Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Every April-ish I get very excited as I get to watch the new season of Doctor Who. The series, which airs 13 episodes a season, always seems to go by so fast and before I know it it's gone. And over the next 8 months I somehow forget how much I love "The Doctor."

The 4th season of the revived Doctor Who (Which had previously run from 1969 to 1983) is already airing in The UK, but it's coming to Sci-Fi here in the states starting with last December's Christmas Special on April 18th.

So in order to gear up for a new season I rewatched last seasons brilliant episode "Blink" and remembered exactly how much I love this show. What's amazing is that the episode feature "The Doctor" for less than 10 minutes of the entire episode.

"Blink" tells the story of Sally Sparrow (Carey Mulligan, left), a young woman who loves antiques and enters an old abandoned house, called Wester Drumlins, to look around. While there she notices something written on one of the walls, under the wallpaper. When she peals away the paper the note says her name and tells her to "Duck" Luckily she does and when she turns around there's only a statue of a weeping angel standing in the yard.

Sally goes to tell her friend Kathy Nightingale and bring her to the house to see. As they look around there's a knock at the door and Kathy hides as Sally goes to answer it. At the door is a man who gives Sally a letter from his grandmother, a woman named Kathy Nightingale. Thinking it's a prank Sally looks for Kathy who has seemingly disappeared. The only thing Sally finds is three more weeping angel statutes in a hallway, one of which has a key hanging from it. As Sally leaves the house with the key we see that the angel statutes are watching her from the windows.

The letter form Kathy informs her that Kathy was standing in the shadows watching the man at the door one minute and the next she was standing in a field in 1920. She got married and had children and grandchildren, one of whom she asked to deliver this letter on her deathbed.
The letter also asks her to make up an explanation for her brother Larry, who runs a DVD store.

When Sally goes to Larry we see the Doctor on his TV screen. He explains to Sally that there are 17 clips of this man hidden as Easter eggs on 17 different DVDs. It's strange because no one seems to know how the Easter Eggs got on the DVD. Larry then gives Sally a list of the DVDs, although at this point Sally has no clue that the Easter Eggs and her friends disappearance are related.

Sally then goes to the police and meets with Detective Inspector Billy Shipton who shows her a garage filled with cars that have been found at Wester Drumlins with the owners having disappeared. He also shows her the most intriguing find at the house
a blue, fake Police Box (recognizable to viewers as The Doctor's "TARDIS" aka his time machine). Shipton tells her that they can't even get the thing open, saying it takes a normal "York key" but none seem to fit it.

Shipton asks Sally on a date and she gives him her phone number and then leaves. Shipton turns around after watching her go to see the 4 weeping angel statues standing around the TARDIS. He walks towards the statues and we cut to Sally. As she walks away she realizes she has a "York key" the one found at Wester Drumlins. But when she makes it back to the garage both Shipton and the Police Box are gone.

Billy wakes up in 1969 to the voice of The Doctor who tells him the "Weeping Angels" feed off potential energy by sending people back in time and feeding on the future that will never be. The Doctor then tells Shipton he needs him to deliver a message Sally, but apologizes because it's going to take awhile.

When then return to Sally who is still standing in the garage as her phone rings. Shipton is on the other end and asks to met her. Sally goes to a hospital and finds Shipton is an old man. He tells her that The Doctor told him he could only contact her on this day, the day of his death, or it would tear a whole in the fabric of time that would destroy 2/3 of the universe. He also tells Sally to "look at the list" and figure out what the 17 DVDs have in common. Shipton also says that after going to 1969 he didn't stay a detective, he got into publishing, first books, but then moved into video and eventually DVD publishing, hence the Easter Eggs.

Sally quickly realizes that the 17 DVDs are the only 17 DVDs that she owns, and that the Easter Eggs were meant for her! She calls Larry and has him met her at Wester Drumlins with a DVD of the Easter Eggs. There she begins to watch the DVDs and realizes The Doctor is responding to what she is saying. Wondering how he can hear her she asks and he says "Look to your left" where she sees Larry writing a transcript of both sides of the conversation, a transcript The Doctor has back in 1969.

The Doctor tells Sally that the "Weeping Angels" have a perfect defense mechanism in that they are "quantum locked," meaning they turn to stone when a living thing looks at them, even themselves. But when unobserved they are deadly fast, and thus it is important that they not blink. He tells them that she has to get his time machine back to him. But when Sally asks how to defeat the "Weeping Angels" he can't answer because his copy of the transcript has ended, because Larry has stopped writing because an Angel has entered the room. The Doctor concludes by saying they have to keep their eyes on the Angels and try not to blink!

In one of the most frightening scenes I've watched in sometime Larry stands against a wall staring at the "Weeping Angel" and trying not to blink as Sally tries to find a way out. As Larry starts to strain he turns his head for a split second and turns back a round to see the statute inches from him looking quite frightening. (Left) Unfortunately the Angels have locked the doors, but Sally finds a stairway to the cellar.

As Sally and Larry enter the Cellar they see the remaining 3 Angels standing around the TARDIS. Larry turns around to see the 4th statue has followed them and the duo makes their way to the TARDIS while keeping watch on all four Statues, but not before one of them has pointed at the lights, causing them to flicker.

Sally unlocks the TARDIS just as the Angels gain on them. Once inside a holographic Doctor tells them the TARDIS has recognized a control disc, the DVD of easter eggs that Larry has. Larry loads in into the TARDIS and the TARDIS gears up, but leaving Sally and Larry behind. As the TARDIS completely disappears Sally and Larry prepare for the Angels to attack. But The Doctor has fooled them, the Angels are all standing in a circle around where the TARDIS had been, looking at one another, completely freezing them forever.

The episode then jumps forward one year to Sparrow & Nightingale's Antiquities and Rare DVDs shop. Sally is putting a folder together with the transcript and several other items from the events at Wester Drumlins. When Larry sees what she's doing he asks her to give it a rest and hints that its getting in the way of the two of them having a relationship. Larry then goes to get milk and Sally sees the Doctor getting out of a cab.

Sally runs out and yells to him, but he doesn't recognize her. Sally realizes that the events have not yet happened to him and tells him he'll get stuck in 1969 and to make sure that he has the packet and hands him the transcript. Larry walks up and looks astonished to see the Doctor, Sally then takes his hand and walks into their shop with him.

The episode ends with The Doctor via voice over warning about the statues, that you can never blink, while showing images of dozens of statues around the world. Quite Unsettling.

In the end it's an amazing episode of a wonderful show and one of the scariest episodes Doctor Who has had so far. And part of me keeps hoping that they will bring back Carey Mulligan's Sally Sparrow to become a new companion.


bczimmerman said...

FYI it is a "Yale" key.

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