Doctor Who benefits off its wide span of genre storytelling. Since the series has been running for so long, it has adapted to tell a variety of different stories. Few shows get a chance to jump genre as easily. One of the best examples of horror in Doctor Who though, and one of the best episodes period, is the series three stand-alone Blink.
This episode which introduced the world to the terrifying Weeping Angels remains one of the highest-ranked episodes of the entire show. With such a powerful lens on Blink, it's surprising that there are still facts about it not everyone noticed.
10 It's The Only Moffat Penned Episode Of Series Three
An episode like Blink could only come from the mind of Steven Moffat. With its primal scares and paradox heavy writing, Blink is the quintessential Moffat episode. Writing some of the best episodes of the series, as well as the most in the show's history, Moffat has made the biggest mark on Doctor Who.
That being said, it is funny looking back at his start. While he wrote a plethora of episodes during his run as showrunner, he only wrote a handful at the start. During the first three series of the revival, Moffat only wrote a single story each series. While most were multiple episodes, Blink was the only story he wrote for series three.
9 It's Based Off A Previously Published Short-Story
Blink might be seen by many to be the most original piece of storytelling to come out of Doctor Who. That would be a natural thought process, as there are very few Doctor Who episodes as impactful and different than Blink. But, Blink actually is loosely based off a previous Moffat-penned Doctor Who story.
For the 2006 Doctor Who Annual, Moffat wrote a short story with many of the same elements that would appear in Blink. Titled 'What I Did on My Christmas Holidays' by Sally Sparrow", this story followed the similar events relating to the DVD extras, except this time on VHS and featuring the Ninth Doctor.
8 There Were Two Doctors In 1969
In Blink, the inciting incident is that The Doctor and Martha were sent back in time by the Angels to 1969. Here they run into Billy Shipton, the police officer from 2007, and the even watched the moon landing. Though unaware at the time, one of The Doctor's other selves was running around at the same time.
Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor had a moon landing based story during series six. The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon both took place during this time, meaning that Ten and Eleven were on earth. Theoretically, Ten could have hitched a ride with his future self had he known.
7 Its Star Trek Style Effects
Doctor Who and Star Trek have a lot in common. Both are science fiction series originating in the 1960s, and both promote a progressive vision of the future based around the fantastical exploration of the universe. They're also both pretty hokey.
The original Star Trek, for example, used an effect in which actors would flail in one direction while the camera jerks in the opposite to simulate crashing or movement. Blink uses this same, somewhat silly, technique. This effect was used in the scene where Sally and Larry are being rocked in the TARDIS by the Weeping Angels.
6 Tennant And Agyemen Were Filming Another Episode
Blink is remarkable both as a standard Doctor Who Story, but also as a Doctor-Lite story. These types of stories are the ones in which the Doctor makes a minimal appearance. Other notable ones would include Love and Monsters or Turn Left.
The reason for these types of stories is often to make adjustments for filming schedules. For instance, David Tennant and Freema Agyeman were mostly absent from blink because they were too busy filming the finale of series three. This also the case for companion-lite episodes such as Midnight or The Lodger.
5 The Windows Of The TARDIS Are Wrong
The TARDIS is one of the most iconic spaceships in the history of science fiction. The signature design of the police box has remained mostly the same during the show's entire run, with a few cosmetic changes here and there. It certainly isn't accurate to real-life police boxes though.
In Blink, Billy Shipton remarks on how the windows are the wrong size and look nothing like the actual ones. Apart from the real-world inaccuracies, the TARDIS also changed its looks from past seasons. Online messaging boards noticed this and complained on their sites. Billy's line in the episode was a direct reference and rift on these online trolls, according to Steven Moffat.
4 It's The First Episode Of The Revival Directed By A Woman
For a show that is all about change and progress, Doctor Who has not always been at the forefront of diversity behind the scenes. It wasn't until last year that audiences got their first woman Doctor or writer of color. Luckily though, women have been directing Doctor Who since the classic series.
The first episode of the revival with a woman behind the camera turned out to be Blink. This was the first instance of a woman directing an episode of the show since the Sixth Doctor adventure Mark of the Rani back in 1985. Since then, many women have worked behind the scenes of the series (though we are still waiting on a female showrunner).
3 Blink Has Scooby-Doo Connections
As stated, Blink was a remarkable piece of horror television. Whether it was the spooky design of the angels, the eerieness of the old house Wester Drumlins, or the mysterious DVD extras, the whole episode has a sense of unease.
Because of this, Blink has a small connection to less scary, but certainly spooky property: Scooby-Doo. In the episode, Larry remarks about how the house looked like all the creepy ones from Scooby-Doo. Not only that, but 1969, the year the Doctor and Martha are trapped in, is the same Scooby-Doo Where Are You? began airing.
2 The Angels' Real-Life Inspiration
The Weeping Angels are some of the scariest creatures in all of Doctor Who. Like many of Steven Moffat's creations, the fear that they instill in viewers stems from primal fears of the uncanny and mysterious. Their origins hold roots in real-world fears of Moffat himself as well.
Moffat said that the actual visual of a stone angel came from witnessing a particularly disturbing one while on holiday. He saw the statue at a graveyard while on this trip, and when coming back years later, it was gone. Moffat also points to the children's game Statues which horrified him as a child.
1 The Angels Were Supposed To Appear In A Different Story
In creating the Weeping Angels, Moffat had not considered Blink as their first outing. In drafting out their first appearance, Moffat had intended on using them in the series four-story Silence in the Libray. Due to the overall series three arc though, the story didn't fit in. This was when Moffat then began work on what would become Blink.
It is interesting to imagine the Library two-parter featuring the Weeping Angels as opposed to the Vashta Nerada. The two have similar effects fear-wise, feeding off primal fears of statues and the dark. What happens when you can't see the monsters?