Blink – S29 (3) 10

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    Craig @craig

    It’s timey-wimey time! One of the Doctor-lite episodes, and one of the best episodes. Sally Sparrow investigates an old abandoned house and finds a message with her name that tells her to beware of the Weeping Angels.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    In the commentary Murray Gold and Steven Moffat describe this episode as a ‘Chinese puzzle’. I think that’s why it feels as if it has less ‘heart’ than Girl in the Fireplace. That’s a ‘star-crossed lovers’ story; this is a detective story. GitF is about saving the girl from the monsters; ‘Blink’ is about finding the murderers. It’s a noir, complete with spooky house and pouring rain.

    But we’ve still got some popular Moffat themes. One of the big ones is that the people in this episode may be killed by the monsters, but they’re not defeated. Kathy and Billy both live good lives – despite the Angels stealing the ones they were going to have. Death, in Moffat stories, may be inevitable, but how you fight the monsters is up to you.

    Another theme that’s played out later: if the Doctor knows his future, he can’t change it. He can’t nip back and rescue Billy Shipton – because Billy always had to take the slow route, hiding the Easter eggs and giving Sally the Doctor’s message. He can’t rescue Kathy – because he now knows he didn’t. And in S7, he can’t rescue Rory (and Amy). Because he didn’t.

    Time travel implies a Predestination Paradox. Every action is fixed. Do we have free will? Only as long as we don’t know our future; only as long as we can freely choose to take the action that we always did take.

    Moving away from head-bursting time paradoxes, Blink feels much less ‘Doctor lite’ than Love and Monsters. I think this is because Moffat used the available filming time for David Tennant and Freema Agyeman very cleverly. They’ve got the two ‘live’ scenes – but the third scene, the long Easter Egg scene, becomes available to be seen again and again. It’s the Chinese puzzle, parts of which are seen several times before its secret is revealed. It makes the Doctor feel much more ‘present’ than he is: part of the detective story for the audience is asking ‘why isn’t he there?’

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip – arrrgggh, lost my previous comment to the dastardly gods of ‘don’t hit the backspace key whilst typing.’

    I’m off to re-watch this episode now, but I wanted to address your comment:

    Do we have free will? Only as long as we don’t know our future; only as long as we can freely choose to take the action that we always did take.

    This is what I never understood about The Angels Take Manhattan.  The Doctor was adamant that no-one could read ahead in Melody Malone’s book – … really?  As a Time Lord?

    I loved that Kathy shipped up in Yorkshire (as I myself did, although not due to timey-wimey Angel reasons!), and I thought that the the rain-sodden night of Sally Sparrow in Billy’s hospital room was beautiful and heart-rending.  Regrets, what-could-have-been, ‘this is the same rain’; that is the human condition.  Forever looking backward at our experiences but forced to work forward into our futures nonetheless.

    Timeloop @timeloop

    @Bluesqueakpip “Time travel implies a Predestination Paradox. Every action is fixed. Do we have free will? Only as long as we don’t know our future; only as long as we can freely choose to take the action that we always did take. ”

    I am with you on that one. The doctor is in  a golden cage with his actions both ways. A) he did not change the future/history because he knew he did not (River SitL/FotD) or  B) he acted unknowingly  in exact the same way he always does.  It is like he is in a rollercoster – just in for the ride. The only thing that really makes a difference to a timeline would be the start. The ‘factory setting’ – you are always just reacting  as time progresses in a way that you would  have done based on your interests and moral standards, changing with events as you have always done, what you have always done.
    But then again there is this other model where you can change your future based on your history as Amy did in the two streams facility. But to me the second one is included in the first one.

    I think Charlie sums it up quite nicely:

    Imagine you could alter every moment you would not like. Imagine everybody  could always do that. Even the “bad guys”. The whole of humanity would be spoilt brats. And we would never achieve something as time was everchanging because if you change your past you change those of the people around you. Because you are no longer the person you were.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    You know – I actually watched this with a couple of people who really don’t like Doctor Who and they were amazed by it. Properly spluttering “bloody hell” while on the edge of their seats.

    It’s an astonishing episode. Does it lack heart? I’m not sure. What really makes this for me are the performances by the leads, who bare the burden of the load of the story. Carey Mulligan and Finlay Robertson deserve real credit for immediately becoming so likeable in such a short time. Sally Sparrow sees her best friend obliterated from current time (with tales of her life/news of her death delivered in writing again) and a potential love interest sped forward to an elderly incarnation. Her meeting with the aged Billy Shipton really bought a tear to my eye.

    The use of limited time for the Doctor and Martha is so well handled as @bluesqueakpip said. The dialogue for the Easter egg segments is just perfectly judged.

    The Angels themselves are a brilliant conceit. Probably the first iconic villain that the modern series has delivered. When I saw them, the only immediate precedent that came to mind was Stephen King’s “The Shining” (book) and the topiary hedge animals that only move when you aren’t looking at them. Having seen kids shriek at the scene where Larry blinks and the Angels are in his face, I have to hand it to SM and the production team for producing something so joyously horrific.

