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Blink!! Doctor Dan - And Others -
29.10 A Perfect Score!!

I am – Hercules!!
To anticipate the question? “Doctor Who’s” 29th season, currently unfurling on something called “the BBC,” hits the SciFi Channel on July 6. Here’s what our British cousins thought of 29.3, “Blink.” “Doctor Dan,” who will be “on holiday” here in the states while the season’s final three episodes are broadcast on the BBC, submits his final “Who” review of the season:
DOCTOR WHO – 3.10 "Blink" WRITER: Steven Moffatt (Jekyll, Coupling, Press Gang) DIRECTOR: Hettie MacDonald (Poirot, Servants, Casualty) CAST: David Tennant (The Doctor) Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones) Carey Mulligan (Sally) Thomas Nelstrop (Ben Wainwright) Lucy Gaskell (Kathy Nightingale) Michael Obiora (Billy Shipton) Louis Mahoney (Old Billy) Finaly Robertson (Larry Nightingale) Ian Boldsworth (Banto) Richard Cant (Malcolm Wainwright) Ray Sawyer (Desk Sergeant) PROGNOSIS In an old, abandoned house, a young woman begins to find cryptic messages bleeding through from 1969 –- from a stranger called The Doctor... DIAGNOSIS Steven Moffat has earned himself a huge reputation in fan circles, after writing season 1's most tonally-correct adventure (The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances) and season 2's sublime The Girl In The Fireplace. It's a reputation well-deserved and Moffat refuses to put a foot wrong with his fourth effort for Doctor Who, the wonderful Blink... As with last year's Love & Monsters, The Doctor and his companion barely feature in this episode beyond a few scenes, with most of their work consisting of recorded "one-way" interviews on DVD footage. The story really belongs to Sally Sparrow (Carey Mulligan), a young woman who enters an abandoned building with "Weeping Angel" statues scattered about in the grounds outside. She also discovers cryptic messages behind wallpaper from someone called "The Doctor", before her friend Katherine is later zapped back in time to 1920 by one of the freaky sculptures... The plot is fairly complex for a typical Who episode, perhaps a little above younger viewers' understanding. Blink's use of time-travel logic, predestination paradoxes, single it out as one of the most stylish and intelligent episodes of the revived series. Carey Mulligan is superb as the intrepid Sally; attractive, intelligent and plausible in all her reactions. She's such a strong character it actually crossed my mind that she could handle her own Buffy The Vampire Slayer-style series, as she's an immensely likeable presence on-screen. The supporting cast are quite perfunctory to events, with most vanishing into the past shortly after their introduced, but none hit a wrong note. Michael Obiora makes a good impression as Detective Inspector Shipton, as does his older incarnation played by Louis Mahoney. Blink is also one of the most stylish Doctor Who episodes, which usually means the crew have done a great job with a period location, but Blink is actually mostly in a contemporary setting. The editing and directing are brilliant throughout, particularly in the scary abandoned house with its greenish tint and some beautiful rain-soaked exteriors. However, it's clear that Steven Moffat is the man to worship for Blink's success. He's written a marvellous script, not only for its sharp and logical plotting, but with some genuinely funny lines (The Doctor's hen joke) and sparkling dialogue. Above all else, it's just a wonderfully imaginative story that combines old-school spooky houses and sinister statues with the world of DVDs "easter eggs" and time-travel. The Weeping Angels are a marvellous creation and it's incredible to realize they're actually make-up effect and not genuine stone! Their modus operandi and back-story is unsettling and effective, particularly in the final moments with our heroes having to resist blinking (as the Angels are only inanimate when being looked at). Marvellous stuff and, for once, we have a story where The Doctor's eventual resolution to crisis is solved by genius-level intellect -- not coincidence, luck or his bloody sonic screwdriver! Overall, Blink is one of Doctor Who's greatest episodes and a textbook example of the intelligence and tone Russell T. Davies' staff should be aiming for more often. If there's anybody you know who doesn't rate Doctor Who's output, just show them this. Blink is imaginative, compelling, exciting, scary and clever.
