Who’d have thought there’s a connection between emigrating to a far country, and being snatched by one of Doctor Who’s greatest foes: the Weeping Angels?
But I believe there is.
The Weeping Angels played a vital role in the plot of the latest Doctor Who Episode, “The Angels Take Manhattan”, during which we, and the Doctor (played by Matt Smith),said goodbye to two beloved characters, Amy and Rory, played by Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan.
And I believe the reason why the Weeping Angels grip us is because they concentrate two of our greatest fears: Being Snatched Away, and Being Left Behind.
Even when a family member who emigrated to a far country comes back home to visit England, it’s never the same.
The reason why is this: the time she spends here is Special Time.
And the time which the Weeping Angels snatch is OrdinaryTime.
Ordinary Time, Now, which can never be regained.
I lived and worked in Australia for four and a half years before returning to live in the UK. And during the time I was there I had a strange feeling, that I was existing in some kind of afterlife, in “the spirit world” – and that life back in England was “life on earth”.
I mention this because I think it feeds in to what I’m saying about the Weeping Angels, and the haunting power of what they do, and why the idea of them has such a grip on the imaginations of millions who watch Doctor Who.
The Weeping Angels snatch you away from your ordinary time, now, and steal all the energy you would have used to live in that time – and they transport you back to some period in the past.
I can imagine the creator of the Weeping Angels, Steven Moffat, standing in a churchyard or cemetary perhaps, and thinking about people who are snatched away.
Then he would have looked at a statue of a weeping angel, and thought: What if it dropped its hands and looked at me, and our gaze met? And that was all that was needed for me to be snatched away?
In fact, the story he tells is that he stood before a shackled gate, through which he could see a weeping angel statue in a graveyard.
And he still can’t understand why his idea touched so many people so deeply.
In moments like that, in the unconscious, far-reaching ideas are born.