    Brilliant stuff.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I mentioned last week the confidential for this one, which was directed by David Tennant and sees him in conversation with Steve Moffat and many of the other creatives involved in the new show. You do get the feeling what a labour of love this is to a certain extent.

    Do you remember the first time?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    The Doctor was adamant that no-one could read ahead in Melody Malone’s book – … really?  As a Time Lord?

    @Shazzbot – Yes, really.

    He reads ahead in Melody Malone’s book. He decides to change what happens in the book.

    That means that what happened in the book never happens – which means:

    The book is never written in the first place, because it was based on events which have now never happened – and so:

    The Doctor doesn’t know he has to change events. Which means he’s probably going to make the choices he made in Melody’s book. Which means the book gets written and:

    He reads ahead…

    Shorthand version: he can’t change his own future, once he knows for certain what it is. Not without creating a paradoxical time loop – a time stream that perpetually flips back and forth between the two realities. So a book like Melody Malone’s, which details his exact  future, is very dangerous to him. It’s probably also why he didn’t enquire about Trenzalore, or ask for exact details on these mysterious dark hints about a future more terrifying than his past.

    Given the hints from Waters of Mars, I suspect that changing a ‘fixed point’ feels, to people like River and the Doctor, something like wading through a mudslide or fighting against a gale force wind. They can feel the direction time wants them to go in.

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Aaah, my favourite ever episode.  It may be Doctor-lite, however you don’t notice it as the Easter egg is scattered throughout the episode – plus Carey Mulligan is fantastic in her role.

    Watching it again reminded me a bit of Walter de la Mare’s ‘The Listeners’ – especially the bit when Cathy’s grandson comes to the door.  That poem gave me the creeps as a child and some of the menace, I think, has seeped into this episode.

    That particular series had three corker episodes in a row – Human Nature/Family of Blood & Blink, plus two guest stars who would go on to Hollywood stardom.

    What’s lined up for next week?  Silence in the Library et al?

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Watching it again reminded me a bit of Walter de la Mare’s ‘The Listeners’

    Ooohhh! Splendid reference. If I could award gold stars ,I’d award you one. Imagine it.

    On next weeks episodes I’ll take @bluesqueakpip s advice. Library is a double parter and I know that we have to watch a couple of those in a week to meet the schedule set out. Are we watching part one next week, or both? I’m as easy as only a man can be after consuming two litres of Crème de menthe!

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @phaseshift – it does depend on what everyone wants, but looking ahead at the double-parters, I’d suggest Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone as the one to watch over one weekend. While it’s a double-parter, there’s no real time gap – it’s one long story.

    Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, otoh, is so important to the future Moffat story-arc that I think it rates discussion over two weekends.

    @chickenelly – yes, they just managed to get Carey Mulligan, didn’t they? At the point where she was a leading actress, able to carry a Doctorless episode, but just before she became a leading film actress and much too expensive to afford. 😀 She does a great job of carrying the episode; if she hadn’t then gone on to Hollywood, I suspect Sparrow and Nightingale would have made future appearances.

    And for those who don’t know ‘The Listeners’, it’s available here.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Many thanks. As much for @craig s convience and anybody else jumping in, here is a summary:

    15/06/13 – “The Empty Child” / “The Doctor Dances”
    22/06/13 – “The Girl in the Fireplace”
    29/06/13 – “Blink”
    06/07/13 – “Silence in the Library”
    13/07/13 – “Forest of the Dead”
    20/07/13 – “The Eleventh Hour”
    27/07/13 – “The Beast Below”
    03/08/13 – “The Time of Angels” / “Flesh and Stone”
    10/08/13 – “The Pandorica Opens”
    17/08/13 – “The Big Bang”
    24/08/13 – “A Christmas Carol”
    31/08/13 – “The Impossible Astronaut”
    07/09/13 – “Day of the Moon”
    14/09/13 – “A Good Man Goes to War”
    21/09/13 – “Let’s Kill Hitler”
    28/09/13 – “The Wedding of River Song”
    05/10/13 – “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe”
    12/10/13 – “Asylum of the Daleks”
    19/10/13 – “The Angels Take Manhattan”
    26/10/13 – “The Snowmen”
    02/11/13 – “The Bells of Saint John”
    09/11/13 – “The Name of the Doctor”

    I’m pretty sure I’ve missed something here. I will rely on others to point out what a cretin I am.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @phaseshift – no, that looks right. There should be twenty two weeks worth, leaving us one week spare in case ‘An Adventure in Time and Space’ is shown before the Anniversary Special.

    If it’s shown afterwards, between the 50th Special and the Christmas Special, we can pop in Pond Life.


    Anonymous @

    Blink. Otherwise known as Moffatt’s audition reel. And what a cracking one it is too.

    This is such a well-known episode now and so much has been written about it that it’s difficult to know what to add, so here’s just a couple of thoughts.

