Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

*** contains spoilers ***
I think this is the best Doctor Who story I've ever seen.

One night, Sally breaks into a deserted old house. The wallpaper is peeling-away. She peels it off further and finds that, years ago, someone wrote on the wall before the wallpaper was put up. They’ve written her name. With an instruction to duck.

Well, it goes without saying that at that moment, something flies through the window and almost hits her, but for the fact that she was ready to duck.

As her day unfolds, she continues to receive these messages from the past (from the Doctor, fairly obviously), but each time the level of predestination required for the message to work gets upped.

We've all seen time-travel movies in which people in the future go back to the past and predict things that they remember having taken place in the present, but there's just no way that anyone could know, or remember, the amount required to predict Sally's day down to this level of detail.

It surely can't be coincidence. Or can it?

When it reaches the stage where she's arguing with someone whose half of the conversation is on a 40-year-old video-recording, then there'd better be an astoudingly good explanation by the end of the programme.

And there is...

The Doctor and Martha, in a frame not seen later!
Much of modern Doctor Who is dumbed-down. Bucking that trend, Blink treats you with respect. I didn't understand the whole story, but afterwards I had to think about it for ages and had to work it all out. And it still all worked. Wonderful.

The aliens are truly original, and absolutely petrifying. I was on the edge of my seat.

The acting was flawless. David Tennant very slightly underacts at one point, because his character had to.

The characters were so alive. It's just tragic that an intelligent, clever, compassionate character like Sally Sparrow isn't the regular companion in the whole series, together with Larry too. Sally proves she's clever, unlike actual companions Martha and Rose, who rely on the Doctor to constantly say things like "Oooh, you're so clever Martha Jones" whenever she states something a bit obvious.

However I guess that if Sally were the regular companion, no doubt the regular scripts would just confer the same shallowness upon her instead.

The gorgeous dialogue. Gems like:

Sally: "I love old things. They make me feel sad."

Kathy: "What's good about sad?"

Sally: "It's happy for deep people."

And many more.

The mellow music.

Despite being set on Earth in the present day, there were no zombies. (I've decided to generously assume that this was set before all the recent high-profile alien invasions)

After the episode, I kept keeping my eyes open. That's gotta be a good sign!

Lest the fanboy in me gushes too much, the show's not perfect, and features CGI tears, a cop who hits on someone filing a missing persons claim, and completely unneccesary nudity. (Larry in undies would have been filmable and perhaps funny, Larry naked was embarrassing)

Other issues like Martha's absent phone, why the Angels don't steal the TARDIS earlier and why Billy doesn't just burn one DVD and give it to Sally at the hospital are different, because there are probable explanations for those holes, but maybe not enough time to explain everything in just 40 minutes.

The cliffhanger ending, which rendered all the earlier events ultimately fruitless, I really could have done without too, but hey, it was a logical progression. (something this series isn't very good at, usually)

My last negative point would have to be what happened to the closing credits:

Thanks for making this programme everyone, now STUFF OFF
I honestly thought that Doctor Who was somehow immune from this.

In light of the complexity of this story, written by Steven Moffat, I can't help but think back to his script last season called The Girl In The Fireplace. That had a great time-travel plot-device too, but executed abysmally, making it hard to believe that very much of the final plot came from the same mind as this.

Finally, this is this season's Doctorless story, and IMHO it was, as I said above, the best Doctor Who story ever.

Last season's Doctorless story was Love & Monsters, which was also about nerds looking for the Doctor, and in my review I called it the worst Doctor Who story ever.

It really does go to show just how much difference a good story, deep characters and respect for one's audience can make.

I just want to watch a whole series of this.

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