The release of the third DVD volume, from series three of new “Doctor Who”, gives me an opportunity to say a little more on the subject of Steven Moffat’s episode “Blink”. I had high hopes of this story, before it transmitted, and in the first thirty seconds or so the atmosphere created boded well. Unfortunately, as soon as Sally Sparrow peeled back the wallpaper, I knew the writing was on the wall! Yes, it captured David Tennant’s Doctor, without him even being there, but boy did it quickly undermine the mood of the piece. I am, of course, referring to the words “Duck, no really, duck”!! The story was spoiled before it had barely begun. Reading the line made me cringe because, reasonably, no one would bother to write a warning that crass. I wonder whether or not it was in Moffat’s script or if Russell T Davies added it during production. My next gripe followed hot on the heels of the first. I question that the Doctor would conclude his message “Love from the Doctor”. It is established in the opening two-part story on this disc, “Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood”, that the Doctor has to actually become human in order to understand the very concept of love. For this reason, I don’t think he would’ve used the word “love” and, as he did, I would very much like to know what he meant by it? It does suggest that there is little communication amongst the writing staff of the programme when a single, very important, word directly contradicts what has immediately gone before. I wanted “Blink” to be terrifying but already it had descended into the usual realm of playing silly buggers.
“Blink” repeatedly plays the same card, removing the possibility of building up any tension, by undermining what narrative there is with infantile humour. There’s the scene in which Larry Nightingale stands naked before Sally, covering his essentials with his hands, much to the embarrassment of his sister Kathy! For a moment, I thought I was watching “Torchwood” as I vaguely remember a scene in which Gwen Cooper also apologises, this time for her boyfriend’s awkward lack of apparel. Fine for the target audience of the spin-off series but is it really “Doctor Who”? And, having done it once, couldn’t the team come up with something new? Or, is that the level to which their mindset is immovably fixed? Completely at odds with the knowing (hey, here’s a penis gag in “Doctor Who”) wink to the viewer is the Doctor’s so-called “Timey-Wimey” device. This contraption is thus named so that all the three-year-olds watching this supposedly-adult horror story can also join in the fun. Any self-respecting “Doctor Who” fan ought to be inwardly-squirming in mortification by this stage, rooted to the spot much like one of the Weeping Angel statues in the story itself! Everybody raved about this episode because it was written by Mr Moffat and he is the newly-crowned God of “Doctor Who”. It should’ve been him wafting across the set, angel-like, in “Last of the Time Lords”, not David Tennant. Yet, despite all my criticism, and though it doesn’t say much for the rest of the series, I would agree that “Blink” is still the best of the bunch! That may have far more to do with the “gorgeous girl” at the heart of the narrative than the actual writing itself!! And, that’s not to say the episode was totally bereft of good lines, my favourite being “Sad is the thinking person’s happy”… because, whatever the emotional consequence, the thinking person always acknowledges the truth.