W.T.F. is ‘Doctor Who’?: first four episodes you need to start

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Weeping Angel from season 3, episode 11 “Blink”

“Blink” Season 3, episode 11

“Life is short and you are hot” – Billy  Shipton

‘Blink’ was originally a short story Steven Moffat wrote for the 2006 Doctor Who Annual, which he adapted into a full Doctor Who episode for season 3.

It barely features the Doctor, which is actually why I choose this episode as the first to watch. (Read it here).

Doctor Who can be confusing and overwhelming for new Whovians, especially those who aren’t already science-fiction-leaning. It can be over-stimulating, with the explosions and the robots, the science talk, and the very many references to older episodes, other characters.

When I start people on any other episode than ‘Blink,’ I end up getting a lot of “huh?” and “who’s that?” and “Wait—pause it real fast—.“ 

‘Blink’ is also a pretty-universal fan favorite. Of course, there are exceptions, but the majority of anybody I talk to will agree with me: ‘Blink’ is one of the best NuWho episodes. 

There are many genres of episodes within NuWho: super science-fiction, fantasy, romance, and horror. ‘Blink’ is like a mini horror movie. It gets back down to the true nature of what Doctor Who really was about: teaching and scaring little children. 

"“The thing people never say about hiding behind the sofa, is that hiding behind the sofa is itself fun. It is a fun thing to do. Kids like being scared of Doctor Who. It doesn’t horrify them. It doesn’t petrify them. It is just an enjoyable thrill. There is nothing wrong with a bit of adrenaline.” – Steven Moffat, from Daily Mail."

‘Blink’ is perfect because it has a simple, yet powerful villain. A household name and face in Carey Mulligan, a bit of cheeky comedy, and a sweet love story.

It also eases us into the central conceit of time travel, using the relationship Sally Sparrow has with the Doctor as a catalyst to introduce us to the laws and rules of time within the confines of the

Doctor Who


talking about time travel via GIPHY

The villain is called a Weeping Angel. This is a species whose most notable defense mechanism is to turn to stone the moment anyone sets eyes on them. The Doctor calls this “Quantum Locked”.

When no one has eyes on them, they attack. They feed on potential energy; the way they attack is by sending you back in time and feeding on the potential years your life should have had. Here, the Doctor explains it better:

It’s poetic in the way only Steven Moffat pulls off.


What’s most terrifying is no matter what statue you’re looking at, you don’t know if it’s a weeping angel. And you must not look away. You must not blink. (get it?)