N038 Blink

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We bring out the big guns for our 100th canonical Doctor Who review to talk about an episode that needs no introduction.

Dr Who Back When A Doctor Who Podcast Reviews Blink with Tennant cartoon by DrewBackWhen
(drawn – by hand – by @DrewBackWhen)

A record-amount of us sat down to debate the merits of Blink, an episode that many hail as the greatest achievement of Doctor Who to date.

When Sally Sparrow coerces her friend, Kathy Nightingale, to break into four unsuspecting quantum-locked flatmates’ house, and Kathy is subsequently sent back to the city that never sleeps, Hull, in the 1920s, all hell breaks loose.

With The Doctor only appearing in seemingly random DVD Easter Eggs, Sally must figure out the truth on her own.

As this, appropriately, is our 100th canonical Doctor Who reivew, we stuck around a little longer than usual, brought out the big guns and discussed key issues, such as…

  • What if this episode had been called Wink?
  • How detailed were Sally Sparrow’s notes?
  • Why isn’t everyone who’s sent back by a Weeping Angel buying shares in IBM?

… to name a few.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to welcome Marie aboard the great steamship of time that is Who Back When. Fret not, dear Podcastland, we’ll give her a proper introduction very soon.



3 Responses to “N038 Blink”

  1. Trenton Bless | @TrentonBless

    Hello once again, podcast land! I’m here on the New Who side of WhoBackWhen.com (for the first time, I might add!) and I’m here to give my first listener mini for New Who, and today we’re gonna look at “Blink”!

    First of all, for those of you who only watch the New Who reviews, I’m Trenton. I’ve been doing mini (or rather, maxi) reviews for most of the Troughton Era on the Classic Who side of WhoBackWhen.com. So, if you’ve never heard of me, that’s why.

    Now that introductions are out of the way, on to the review!

    So… Blink. Who hasn’t heard of Blink? Heck, what hasn’t been said about it? Some will say it’s a classic, others will say it’s overrated. Well, I’m more of an inbetweener. Here, let me explain.

    While I consider Blink to be one of the best of Tennant, I don’t see why it’s one of the ones we as a fandom recommended for newcomers to the show to watch first. I mean, why choose a Doctor Lite episode for that high of an honor? The Doctor, the one everyone comes to see, is barely in it. But the villains, the Weeping Angels, are quite scary and did have some great moments in this. And of course we have Sally Sparrow and the rest of the cast in this, too. So maybe that’s why?

    So, what makes this one so classic? I have no clue. It’s Doctor Lite, it’s cast is perfect, though sometimes I can’t remember anything except the latter half of the episode. Another thing about this one I like is that Steven Moffat was at his best here. But when I compare it to other good Moffat classics like Heaven Sent (you’ll get to that) and the Empty Child two parter, I prefer those over this one.

    Now, what makes it overrated in my eyes? It’s a Tennant episode, and a good chunk of the fandom believes he is the best Doctor. Controversial Moment Alert! After looking back on his era, I realized it wasn’t as great as everyone makes it out to be. Wait until we get to the “End of Time” review, for which I’ll be doing a review of that as well. Heck, I’d rate Chris Eccleston’s era higher than Tennant’s.

    So, overall, what do I think of Blink? Well… it’s not a classic. It just isn’t. It’s good, sure, but I don’t think it gets the honor of being the flag bearer for newcomers. Episodes like “Rose” should have that. “Rose” is also one of those Doctor Lite episodes. But I feel it was better executed than this one. And for all the Tennant fangirls and fanboys who are gonna curse me until the end of time itself for what I said about the Tenth Doctor, I don’t really care. Honestly, how can you defend “Fear Her”? Or the End of Time? No, no. We’ll get to that!

    So, even though I don’t consider Blink a classic, it’s still good enough to get a 3.8/5 from me.

    Next time, the Doctor and Martha continue their adventures through time and space, as some old friends and foes return in Utopia. I may not be along on that ride, but if there is demand for me to return to New Who, I will. So, until then, see you next time!

    Would you look at that, an actual mini review. That’s a first.

  2. The Doctor hardly features but it still ends up being the best episode of New Who. It’s a great self contained story that grabs you from the start and has a central character that you’re left hoping will make a come back. In fact, she would make a bloody amazing companion! And for once there’s a monster that is genuinely scary and doesn’t look like it was cobbled together with some plastic bags and a bit of gaffer tape.

    It’s also pretty darn funny, which doesn’t happen enough in Doctor Who. Because we’re not talking cheap laughs; it has some good dialogue and the acting to back it up.

    All in all, it’s pretty fantastic!


  3. I have not written any New Who reviews yet, I’ll explain why below, but I’ve made an exception for this episode for three reasons. 1) 100 Reviews is huge and I would like to be a part of it with you, 2) because of my relationship with Blink, and 3) this isn’t really a review. It’s more a retrospective of my experience with Doctor Who and with Blink in general.

    I got long-winded here so, I’m sorry.

    I had never even heard of Doctor Who until November of 2005 (clueless American here) and I stumbled upon the Episode “Rose” online and watched it. I liked it and watched “The End of The World.” I was hooked. I found a new show to watch. I watched the rest of the season and at the conclusion of “Bad Wolf” I felt a sense of déjà vu. Somehow this show I had never heard of felt familiar. In hind sight I must have connected with some random Doctor Who reference in some other show. I started looking into the show and found out that this show that I was hooked on 2 episodes in was much bigger than a new show with one season to watch, but had over 40 years of history. I am a completionist and a chronologist at heart as such could not continue watching the show without feeling like I was missing all the insider information from the old series. Side note – This is also what I’ve been doing with WBW. I’m listening in order. I’ll listen to the New Who reviews and send in Mini’s when you’ve finished with the Classic Series (I’m crazy I know) – So, I started at the beginning.

    And just as many other fans prefer their first doctor I felt an immediate love of the First Doctor and the second had to win me over. It took me over a year to get through all that who and in that time I learned not to be as hesitant to like a new doctor or to get to attached to the current one. When I finally re-watched series 1, I was so glad that I had watched the classic series and felt more in tune with the doctor and what he stood for. Also in that year I had gotten married and moved in with my wife. We had to figure out a TV routine and find what shows that she watched I would watch with her. She got me into “How I Met Your Mother” (a comedy) and “Beauty and the Geek.” (A reality show, the only one I ever got into.) And I got her into “CSI” and “House,” but I couldn’t peak her interest into “Doctor Who.” During the run of the Series 2 I finished the Classic Who and restarted Series 1. Then we switched TV carriers and I got BBC America. I had to wait for them to rerun Series 2 episodes to get them on my DVR. I couldn’t get them all to watch in order until Series 3 started running in April of 2007. But by that time those episodes were recorded to my DVR. I caught up and started Series 3. I finished “Family of Blood” from the DVR in time to watch the next episode the day that it aired. “Blink” was my first live watch episode. In all of Doctor Who there are but a few moments that put a chill down my spine and “Blink” did it several times. I felt such tension every time BBC America cut to a commercial. I knew that I had watched something special. I also found that my wife (who tends to dislike sci-fi) had made her way to watch with me.

    “Blink” had made a Doctor Who fan of my wife and that had seemed impossible. So while I’m not giving it a real Mini-Review, I am saying that for some reasons other than the content of the episode I have to give it a 5.0.

    Once again, congrats on 100!

    And finally Flapjack/jackhammer/Flaphammer you are missed, please try to come back again.


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