9 June 2007
Carey Mulligan (Sally Sparrow)
David Tennant (
|Written by||Steven Moffat|
|Directed by||Hettie MacDonald|
|Produced by||Julie Garner and Phil Colinson|
A young woman called Sally comes to regret breaking into an old, abandoned house. There the Weeping Angels wait. As people begin disappearing,
Sally intercepts cryptic messages from a mysterious stranger known as The Doctor, who’s trapped in the year 1969.
But can she make sense of them before the Angels claim their prize?
Young photographer Sally Sparrow breaks into an old house (Wester Drumlins) and takes photos of fallen chandeliers and moss growing in fireplaces. Entering a room upstairs, she sees peeling wallpaper and the letters “BE” exposed underneath. She pulls back the corner and finds the message “BEWARE OF THE WEEPING ANGELS”. She tears off more wallpaper, revealing a message telling her to beware of the Weeping Angels, and telling her to “duck, Sally Sparrow.” It is only when she reveals the words “duck now” that she actually does so, narrowly avoiding a rock that would have hit her head. She looks out the window, from where the rock was thrown and sees the statue of an angel with its hands covering its eyes. She peels the rest of the wallpaperoff to reveal the writerof the message — “Love from The Doctor, 1969.”
Sally appears to return home, looking into her living room; there are numerous televisions; they show a man with glasses, although, on one screen, a young woman is butting into the scene. The man tells the viewer not to turn away, not to look away, and not to blink — “Blink and you’re dead.” Sally calls her best friend Kathy Nightingale, despite the late hour; she answers, groggily, but refuses to leave her home.
It’s then revealed that Sally is in Kathy’s home, having been given a key. Annoyed, Kathy gets ready to greet her friend; however, upon hearing the toilet, Kathy asks if Sally has met her brother, warning her that she’s about to. Sally turns to the hall to see Kathy’s naked brother, Larry, who desperately hoped he was wearing pants. Kathy walks in, shouting at Larry to get to bed; she then notices Sally isn’t concerned by this, asking her what’s wrong.
The next morning, Kathy and Sally return to the house; Kathy has a laugh that they are acting like detectives. Sally shows Kathy the message on the wall and the Weeping Angel but thinks it is now closer to the house than before. Someone rings the doorbell; Sally answers it, and Kathy waits in the room where the writing on the wall is – “in case of incidents”. Sally answers the door to discover a man who is looking for her. He says that he was told to come to this place on this exact date and time and give Sally Sparrow a letter. As Kathy spies on the conversation from in the room, she fails to notice the Weeping Angel moving whenever it isn’t in sight; lowering its hands from its eyes, and creeping into the room and upon Kathy from behind.
When Sally asks the man who sent him, he replies that it was his grandmother, Katherine Wainwright, who specified that he explains that before marriage, she was known as Kathy Nightingale. At that moment, the door to the room Kathy is in slams shut. Sally calls to Kathy, which the man assumes is her wondering if he said the right name; he restates her full name, Katherine Constello Nightingale. Sally presumes she has figured out the joke and calls for her friend, but Kathy does not answer. When she goes back into the room where she left her, Kathy has completely vanished, and the Angel is back in its original spot and position outside.
Elsewhere, Kathy gets up in a field and asks a local lad where she is. He replies that she is in Hull, but she refuses to believe it until he shows her the local newspaper, which not only confirms her location but also shows the year to be 1920.
Back at Wester Drumlins, the man has become upset; he promised to fulfil this task for his grandmother, Kathy Wainwright, who died in 1987. This persuades Sally to take the letter, who reads it; this man is indeed Kathy’s grandson, who swore to fulfil her last request. In anger, Sally flings down the letter and heads upstairs, only to find three more Weeping Angels. One of them has a Yale key in its hand. She takes it and heads out, only to find Kathy’s grandson leaving with his promise fulfilled. As Sally leaves, she fails to notice the Angels uncovering their eyes and watching her as she takes the key and leaves.
In a coffee shop, Sally reads the letter fully, learning Kathy led a full and happy life, with Ben, the first person she met in Hull with a family. She includes photographs of her and her children (with her daughter named after Sally), and grandchildren. Sally reads Kathy’s joke about living to an exceptionally old age and her request to tell Larry, who works at a local DVD shop, something; her parents are gone by this time, so he’s really heronly close family. Sally goes to Kathy’s grave to pay her respects to her dead friend (having a laugh that Kathy lied to Ben, claiming to have been younger than she was), then leaves for the DVD shop. Sally fails to notice one of the Angels from Wester Drumlins spying on her in the graveyard.