THE GOOD NEWS: 1. Steven Moffat. He's easily the best writer work ing on Doctor Who and the news he's returning next year with a double episode should be cause for celebration. An extremely talented man; be sure to watch his Jekyll & Hyde update soon! 2. Carey Mulligan. I thought she gave a beautiful and natural performance, shouldering the entire episode and proving to be a great heroine. Someone should give her a show to headline! 3. The Weeping Angels. Another of Who's villains that you see around every street corner (indicated by the episode's closing shots). As with last week's scarecrows, you can imagine the under-10s being very cautious around churches for a few weeks to come. 4. Hettie MacDonald. Her directing was very slick and accomplished, doing justice to the script and really bringing out the right atmosphere. The latter moments with the fanged statues were particularly chilling.
THE BAD NEWS: 1. I'd have to be very picky to single anything out as being "bad", so I won't. Seriously, nothing annoyed me here. It was all plausible, even though the "magic DVD" at the end of the episode slightly stretched credibility...
THE GEEKY NEWS: 1. This episode's story has parallels to writer Steven Moffat's short story in the Doctor Who 2006 Annual called "What I Did On My Christmas Holidays by Sally Sparrow". 2. This is the second episode of the revived series that hardly features The Doctor, following season 2's Love & Monsters episode. However, there have been episodes in the past where The Doctor never appeared at all, such as: The Keys Of Marinus (Part 3 & 4), Mission To The Unknown and The Massacre (Part 2 & 3). 3. Hettie MacDonald is the first female director to work on the revived series. The show's last female director was Sarah Hellings, who work ed on the Colin Baker story The Mark Of The Rani back in 1985! 4. In one scene, Sally and Kathy refer to themselves as "Sparrow and Nightingale", remarking it sounds like a name of a good investigative team, but only "on ITV". This is a little dig from writer Moffat at the number of crime-fighting duos shown on ITV -- like Rosemary & Thyme, Dempsey & Makepeace, Randall & Hopkirk and Sapphire & Steel. 5. The TARDIS has a DVD player!
OPINION: 5 / 5 OUTLOOK: The Doctor and Martha stop to refuel the TARDIS, unwittingly picking up Captain Jack Harkness before arriving on a distant planet where a lonely Professor struggles to save the last of the human race...
“Motoko” says:
Hi team long time reader, first contribution blah, blah, blah. Ok, tonight's Doctor Who: get ready for LOTS of reviews on this one because finally, FINALLY, the pieces came together in a perfect episode. I've been a long time nay-sayer against the current Doctor Who regime and story style. Too pantomime, too silly, too aimed at kids. I love the originals and have been criticised for having blinders on in that regard but lets be honest they haven't been great apart from sparse occasions (Tooth & Claw and The Family of Blood two parter being the only ones that leap to mind). I Hated Chris Eccleston, Billie Piper just annoyed me and the new aliens that Have been brought in have all failed to hit the button (would you be sad if the Slitheen never came back. I certainly won't). Tonight's episode however has set a new standard which I'm really hoping the final three will maintain. Brief overview: photographer Sally Sparrow creeps into an abondoned House she's attracted to (it's collapsed ambience makes her feel sad, which as she points out is what makes deep people feel happy). As she takes snaps, she finds the beginning of a message apparently addressed to her hidden behind the wallpaper. Revealing it completely, it makes a reference to a 'Weeping Angel' she must beware (there's a statue of said angel in the grounds of the house) and that she had better duck. Right now! She does so and avoids a stone flung at her direction from the garden. The last part of the message reads: The Doctor (1969). She visits her best friend Carol Nightingale to recount her strange Story and bumps into Carol's brother Lawrence, sans underwear. Lawrence is comparing several DVD's which all a mysterious easter egg on them: a message from a man in glasses pleading with the view "not to blink. if you blink you're dead!" Sally and Carol return to the house again next morning. Their first finding is that the Statue has apparently come closer to the house. But their investigations are cut short by a visitor with a letter for Sally. As Carol hides in case of 'incidents,' the caller reveals that he was strictly instructed to deliver the letter to that location and that specific time by his dead grandmother: Carol Nightingale. Sally chases round the house to confront Carol about her joke. But she is nowhere to be found. What is found are three more angel statues. One of them holds a key which Sally