W is for… Weeping Angels

Today we get to write about one of the newest of the Lady Monsters for the A to Z Challenge – Doctor Who’s Weeping Angels. As a Doctor Who Monster, it takes something from normal life and provides deeper meanings and terrifying secrets to it.

WThe Weeping Angels are a creation of Steven Moffat, in the Series 3 episode Blink. If you were to watch only one episode of Doctor Who, this might be my recommendation, and the Weeping Angels are a big reason for that!

Steven Moffat loves two things when he is crafting a Monster or an episode (typically the two go hand-in-hand). He likes pushing the Monsters towards the perfection of a form. And he adores playing around with time and timelines. Blink is probably the best he’s done with either.

The Weeping Angels are the perfection of the form of defense. When you’re looking at them, they are stone. “And you can’t kill a stone. Of course, a stone can’t kill you either, but then you turn your head away. Then you blink. Then, oh yes, it can.”

And how the Weeping Angels kill is the worst – and also the best. They kill you with time. They whisk you away back in time, and you live out your days. And they feed off of all the changed possibilities, all of the altered timelines. This makes the Doctor something of their perfect prey – so much time.

On a show where we’re used to the Doctor winning every time, the Weeping Angels defeat him. In Blink, it’s a human who has to save him, the hero-sounding Sally Sparrow. And they even win out and keep the Doctor from ever seeing two of his companions again.

While there is nothing that inherently makes it that the Weeping Angels are female, they are hidden in plain sight, as angel statues. So it is far more a commentary on the fact that most angel imagery and iconography is female. And Angel statues tend to be the sort that are at graveyards, crying for the dead.

There is also an idea of the Weeping Angels reproducing. You see, the image of a Weeping Angel is in-and-of itself a Weeping Angel. That means this post is not only about Weeping Angels, it also contains a Weeping Angel. How’s that!

From Blink on IMDb

But it does mean that the image of them matters, their form and what they represent. And even if the image is just the image in your mind’s eye, from eye-to-eye contact with an Angel, you start to become an Angel.

So don’t look at it too hard. Oh, but also don’t blink.

Which brings me to my last thought. In one of the episodes with the Weeping Angels, they made the decision to have them move while the audience could see. This still makes me sad, because part of the wonderful and terrifying thing about Blink was that the Angels not only did not move when the characters could see them – they did not move when the audience could see them, either. I feel like that was an element to have kept!

Image and quote from IMDb. Post by @CompGeeksDavid from Comparative Geeks!

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44 Comments

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  1. I love Blink! Especially how so much happened during the same rain between Sally and Billy! The same rain he was young and then dying. I never get tired of watching Blink and I typically pick up on something new.

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    1. There’s some thought to jumping onboard with a doctor you like, as well. Blink is a good intro for David Tennant as the Doctor. For Matt Smith as the Doctor, I might recommend the episode Vincent and the Doctor would be another beautify stand alone episode. Though rather than fear, it’s one that might lead to tears…

      For Capaldi and Eccleston, they each have had one season… If you jump in at Eccleston (series 1) there’s a good chance you just keep watching the show from there! If you watch Capaldi and like it, there’s a chance you like it and are annoyed that you’ve reached the end… And then you’ll go back to series 1 and watch from there! So those two are a trap 😉

      And then there’s the whole world of “old Who” that I haven’t dived into yet either! They did make some “The Doctors Revisited” DVD’s with an episode each per Doctor. We have them but haven’t watched them yet… Anyway! Long answer to a short comment, sorry 🙂

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  2. I’m a non Dr. Who-er.
    I know. I’m sorry.
    Sort of.
    I just didn’t get into it and then it keeps changing people which freaks out my OCD.
    I don’t know.
    Maybe one day.
    This does sound interesting though. I like that they don’t move when you look at them and then …

    Heather

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    1. I got into it pretty late for the modern series – right around the time that Matt Smith started, though Holly had me go back and start at Series 1 from 2005.