When Sally gets to the DVD shop, she goes into the back to find Larry. She sees the man with glasses who gave her the blinking warning on a TV. Larry explains that the man is an Easter egg found on seventeen DVDs and no one, not even the manufacturers or the publishers, knows how it got there. As they are talking, the DVD keeps un-pausing itself, and the man with glasses says random phrases, one of which shockingly fits with something Sally commented. In the end, Larry gives her a list of the seventeen DVDs that have the Easter egg on them. She leaves the shop, having gotten an idea from a comment said by Larry’s co-worker (“Why does nobody ever just go to the police?”) about what to do next.
Sally goes to the police station, and mentions the house’s name. While waiting, she sees two of the Angels on the church across the street. While watching them, she blinks and they have disappeared. She doesn’t see that they are now above the window she is looking out of. She then meets DI Billy Shipton. He shows her a collection of cars with something strange in common: all of them were found outside the Wester Drumlins house (some with their motors still running) and all of their owners vanished without a trace. He shows her a fake police phone box, with a lock that will not open. Billy charms Sally to give him her mobile number before she leaves. After she leaves, Billy finds the Weeping Angels have appeared in the room with him, surrounding the phone box. While examining them closely, he blinks.
Outside, Sally finds the key she took from the Angel’s hand in her coat pocket. She heads back to the garage to try it out, but Billy and the police box have gone, and the outside door is broken. Someone has broken through it with great force.
Billy gets up to see The Doctor and Martha, who tell him he is in 1969, because of the “touch of an Angel”; most likely the same one as he is in the same year that they are. The Doctor advises not to go swimming for an hour as time travel without a capsule is disorientating. Martha advises Billy to nod when The Doctor stops for breath. Billy wonders how The Doctor found him; the Time Lord shows off a modified lunch box, which detects when someone comes from a different time – “and can cook an egg from 20 paces, whether you want it to or not.” Because of this, he actively avoids chickens, as it’s not pretty when they blow up. The Doctor explains that normally, he would have offered Billy a ride home; however, someone’s nicked his motor. After they talk, The Doctor asks Billy to give Sally Sparrow a message and apologises that it will take “a while” to get the message through.
Back in the present, Sally gets a phone call. She goes to visit an old and dying Billy at the hospital. They have a laugh that Billy managed to marry a Sally, who has already passed away. He then passes on The Doctor’s message – “look at the list” – the list being the DVD list Larry gave her. Billy reveals that he didn’t stay a cop back in the ’70s; he instead got into video publishing and eventually DVDs. Sally realises that he was the one who put the Easter eggs on the DVDs. He also says that she will understand one day, but that he won’t; The Doctor has told him that this is their last meeting and that he has only as long as the rain stops before he dies. Billy goes on to explain that he could have contacted her before tonight, but The Doctor advised him against it as the resulting temporal paradox could have severely damaged the universe. She decides to stay with him until the end.
After the rain has stopped, Sally calls Larry. She has realised what the DVDs on “the list” all have in common: they are all owned by her; specifically, they are the only DVDs that she owns, which means that the Easter egg is meant for her. She asks him to bring a portable DVD player to the old house.
Larry does so and brings the DVD with the best sound on the Easter egg. They play it and see the full message from The Doctor. He makes the same random comments from the video store, but now they fit perfectly into what Larry and Sally are saying. Realising this, Sally thinks he can hear them, but Larry explains that he always says it and that he has got a transcript of the Easter egg with him. As The Doctor gives his message, everything Sally says seems to fit in, so Larry, now very excited, begins to add her words to the transcript.
The Doctor mentions that he has a copy of the transcript on his autocue. That is how he knows what she is saying. He warns of creatures from another world, the “Lonely Assassins”, aka the Weeping Angels. They are incredibly fast, and they can send people back in time, which is how he got stuck in 1969. These aliens have a unique defence mechanism: they are “quantum locked”; they do not exist when they are being watched. If any living thing looks at the Angels, they immediately turn to stone until they are no longer looked at. This explains the “weeping”; they cannot look at each other since it has the same effect. Since a statue can’t look away or blink, the Angels who see each other never move again. The Angels send their victims into the past and feed off the days they never had. They are looking to get into the TARDIS, which is filled with time energy, which the Angels will feast on forever but the damage they could do could switch off the sun. And since Sally has the key, the Angels are after her now.
