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.
The 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!
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!