Blink

First Broadcast June 9th, 2007 @ 7.10pm (6.62m viewers)

Firstly, this is NOT the best episode of Doctor Who ever. How can the best example of a programme possibly be one in which the central lead character is largely absent from the action? It can’t.

The Tenth Doctor David Tennant) - Doctor Who - Blink c) BBC
The Tenth Doctor David Tennant) – Doctor Who – Blink c) BBC

Now that gripe is out of the way, ‘Blink’ is, of course, excellent. Despite being a ‘Doctor-lite’ episode of the series the lead character Sally Sparrow carries the story very well, played by Carey Mulligan who would later be nominated for an Oscar and has established herself as a top-level movie star. The story also involves DVD Easter Eggs saving the world, a brilliantly modern idea in itself, and of course, the introduction of the Weeping Angels to Doctor Who’s pantheon of alien villainy.

Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)

Don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead.

The Weeping Angels are possibly the biggest success of the modern version of the show. Based on the old schoolyard game, Grandma’s footsteps, the Weeping Angels can only move when not being observed. When they do catch up with you, they send you back into the past and feed off the time energy of a life not spent. To make things worse they appear to be statues so that any statute could, in fact, be a Weeping Angel, yet something else in the real world for young children to fear after shop window dummies, for instance.

Doctor Who - Blink c) BBC
Doctor Who – Blink (c) BBC

The conclusion of the episode is perfection as the Weeping Angels are tricked into looking at each other, freezing them into position for all eternity. This would prove problematic in future appearances as the Weeping Angels logically could never see each other, yet would inevitably see one another if they were ever in pairs or some sort of group. Ignoring that however this story cements the Weeping Angels as an original and terrifying creation, truly the stuff of nightmares and Doctor Who at it’s very, very best.

Also First Aired On This Day…

  • The Green Death : Episode Four
  • Doctor Who Confidential : Do You Remember the First Time?
Stephen Moffat and David Tennant - Doctor Who Confidential c) BBC
Stephen Moffat and David Tennant – Doctor Who Confidential (c) BBC

The accompanying episode of Doctor Who Confidential was a real highlight of that series. Presented by David Tennant it featured interviews with a number of individuals including Russell T Davies, Mark Gatiss, Gareth Roberts and Steven Moffat discussing how Doctor Who has shaped their careers. It was a brilliant insight and featured a poignant visit to the studios of the iconic BBC Television Centre, now sadly closed, and a wonderful montage to Fallout Boy’s ‘Thnks fr the Mmrs’. Sadly rights issues mean that only the cut down version of the programme has been released, included on the Complete Series 3 box sets, but it is very much worth a watch.

Cast:

The Doctor – David Tennant
Martha Jones – Freema Agyeman
Sally Sparrow – Carey Mulligan
Kathy Nightingale – Lucy Gaskell
Larry Nightingale – Finlay Robertson
Malcolm Wainwright – Richard Cant
Billy Shipton – Michael Obiora
Old Billy – Louis Mahoney
Ben Wainwright – Thomas Nelstrop
Banto – Ian Boldsworth

Crew:

Director – Hettie Macdonald
Writer – Steven Moffat
Producer – Phil Collinson

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