The Doctor is stuck in 1969, so he is relying on Sally to send the TARDIS back to him. When she asks how, he states that he has run out of transcript, but he can guess why: he surmises that the Weeping Angels are closing in, forcing her to flee and so left the transcript unfinished. Indeed, Larry has stopped writing. He says what Sally has already heard; she must keep her gaze on the Angels; she mustn’t turn away, look away, or even blink – the Angels can move with incredible speed when unobserved; “Blink and you’re dead.” Once the message has ended, Sally and Larry both realise at the same time that neither is looking at the Weeping Angel anymore. They look up. The Angel is now in the room with them, baring sharp teeth in a savage snarl and outstretching clawed fingers towards them.
As a terrified Larry keeps his eyes fixed on the Angel to stop it getting any closer, Sally searches for a way out. As she tries all the doors in the house, only to find the Angels have locked them in while they were watching The Doctor’s message, Larry is growing increasingly restless and fearful that the other Angels could come up behind him. Larry turns around for a split second, and the Angel moves to right in front of him. Keeping his eyes on it, he slowly backs out of the room. Sally finds an unlocked door to the cellar, and calls out to Larry to give him the news. Larry willingly flees to rejoin with Sally.
Larry and Sally descend into the cellar to find a way out. They find the TARDIS, along with the other three Weeping Angels. They head towards the door, keeping their eyes on the Angels. As they get to the TARDIS, the fourth Angel has appeared by the stairs and is pointing at the light. The light starts to flicker, and Sally and Larry realise in horror that the Angel is draining the light so that the Angels will be able to attack in the darkness. With each flicker, the Angels move towards Sally and Larry with their claws out and their teeth showing, as they frantically try to unlock the TARDIS door. At the last second, they open it and flee inside and lock the Angels out just in time.
As the two look around at the TARDIS interior in amazement, a hologram of the Doctor activates and says that the TARDIS has detected an authorised control disc, valid forone journey only; it is the DVD that Larry played for Sally, which is now glowing. But the Angels outside begin shaking the TARDIS on each side, looking for a way in. Larry puts the DVD into the console and the TARDIS begins to dematerialise. But as the TARDIS begins to fade away around them, Sally realises the TARDIS is leaving, but she and Larry are not going with it. She screams at The Doctor to help them, even as the TARDIS fades, leaving them crouching in the middle of the circle of Angels. Sally yells to keep looking at them, but Larry stands up slowly and realises that The Doctor tricked the Angels – they’ve been left looking straight at each other, freezing them permanently.
A year later, Sally and Larry are running the DVD store together but Sally cannot let all that has happened to them go as she still doesn’t know how The Doctor got all the information he possessed. Sally is shown to now have everything she recorded, including the transcript, the photos of the wall and the list of DVDs in a folder which she keeps on her at all times. When Larry goes out to get some milk, she sees The Doctor and Martha getting out of a taxi. She rushes over to talk to them, only to find that he doesn’t recognise her as the events of her past are still in his future. Sally suddenly realises that she is the one who gives The Doctor the information he needs to retrieve the TARDIS and save her from the Weeping Angels. Sally then hands over the folder telling him he’s going to be transported back to 1969 and he’ll need to ensure he has it on him when he is. The Doctor is in a rush, still in the middle of another adventure, but asks Sally’s name and tells her its nice to meet her. Larry returns right at that moment with the milk and can only stare at The Doctor and Martha in stunned amazement. The Doctor is in a hurry and cannot stay, so he and Martha eventually head off to take care of “four things and a lizard”, while Sally clasps Larry’s hand and goes back into the shop, Sparrow and Nightingale’s antiquarian books and rare DVDs.
However, the scene shifts to montage across the public statuary, punctuated with The Doctor’s recorded warnings, as though to warn us that there might be other Angels lurking among the statues…
“Blink and you’re dead. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And DON’T. BLINK. Good luck.”