We were promised a roller coaster ride for this season of Doctor Who and ten episodes into it, it truly has been a season of stark quality contrast rather than a string of wonderful memorable episodes that go beyond their pure entertainment value .At one end of the fence you have an episode such as DALEKS IN MANHATTAN/EVOLUTION OF THE DALEKS which you would have assumed would be one of the high points on the roller coaster and it turned out to be a poorly written, Frankenstein of poorly connected thoughts and ideas. BLINK on the other hand, this seasons applauded "Lite" Doctor Who episode had the undesirable feat of needing to rise above last years "LOVE AND MONSTERS", but like the 17 DVD's in Sally Sparrows collection, BLINK had one unique common link with two other modern DOCTOR WHO classics such as THE EMPTY CHILD and GIRL IN THE FIREPLACE that set it in the running break down barriers and experiment with new ideas. Of course the common thread between all these wonderfully written adventures is Steven Moffat who with BLINK cements himself into the DR WHO list of great scriptwriters.
In looking at BLINK, you really have to look at Steven Moffat, the writer. Over the past few short years, his stories have been the absolute most imaginative and groundbreaking episodes to grace the new series. With BLINK, Steven Moffat has given us another DOCTOR WHO episode that you would not be afraid to show to a non fan with hopes of helping him see through the sometimes immaturity of the series. DR WHO is after, still, considered a children's show. Mr. Moffat is not afraid to write for a more mature audience and using clever ideas and an almost mystical understanding of the essence of the show to propel his stories beyond the usual entertainment vehicle. Several Days after viewing BLINK you are still thinking about it, because it challenges your mind, makes you think and reminds you of a time, when the series had a corral of writers like Moffat who used alchemy and imagination to turn the series into one of the lowest budgeted best written episodic television series made for children but watched by adults.
This is not intended to dismiss everything we have seen this season as uninvolved bubblegum. The new series strives to entertain in a big way while reaching for higher demographics and ratings points, while sometimes sacrificing imagination and experimentation for retreads of past successes. While Uncle Russell has dipped into the DRWHO canon more this year with a surprise return from the "Macra" and more and more references to the Doctor's time lord heritage, this season has also seen some unbelievable repetition and overuse of successful elements from the first two years of the show- almost duplicating scenes, dialogue and even episodes and forsaking new ideas and concepts. This is confusing and difficult to understand because the series requires constant new ideas and change, otherwise we will see a premature end to this new set of adventures. BLINK most certainly realizes this, and presents to us a most unusual narrative and plot dealing with ageless alien hooligans who steal the remainder of one's days, by transporting them to the past where they must live out their lives, to death. The idea of the Weeping Angels is pure brilliance,"creatures of the abstract, living off potential energy" as the Doctor describes them, moving fast when you looking away and turning to stone when caught in your eyesight. Mr. Moffat has drawn on the "Medusas" of mythology and reversed it to eerie and startling effect to bring his "lonely assassins " to life. The episode boasts the absolute most scariest scenes ever seen on the series, and yet, while the main characters of the Doctor and Martha have limited screen time, the TARDIS is almost a character and major element that stands at the episodes center and ultimately causes the weeping angels to meet their stone cold fate at Eternity's door.
BLINK also explores to idea of the Doctor becoming separated from his time ship and is stranded in 1969 with Martha, who claims she is working in a shop to help make ends meet. This opens doors of much speculation of the Doctor and Martha blending in with the mod culture of the 60's. If only The Doctor could have steered the Beatles away from a breakup or bring the Vietnam War to a speedier close during his layover. BLINK continues to open your eyes around every corner and line of its script. Its characters of Sally Sparrow and Kathy Nightingale and her useless DVD loving brother, Larry are instantly endearing and real, a credit to the actors and first time Doctor Who director Hettie Macdonld who paces the episode into a dizzy, frenetic blur that keeps us on our toes til its conclusion.
Like the 17DVD's in Sally's collection that co-star the Doctor..(You only own 17 DVD's??? asks Larry, in disbelief) BLINK, is literally loaded with Easter Eggs of its own as well, and keeps you guessing and your mouth hanging open at every turn of scenery and dialogue. The episode has hardly even begun and we have Kathy Nightingale falling back through time to the 1920's and lives out her entire life in a blink of an eye literally before the episode even warms up. Moffat delivers excellence in every word and line of his script. "Sad is Happy to people who are very deep" says Sally in professing her love of old things like the unloved and neglected turn of the century mansion that time is turning to dust while the weeping angels wait to turn time against all who enter. Moffat also uses time, in such poignant reference when we see, the libidinous Detective Inspector Shipton suddenly on his death bed after waiting his entire life to meet Sally again and give her a message from the Doctor in 1969, when it's a mere minutes in Sally's life. "Look at my hands, they're old man's hands". He says?"How did that happen?" He tells Sally he has til the rain stops, and she waits with him, until he passes on and the sun is shining again and the hospital bed, empty again. This is certainly DOCTOR WHO at its very best. Moffat also does a great job tying up the loose ends of the story and in the end it is Sally who first meets the Doctor and gives him the transcript and list of DVD's in her collection, before he has ever even stumbled upon the weeping angels, and becomes a prisoner of time himself. The Doctor appearing as an Easter Egg on unconnected DVD's is so fantastical of an idea -- It's a shame the members of L.I.N.D.A. could not be around to help Kathy's brother analyze the mystery! Moffat continues the trend that shows up the idea of the Doctor affecting our modern culture in unique ways, becoming a sensation of Internet sites and bloggers and becoming an anti-hero again, who leaves death and destruction in his wake. And the Doctor's wake, and his footprint is getting so large that people are beginning to notice. I am certain this will lead up to this season's finale. Theres "Timey Wimey stuff going on everywhere.
The episode closes with a final scene that leaves us with a sense of foreboding fear and paranoia and would have had Mary Whitehouse throwing rocks through the windows of the old BBC Television Centre in London back in the good old days when Autons dressed as policemen and Deadly Assassins had her running to save every child in England from this violent scary show called DOCTOR WHO. The penultimate scenes in the basement with Larry and Sally trying to gain entry in the TARDIS while the Angels are quickly encroaching in the shadows are simply some of the best ever seen in the series. When the TARDIS dematerializes leaving them behind to certain death, it is the Doctor who has the final laugh and the Lonely Assassins have turned to stone in each others eyeful glances. Did I just heard Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra?
BLINK puts everybody behind the sofa once again.
Rather unbelieveabely, three days after the shows transmission on the BBC, you could buy your own "The Angels have the phone Box" T-shirts on the Internet. I'm not kidding. I could not believe my eyes! I couldn't even blink!
Steven Moffat is scheduled to write a two-part episode next season, and it is in the wisdom of the show's producers to reward his imagination with subscription to his standard of excellence. Thank You Mr. Moffat, for making DRWHO as good as its ever been!