takes. As she leaves the house, we see the statues again. They have moved again. OK, that's the set-up. Basically, watch this one. It's the best so far And I don't want to spoil it. Now the spoilers will commence. Ready? Good. What we have here is the classic "Doctor stuck in the past. Leaves Clues to people in the future to save him" plot line. A well worn one perhaps but what this has over the other examples is dollops of atmosphere and a really cool alien. The Angels are in fact intergalactic psychopaths that live off the potential energy of the other creatures. When they kill someone they bump them back in time and let them live out their lives whenever they find themselves. As the Doctor says, they kill in the nicest possible way: they let you live to death. But it's their defence mechanism that's so interesting. If someone looks at them, they turn to stone. Unmoving, un-noticeable, un-killable solid stone. But look away, turn your blank, so much as blink: and they strike. And they've managed to trap the Doctor & Martha in 1969, away from the Tardis, and if nasties get in there andconsume the energy within, it'll wipe out part of the space time continuum. Not a good thing. What sets this apart from the rest of the series is The Doctor & Martha are peripheral players. Aside from brief appearances they appear solely in the easter eggs on Lawrences DVD's, which in a bizarre loop is in actuality a pre-recorded conversation with Sally based on a transcript of the same conversation that has been preserved into the present and then somehow sent back in time to allow the video to be made so that the conversation can take place in the first place. Confused? Well, don't worry. It makes perfect Dr Who sense which is the end all That matters. The point is that the concept of this episode is so strong that you don't miss either The Doctor or Martha. Sally and Lawrence are perfectly good characters (and very well acted by Carey Mulligan & Finlay Robertson) and their situation becomes palpably nerve shredding as the conclusion looms. The episode is brilliantly written by stalwart Steven Moffat and though It may be a hackneyed plot line (follow the breadcrumbs from the past to save the present) it's beautifully realised and contains some nice referencesto how circular and interlinking The Doctor's concept of time is. The star of this episode however is director Hettie MacDonald. She's Done quite a bit of TV over the years but this is her first Who and she makes it terrifying. The camera angles are designed for maximum fear effect and every tiny movement of the angels causes you to jump out of your seat. This is the first of the new batch to genuinely scare me. One set piece In particular gives new meaning to the term 'don't look behind you'. What else can I say, this episode has made me eat humble pie and admit that the new Who can be good if they only bloody try hard. It also gives me a great deal of hope that the final run will be excellent. Derek Jacobi & Captain Jack turn up next week and if you don't know who the final villain of the series is then it won't matter to you. But trust me, I'm stoked about it.
“Jadstersdad” says:
Doctor Who - Blink (by Steven Moffat). It seems like it might be getting boring proclaiming how good most of the new crop of Doctor Who's are, but a reporter's job is to report the truth......! (what was that you said?) Tonight's episode, in my opinion, was bloody brilliant. There are echoes of previous programmes. As in 'Love and Monsters' last year, the Doctor is somewhat peripheral, although he does feature more than in that episode (first appearance 20 mins in). Also this is nowhere near as lightweight as L&M. The tone of the piece, dealing as it does with the nature of time itself, recalls 'Father's Day' (surely among the best of comparisons). DT is completely enigmatic and pitch-perfect as his incarnation of the Doctor. Martha is pretty redundant but adds seasoning. The rest of the cast, as with last weeks story, are the meat on the bones of the script. Carey Mulligan as heroine Sally is gorgeous to look at and acts well. Her contemporaries rise to the occasion. There is intelligence and emotion galore in the script. The aliens are innovative and really scary. I was surprised that the production did not give in to the temptations of CGI. This was all the more effective because of it, in an 'old-school' way, relying on the directing instead of cheap tricks. For geeks.....great angles inside the Tardis; the most meta-referential of remarks (the Tardis' windows being too big!!) and more than a nod to Back to the Future. But hey....where's the harm in standing on the shoulders of giants? Once again 10/10 Because there HAS to be a quibble.......just one incongrous word from a character...."sick". The great Derek Jacobi in the trailer for next week. I'm counting the days!
