New Who at 10: Blink

It seems like whenever there is a discussion about the best Doctor Who episodes, “Blink” always enters the discussion. It was no surprise then, as I asked for some favorite New Who episodes on Facebook, that multiple people mentioned “Blink.” After watching it again, I can really see why. Sometimes, when you really get into a fandom, you feel this pressure to not go with the popular choice when you pick your favorite episode. You rematch those super well-known episodes and try to find ways that they are overrated, because it’s just not cool to like what everyone else likes, and now that you’re a super-fan, you should be above that. That was kind of the attitude I had while watching Blink this time. I admit, that’s probably snooty of me, and I’m not proud of that. The point is, I totally failed. I watched this for probably the 10th time, and I love it just as much as I did when I watched it the first time. There is a reason why so many people recommend this for first time Doctor Who viewers.

“Blink is such a well written episode. If you get nit-picky enough, you could probably find holes in the story, because every story has holes, but if you refrain from that, the story flows well, and highlights some great, classic time travel material. The whole story is intriguing as we follow Sally Sparrow who is trying to figure out what is happening in the Western Drummonds, or the Scooby-Doo House, as Larry calls it. The mystery really begins with her discovering a message under the wrapping paper in the house. And it really gets interesting when the message is addressed to her personally. The whole thing is classic, as her friend, Kathy, gets sent back to 1920, where she lives out the rest of her life. Sally finds out about this when Kathy’s grandson shows up at this deserted house with a letter his grandma had given him some 20 years ago. The letter explains what happened to Kathy. It all seems really unbelievable for Sally. When she finally accepts it, she goes to meet Larry, Kathy’s brother, and he introduces her to the Easter eggs on 17 DVDs. Well, one Easter egg, which is the Doctor speaking one half of a conversation. She also meets a police officer who gets sent back to 1969, meets the Doctor, and contacts Sally again, right before he dies, and helps her realize what the 17 DVDs are. They are the only 17 DVDs Sally owns. She and Larry go back to the abandoned house, and re-watch the Easter egg, this time with Sally filling in the missing half of the conversation. Then they get attacked by the Angels, one of the greatest Doctor Who monsters ever. The get Sally and Larry down to the basement where the Angels have the phone box. Sally has the key, so they are able to get into the TARDIS, and send it on its way back to the Doctor, and when it disappears, it traps the 4 angels, as they are frozen looking at each other. A short while later, Sally realizes that the Doctor got all of this information directly from her. She realizes this when she sees him out on the street, and she delivers all of her notes to him.

That’s a rundown of the story, which is superbly done. This is Moffat at his best. It is during RTD’s time as show runner, but Moffat wrote the story, and it is easily one of his best. Everything just moves along at a great pace, not too fast, not too slow. It keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the episode, and I always find that I am surprised at how quickly we get to the end. The plot is solid, the actors do superb, and it would be hard for the story to be anymore entertaining.

Whenever I watch this episode, I always have the same thought. I would like to see more of Sally Sparrow. She was just such a great character. She was inquisitive and clever, which is why she stuck with the adventure until she had figured out what was going on. She would have made a great companion. She would have really done well traveling with the Doctor. Larry would have been great to have along as well. He was likable, and given time, he probably would have become lovable. In fact, when I watch it, I see a little bit of Amy and Rory in Sally and Larry, and I wonder if they somehow served as an inspiration for Amy and Rory. In any case, with a team up name like Sparrow and Nightingale, the two would have even done well as a spinoff. They could continue to operate their DVD store together, but on the side, they could be solving mysteries. I think it could have worked.

I also always wonder what adventure Martha and the Doctor were on at the end of the episode. The Doctor doesn’t carry weapons very often, so it would be interesting to see that story that involved him using a bow and arrow, and the things that Martha keeps mentioning are hatching. What were they? it would be interesting to see what they were and the whole story.

In any case, for those of you who recommend this for first time viewers, I would say, keep doing it. It is one of the best TV stories I have ever seen, Doctor Who or otherwise. It isn’t a traditional episode as the Doctor does not play a huge active role throughout the story, so from that aspect, I recommend people start with a few other episodes first, and then move on to this one. In anywise, it is hard to argue that this isn’t one of the better New Who episodes.

What did you think of “Blink”? Was it as good as everyone says, or is it overrated? Let me know in the comments. We always love to hear from you. We will continue looking at New Who at 10, as we watch the episode “The Girl in the Fireplace.”

Jake Dietz

Jake Dietz is a humble bank employee by day, and super dad to 5 little monsters by night. He enjoys all things geeky. That’s why he started this blog. He considers himself a member of many fandoms, and dreams of the day when all geeks, everywhere, can find a way to live together in harmony.


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