When this episode was to air we were still recovering from the emotional rollercoaster of Human Nature/The Family of Blood. With still an episode to fit in before the three-part Master epic finale, where do you go from there?
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Blink.
The best Doctor Who of all time, if we’re to believe the consensus, and while I wouldn’t go that far personally, it still deserves all the praise and all the accolades it gets. What more do you want me to say?
OK then, I’ll continue.
I guess what people love about Blink is the intrinsic genius it contains from a storytelling perspective. The story revolves around Sally Sparrow, played by then-soon-to-be Hollywood superstar Carey Mulligan, discovering a series of cryptic messages from the Tenth Doctor who has been stranded in the past without his TARDIS. He needs her to get the key to the TARDIS and open it in order to send it back to him, but doing so will mean facing the terrifying Weeping Angels.
And I’m not using the word “terrifying” flippantly here, the Weeping Angels really are terrifying and never more than here in their debut appearance. Statues are creepy enough without getting the Moffat treatment, thank you very much! The idea of something moving when you can’t see it is scary enough to keep many a child up all night, as I have no doubt this episode did upon broadcast. Hiding behind the sofa isn’t going to make you any safer, it’ll only put you more at risk if you can’t see! Heck, you’re not even safe in the TARDIS! But the scariest thing about them is something you probably never even considered: You cannot defeat them.
Think about it. In all three of their stories to date in which they’ve been the main villains they’ve never actually been defeated, not properly at any rate. Just look at the open-endedness of this episode. That’s how to finish a story in an open-yet-satisfying way and not the way Sleep No More would do it a few years later.
*Sigh*… why did I have to be reminded of such a bad episode when I’m talking about such a good one???
What gives Blink as a story an edge over others is a timeless quality. It doesn’t matter which Doctor is in this story, it would work with any of them, and so if you only have one episode to introduce a non-fan to the show this is a good choice for that reason. You don’t need any knowledge of the Doctor, his TARDIS or anything like that because the story is told from the perspective of someone who doesn’t know these things, and in following her journey you learn things as she learns them. In fact the Doctor’s barely in it, David Tennant films a sum total of four scenes for this episode, but his presence is strongly felt. This is a Doctor-lite story, it’s hard to believe that this is the same format that made the undisputed worst Doctor Who of all time, Love & Monsters, but let’s not dwell on crimes against humanity like that episode.
*Sigh*… I’ve done it again!
In short what makes Blink work so well is that it’s a compelling script that doesn’t try too hard to say “Look, aren’t I clever?!” and instead delivers an engaging story with an enjoyable supporting cast of memorable characters and a fantastically scary monster. It serves as the perfect way to introduce non-fans to the show and doesn’t get too bogged down in trying too hard.
Frankly it’s a masterpiece, just like everything I’ve written about so far in “The Moffat Scripts”. What can I say? I like his early work. Even the Moffat Bashers who take issue with any episode Moffat writes seem to like this one and that’s high praise indeed! Though if this episode aired for the first time tomorrow they’d likely hate on it anyway, simply because it has his writing credit attached to it. But I’ll save my rant on Moffat Bashers for another time. He really should consider using some pseudonyms on his episodes.
Now at this point you’d usually scroll below to leave a comment about how awesome I am (LOL) but instead I’ll force you to stare at your screen. You know what they say about the image of an angel…
Don't blink! Blink and you're dead! Don't turn your back. Don't look away. And don't blink! Good luck!When he's not obsessing about Doctor Who whilst having I Am The Doctor play in his head, Dr. Moo can usually be found reading up on the latest in Quantum Physics. As you do when you're a physicist.