“A C” says:
"Blink" WRITER: Steven Moffitt (Coupling, Dr Who and of course the best show of the 1990's Press Gang) What's it all about (minus spoilers) Right I just want to say that before I go into this my flatmate came back from holidays just as the episode was getting good and wanted to 'talk' to me about all the places she had been. But I've got the general gist of it all and I will be watching the repeat tomorrow night, plus Confidential looked fascinating but I had to mute the TV arghghhgh. Okay Blink, what a brilliant, brilliant story. If you're thinking oh it's not a Doctor centre episode, don't you worry about that, he's in it more than last years Love and Monsters. If you're under ten this is the sort of story that will scar you for life (but in a good way) Sort of when the face of Scaroth was revealed in the Tom Baker Story - City of Death, I don't remember the story itself but I do remember the green blooby face coming our from under that mask and the episode ending. This will have kids of today as the adults of tomorrow remembering the advancing Weeping Angels as the lights in the basement strobe. I wish I had watched it in the dark, alone (smearing myself with baked beans) despite all that I swear the chills were there. So what generally happens without giving the plot away. The a girl whose name I've forgotten Sally Swallows (no it can't be that) goes into a old house, (you know that fox noise that they use in Jonathan Creek all the time, well it made an audio cameo at the very start.) So she goes into the old creepy house, takes photos (I'm sure the reason for her going into the house in the first place was explained but… flat mate chatting in my ear) She gets a message on the wall it helps her getting bonked on the head with a shoe and she sees the author of the warning being 'the doctor' opening credits. You then move into about twenty minutes of Sally's story, it's like the pilot to a new TV show, you do get the Doctor on the screen giving strange one sided messages. You then get your first sign of the statues, ooohh the weeping statues, the close up on the humans eye to focus on the character blinking or 'not', the creeping slow hunt as the Angels approach their victims. So the Dr and Martha show up again, in 1969 and a brief explanation is given by the Doctor as to what the Weeping Angels are but … I wont go into it, it's an okay explanation. It's kind of like you've been sent back in time by the Angels sucking the possible energy of your potential, and sorry but I can't take you back home to 2007 because I've lost my ride too. … oh I've said too much, more than enough. Moving on So what do you need to know? Is it good, Yes its brilliant, but if you do have young kids (really young) who normally watch Dr Who with you perhaps vet this one first, it could give them nightmares. Sorry kids. Is the Doctor noticeably missing? Yes he is, but honestly the balance is perfect, you don't feel cheated with his absence as his presence seems to be always around. The ending is marvellous, the doctor's speech originally given from the Tv screens (the one they have been using in all of the promo's for the series "don't blink, don’t turn around") is played again, showing various statues around you in your everyday life. Spooky!! Next week Capt Jack, Utopia and Mr Tasmer lots of running outside on an alien planet. Have we seen that before in the new series? If you haven't seen the Capt Jack return it's on utube
“Smashing” says:
Okay so tonight's episode as well all know is this years filler episode, akin to the much reviled Love & Monsters from last year, which made me get that "am I a retard" feeling as I love that episode. Anyway tonight's entry written by the ever giving Stephen Moffat, adapted from an old children's story he wrote for a Doctor Who annual, is called Blink. As in do not blink as this weeks scary monsters will do you in otherwise. I thought it was an excellent episode, I have to bandy the cliches here so i apologise in advance, classic Who some will cry, amazing and the best of the season others will retort, I actually may agree for a change with them here, it was a really tight, well paced, and thought out story with chills aplenty and some really great characterisation. We meet sally, she likes old things as they make her feel sad, she is actually much more likable than that makes her sound, and given two people she like will both forever leave her life she deals remarkably well. The villain of the week are the weeping angels, quite benign in idea, they exist as statues, only able to move