    I think it’s largely true to say that this is the ‘head’ to Girl in the Fireplace’s ‘heart’ but I think it would be a mistake to say that this equates to the episode being emotionally cold in any way. The scene with Sally and Old Billy in the hospital is a proper heartbreaker, I think. Also the scenes with Sally and Lawrence have a nice quirky, almost Coupling-esque, warmth to them.

    But as great as this episode is, I think Moffatt laid the seed for much of the grief he gets as a showrunner here. When he was announced as RTD’s successor, there seemed to be a large assumption that he would produced 13 Blinks a year as showrunner. That clearly was never going to be possible and would it even have been that desirable anyway? A show as cerebral as that would largely have had its mainstream audience leaving in droves eventually. I think part of the reason that Moffatt’s RTD-era stories are so well regarded is that they contrast so much with a lot of the stories that surround them. A large part of the success of Nu-Who is that it draws on an extremely wide palette and I think Moffatt understands this is as important under his tenure as it was under RTD’s.

    However, for all its cleverness, I think a large part of the success of this episode is down to Carey Mulligan’s great performance as Sally Sparrow. To me, watching it now it seems apparent that if Mulligan hadn’t gone stellar after this story, it would have been her that Smith would have met in the Eleventh Hour. I think the similarity between her and Lawrence and Amy and Rory is too striking to be coincidental.

    Mulligan truly shows leading lady potential here. In fact, there’s something almost Doctorish about her. Warm and inquisitive but also with a bit of steel to her too. Not for the first time, I find myself bewildered that RADA somehow found her lacking. Although I guess it serves to illustrate Goldman’s observation that ‘nobody knows anything’.

    And finally the Weeping Angels genuinely give the willies here. It’s understandable that Moffatt wanted to bring them back but to me it’s also self-evident that doing so was a mistake. With every return, their potency diminished, as he felt forced to expand upon and redefine their initial menace. They were an alien that were just not designed for a return.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    They were an alien that were just not designed for a return.

    @jimthefish – not entirely sure about that. I think in Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone they were very creepy indeed – and I say that as someone who didn’t really find the original Angels that scary. Their malevolence, especially, was coming along in leaps and bounds.

    In Blink humans were just lunch. By ToA/F&S we found that the Angels, given the opportunity, like to play with their food. By Angels in Manhattan they were battery-farming us. I think Angels in Manhattan was a very good episode, but of the three ‘Angels’ stories, I like the middle one the best. Certainly better than I like ‘Blink’.

    Anyway, having watched the Confidential so kindly put up by @phaseshift, I note that we’ve missed out a favourite Moffat theme – taking childhood games and fears and turning them into Who monsters. That monster under your bed? Real.  That game you play where you can’t move if someone’s looking at you? It’s not a game. Bad marks at school? Your teacher will send you to be eaten by a monster. That crack in your wall? It will eat your parents.

    Sweet dreams, kiddies.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip — fair enough. I just felt that the Angels were much more scary when they were this unknowable force. When they started talking to you and telling you their intentions then they became that bit less impressive, I thought. I think ToA/FaS is the weak link in the trilogy so I guess that just goes to show how subjective all those things are.

    You’re dead right about the childhood games things though…

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip @jimthefish – I was asked by the Venerable @htpbdet (for you, again, Bluey, How To Punish Bad Daleks – ExTerminate!  🙂  ) – why I rated Blink so highly.  It’s only in retrospect that I can answer that question, and it’s all to do with looking at this episode again with the hindsight of several more Angel episodes under my belt.

    You’re right that their power was diluted through multiple re-positionings in later episodes.  Those quick-cut shots of random London statues at the end of Blink left the lingering fear that we could not trust anything we saw, and that we had to fear everything we saw.

    Then, they grew to being a speck of granite dust in our eyes from watching a video of them; then they were monsters to be vanquished by not looking at them – but appearing to be looking at them (wtf?) – and then, the battery-farming of potential lives of TATM.

    With 20-20 hindsight, I’m in agreement with @jimthefish, with this:  ‘With every return, their potency diminished‘ .  Once you have the perfect monster, please don’t go trying to give them additional powers.  If they were perfect once, please let them lie in that horrific perfectness.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Shazzbot, @jimthefish

    Once you have the perfect monster

    Ah, there you have the crux of it for me – and the reason I prefer the later Angels episodes. The angels in Blink are not my perfect monster. They’re just creatures who want you for lunch. To get that lunch, they send you back in time.

    And while that would definitely rate as an ‘oh, bugger!’ moment for me, it’s not something I find especially scary. It’s entirely comprehensible. There are lots of things in the world that want you for lunch, and part of your job in life is to make sure they don’t get it – or at least, that if they do, you’re not the one on the menu. 🙂

    But if you are on the Angel’s menu, you’re not even dead! What kind of monster is this? I mean, seriously, its idea of killing you is to let you get married and have kids and grandkids before you actually die and it’s supposed to be scary?

