Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Don't Blink

I started watching Doctor Who a little over a year ago. I was inspired by the fact that Neil Gaiman had written an episode that was about to air, and then Diana discovered we could watch it starting with Season 5 on-demand through our cable provider. Ordinarily I might have been reluctant to start watching a show at the beginning of its 5th season, especially one who's history dates back nearly 50 years. Would we be hopelessly lost without all the backstory? Would any of it make sense? Fortunately Neil Gaiman had summed up all the backstory we needed at Wondercon:
...there’s a blue box. It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It can go anywhere in time and space and sometimes even where it’s meant to go. And when it turns up, there’s a bloke in it called The Doctor and there will be stuff wrong and he will do his best to sort it out and he will probably succeed cos he’s awesome. Now sit down, shut up, and watch ‘Blink’.
Rather than start with Blink, we started with the Eleventh Doctor's first episode in Season 5 and loved it. Two episodes in particular scared the living beejeezus out of us: "The Time of Angels" and "Flesh and Stone". They concern a life form known as the Weeping Angels. Blink, it turns out, is the first episode to feature the Weeping Angels. We knew we wanted to watch it (during the day, with the lights on), but we also wanted to watch all of the new Doctor Who's so we embarked upon catching up from Season 1 (not from An Unearthly Child).

After making our way blissfully through Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD, we discovered we could stream them all through our Amazon Prime Membership. Taking advantage of a lazy Memorial Day weekend Sunday, we watched 8 or 9 episodes of Season 3 and caught up to Blink!

With great joy and anticipation, we watched it during the day on Monday. True, having seen the Season 5 episodes with the angels did take away slightly from watching Blink, but had we done it the other way round the Season 5 episodes wouldn't have been as scary. Still, it did not disappoint. And, the way its structured, all you really need to know to appreciate Blink is what Neil Gaiman said above. Truth be told, the Doctor isn't even in the episode that much. The main character is Sally Sparrow played by the now famous Carey Mulligan.

So really, you should watch it. Here's the "Next Time..." from the episode before Blink. All the other trailers give too much away. (You'll also notice I haven't linked to the Wikipeda page for the episode. The less you know, the better, really.)

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In 1789, the governor of Australia granted land and some animals to James Ruse in an experiment to see how long it would take him to support himself. Within 15 months he had become self sufficient. The area is still known as Experiment Farm. This is my Experiment Farm to see how long it will take me to support myself by writing.