifully poignant". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  9. ^ Hogan, Michael (2 December 2018). "Doctor Who episode 9, It Takes You Away recap: Nordic noir meets Crazy Frog in spookiest, smartest and best episode yet". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  10. ^ Power, Ed (2 December 2018). "Doctor Who, series 11, episode 9, 'It Takes You Away', review: Jodie Whittaker's best outing yet". The Independent. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  11. ^ Keng, Diana (December 3, 2018). "Doctor Who Season 11 Episode 9 Review: It Takes You Away". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  12. ^ Marcus (3 December 2018). "It Takes You Away – Overnight Viewing Figures". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Four-screen dashboard". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board.
  14. ^ "It Takes You Away". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 5 December 2018.

External links