This is the episode even those who aren’t fans of the show can really enjoy.
“The angels are coming for you, but listen, your life could depend on this: don’t blink. Don’t even blink. Blink and you’re dead. They are fast, faster than you could believe. Don’t turn your back, don’t look away, and *don’t blink*! Good luck.” – The Doctor
The genius of this episode is in the fact that you have a monster/baddie that is all around us every day – a statue. The Weeping Angels as a concept are brilliant in that as soon as you aren’t looking at them they can move. How much more scary can you get as an idea and can you imagine taking your kid out the next day and the reaction if they saw a statue? So simple, yet so powerful. Without the Doctor being centre stage in this episode the Angels really dominate and cause a real sense of foreboding.
The Doctor is pretty much confined to small screens throughout the episode as he appears as a DVD Easter Egg. This in itself is very clever and the way it unfolds and plays out is Steven Moffat’s writing at it’s best. He uses good ideas, monsters and characterisation to drive the plot along and in the process creates the best modern Doctor Who baddie. Sadly it becomes one that is overused in later series but one that works so well in this episode. Based on the playground games of “What’s the time Mr Wolf?” or “Grandmother’s Footsteps” it uses a childlike idea to frighten all ages. Having shown it to a few classes over the years it makes kids of all ages jump!
The other really notable thing about this episode is that it features a young Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow, the girl who the story revolves around. Her performance is fun, subtle and edgy as she takes the lead alongside the hapless Larry, her best friend’s brother. She has a great strength to her that would have made a good companion – perhaps that was the point, to show how the Doctor makes us all stronger and better with his influence.
Following on from “Human Nature” and “Family of Blood” this is the strongest set of episodes of the new series – and arguably the next three with the Master returning makes it one of the best runs the show has enjoyed. Along with Moffat’s other stories from the first and second series, he was fast becoming the writer to watch and frontrunner to take over if Davies left. His hit rate as a writer was brilliant under the guidance and support of Davies and I’d argue that under his framework he worked better as Matt Smith’s episodes show there are less highlights and more average stories. However in this case he created arguably the best Monster and episode of the run to date.
Here is where everything starts coming together