Doctor Who, “Blink”: A Hell Of A Good Episode Of Television

What it is: The tenth episode of the third series of Doctor Who, a Steven Moffat-written “Doctor-lite” episode commonly considered to be one of the best in the show’s history. It tells the story of a woman who stumbles across some terrifying monsters that happen to look like statues, and unfolds from there into a well-arranged time-travel thriller.

What I’ve watched: Watched it for the first time last weekend. The entire series is streaming on Amazon Prime.

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Is it good? Hell yes it is. I can’t think of the last time I enjoyed a single episode of TV as much.

Quick thoughts: I don’t have much to add that hasn’t already been said in the copious articles that I’ve subsequently read about this episode. I mainly just wanted to say 1) it’s good, 2) if you don’t watch Doctor Who you should still watch it, and 3) if you do watch Doctor Who you should rewatch it sometime. It’s got a killer central idea that I kind of can’t believe hasn’t turned up elsewhere. The statues are monsters, but they can’t move if you look at them! They eat your potential life and warp you back into the past! They move so fast that if you blink, they can get you! The idea could’ve supported a full-length movie, but by cramming it into an hour-long TV episode format, Moffat and company were forced to cut it down and make it lethally focused. The result is one of the most tightly scripted episodes of TV I’ve seen. Every five minutes or so, some surprising new element of the plot reveals itself. I never had time to relax and figure out the twists and turns ahead of time, like I might’ve in a longer production. The final ten minutes are a mix of bittersweet romance, yell-out-loud horror, and metaphysical trickery just clever enough to convince you not to think about it long enough for the illusion to break. Just really good shit.

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