    Whereas once you get to the later episodes, the Angels develop motivations beyond ‘lunch!’ Not nice motivations, either. A race that tortures Amy for fun and later imprisons people so they can keep feeding off them is scary. And they can get into your head (was the granite dust ever real, or only in Amy’s mind? We’ll have to discuss that when we get there).

    So I prefer the later episodes. I enjoy Blink hugely, but not because I think the Angels are a perfect monster – it’s the timey wimey wibbly wobbliness of its paradoxes, the way none of the people involved let the monsters defeat them, the clever scripting and the great performances of its two leads. Lovely episode, but sorry – I just don’t find statues scary. 😀

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip – I hear everything you said, but I posit this in return (from Blink) – imagine yourself in Billy’s shoes, having lived and loved as he did through the years, only ever knowing that his endgame was meant to come to a rain-sodden night in the hospital whilst he lay dying with Sally.

    Kathy’s endgame was arguably more amenable, and more like that ‘oh, bugger!’ moment you mention.  How fantastic that she met her soul-mate in that first moment in Hull.  Not real life at all, but TV life nonetheless.

    The Angels have a black sense of humour, really.  Some people go back in the past to live their lives and

    you get married and have kids and grandkids before you actually die

    …  and other people get pushed into a past where they live for ever yearning for a person they know they can never have (because she’s decades yet to be born) and they make the best of it, whilst living in the shadow of the knowledge that they won’t meet their True Love until they’re dying.

    THAT is the power of the Angels.  Not just the ‘days not yet lived’ but the loves that can never be loved.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @Shazzbot – ah yes. But, a small problem.

    …  and other people get pushed into a past where they live for ever yearning for a person they know they can never have (because she’s decades yet to be born) and they make the best of it, whilst living in the shadow of the knowledge that they won’t meet their True Love until they’re dying.

    You’re describing Rory in Angels in Manhattan.

    I’m sure Billy fancied Sally like mad, and she obviously fancied him, what with the Freudian slip about her name. But they never even got as far as a first date. It’s like saying that you will always know that the bloke you met in the lounge for ten minutes at Heathrow (when he was off to Russia and you were off to Crete) was your One True Love.

    Now in Angels in Manhattan we get the true nightmare version: Rory, who spent two thousand years waiting for Amy, trapped in that tiny hotel room, knowing that he’s not going to see Amy again until he’s dying. Brrr. That version really does make me shudder.


    Anonymous @

    Hi @bluesqueakpip – yes, I was speaking of Rory in TATM in my last comment (not Billy and Sally in Blink).  The Angels’ ability to let you ‘live to death’ like that is a horror to me, and what they did to Rory was hinted at as part of their powers in Blink.  I don’t think we needed them in that last outing to prove that; but, you are right in saying that what we were shown with Kathy’s story (and Billy’s) in Blink was a bit more cuddly.  (Maybe that’s why the Angels had to come back one more time – Moffat felt that we, the audience, didn’t have the imagination to go from Kathy/Billy style ‘killing kindly’ to the unbearable bleakness of Rory’s death?)

    We’ll have more discussion once we get to the beginning of August and our Time of Angels / Flesh & Stone two-parter, but I’m already curling my lip slightly at how such a simple concept for a monster got gussied up with a bit too much frippery (and a bit too much contradiction from the original concept – now, one is supposed to close one’s eyes and not look at them?  hunh?).

    CraigNixon @craignixon

    I loved Blink.

    When I saw this one it really chilled me, and I love the easter eggs.


    This one, I think dealt in the believable (if you’ll allow me to stretch a metaphor). Who hasn’t sat there in front of a painting / statue / random animal (Swans for me-evil buggers) and thought its watching them?  Thought there maybe was something…behind the looking glass?

    Add that to the easter eggs, I’m suprised nobodys ever tried that. Hell, I’m suprised Moffat hasn’t tried that on Who DVDs.

    I think the Angels definately lost something, I think it was hearing them speak personally. Listening to them smacked too much of the Vashta Nerada and hearing them. Something that shouldn’t have been repeated.


    Anywho, one of my favourite AG episdoes 🙂

    Anonymous @

    Just out of interest, are the Easter Eggs an actual Easter Egg on the DVD release? And if not, why not?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @jimthefish – yes, the Easter Egg is an Easter Egg. It’s in Scene Selection – go to the scene entitled ‘Keep Looking’ and then go up instead of down. ‘Blink’ will be highlighted – select it, and it takes you into the Easter Egg video.

    @Shazzbot – horses for courses, no doubt. I don’t find moving statues scary. Put it down to reading The Enchanted Castle at an impressionable age; or possibly blame my Aunt, who lived next to a graveyard (well, somebody has to).

    Though, if you have to point to another episode to show how scary the original Angels are, I think it rather supports my point 👿

    rosetyler @rosetyler

    This episode is definitely interesting. How he reads the transcript for the videos and the writing on the wall. But the most interesting is when Sally sees him on the street and realizes he hasn’t had this happen yet, then realizes that she is the one who gives him the script. I have given this episode a lot of thought, but my mind just cannot wrap around it.

