My fascination: Sparrow & Nightingale.

When it was announced that Doctor Who was returning, I didn’t quite know what to think. When it got canceled, back whenever it was, it was stale and tired and probably deserved to be taken off the air. But it was coming back, in a similar time-slot to it’s original one, and it was still intended to be a family show. So much time had passed, and I was now meant to be an adult, to be honest I wasn’t sure if I cared. Also, because of it’s time-slot and the fact that it was shown on a Saturday, I didn’t think that I’d be able to watch it. Either because we’d be out in town, or that both Mighty and I would be in and, well… I was now meant to be an adult, and I don’t think that at that point Mighty knew that I was a proper geek. But watch it I did, and by the end of the first season I loved it again. On Christmas day 2005 an hour before my friends were due to come over for some drinks to celebrate my birthday (did I mention that I share a birthday with the baby Jesus?) my friend Chris came round and we watched the Christmas special. The 10th Doctors first episode, the one with the “fighting hand,” and the fantastically funny stand off with the Sycorax. After it finished I had a tsunami of texts from The Bear, and Martin turned up and appeared disappointed that he’d missed out on the pre-drinks Who. For the following few years Martin, Gemma, and Chris would be invited around to watch Doctor Who on Christmas day ahead of everyone else coming over for drinks.

During the RTD era of Doctor Who one episode stood out from the others. It was funny, scary, the Doctor was hardly in it, and it actually dealt with time-travel. It is, without doubt, my favourite stand-alone episode of those four seasons, and one of the greatest episodes of all time. That episode, is Blink.

As with The Time Traveler’s Wife, the story involves involuntary time-travel and two different types of paradox. Usually it’s a little unclear how time-travel works in Doctor Who, but here in Blink it would appear to include both a predestination and a ontological paradox. Although, the Doctor oh so deftly explains what’s going on as, “wibbly-wobbly, timey-whimey,” which is good enough for me.

Separated from the TARDIS, and trapped in 1969, the Doctor leaves messages for Sally Sparrow that she won’t receive for 38 years. The first one she comes across is written on a wall, underneath some wallpaper, in an old abandoned house, and tells her to be aware of the Weeping Angels, “oh, and duck.” shortly before a stone comes crashing through the window. Shaken by what has happened she goes to her friends house, and it’s here that she is introduced to another one of the Doctors messages; a DVD Easter-egg of him having one side of a conversation, which is later revealed that he’s having with her… sort of. He reads from a transcript of a conversation that neither of them have had yet. It’s clever, funny, and far out-smarts any of the writing that had come before it on the revived series. Steven Moffat is an absolute genius, and not only that but with this episode he started his trend for scaring children with things that they see every day, the Weeping Angels are as terrifying as they are simple. Well, you know, not for me, I’m meant to be an adult…

I’ll be in the cupboard with the felt-tip pen if you need me.

To be continued…

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2 thoughts on “My fascination: Sparrow & Nightingale.

Add yours

  1. Mr Moir,
    Indeed Blink is one of the finest episodes not of only Who but of any TV show! Clever, Funny, Intelligent and very scary. Class, pure class!
    I indeed do miss those Christmas day episodes before your birthday drinks before the Who haters arrived drunk and shouting out load that “its crap” Its only because they are small minded and need to enter the wonderful world of The Doctor.
    Roll on December and the return of The Doctor and Sexy Miss Pond!!

    “This new hand, it’s a fightin’ hand! “

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