Blink

Doctor WhoSally Sparrow’s inquisitive nature, and eye for a good photo, leads her to a creepy abandoned house. Under the house’s peeling wallpaper, Sally discovers a message – written to her by name – containing a warning from someone called the Doctor. When she returns to the house with her best friend, Sally is stunned when her friend vanishes – and then a man claiming to be her friend’s descendant arrives at an appointed time with a letter from his ancestor…in the distant past. Sally goes to share the shocking news with her friend’s brother Larry, and finds him obsessed over several DVD easter eggs, all of them containing cryptic (and occasionally incomprehensible) messages from a man called the Doctor. But the video messages from the Doctor are very clear on one thing: alien killers in the guide of weeping angel statues are stalking the Earth…and if Sally and Larry blink when they encounter the statues, they’re dead. But why isn’t the Doctor on hand to fight the aliens himself?

Download this episodewritten by Steven Moffatt
directed by Hettie MacDonald
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Carey Mulligan (Sally Sparrow), Lucy Gaskell (Kathy Nightingale), Finlay Robertson (Larry Nightingale), Richard Cant (Malcolm Wainwright), Michael Obiora (Billy Shipton), Louis Mahoney (Old Billy), Thomas Nelstrop (Ben Wainwright), Ian Boldsworth (Banto), Ray Sawyer (Desk Sergeant)

Notes: This episode is based in part on Steven Moffat’s short story “What I Did On My Christmas Holidays, By Sally Sparrow”, which appeared in the 2006 Doctor Who Annual as a ninth Doctor story with a much younger Sally – and no weeping angels. The original short story can be read at the BBC’s official Doctor Who site here.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green

Review: Maybe it’s saying something when each season’s “Doctor-light” episode – filmed with only minimal participation from David Tennant and whoever his sidekick is as the time – turns out to be among my favorites of the year. Last year, I waxed rhapsodic about Love & Monsters, an episode that most people seemed to dismiss as lightweight, and I’m about to do it again with Blink, because this is some serious old-school Doctor Who: familiar and yet unnerving and truly scary in places.

My kudos have to go to the cast of Blink, because they were convincing enough in their roles that I didn’t feel like I was really missing Tennant and Agyeman for much of the hour. In a way, just knowing that you’re in for an episode with very little involvement from the Doctor raises the stakes – the characters here are on their own. And at least in this instance, they’re up against a jump-out-of-your-seat-and-hide-behind-the-sofa adversary. The funny thing is, the menace in Blink is incredibly simple in execution, but also incredibly effective – really one of the scariest things the new series has pulled off really well. (Now, the thought occurs that maybe one verbal mention could’ve tied the Melkur from Keeper Of Traken into things, but…nah. Not every vampire needs to be a sworn enemy of Rassilon.)

Quite enjoyable stuff, and best watched with the lights out.

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