    ATwistofTime21 @atwistoftime21

    To me, this episode has more thought put into it than any other. I’ve wached it soooo many times, and it’s one of my absolute favourites! I also love how it has more of a detective feeling than most episodes, and it just seems more real and believable since the main character is not the Doctor, but played by Sally Sparrow. The Doctor is this otherworldly, all-knowing, bone-chillingly smart man on an easter egg, and it brings a new feel to the episode as WE discover the Doctor, and it’s the not the other way around where the Doctor is trying to figure everything out.

    The time alterations are difficult to wrap your mind around definitely, it’s just so complex and un-ending as the universe itself that I’ve given up trying to put it into words x)

    Dorium.Maldovar @dorium-maldovar-2

    The best episode featuring the Weeping Angels

    Anonymous @

    The episode Blink is probably the best of Moffats writing, I like how the episode is planed with the Doctor traped  1969 and making the easter eggs to Cathy.

    timelord904 @timelord904

    This definitely goes with my motto for watching Doctor Who:never,never,NEVER apply logic to the show. I mean, the whole thing is wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey. But that’s just fine with me.

    TheBrotherOfTheWhovian @thebrotherofthewhovian

    I came up with this theory last night while watching ‘Blink’ with my brother (The proper Whovian):

    When Kathy Nightingale wrote the letter to Sally Sparrow in the future (after Kathy had got sent to the past), Sally successfully recieved it. But here’s the thing, would Kathy have really wrote the letter if she found out that Sally was also sent back in time soon after she was? Here it is in a bit more detail:

    Kathy wrote the letter explaining how she got on in her life, when she got sent back to the 1920’s. And Sally recieved it and read it. So since she got the letter, she should’ve known that was the only way for Kathy to talk to her; by writing a letter and telling someone to give it to her at that exact date and time. However, if Sally did get sent back in time by the Weeping Angels, then Kathy wouldn’t have needed to write a letter, because Sally was there with here. So since she recieved the letter, she should’ve known that she wouldn’t get sent back in time, and she’d know that she’s come out of the ordeal worry-free and still in the same time period.


    Apart from this flaw, it was a pretty good episode! 🙂

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    That’s not a flaw, sorry. 🙂

    All Kathy knew was that Sally didn’t get sent back to the time she was in. She never met the Doctor (as far as we know), so she has no explanation of how the Angels work.

    Since neither Kathy or Sally have any idea how the Angels work, they have no idea that being touched by the same Angel will send you back to the same temporal area.

    That’s why Kathy instructs her grandson to turn up at the same moment she is being displaced in time. She now doesn’t know what happened to Sally – all she can do is hope that the warning she’s about to give via her grandson will help Sally.

    Since, if it does help, Sally and Lawrence will need to know what happened to Kathy, she includes all those details. Yeah, I vanished. Yeah, I’m already dead. But in the end, I made a pretty good life for myself, so don’t grieve too much.

    The next person Sally sees getting displaced in time is Billy. He gets sent to the sixties, whereas Kathy got sent back much earlier. So Sally has no way of knowing whether she’ll get sent back in time or not by the end of the episode. All she knows is that she and Lawrence don’t end up in either Kathy’s time or Billy’s time. But there’s nothing to stop them, say, ending up as Victorians…

    Anonymous @


     Of course you are right that Blink is a paradox (Sally’s notebook and the easter eggs).  I just meant that it doesn’t have to be one. It can be solved without paradoxes using multiple time lines. Here is my explanation, if you are interested.

    1 Rule: When changes in the past happen, a new time line is created.

    Blink is a special situation, similar to the movie Groundhog Day. Doctor/Martha are forced to live the slow path from 1969 to the point in Sally’s time when the Weeping Angels grabbed them. But that is what eventually allows them to escape.  

    When Doctor/Martha are grabbed on the 1st time line, that point becomes a fixed point that must always happen. It would be a paradox if the Doctor stopped it from happening after it already happened.

    Doctor/Martha were brought into the past by the Weeping Angels (instead of the Tardis), so they don’t remember the previous time lines like they would normally when traveling by the Tardis. However, the Doctor can send information (like Sally’s notebook) which changes his past (Sally’s Time) and that creates a new time line (starting over in 1969 again, once the WA grab them again – just like in Groundhog Day, they get a little more info each attempt).

    Time line 2, 3, 4, 5… rinse and repeat Time line 1 (like Groundhog Day) until the plan is perfected and we watch it happen in the episode. They finally escape from 1969 without having lived the slow path just like in the episode. (Doctor/Martha think it happened the way we saw on screen and that is all they remember, but really the slow paths had to happen to make their escape possible).

    I think Martha had to die at least once for the escape to finally happen. The Doctor could have used the Tardis after he lived back into Sally’s time again, so he might not have needed to rinse and repeat too many times (maybe only once).  It is gruesome theory, but that is why it’s a good thing the Doctor doesn’t and can’t ever remember it.  🙂

    Anonymous @

    I don’t think a diagram of this would be any better, so I just hope this is a simpler explanation.

