Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Blink (Spoilers)

Sally Sparrow is fascinated by old houses and discovers a message left for her forty years earlier under the living room wallpaper of an old house in Wester Drumlins. Next moment her best friends vanished and she keeps having conversations with a DVD extra.

Each series of Doctor Who has had at least one determinedly Doctor-lite episode. The first series The Long Game saw much of the story told from the point of view of Adam and the inhabitants of Satellite Five. Series two saw Hustle star Mark Warren take a lead role as Elton Pope, Doctor-watcher extraordinaire. Both are good episodes but suffer for the lack of everybody’s favourite Time Lord (especially Love & Monsters as when he does turn up his motives and actions seem somewhat questionable).

The first stroke of genius from 'Doctor-lite' newbie Stephen Moffat is to use only three sequences of the Doctor, but one of these taking the form of a video recording which we see played through several times and which plays in the background in many other scenes. In this respect the episode could hardly be more Doctor-full.

The second genius brainwave is in the creation of a monster which cannot be observed moving. By their very nature the 'Weeping Angels' must always be stationary and is therefore also cheap. There may not even be any CGI in this episode, there certainly aren't any showy effects sequences.

In Sally Sparrow we have a curious, impetuous heroine reminiscent of Sarah Jane Smith in attitude. Finding herself caught in a mystery she pieces the clues together to save the Doctor and Martha who are stranded in 1969. Had she had the opportunity to meet the Doctor properly she is just that sort of person he’d whisk away for an adventure.

Carey Mulligan is an engaging and likeable guest lead who has strong support from her colleagues Lucy Gaskill, Finlay Robertson and especially Michael Obiora as the Policeman who is rather taken with Ms Sparrow, before getting blasted back to the sixties.

Steven Moffat’s Who scripts are always eagerly anticipated but what he delivered for series three was a total surprise and a resounding success. His talent for invention and ability to write sexy, modern dialogue are second to none. Blink is that rarest of things, an instant classic.

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