Several episodes have pulled me in. I adored the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), and my favorites from the first season are "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances." It took me a while to get used to the regeneration. This is a show where you can get attached, but not too much because the central characters are always changing. The character types remain the same to a small degree. But it is definitely a show for training Jedi - no attachments. Except that you can't help it. I've read that you get especially attached to your "first" Doctor and mine was the Ninth. The Tenth Doctor, portrayed by David Tennant, is grabbing my attention though. A few episodes in seasons two and three that stand out for me so far are "The Girl in the Fireplace," "Doomsday," and "The Shakespeare Code." Three of those episodes were written by Stephen Moffat.
And then tonight, I watched Blink. If you haven't seen it, thar be spoilers ahead (yes, I do reserve the right to lapse into pirate speech whenever I want).
I was grabbed from the start. I like to explore abandoned places and photograph objects that were left behind or the paper peeling away from the walls. You can bet I'll steer away from locations with statues from now on just to be on the safe side. The mood of the episode put me on the edge of my seat from the outset. I knew I was in for a ride, and I would have known even without hearing the echoing choruses of "OMG! Blink" that I read on Twitter. It had the feel of something special within seconds.
I watched intently. I jumped. Possibly repeatedly. I might have scared my cats. It wasn't just that it was a scary episode though. It was intense, creative, disturbing in the under-your-skin sort of way, smart, and beautiful. I haven’t felt that type of fear since I watched Stephen King’s It when I was 10. Blink was also dramatic with light moments woven in seamlessly. Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey? Frakking brilliant.
The Doctor made the episode turn even though he was on the fringes. He tends to have a presence. He was charming and genius as ever, but Sally Sparrow. Wow. She had to be strong enough to carry the episode, but I think it was really important that she wasn’t overly so. Carey Mulligan as Sparrow was casting at its finest. She played Sally with innocence, spirit, and courage. If the character was written a little differently – if she had more disbelief, if she wasn’t as quick and clever, if she wasn’t as brave, if she had a bigger DVD collection… it obviously would have been different, but I don’t think it would have worked.
As it is, the episode is a balanced recipe that was baked just the right amount of time. Every part fit delicately with the next and if one had been a tiny bit off, it wouldn’t have been the epic creation that it is. The Weeping Angel statues were a magical mix of grotesque, otherworldly, and majestic. They somehow didn’t cross the line into silly because that would have ruined the spell of the episode. The way the shot of the angels surrounding the TARDIS was lit and edited – it made me pull my blanket in closer just case I had to hide behind it. It was horrible and magnificent; it is easily the most fantastic editing I’ve seen in the series so far.
Yes, I was blown away. And for a few days at least, I'll be giving any statues I run across extra wide berth. You can bet that every time I see an angel statue though, even decades into the future, I'll watch my back. Well done, Stephen Moffat. Well done.