    Time Line 1

    1. Doctor/Martha get out of cab (Sally’s time),
    2. Get caught by WA and go to 1969,
    3. Take slow path to Sally’s time (Martha probably dies of old age, Doctor gets Tardis back),
    4. Doctor investigates Sally Sparrow and makes plans,
    5. Doctor gives new information learned about his plans to Doctor/Martha getting out of cab (somehow? It shouldn’t be too difficult),
    6. WA send Doctor/Martha to 1969 again* 

    *(new time line created, because Doctor/Martha now have new information they didn’t have the first time)

    Time Line 2

    1. Doctor/Martha read the new information
    2. They write messages to Sally on walls, make easter eggs, make timey wimey detector, etc
    3. Assuming plan fails, so repeat steps 4, 5, 6

     Time Line 3 or more (Blink episode)

    1. Doctor/Martha read the new information,
    2. They put new plan into action,
    3. Finally the new plan works and Sally sends them the Tardis,
    4. Sally gives same information to Doctor/Martha getting out of cab*

    *(no new time line created, because same information as before)


    DrBen @drben

    @barnable you’re wonderfully clever and have clearly put a lot of thought into this, but you’re making my brain hurt.  (Or “making me giddy”, as Two would say.)

    Your scenario certainly works (I think), but I find it much simpler to think of the closed loop idea.  Doctor and Martha receive a packet of information from Sally.  Later, they happen to be at the spooky old house (early in Earth time but later in their personal timelines), and get zapped to 1969 by the Angels.  They review Sally’s packet, and begin to play their part — writing on the walls of the house before wallpaper is put up, finding Billy, recording the easter eggs, etc.  Sally (earlier in her personal timeline) finds the writing, finds the easter eggs, sends the TARDIS back to 1969, and writes everything down.  Later, she sees the Doctor and Martha on the street and gives them the packet of information.  Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey.

    In fact, while I’m a fan of multiple timelines and the multiverse theory in other contexts (Neal Stephenson’s amazing book Anathem, for example), I don’t think it works in the Doctor Who universe.  Basically, it’s not very satisfying to imagine that whenever the Doctor uses the TARDIS to save someone, that’s creating a new timeline, but the person just dies in the original universe.  I’d rather believe that, in the Doctor Who context, there’s only one main universe (except for bubble universes and wherever Rose lives) and the Doctor’s actions do in fact change the course of time.

    But I applaud your ingenuity and won’t challenge your theories. 🙂

    Anonymous @

    TY @drben for the kind words,

    I can see you have put a lot of thought into this too!  It wouldn’t be fun if you didn’t.  💡

     it’s not very satisfying to imagine that whenever the Doctor uses the TARDIS to save someone, that’s creating a new timeline, but the person just dies in the original universe.  I’d rather believe that, in the Doctor Who context, there’s only one main universe

    I mostly believe there is only one main Whoniverse?  It is just easier to explain and think about as a multiverse.  But I believe the other universes time lines disappear once they are changed (most of the time, sometimes they kinda stack?).  @bluesqueakpip has an idea that the Whoniverse is One and Two timelines at the same time!  😕

    I think that is the really true, but that makes my head explode!  😯

    So I can relate to your head hurts, but if you find a mistake in my theories I would welcome your insight.  I might be able to come up with an even Bonkers-sier theory.  😀

    But if you meant you prefer the higher risk factor of a one time line Whoniverse (My meaning is that you only get one chance so don’t mess it up with one time line).  In that case I see your point, and I like that too. 

    That’s even more proof for Bluesqueakpip’s idea, because I like the higher risk but I like second chances too.  😥 

    IMO, 2 and 1 tl at the same time is the best.  Now I just got to keep my brain from melting.  😉

    DrBen @drben

    Actually, I like the way you describe it as other time lines that ultimately disappear when they are changed — like one basic timeline that is constantly being overwritten.  That’s pretty close to my viewpoint as well.

    Someone in the Time Heist thread (I forget who) described the TARDIS seeing all of time as one static form in four (or more) dimensions, rather than something that moves.  I really dig that idea, for both the TARDIS and the Time Lords.  It’s basically like a painting — even if you’ve already painted part of the canvas, and are now working on another part of the canvas, you can always go back and change that previous part of the canvas (paint over it).  The original paint is still there underneath, but all you see is the new paint.

    What do you think?

    Anonymous @


    That’s another brilliant theory from @bluesqueakpip.  I like that theory (more than paradoxes) and will go to that if I get stumped on a multiple time line solution. 

    I really like trying to solve the puzzles, and I think the Tardis solution will be too useful for me.  So I just don’t want to over use it.  But if I get stuck, I won’t mind using it until I can solve the puzzle another way.