when no one looks upon them, including themselves, simple idea, terrifying on screen, I am a man of 33 but actually yelped at one point in the episode, you know when I mean people who have seen it, when the angels reveal there real faces, very creepy. The Doctor and Martha are on light duty this week as they are trapped without Tardis in the past, in reality they are filming the series finale hence a "filler" episode, which Blink isn't. Things I enjoyed are the non linear progression of the Doctors part in the unfolding events. Martha barging her way on camera saying "he said he would show me the universe and now I'm working to support him", very funny. The non regular cast are all very likable and quite real feeling, there fates although different are non the less quite enjoyable by all accounts. Statues, i will never as I am sure most who saw this episode, will never, ever look at statues for the rest of my life, as I write this a Transformer fell of my speaker and gave me a fright, making me second guess my toy collection. The Angels movement at the end is captured in a style of cinema I do not know but will refer to as blinking in and out, quite effective and again really scary. The simple yet totally effective way the Doc defeats the enemy is clever and in keeping with his behaviour. Another Doctor hologram, this one more Futurama in style with its in flight Tardis instructions. I again have no bad to report, Zen TV remember, though I am sure some may have things to add, Captain Jack is back next week and things look frosty between him and the Doc, uh-oh. Also I watched Titanic the other night and discovered where Russell T Davies got the names Rose and Jack from, whatta guy.
“Kelvington” says:
Doctor Who – Blink Remember last year’s “Love & Monsters”? It was the worst WHO ever? Well guess what... tonight was this series’ Doctor-less episode and it was much better than I thought it could have been. I made a prediction last week when I suspected that this would be this season’s “Love & Monsters”, but as with all things, I was very wrong. The whole episode has the look and feel of Torchwood, complete with frenzy soundtrack, and a heavy dose of “Back To The Future” with a dash of “Clerks” thrown in for good measure, and of course a smattering of Scooby Doo. The basic idea of the story is, these creatures, weeping angles send people back in time to kill them, by making them live out their lives and stealing their potential future energy. The Doctor and Martha are trapped back in 1969 without the TARDIS. So using a sort of “Back To The Future” method of sending letters, DVD Easter eggs, and notes to the future, a young woman tries to save the Doctor. There is a great deal of suspense in the concept of creatures who can only get you when you’re not looking at them. The episode FLEW BY, and while it wasn’t really the best Doctor Who, it was a thousand times better than last year’s Doctor-less episode. I think you could see Sally Sparrow in the Doctor’s future. I think she would make a great companion. Just my 2¢
“Strabo” says:
Doctor Who 3x10, or 29x10, whatever you prefer What's it called? Blink Who wrote it? STEVEN MOTHER FUCKING MOFFAT! (The Empty Child, The Doctor Dances, The Girl in the Fireplace. Three of the top five best episodes of the New Who. And you know what? You can add this episode as the fourth of the five!) Who did they choose to realise STEVEN MOTHER FUCKING MOFFAT'S script? Hettie McDonald (no credits that I recognize) Who's in it? Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow - she's the real star of the episode. Additionally, we have: Kathy Nightingale - Lucy Gaskill Larry Nightingale - Finlay Robertson Malcolm Wainwright - Richard Cant Billy Shipton - Michael Obiora Old Billy - Louis Mahoney So what's the synopsis (this is kinda spoilerish)? Essentially, The Doctor and Martha are sent back to 1969, sans TARDIS, due to being attacked by a group of beings called "The Weeping Angels". Essentially, they're one of the oldest species in the universe. They're considered the perfect assassins. When they touch someone, they send that person an indeterminate number of years into the past. They then consume that person's energies from all the stolen future moments of their lives. They kidnap The Doctor and Martha to gain control of the TARDIS and all of the "future energy" stored within it. The Doctor learns that in the future he's going to be kidnapped and stuck in the past due to the Angels, and sets up messages that will be found by Sally in the future that will guide her to sending the TARDIS