Doctor Who: Blink, BBC1

by | Jun 9, 2007 | All, Reviews

Doctor Who: Blink, BBC1,

Did we like it?

With a typically inventive script by Steven Moffat, this series’ ‘one in which the Doctor hardly appears’ was much, much better than Love & Monsters yet still had some plot holes so large that they would make the notorious time rift in Cardiff (see Torchwood) seem like a tear in a gnat’s wing.

What was good about it?

• Carey Mulligan as the protagonist Sally Sparrow. We’re sure it was intentional to make her seem like the Doctor were he a) female and b) a callow youth not yet graduated from the Time Lord academy. And this made her fresh, engaging and intelligent thus enabling her to carry what was an enormously complex story (made more complex by the fact that some of it was too complex to explain), but her scalding of the Doctor when he refrained from elucidating the situation – “I’m clever and I’m listening so don’t patronise me” – was a joy to behold.

• Finlay Robertson as Sally’s Shaggy-esque sidekick Larry, who we’ve just about now forgiven for being the most annoying of Jamie Oliver’s annoying mates in those Sainsbury’s adverts.

• Despite being as improbable as the Second Coming, the Weeping Angels were fantastic villains, if utterly superficial. Sometimes Doctor Who’s greatest monsters have been inspired by crossbreeding the physical make-up of a pepperpot and the philosophy of Adolf Hitler in the Daleks; the voice of Trevor McDonald and the emotional fluidity of Girls Aloud in the Cybermen; but the Weeping Angels seemed to have been visually inspired by the sleeve of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart.

• The way the Angels played a deadly game of What’s The Time Mr Wolf with their prospective victims meant that they were transformed literally in the blink of an eye from elegiac icons of religious worship to evil-eyed harpies.

• Thinking about the convolutions of time travel made us nauseous with delight that such complicated theories were being tackled on a Saturday night, while on ITV1 a likeable young man was being callously bled of all his emotional currency by the bloodsucking Simon Cowell and the bloodless Piers Morgan. If, and we need to take a deep breath here, after she was sent back to 1920 Kathy had not written a note to Sally to be delivered at that exact moment by her grandson, Kathy would have not been separated from Sally and therefore she wouldn’t have been sent into the past by the Weeping Angel who stalked her. Even the Doctor was reduced to vainly clarifying this with some gibberish about “timey-wimey”.

• Children around the country will, for about the next month, regard statues with the same horrified suspicion that we once had for trees after watching Evil Dead II.

• The Doctor’s ruthlessness, seen last week in his punishment of the Family of Blood, was again in evidence. When copper Billy Shipton was sent back to 1969 to the same time period as the Doctor had been exiled, the Doctor press-ganged Billy into helping in his plot to defeat the Weeping Angels by continuing to live in 1969 and ultimately to implant Sally’s future DVDs with a secret message for her. But the Doctor is what, 923 years old? So the 38 years from 1969 until 2007 would have been little more than a blink of the eye for him. He therefore could have eked out an existence before recovering the Tardis and returning to 1969 to save Martha and Billy. But he didn’t.

What was bad about it?

• While the Weeping Angels were visually magnificent they were about as conceptually credible as the Loch Ness Monster. When Sally was retrieving the Tardis key from an Angel the others in the room had more than enough time to attack her, as the Doctor said “they are faster than you would believe”.

• While the Doctor’s précis of them was wreathed in sci-fi mumbo-jumbo: “Fascinating race the Weeping Angels. You die in the past and they consume all the moments you could have had. They live off potential energy.”

• Also, if the Angels can’t look at one another how do they reproduce? And the inability to interact socially must leave them in a permanent state of suicidal despair.

• What’s more, a race of beings that gets frozen to the spot if they so much as look at one another are unlikely to have evolved eyes – some other sense would be enhanced to compensate.

• And the silliness of their existence was explained away in the way that this Doctor explains away anything that is too silly to exist – just as he did with the Racnoss and the The Beast – by claiming they have been around since the inception of the Universe and therefore out of his sphere of otherwise omniscient knowledge.

• If Sally passed on the dossier detailing everything about the Weeping Angels adventure to the Doctor in his ‘past’, then wouldn’t he be forewarned of the dangers of the Angels and effectively have to submit himself and Martha to be propelled back to 1969, else “two-thirds of the Universe” would be destroyed? But as Sally greeted him happily in her future and his past, he will probably have known everything was going to work out well in the end anyhow.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles

09/06/2007

Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!

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