    I like your paint and canvases anology.  That will be a helpful way to think about things.  It should work most of the time, but the greatest thing about the Whoniverse is;  no one theory explains everything all the time.  Hooray! for endless puzzles.  🙂

    Ilpperi @ilpperi

    Hi! I have a question. Is it stated by The Doctor or anyone else in Doctor Who that you can’t kill a Weeping Angel because they are stone while being seen by someone? You can “kill” stone by the way. Dynamite and sledge-hammer have been invented.

    gaijinryusoke @gaijinryusoke

    My favorite episode so far!!!!!!!!

    danog111 @danog111

    I just recently watched this episode and I started overthinking. How did this episode really start, someone had to start it somewhere, but it couldn’t be the doctor, martha, or sally. I know at the end she gave the doctor information to save her and him from the angels, yet it leaves the question of how does that information exist. I know the doctor said the timeline is a bunch of scrambled lines. But for the information to exist, someone had to get the information through the cycle the first time for the doctor to take over every subsequent time. It’s a big deal, without the transcript the doc is stuck forever, Sally probably doesn’t revisit the house, and the whole story ends there. Who started the transcript, and where did it originally come from?

    Anonymous @


    I think this is how it may work. At the end, the transcript is given to the Doctor by Sally and Larry (video dude).

    But before: Sally meets the police officer, Billy

    Later, Sally finds Billy has vanished and he phones her and sounds decades older.

    In the 60s, when transported back, Billy meets the Doctor (who is stuck due to the Angel’s minimal power -they’re not necessarily killing but draining future energy) who asks Billy to find a way to give Sally the information needed.

    Billy indeed starts a video shop and puts info on the DVDs (easter eggs).

    When Sally returns to the house, Sally finds, upon looking at the Easter egg, that the transcript is being written by Larry -her mate from the DVD shop as she’s talking to the Doctor . The Doctor is on the easter egg and it appears both the Doctor and Sally are ‘talking to each other’. That’s how the transcript begins. It’s like he’s answering her. In a way.

    Much later, Sally, surviving the Angels, steps out of the DVD shop and sees the Doctor and Martha in the middle of another adventure but they don’t recognise her. Sally insists he’ll need the transcript for later.

    That should help. Tardis Wiki and the Weeping Angels concept could refine this quantum locked enemy better.




    reena @reena

    Yes its 2015 and I have just started watching Dr. Who…

    I wanted to say that this episode was one of the very best and well written. I loved every moment of it.

    Because I was behind the times in starting to watch, I saw people post about it. So I have seen the creatures and its so much fun to know about them but not where they come from. I knew of the Weeping Angels, but I didnt know what they were or what they did. So when I finally got to this episode, I was never more excited to watch.

    This show is great, and I am hooked.

    Love it

    Blazeitparker @blazeitparker

    Why exactly havent we seen a weeping angel in movement on the show. I understand some will say that its because the weeping angels cant move without us seeing them. but does that mean if we stared at one of the weeping angels that it would not move?

    Anonymous @


    Welcome to the Forum

    Yes, you’re right. “I understand some will say that its because the WA can’t move”

    That is correct -except everyone acknowledges the Angel’s ‘technique’. **(see below)

    Moffat created the Angels and he was influenced by a visit to a churchyard and also by the topiary animals in Stephen King’s The Shining. ****The following contains info from the 2 Parter, The Time of Angels: you may not have seen that yet?

    They first appeared in Blink where they resembled scavengers without the trickiness we witnessed later with Matt Smith in the two-parter, The Time of Angels. Here, they lure the Byzantium ship (as @phaseshift would say, not a ship with a ‘glowing arse’) containing River Song, the Doctor and Amy to the planet Alfava Metraxis (?)

    The Bishop and his clerics are part of the group and need to secure the one Weeping Angel which is in the Byzantium’s hold. Unfortunately the whole planet is over-run by the Angels who, eventually, take on the voice of a dead cleric. He and the other Angels strategically lure the party through the labyrinth or maze until they reach the underside of the crashed ship.

    **The Angels are described as Quantum Locked. They move incredibly fast but only when they aren’t seen. When you see a group of Angels even their own hands cover their eyes so they are unable to look at each other.

    Moffat , his writing team, producers and actors have all said, “they move only when unobserved by others”.

    Those episodes were considered, by critics and viewers,  some of the most chilling, scary and psychologically adept  television. Blink (a Doctor-lite episode) won a Hugo award and  BAFTA Craft and Cymru awards whilst Cary Mulligan (now a celebrity actress) also did well, critically.

    I hope this helps.

    Kindest, purofilion


    Anonymous @


    So, in Blink and the others, The Angels are scary because they can hide for millennia until they’re able to fully feed off time energy.

    They’re perfect because who is scared of a statue (I mean, shucks, they’re never frightening, are they)?

    If we were to see them move,  then the proposition of the quantum locked creature would be lost and their power to frighten would diminish. Moffat and Tennant both described this enemy using the term: quantum locked.

    In the various eps, there were usually several actors, painted and dressed. They had to stand for a long time without movement. Directors filmed them and placed them in a ‘still’ so you couldn’t see them breathe or even shake or tremble. So, yes, they are never seen (or witnessed) to move.