back to The Doctor, and defeating the Angels. The episode is structured such that we see Sally receiving all of these messages, and not quite knowing where they come from, or what to do with them. Given the feel of the episode, and the nature of the protagonist, a comparison between Sally and Veronica Mars is probably apropos (though I'm just guess there...I haven't seen much of Veronica, though I love Bell’s acting in Mamet’s Spartan). My verdict: This episode is absolutely frakkin' perfect. The pacing is filled with suspense. There are a few moments of reprieve, but we're shortly sent hurtling back into creepiness with The Weeping Angels. I hear that there's some talk of a Sally Sparrow spin-off. Frak no! When/if Martha leaves; I want Sally as the next Companion. Heck, bring her on as a Companion WITH Martha. Remember how much everyone liked Madame de Pompadour? You'll like Sally just as much, if not more so. As I state above, this episode takes its place in the top five of the New Who, alongside The Empty Child, The Doctor Dances, The Girl in the Fireplace, and The Family of Blood. Of necessity, Human Nature (Family of Blood Part 1), The Impossible Planet, and The Satan Pit are now at the top of the second set of five. Really though, if you want to count simply stories, not episodes, all of those episodes form the top five. I can't stop gushing about how good this episode is. So, I won't. There's been a lot of talk about how RTD is a decent show-runner, but a crappy writer, and even more talk that STEVEN FUCKING MOFFAT taking over for him. This idea gets my full support too. Of the top episodes of the show I list above, only two of them were not penned by STEVEN FUCKING MOFFAT. That's a pretty impressive ratio, and if I were a BBC exec, I'd be looking at making Moffat either an Executive Producer along with RTD, or Executive Story Editor. He definitely needs some kind of MAJOR leadership role on the series. Similarly, as I also state above, the audience is going to want more Sally Sparrow too! Finally, given the success of the last three episodes being adaptations of prior written works; perhaps the BBC should consider instituting an open submissions policy for Doctor Who, similar to how Paramount ran Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. OK, I think I'm done gushing. The rating? FIVE Stars (of five) for STEVEN FUCKING MOFFAT and Blink. Oh, next week? Captain Jack is back! Woo!
“zer05um” says:
Hi Herc - long time reader, first time yadda yadda yadda. Just dropping a review of the most recent Dr. Who. Title: Blink Story: The Doctor and Martha are separated from the TARDIS by four decades. He leaves messages for a girl named Sally Sparrow in 2007 to arrange to send the TARDIS back for them to 1969, avoiding the clutches of a new and genuinely unsettling adversary. It's in the vein of last year's less than spectacular Love and Monsters in that the Doctor and Martha are only on screen briefly, but avoids falling into the same mistakes. Instead what we have is a nicely plotted and scripted piece of TV horror. That's right, this is the first episode of the new Who, since The Empty Child, to actually make me jump. It's pretty effective stuff. The villain is... well I'll avoid spoilers, but the enemy is really interesting, a really neat Sci-Fi idea used creatively and effectively and povides a nice pin on quantum theory - pun intended. The plot revolves around Sally Sparrow and an abandoned house which, right at the beginning, contains a mesage from the past to her, from the Doctor, somebody she has never met before. The story revolves around the transfer of information across time and understanding events in a distinctly non-linear kind of way, but it does make sense. Kind of. The plot is split clearly into three parts. 1) The mystery: strange messages and disappearances 2) The Doctor's message and the DVD easter eggs 3) Resolution; and this bit is a little rushed in comparisson. So, in summary: The Good: The concept. This really is a concept piece, both in the nature of the puzzle that confronts Sally and the adversaries that oppose her. Sally Sparrow. I haven't seen this actress before, but she's well up to the task required of her and I was impressed. The Not So Good: Pacing. If I have one gripe about this episode, it's the pacing. The end seems awfully rushed in comparisson to the set-up. The Geeky: This is the second time this season that the Doctor has met somebody out of sequence with their meeting him. Next week: Captain Jack is back!

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