Friday, December 12, 2008




AIR DATE: June 9, 2007
VILLIANS: Weeping Angels
OTHER CHARACTERS: Sally Sparrow, Kathy Nightingale, Larry Nightingale, DI Billy Shipton
LOCATION: Earth 2007 and 1969

The episode, set mainly in 2007, focuses upon Sally Sparrow, who breaks into a dilapidated house called Wester Drumlins to take photographs. There she discovers behind the peeling wallpaper a message from "the Doctor" dated 1969, calling her by name and telling her to "beware the Weeping Angels" and then to "duck now", just before an object launched from behind nearly hits her.

She returns the next day with her friend, Kathy Nightingale. A man, Malcolm Wainwright, soon arrives at the door with a decades-old letter from his grandmother, saying he had promised to deliver it to Sally on this date at exactly this time. The name of his grandmother was Kathy Nightingale. Thinking this is a prank, she searches for Kathy, but Kathy has disappeared. Sally encounters three weeping angel statues, one holding a Yale key. She takes the key and leaves the house, unaware that the Angels have moved and are watching her from the windows.
Sally Sparrow reads the letter, wherein Kathy explains that the Weeping Angels transported her back to 1920 and that she lived a happy and full life. The letter asks Sally to explain her absence to her last close relative — Kathy's brother Larry, who works in a DVD rental store. Through him, Sally learns about an unfathomable easter egg which consists of a series of random comments of the Doctor, and which has been dispersed into seventeen unrelated DVDs. The easter egg is unusual in that no-one who worked on the DVDs had any idea it was there. While she watches the DVD, the Doctor appears to respond to one of Sally's comments and then tells her he can hear what she's saying. Larry gives Sally the list of the DVDs with the easter egg.
Sally goes to the police, where Billy Shipton, a Detective Inspector, shows her a car park full of abandoned vehicles found at Wester Drumlins, including a fake police box with a Yale lock that cannot be opened. Billy then begins to flirt with Sally, asking her to have a drink with him. She laughs, gives him her telephone number and leaves. Outside, Sally realises that the Yale key could be used to open the police box. She runs back to the car park, but Billy is gone; the Weeping Angels have sent him to 1969. The Doctor finds him there and tells him that the Angels send people into the past and feed on the potential energy of futures that will never be. The Doctor asks Billy to deliver a message to Sally, but apologises that it's going to take a while. In 2007, Billy calls Sally minutes after they last spoke (from her point of view) and asks her to meet him in a hospital. He is now an old man, and he is dying. He explains that he did marry in the past to another Sally, and eventually got into DVD publishing. He is responsible for adding the easter eggs. He gives her the Doctor's message: look at the list of DVDs. She stays with him until he dies shortly after.

Looking at the list, Sally realises the connection between the DVDs: the seventeen DVDs are the entirety of her own DVD collection. The easter egg was intended for her. Sally and Larry enter Wester Drumlins with a portable DVD player to watch the easter egg. This time Sally provides the other half of the conversation, which Larry adds to a transcript he brought with him. The Doctor explains several things: he has a complete transcript of the incomplete conversation and is reading off an Autocue, which is possible due to the non-linear nature of time. The Weeping Angels are "quantum locked", meaning they turn to stone when a living thing looks at them, even themselves, but when unobserved they are fast and can be deadly, hence it is of utmost importance that she does not blink. They stole the TARDIS from the Doctor and Martha to try to consume the time energy in it, and could potentially absorb enough power to switch off the sun if they wished. However, they have been unable to get inside to access the energy, and it is vital they remain unable to do so. When Sally asks the Doctor how she can defeat the Angels, he cannot answer, as his copy of the transcript has ended because Larry has stopping writing. The Doctor urges Sally to keep her eyes on the Angels, and "don't turn your back, don't look away, and don't blink!".

While Sally and Larry argue about how to proceed, an Angel enters the room. Fleeing, Larry and Sally discover the TARDIS in the cellar. Unwilling to let their prey escape, the Angels cause a light bulb, the room's only light source, to flicker, allowing them to draw closer to the TARDIS in the few seconds of darkness. Larry and Sally manage to get into the TARDIS and shut the doors, just as the Angels surround it. The DVD that Larry and Sally brought with them activates a protocol in the TARDIS, causing it to return to the Doctor. Sally and Larry are left behind, leaving the Angels trapped forever in a circle, tricked into observing each other.

The final scene takes place a year later, with Sally and Larry running an antiquarian book and DVD shop together; however, Sally is keeping a folder of everything connected with her experience with the Doctor and the Angels. Even though the danger has passed, she still doesn't understand how the Doctor got the list of DVDs, the transcript, how he knew what to write on the walls, etc. Her obsession has strained her relationship with Larry. When Larry runs an errand, Sally spots the Doctor and Martha emerging from a taxi outside the shop. She quickly runs out and calls to them, and when the Doctor fails to recognize Sally, she realizes he has not yet experienced the events that have so haunted her. Finally understanding fully, she hands over the folder which contains everything the Doctor will need to extricate himself from 1969, and tells him he'll need it in the future. Sally and the Doctor exchange goodbyes as Larry returns, surprised to see the man from the DVD easter egg.

Sally and Larry return to the shop hand in hand. The episode ends with a repeat of the Doctor's warning to Sally, this time directed at the viewer, overlaid with flashes of famous bronze and stone statues.