Sunday, June 10, 2007

"Blink": Moffat Rocks - a NewWho review

Should there be an exclamation mark there? Or should I have said "Moffat* statues"? (doesn't pun quite as well does it?)

It may have been the Doctor-lite episode of the season, but frankly it still worked and it was still riddled with Who-ness. Cloud loved it so much that this morning he thought it would be 'hilarious' to stand at the top of the stairs, stock still, with his hands over his eyes. Once I had woken up enough to realise what he was doing, I instantly shrieked "argh: don't DO that", fully knowing that like Moffat's equally effective little boy line [you know the one] with which Cloud still haunts me for the fun of freaking the bejeesus out of me, this will become a motif he will enjoy using against me.

What worked about this episode for me was that whilst I thought I would long for the Doctor to be on screen more, psychologically he was always there - so I didn't actually feel like he was missing, or that the episode was 'lite'. Sure, these episodes have a different feel to them, but then I really enjoyed "Love and Monsters", so perhaps I approach them in a different spirit.

Certainly "Blink" had a very different tone to last year's 'lite' episode: whereas last year's liteness was light (comedic), with touching edges (the demise of LINDA's members, Elton's family tragedy), this year's was more touchingly tragic with a mix of both dark edges and a charmingly light centre. Step forward the stunning Carey Mulligan for carrying so much of that: a truly captivating beauty. There is just something inherently poignant about her face, her eyes.

So for me it was a definite thumbs up and my witchy crew were equally captivated (HLW and Chrissie). I doubt it divided people quite as much as last year's lite-episode was intentionally designed to do; though with Moffat at the helm that wasn't so likely. Still, it is a brave move to take the central character out of a show once per season and though one might ask 'what's the point? - why not just have one episode less per year?', one could also consider 'why not?' After 40 years, surely a programme is big enough to cope with a whallop of subverting its priorities? [For some, of course, the NewWho series have done way too much of that just by existing and operating according to different TV criteria than in the days of old: that perverse sense of 'we'd prefer not to have it back at all as this 'travesty' of what we treasure'.] Well, as a product of Classic Who memories and NewWho delight, I have little objection to it doing strange things to itself once in a while: especially when they work as well as "Blink" clearly did for our house.

Funnily, I thought made an interesting companion piece to this week's UK terrestrial screening of CSI beardy, where Hodges and the lab techs took centre stage over Grissom and the usual crew. Echoes, echoes everywhere...

* btw is now a good time to spot that Moffat's talents may have something to do with where he was born...?


Max Bob said...

Yes, I thought it paid homage rather well to that style of long-season US episode, like he Zeppo episode in Buffy, and, yeah, like the recent CSI Beardy one.

Definitely my favourite new Who episode so far. Could have done without the blatant attempt to send kids to bed having nightmares at the end (as if the weeping angels themselves weren't scary enough), but it had a lovely feel, and played well with perennial themes in time travel.

Also though the opening was very reminiscent of a US TV series - especially the music - and of course the title of the episode clearly references the one-word classics of Buffy like Hush.

Carey Mulligan is my new secret girlfriend.

Max Bob said...

Dammit, "The Zeppo" and "Also thought." Fingernails are too long.

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Ah, The Zeppo, Hush: classic Buffy eps both.

Can only assume your nails are long for finger-plucking guitar work?


Paul Fuzz said...

It's all about Billy Shipton.