Doctor Who 3.10 – Blink

A predictable choice for a picture? Probably.

I won’t write much about what I think of “Blink.” I think it’s staggeringly good, every bit as thrilling and fun now as it was thirteen years ago. Many writers and fans praise it as one of the program’s most inventive episodes, ranking toward the top of every survey of the best Whos and it deserves every bit of it. The guest star, Carey Mulligan, is so good that I find myself selfishly resenting her subsequent Hollywood success because even though I know perfectly well that Sally Sparrow’s story has been told and she doesn’t need to be revisited, I still want to see her again, and hope that the Sparrow & Nightingale shop of antiquarian books and rare DVDs is doing well.

In retrospect, though, the Matt Smith years were a victim of this episode’s success. The law of diminishing returns set in for the Angels like no other monster in the show’s history. Steven Moffat concluded that the non-linear “timey-wimey” storytelling that everybody loved when spread across one installment would work just as well spread across thirteen. It works pretty well in series five, and that Angel adventure has a couple of good moments even if it disappointed me overall. I don’t think it works as well in series six. But that’s another story for another day. “Blink,” on its own, is perfect and wonderful.

And the kid hated it. He hated everything about it. He was scared out of his mind, he retreated upstairs when Larry has a staring contest with the ground floor Angel. He didn’t like the Doctor not being in it much, he didn’t like the storytelling from another character’s perspective, and he thought that the closing montage of other statues all over the place was meant to be a cliffhanger ending and he was going to have to put up with more Angels tomorrow. Then when I told him that he was mistaken and that was it for this story, he was embarrassed and annoyed, and he hated that, too. So there you go, for those of you who think this story’s really overrated, somebody in my house agrees with you.

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