Stop being so awesome, season 3. This is not allowed.
'Beware the Weeping Angels
I said a quick prayer as this episode started playing: "Dear God, please make the new characters less annoying than last time. Love, Me." That's all I asked. Just some less godawfully annoying characters than we got in "Love and Monsters," and maybe I would stop sulking in a corner over the fact that there have to be Doctor-lite episodes at all and why can't the U.K. just suck it up and produce 14 proper episodes a year if the U.S. can do 22. (hey, I said maybe)
Then I saw the old house, and I forgot all my quibbles like THAT. *snaps fingers* You may or may not remember that old houses are pretty much my favorite thing in the world, and the only thing I love as much as ones turned into museums are the sad and decrepit abandoned ones. Adding to my adoration was the fact that this was just like a live-action version of Lost Destinations, which, if you ever want to freak yourself out a lot, look at those pictures (especially the houses) when you're home alone at 3 in the morning, preferably in a rural area.
"I love old things. They make me feel sad." Aaaand, that was when I tackle-hugged Sally Sparrow, whom I had previously already found pretty and fairly likable, and declared her The Most Excellent Guest Star In Series History. What a perfect sentiment. That's a keeper of a quote, and one which I may adopt as my mantra.
So, *checks off list*, between the likable characters and the setting and the excellent music and the message written beneath the wallpaper, and then the ultra creepy stone angels, I was completely mesmerized by this story and had all but forgotten it was Doctor Who. It was more like when I used to randomly run across episodes of "The Outer Limits" on TV while waiting to tape the Very Late X-Files reruns. Or, I suppose, X-Files itself (OMG. How awesome would the new movie have been if it had featured Mulder & Scully squaring off against evil statues?) At this point, I really didn't care if the Doctor never came back. :P
I could talk myself into circles saying all the same things, so I'm just going to break off the mini-essay and move it to categories now. Suffice to say that I actually watched this episode at least twice in full, NO FAST FORWARDING AT ALL, that's how good it was.
Doctor & Martha Cameos
-It didn't even really feel like cameos so much this time...not like That Other Episode That Shall Not Be Named. Maybe because he was more of a constant presence throughout instead of just bookending the main storyline. Admittedly, Martha's screen time seemed distinctly lacking. I don't argue with that, though. Even after starting to like her, I still have no problem with her disappearing for a while.
-"It's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly...timey-wimey...stuff." *LOVES* I rewound that about 20 times the first time I heard it, because it is by far the most hilarious thing I have ever heard on this show. Although, the runner-up goes to "This is my timey-wimey detector. Goes ding when there's stuff."
-Have to say that Martha butting into the conversation on DVD was one of my favorite parts. "All of space and time he promised me; now I've got a job in a shop; I've got to support him!" "Martha!" Exasperated!Doctor amuses me. Although Martha does seem to have to do a lot more actual work to earn her keep than Rose did. I sympathize, as that's got to suck - but I still like Rose a whole lot more, so I'm not that fussed about inequitable treatment.
-Are the freakiest things in the history of Doctor Who, bar none, and that was before they turned out to have FANGS. Or, well, more like two rows of pointy little shark teeth, but still, THEY LOOK LIKE THEY COULD GNAW YOUR FLESH. "Kill you nicely," my butt.
-Though I have to say that it's a pretty intriguing way of going about things, getting zapped back into the past and living yourself to death. I am loath to praise the Moffat, but this is an angle I've not previously run across in my literary or televisual travels.
-I was thinking I would actually be OK as far as continuing psychological scarring went, since there aren't any angel statues around here. But then: there was that ending montage made to inspire terror! It could be any statue. Even that white Virgin Mary statue out in the woods, donated by the class of '42, that I always used to find very peaceful and spiritual in the little clearing near the entrance to the trail, but now will probably make me flinch the next ten times I walk past it. Assuming I can work up the courage to go near it at all. THANKS.
-Oh yeah, and the best shot in the whole episode? The long shot of the house with the cluster of angels peering out the window. That is so going to be my wallpaper come October.
-17 DVDs is...actually more than I've got. I think I only own half a dozen movies at most, plus another half-dozen TV sets.
-Billy wasn't much to look at, but then his accent changed all that. Very, very hot accent. And then I sniffled against my will at old!Billy and their last meeting. "I have until the rain stops." Waaaaaaaaaaaah! No fair, I haven't recovered from the last emotional beating yet! You promised me a straight shot of scary!
(Not that I didn't ultimately wind up with a little love for Sparrow & Nightingale's Antiquarian Books & Rare DVDs shop. That looks like I place I'd love to visit. Or better yet, run. Reason #456 Sally Sparrow has a fantastic life, despite the tragic and unexpected loss of her best friend)
Things That Made My Head Hurt
I had to really work at wrapping my head around how the parallel timelines must have worked here. Because...if Billy and the Doctor are both in 1969, and Billy has to wait 40 years to get Sally the message, then wouldn't the Doctor and Martha have to wait along with him? But then if Sally sends the TARDIS back, it appears in 1969, and so really not much time has passed at all. Wait, though, but first Billy has to...
The paradoxes kept butting up against each other every time I almost made sense of them. *clutches head* My simple human brain cannot process! Which is where the Doctor's silly description actually came in very handy. I kept picturing a giant Jell-O mold, with random dates and years floating around inside, and finally I forced an explanation that Billy and the Doctor, once separated, are on different tracks. Billy goes the long route, his 40-year life unfolding no matter what, while the TARDIS being zapped back simultaneously creates a shortcut teleport for the Doctor. Hah! Pinned it down! *glows with triumph* It feels like solving a particularly complex math problem.
I cannot, however, figure out how the Doctor and Martha's later appearance figures into that timeline if they're in 2008 and Martha's gone by 200...*furrows brow* No, OK, TIME MACHINE. RIGHT. They can pop in and out of 2008 at will. So that must have happened at some point prior to "Blink." OK, I think I have it sorted out now. For at least a second, so I'm going to freeze, take a mental snapshot, and never think about it again because if I do, I'll lose my understanding.
This is why I didn't want to watch a show about a stupid time-traveler in the first place. *grouses*
Human Nature/Family of Blood cannot be caught, but I believe this episode just cinched the win for best single episode of the season.
Up Next: *sighs heavily* It was so nice, drifting along in complete denial of the fact that Jack was due to return at some point - I'd almost managed to forget about it entirely. Utopia's not looking real impressive anyway; throwing in Captain Jack doesn't help. Like, I'm trying to convince myself to go fetch 3x11, and I have no motivation to do so whatsoever. But that's OK. Whatever disappointments may come, nothing can take away the magic of the past three eps. *cherishes*
P.S. OH HAI THERE, RECAPIST, are you aware that "Journey's End" is somehow not residing behind the customary recap cut? I'm just saying, someone UNSPOILED might come along and accidentally SEE SOME OF THE MANY, MANY SCREENCAPS IN THERE. (Not that I did. I scroll speedily and my brain registered nothing except color. But it was frightfully close.)