Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doctor Who--"Blink"

I was concerned upon earing early reports this would be a Doctor-lite episode. I recall last the shudder inducing awfulness of last year’s “Love & Monsters,” a similar type episode which, like many American fans, I was not fond of. In its defense, the British seemed quite fond of the quirky humor and sexual innuendo. I have had opportunity to view the episode again and can appreciate what some must see in it even if I in my mindset cannot. The fact is, it is the hit and miss writing style of Russell T. Davies that really irritated me about it. He shines at times, but is very inconsistent. But there was no need to worry about “Blink.”

Why? Two words: Steven Moffat. He has written three of the best episodes of the series, each featuring a creepy, somewhat gothic feel, and featuring different actors every time. That is impressive for to get the feel of a new cast dead on each time he sit down to pen an episode. I do not believe his name has ever been seriously bandied about as a possible replacement for show runner RTD when he decides to move on, but it is at the top of my Doctor Who wish list, narrowly edging out a Two Doctors special with Christopher Eccleston and david Tennant.

“Blink” hits all the marks. The villains are aliens that remain as statues as long as you are looking at them. Turn away and that will zap you into the past and feed on the potential energy of what your life would have been like in the future. Through the course of the episode, a young woman named Sally is going her life finding messages to her from a strange man called the Doctor. Along the way, she loses two friend who looked away from the statues and wound up in the past. When she encounters Easter eggs meant only for her on DVDs which she discovers through the manipulations of the Doctor with her two friends in the past, she learns the Doctor is stranded in 1969 while the TARDIS is in the present day. She has to prevent the aliens from absorbing the TARDIS’ energy and return it to the Doctor.

I did not find the aliens as disturbing as I did the gas mask zombies from Moffat’s first turn as a writer in the first season, but they were a cool idea and I can see how the concept plays on certain people’s paranoia. They did have their moments, no doubt. Several scenes involved them moving in the blink of an eye and being rozen in a vicious attack pose. I thought it was an entertaining hour despite not being familiar with any of the characters beforehand. Interestingly, like “The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit,” sometimes the guest cast can be just as compelling as the regulars. Of course, then there is “Love & Monsters.” I guess yo cannot win them all. We do have a winner in “Blink.”

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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