Monday, 26 April 2010

Doctor Who: Blink

“Hey, Sparrow and Nightingale! That so works.”

“Bit ITV…”

I certainly picked an interesting time to watch this one…

Well, this is a bit good. Interesting that this is in some ways the second “Doctor-lite” story in a row, and also interesting that Steven Moffat should take on the task of writing for this slot in the season- in hindsight we really should have seen this as a dead giveaway that he was going to succeed RTD as showrunner. Still- tricky thing, hindsight.

The pre-titles bit is great, establishing both the haunted house setting and the timey-wimey stuff (I’m officially allowed to use that phrase now!). The plotting and the concepts are just incredible, and it beggars belief that this was apparently a last minute job. I just can’t begin to imagine the process of thinking all of this up. The Back to the Future III bit at the door juxtaposed with Kathy in 1920; the Doctor as DVD extra and the conversation with Sally; the concept of the weeping angels themselves- this is very, very special. And that’s not all; the whole thing’s full of great dialogue. (Sally likes being sad because it’s “happy for deep people.” I reckon she’s a closet Goth. Come to think of it, the DVD shop starts selling antiquarian books as well as DVDs when she gets involved, so she definitely is.)

There’s more going on here than wit and very clever plotting, too. Few stories have been so atmospheric, and this is genuinely scary. That’s not only from the concept itself, brilliant though it is, but from how the scenes in the haunted house are rather cleverly structured so as to extract as much scariness as possible.

There are a couple of wobbles- Sally spends an awful lot of time in the early scenes clearly not looking at the rather large number of Weeping Angels, and the coda with all the statues just feels silly and tacked-on. No one likes a bit of breaking the fourth wall more than I do, but this is silly. Still, these things are trivial. We’re essentially looking at perfection here.

Not only a 5/5, but only prevented from going straight to the top of my list by, er, the previous story!

Mind you, that Carey Mulligan- whatever happened to her, eh?

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