      The changing characters is a brilliant TV move, as that gets you the 50+ years of show… But it does get very sad when people change. And it really can be a new show then in many ways. I would say that the changing characters also just feels very British, but that might be other British shows imitating Doctor Who…

      The episode I mainly talked about here, Blink, especially stands out because the Doctor isn’t even the main character! It really does stand alone, so if the Weeping Angels sound interesting, it would be a good single episode to watch 🙂

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  3. I love the original Weeping Angels episode – Carey Mulligan is such a talent. I can’t believe that tomorrow’s the penultimate day – where did the time go?

    Fee | Wee White Hoose
    Scottish Mythology and Folklore A-Z

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  4. I also am deeply disappointed they showed the angels moving… And I think they lost track of the “send you back in time” idea the more episodes they did. It’s not used effectively after Blink, and the angels are too watered-down to be scary in recent episodes. Just another monster.

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    1. The potential remains for them to be done really well in the future, however. Although the temptation then is to do another version of Blink…

      Think of the potential for a big crossover multi-Doctor or visiting-old-friends (Captain Jack? River Song? someone with a Vortex Manipulator!) sort of episode. All to save the Doctor, who’s been sent back in time by the Angels! Or, what if they successfully sent the TARDIS back? How would that work???

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    2. Yeah. I wish they’d just left them alone, or done another “Blink”-type episode and made it a set piece that every Doctor deals with once, and only once, in his career, so you never know which series it’s coming in.

      I disliked those later ones. They were really lucky they had Iain Glenn and Alex Kingston to cast in those.

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      1. Once Moffat had created them, he definitely relied on them as monsters. They also feel a bit similar to the Silents to me, though I love the 2 episodes with the Silents. The whole idea of not wanting to blink or look away is very similar.

        I think in the recent season, in Listen, Moffat finally made a direct statement that he (and the Doctor) were pursuing the idea of perfection of forms. In Listen, it was perfect Hiding – more perfect than the Silents! Look, connected thoughts 🙂

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  5. Blink was the episode that my Dr. Who-loving friend recommended as a starting point for the series. I’m not into the show, but I see why she picked that episode! The weeping angels are highly compelling.

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  6. The Weeping Angels scare me more than any other of the Doctor Who Monsters. “Blink” is one of favourite episodes, especially as part of it was filmed in my home town of Newport, in South Wales. I just wish I had been there at the time. Maybe I can find the TARDIS and make the trip sometime?

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    1. If you’re in Wales, then indeed, you must have a lot of statues like that around! And you can never quite look at them the same again…

      Would have been awesome to have seen that filming, or like the big Bells of St. John filming they did in the middle of London! Those would be good things to visit with a TARDIS 🙂

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  7. The creepiest episodes I’ve seen are the ones with the Weeping Angels! So much that I don’t let my kids watch them with me – they don’t need to see Mom freaking out!!

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  8. This is the wibbly wobbly timey wimey episode; love the Weeping Angels episodes.
    I agree about the audience and the angels, too much of the newer Doctor Who stuff is to suck up to fans, not just doing what they do. But it was still cool.
    Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t blink. Good Luck. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t even blink.

      It was Moffat on both episodes, for still and moving Angels… Maybe he had always wanted them to move and finally had the say or the money to do it. If so, that instinct was wrong in my opinion… If I remember right, in later episodes they go back to them holding still – up to and including the largest Angel!

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  9. I love the Weeping Angels. They are my favorite Who villain. I get nightmares after their episodes. Blink is also the episode I tell people to watch as an intro to Who. I didn’t mind them moving though. The way it was done, slow actually creeped me out because you knew as soon as they realized what was going on, then they’d become so fast you can’t see them. That suspense had me on the edge of my seat.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee’s Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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    1. I think you’re definitely right – Blink is a great episode to get into Doctor Who with. Ironically, since there’s not much of the Doctor in it! However, it does have some of the Doctor’s best monologues, most notably the wibbly-wobbly one 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by! It’s been a fun A to Z here on Part-Time Monster, and I’ve also been doing A to Z on my own blog with my wife: https://comparativegeeks.wordpress.com/ Lots of Science Fiction going on there!

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