Tag Archives: Blink

Nebula Award Nominations

The nominations for the Nebula Awards are out, including a nod to Steven Moffat and Doctor Who, with Blink nominated in the script category. What is perhaps a surprise though is the inclusion, alongside Blink and a selection of major film scripts, of the script for an internet only Star Trek fan film, with a nomination for the Star Trek: New Voyages episode World Enough And Time.

Doctor Who – Jumping the Shark?

So after a disappointing finale, and a couple of major announcements about the series, a number of fans can hear the sounds of Fonzie readying a pair of water ski’s… All of this is more amazing following on mere weeks from the triumphs that were Human Nature, Family of Blood and Blink.

So what has brought the turnaround? Firstly there was the finale of the series. As I said at the time, Utopia was about one thing, bringing back the Master, and once it got to that point it was pretty gripping. The following two episodes The Sound of Drums and Last of the Time Lords were successively more disappointing with Last of the Time Lords being the first to poll more people being dissatisfied with the episode than liking it in the Behind the Sofa poll – looking at the table you can see Human Nature, Family of Blood and Blink polling 94%, 95% and 97% respectively.

Towards the end of this blog posting condensing the plot of the three series so far, there is a comment that sums things up well:

R. T. Davies: Hello. I am R. T. Davies and I am excellent. I apologise for the interruption, but I have run out of ideas on how to finish this storyline. Instead, I shall steal elements from Greek mythology, Superman, Douglas Adams, Batman, the Carry On films and …err… Flash Gordon and hope nobody notices the complete dog’s dinner I’ve made of what was, until I got my hands on it, a rather excellent series. Sorry. All sorted. Happy ending. I’ll be off now.

Certainly the big reset button resolution can work, although it is always seen as a bit of a disappointing cop out – the Star Trek Voyager episodes Year of Hell being a good example, however as has been pointed out numerous times on Behind the Sofa, things didn’t reset – time rolled back to the point where the billions of Toclofane appeared, but totally forgot the four that were there already. Alongside this, the whole Face of Boe/Jack thing doesn’t stand up to the scrutiny of watching the previous appearances of the Face of Boe in The End of the World in particular.

Following on from this we had confirmation of the casting of Kylie Minogue in the upcoming Christmas special Voyage of the Damned. This produced some light-hearted puns in news stories based on Kylie’s hits, but nothing too negative – fans seemed to be used to a bit of celebrity casting at Christmas. However all of that was obliterated by the massive negative reaction to the news that last years bit of celebrity Christmas casting, Catherine Tate who played Donna, is to be introduced as a full time companion next year. The reaction seems to be almost universal – you only need to listen to this news item take a look through the angry comments on Have Your Say to establish that. A point raised by many of the comments is that in terms of recent guest stars there is another, much better possibility for a new companion in the form of Carey Mulligan and the character Sally Sparrow that she played in Blink.

Having said that, lets not forget that this isn’t the first negative reaction to a casting decision, nor accusation of celebrity casting. The choice of Billie Piper raise a few eyebrows back in 2005, and more notably there was a similar outcry to what has happened this week when Bonnie Langford was cast as Melanie Bush in the series back in 1986.

So is the show about to Jump the Shark? Although the last couple of episodes were disappointing, and the casting of Catherine Tate has come as somewhat of a shock I think not. Over the past three years it has become clear that although Russell T Davies should certainly get the credit for spearheading the return of the series, he is not the best of the writers. Perhaps because he does write the majority of the episodes, and despite the fact that he has produced some relatively good episodes in the past, he does seem to have been responsible for the majority of the absolute clunkers. Other writers such as Paul Cornell and Steven Moffat are the ones who have won the awards, but it is worth remembering that they are only contributing one or two episodes compared to the four or five that Davies produces. Rumour has it that Davies (along perhaps with David Tennant) will leave the series at the end of season 4.

The thing to bear in mind is that the programme has by many peoples definition already Jumpped the Shark and recovered. Although there is debate over the later Sylvester McCoy stories most people seem to think that the programme hit a low patch during the eighties, similarly shown by the falling ratings and ultimate axing of the show. Even before that there have been points where due to falling ratings it was in danger and radical changes were made, a prime example being in 1969 when amidst falling ratings and an unhappy star, Derrick Sherwin took the decision to make the next season earth-bound and brought in the characters and massive change of style of the UNIT era. Currently ratings look strong, and it remains to be seen whether the initial opposition this week translates into falling ratings next year. Even if that happens, the BBC have certainly discovered what a massive money-spinner a well funded Doctor Who can be, so I don’t doubt that if that happens the series will transform again, and like other era’s we’ll be looking back on the Russell T Davies era and looking forward to something else…

Steven Moffat Take a Bow

After the excellent Jekyll on Saturday night (of which more later), we got evidence that Steven Moffat’s Doctor Who episode from last week, Blink is going to be single handedly responsible for the nightmares of a generation… Up at Church last night, one of the children after the service runs up and grabs hold of her Mum’s hand saying “Mummy, I’ve seen a weeping angel.” – “Well make sure you don’t blink!” comes the answer…

Blink and You’ll Miss It


Blink was this years ‘Doctor Lite’ episode. Essentially due to the tightness of the shooting schedule for Doctor Who much of the shooting on multiple stories is done in parallel. By having an episode that has little involvement from the main characters almost the entire episode can be filmed at the same time as other episodes are being shot. It also of course gives the writers a chance to do something a bit different.

Last year, the ‘Doctor Lite’ episode was Love and Monsters, which although it didn’t feature the Doctor and Rose, gave Camille Coduri as Jackie Tyler a chance for a bit more screen time. However this time Steven Moffat had no regular characters at all aside from a few brief scenes with the Doctor and Martha. The story instead focuses around Sally Sparrow played by Carey Mulligan, a girl who at the start seems to have wandered into events quite by chance when she explores an old abandoned house. However strangely she then finds a message written to her by name, from the Doctor, but written in 1969…

The house is occupied by four alien creatures who look like stone angel statues. Whenever people can see them or are looking at them, the angels are frozen like stone – they can only move when they are not seen, like in the blink of an eye. They live by feeding on time energy, obtained from people they touch – the act of touching them sending the people back into time. They have trapped the Doctor and sent him back to 1969, and the Doctor now needs Sally to locate the TARDIS and send it back in time to rescue him. However alongside the message on the wall, the Doctor has also turned up in hidden messages on DVD’s – strangely the same seventeen DVD’s that Sally owns. More than that, when Sally watches the DVD’s it’s like the Doctor is having a conversation with her.

As a episode that didn’t feature the Doctor much it worked a good deal better than Love and Monsters. In Love and Monsters, the Doctor effectively popped up at the beginning, and at the end to defeat the monster, and whilst the plot was a group of people looking for the Doctor it didn’t really involve him. This time around the Doctor was part of the plot, and although not on screen much was apparently driving events in order to guide Sally towards the TARDIS. However once she’s done that, we still don’t quite know how the Doctor knows about Sally. As with other Steven Moffat stories, the payoff comes right in the final scene where we see Sally a year later who has collected together everything about her adventure and then a year in the future by chance meets the Doctor – but the Doctor in his past, and hands him the file, causing a predestination and ontological paradox.

After the fantastic two-parter we’ve just had, Blink wasn’t bad, and it’s interesting to note that we’ve now had three episodes on the trot without much of the Doctor, so it might well be a bit of a shock when he is back on screen for a lot more next week! The story benefited from the good Steven Moffat script, and good acting from Carey Mulligan left to carry the episode. Then just to really freak the kids out, the episode closes with a series of shots implying that whilst the four angels have been trapped, there are others still out there…