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August 27, 2014

Doctor Who blinks and picks up a Hugo

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 10th 2008 9:04PM
Doctor Who - Very rarely does a television series put out a standalone episode that is not only brilliant in and of itself, but also stands above pretty much every episode of that series. And yet, with the tenth episode of the third series, Doctor Who did just that with "Blink." Even more remarkable is that this episode barely featured the Doctor or then-companion Martha Jones. It had become common, due to the tight production schedules, for an episode each season to barely feature the Doctor, but this one absolutely blew our minds.

And apparently voices that matter agreed, because writer Stephen Moffat was just awarded the prestigious Hugo Award for short form dramatic presentation for "Blink." I have to figure it's a large part of why he's been selected to take over as lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who from Russell T. Davies when the show returns for its fifth series in 2010. Based on this one episode alone, the show couldn't be in better hands.

There's an old adage that Alfred Hitchcock used in creating films that it's always more terrifying what you don't show the audience then what you splatter all over the screens. Never in modern television has this been used as literally as it was here. By having the villains unable to move when they are looked at, Moffat was able to use only statues to sell the story of the angels. Keeping special effects off of the monsters made it all look that much more real.

The episode even could have not been a part of the Doctor Who mythos and it still would have stood as one of the best single episodes in the history of television, on either side of the Atlantic. I hope they find a way to bring the angels back to the show, though I'm not sure you can recapture that kind of magic twice. If you've never watched Doctor Who and get a chance to see this episode, you should watch it. If you are a fan and haven't seen this episode, then I'm going to need to send the TARDIS to revoke your license. Sorry.

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Chris

Blink is definitely the first episode you should show someone who's never seen Doctor Who before. I'm dying to have one of those "The angels have the police box shirts"! It's best to see the episode on DVD. The disc has the Doctor's whole easter egg.

August 12 2008 at 4:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chuck

Love this ep, was completely mesmerized the first, second, and third time I watched, and I'm glad it won. But I gotta ask

(spoiler alert if you haven't seen it yet)

. . . what happens when the light in the basement goes out?

August 12 2008 at 1:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dr. Mom

So glad this won! This is Moffat's third Hugo in a row for Doctor Who episodes and is well deserved. It's the favorite episode in our house and the one we used to introduce Grandma to the 21st century Doctor Who. Can't wait to see what Moffat does as show runner.

August 11 2008 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mj green

This episode was good, but I really don't like his other work. He's not really into the characters, but in sci fi. The Doctor has always been much more than that. I read that he doesn't like Rose, because she's too needy. After a lot of fans snarled, he said it was a joke. I think RTD did a much better job of telling a story, that made me want more. I'm not into ooooh, scary, all that much. To me, hearing the words 'exterminate' and watching everyone react was much more frightening.

August 11 2008 at 4:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mj green's comment
Akbar Fazil

Not into the characters? Interesting since I find Moffat to be a shining beacon of character development in all works of his that I have enjoyed.

August 11 2008 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Blair M

The funny thing is that the stone angels were being played by real actors in make-up, so they could have moved, but it was just much more terrifying to keep them still.

August 11 2008 at 1:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordon Werner

Brilliant!

August 11 2008 at 1:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phish

razor deserved it more! bsg was robbed once again.

August 11 2008 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marky

Anyone seen the original BBC version vs. the SciFi version? Worth tracking down, or wait until PBS airs it?

August 11 2008 at 12:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Marky's comment
Gene

The "SciFi version" is also the BBC version. It's still a BBC program.
Unfortunately, the BBC has pulled the original show from distribution, so the only PBS stations still showing it are the ones who haven't finished their old contracts.
Luckily, vast numbers of the original show between 1963 and 1989 are now available on DVD, Netflix has a huge catalog.
I have a feeling that old fans like me find it easy to segue into the new show, but it may not be as easy going the other way. Keep in mind that the old show was low-budget, and was not produced in the era of smart sophisticated shows like Buffy and the like.

August 11 2008 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gene

... and I just realized that you may have been talking about the original, uncut, commercial-free version of "Blink."
Duh.
It's available on DVD now. It's worth watching because nothing ruins a creepy tense thriller more than animated promos all over the screen and commercial interruptions.

August 11 2008 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
betsyw

Every episode Stephen Moffat has written for Doctor Who has been brilliant, and "Blink" is one of my favorites. Well deserved.

August 11 2008 at 12:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
xnifex

cool, i've never seen Doctor Who before & was thinking about putting it on netflix. i guess i'll track down this ep & watch it first to see if i like the series.

August 10 2008 at 10:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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