    Anyway, enjoy the site. Perhaps you could discuss, on the companion thread, who your favourite companion is and why you first watched and liked Dr Who?

    Kharis @kharis

    This is a fun episode, but I am always shocked to see it among the top five episodes of all time.  Why do so many people connect to this episode?  I like it, but it would be luck to make it to my top twenty.  I am missing something?

    Anonymous @


    If you check out my posts at #40447 #40448 above I think you may see why it was adored and given plenty of kudos. It was clever and it didn’t even need the Doctor to be so.

    For my money I prefer The Time of Angels 2-parter



    quackwho @quackwho

    How do I start my own post?  I can see this isn’t the first David Tenant episode.  I’d like to know why they didn’t go to the nearest hardware store and get some sledge hammers to attack those statues with?  It was an interesting episode.  Not quite as innocent as the old Doctor Who episodes with William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton.

    God bless, Jason Irelan

    Rewvian @rewvian

    I rewatched Blink, and it really did go down a bit differently than I’d remembered since it’s been so long since I watched it.

    The episode is among the best of the series, and works so well because there is an explanation for everything that happens.  With all of the communication going on across time, there is a reason shown for how all of the information gets transferred.  Even the conclusion of the episode was well thought-out, having the Weeping Angels tricked into looking at each other through a fading TARDIS.

    The storytelling method was good, and didn’t need the Doctor and Martha there the entire time to tell a good DW story.  We’re following Sally as she learns about all of the strange things going on, and piecing things together along with her.

    I liked seeing the Doctor and Martha on another random adventure involving a bow and arrows, similar to how the Doctor and Rose were trying to pour some sort of fluid onto a monster in Love and Monsters.  It gives the impression that the Doctor is going on more random adventures than just the ones we see whole episodes about.

    One question I had about the episode was how Sally’s friend was sent back to 1920, but the Doctor and the police officer were sent back to 1969.  Apparently in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, this was explained because the year you’re sent to depends on which Angel touches you.

    There were a lot of good and memorable lines from this one.  Obviously timey-wimey.  Sad being happy for deep people.  And “It goes ding when there’s stuff.”  I feel like these episodes centered around other characters really give us a different perspective on the Doctor and his companions, and allows for these fun exchanges.

    The Weeping Angels themselves are brilliant villains, and easily among the best new monsters in the AG series.  I think the way this story was told played to their strengths, while I recall later stories involving them to be a bit of a rehash.  I was impressed to find that all of them were actors in makeup, which is just impressive since they look so statue-like.  Lastly I thought it was a stroke of genius to have the Angels point at the light bulb in the room and try to make the light go out so they couldn’t be watched by Sally and Larry while advancing on them.

    Honestly late series 3 sees a slew of great episodes, and Blink is definitely a highlight of 2007.

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @rewvian     Blink is one of my favourite episodes (it also collected a raft of awards, quite rightly so).   I had to go over it several times in my mind to figure out how it all fitted together.

    It had the best and scariest ‘monsters’ in all of Who, I think.   Just possibly the aliens in Alien were scarier, but in terms of bang-for-the-buck the Angels reign supreme.  A monster that only moves when you can’t see it – Moff (like Ridley Scott) knows that the things you can’t see can be more scary than the things you can.   And, it was a concept that ‘had legs’ as they say.    Capable of development.   The Daleks were always fighting the limitations of being a pepper-pot armed with kitchen utensils.   Not so the Angels.  I do agree that later Angels episodes weren’t quite as effective as Blink – which is to say, they were merely ‘good’ rather than ‘outstanding’.  But I think that’s inevitable with any monster.    I’ve just watched Season 13 ‘Village of the Angels’ and I have to say, it’s the best thing Chibnall has ever done.    And part of that must be due to the story potential of the Angels themselves.

    Blink also had a brilliant and sympathetic actress in Sally (Carey Mulligan), one immediately liked her, and old Billy was also charming.  And so was Sally’s scruffy but engaging (maybe-)boyfriend Larry, and even young Billy.

    The scene in hospital was moving, sad, but not depressing.  “It was raining when we met”   “It’s the same rain”.  (And so it was, for Sally).

    The ‘conversation’ in Wester Drumlins between Sally and the Doctor (on DVD) was sheer genius.   How was it possible they were having a ‘conversation’? – because Larry was writing everything down, and the Doctor had a copy of it because Sally had later given it to him.   And he had recorded his ‘speech’ and given it to Billy in the past to put on DVDs as an ‘easter egg’.   I think that’s entirely original, I can’t think of anywhere in science fiction that’s been done before.


    Rewvian @rewvian

    @dentarthurdent There you go, you even recalled another great quote from Blink!  And yes, the whole way the conversation on the DVD was presented seemed pretty original.

    Though the later Weeping Angels episodes might not be as good as their initial appearance, I am glad they weren’t just left as a one-off enemy.  I didn’t know they come back again even, so that will be something to look forward to when I get to the Chibnall years.  (No clue how long that will take me, but I’ll get there when I get there I suppose.)

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