Friday, May 7, 2010

Fear and Blinking in the TARDIS: The Weeping Angels

Note the First: I am perfecting opening and closing my eyes one at a time. Even now.

Note the Second: s3e12 "Utopia" is mostly a really lovely antidote to "Blink" (minus the end). It has great little bits of humor and the always charming and fantastic Captain Jack Harkness.

So in honor of a brandy new episode of Dr Who involving the infamously terrifying Weeping Angels, I would like to share some thoughts on timey-wimey stuff, except I'm not a Time Lord. Instead I would like to share some thoughts on fear and why the Angels are so very terrifying.

First though what are the Weeping Angels? They are the "nicest psychopaths in the universe" an alien race of "quantum locked...Lonely Assassins." If you look at them they appear as weeping angel statues because they turn to stone when being viewed by another living thing. However the second you take your eyes off them they not only move, but they send you to another time, and live off of the potential energy of the life you should have live but didn't because they sent you back to 1920. So you can't blink, ever. I hope that's clear enough, and I don't think it's particularly spoilery and furthermore the episode (s3e11) is old enough where I don't feel bad.

So why are the Weeping Angels such a standout boogeyman? Dr. Who is not short on spooks and scares by any stretch of the imagination. But the trick with something scary is that you can close your eyes, you want to close your eyes to make it less scary. and yet the very nature of weeping angels compels you to keep your eyes open and confront the horror, and furthermore, the horror is only made worse when you close your eyes. There is no escape, as you watch the episode you feel the shadows growing longer, the space behind you growing deeper and even if you were in an 8'x8' room, the smallest bit of darkness will feel infinite with the whisper of a terror sneaking up on you that you will never see coming.

And yet you can't look away from the screen not just because of the fear clutching at your chest. You're invested to the end because you want to make sure the monsters are gone, and that you can finally close your eyes.

No comments: