Oh my god, this episode.
So, I’m doing something different for this commission. In the spirit of not repeating myself, what follows below is the actual text from my re-watch chapter of “Blink” in the Mark Watches Doctor Who: Series 3 book. No sense in me trying to come up with a third review of the episode, you know? So, here goes! The numbers correspond to related footnotes, which are pasted at the end. 🙂
You know, this is the one episode of Doctor Who that I’ve seen the most. I’m pretty sure I’ve watched it at least ten times in the past couple years. It’s one of my go-to episodes to introduce friends to the show, and it really works well to give folks the basic information on the Doctor, the TARDIS, companions, and time-travel. Plus, it’s just so fun! But because I’ve seen it so many times, it has lost a bit of its charm from my initial viewing. In a way, that’s sort of the point of Mark Does Stuff. I’m basically recording (sometimes literally) my real-time reactions to discovering a fictional world for the first time. That’s something we can never re-live ever again. (DEATH TO SPOILERS.)
So I can’t re-experience the utter fear and elation I went through watching this episode for the first time. And my god, this episode was so fun! Well, there is one thing that bothered me that I never caught on to before.56 Kathy Nightingale seemed rather pleased with being transported decades into the past and being ripped from her life in modern London. Like, okay, so she gets transported back to London in 1920 and literally marries the first man she meets? Oh, come on. Really?
Then, as I mentioned before, there’s the bit where Martha mentions that the Doctor got her to work in a shop to support them. Yeah, what the fuck, Doctor? Really? Okay, did Moffat really not think this one through? Is the Doctor too good to work, or is he too busy building a thing that goes ding when there’s stuff? (I admit that the timey-wimey detector is really awesome.)
Anyway, I STILL LOVE THIS EPISODE. I LOVE IT SO MUCH! Billy Shipton is so hot it hurts. WHY HAVEN’T YOU TAKEN ME OUT ON A DATE? Wait, I already have a boyfriend. Scratch that. But this story is still such a joy to watch. I love ontological paradoxes. I love Carey Mulligan.57 I love that Larry’s nerdiness is his only real contribution to this plot. I love that Sally leaves him alone with an angel for way too long, and I know that the scene was written just to scare the shit out of me, and I don’t care because it works and it’s just one of my favorite things Moffat has ever written. I love that one of the scariest episodes of this show is almost entirely Doctor-less. I LOVE THE DVD EASTER EGG. My god, it’s brilliant. I have never seen anything like it in my entire life. IT GIVES ME STRENGTH TO GET THROUGH THE DAY.58
I don’t know that I have a whole lot of meta or subtextual commentary to add to my original thoughts on “Blink” because… well, let’s be real. It’s one of the most-discussed episodes of the show. I don’t know that I have anything to say that hasn’t already been said a million times.
I will state this: when it comes to frightening episodes, I actually think “Midnight” is way, way scarier. PLUS COLIN MORGAN’S FACE IS SO LOVELY.
56 At least 10 people just groaned, and thought, “GOD, JUST SHUT UP.”
57 While I would have preferred that the woman of color who was intended for the role be cast instead of Carey, I can’t deny that I loved her in Drive. Oh god, so many bro dudes completely miss the point of that movie and the commentary on masculine heroism. YOU JUST DON’T GET IT, STOP EMULATING HIM, YOU ARE MISSING EVERY POINT.
58 It also frustrates me because Moffat either totally nails it, or he falls so far from the mark that I can’t believe the same person wrote both things. Ugh, “The Wedding of River Song” in particular is just a hot mess that I can barely even think about without getting a headache.