The Journal of Impossible Things includes the quote maius intra qua extra: "What is inside is greater than what is outside." That's the TARDIS, but it's also the fob watch, and John Smith, and Martha, and Tim Latimer. And the Doctor too, though it'll take him forever to realize it. One of the most useful Gnostic concepts is theoretical: imagine that the soul doesn't rest inside the body -- that the body, and everything else, rests inside the soul. By truly experiencing oneself, Doctor and Master and Companion, Shadow and future and past, one achieves knowledge of God, which is all those things -- but only if the opposite holds true, or else you're on the solipsist bullshit wagon. Through the experience of God, or one's connection to Everything Else That There Is, can you really know where you're at, at your most central? If your soul is imagined as being of infinite radius and circumference, then there's no difference between the Bad Wolf, the experience of infinity, and the Doctor himself: eternity. The Master's problem isn't madness, not even the madness of war: it's his belief that there's a fundamental and insurmountable difference between him and anything else. The Master believes that he's alone. He is mistaken.
They sing: "There's no discouragement/ Shall make him once relent/ His first avowed intent/ To be a pilgrim." They sing: "Then fancies fly away,/ He'll fear not what men say,/ He'll labor night and day/ To be a pilgrim." They sing: "Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, Sed nomine tuo da gloriam. "Give glory, God, give glory, not for us, God, but for Your name." Is this the stupid faith of boys heading off to war? Or is it something only John Smith is strong enough to show us?
"Blink" is one of those Doctor Who stories that makes me wish I were a fan of the show in the historical context. Tell me if I'm wrong, but it feels very Who. It doesn't do a lot for me, because I'm not here for the Who; I'm here for the bullshit philosophy. I like it, like I like episodes of shows I don't watch, but that delight and excitement and screaming that people do when they watch this -- I miss out on it. So an abridged take on this: the Weeping Angels are played by actors, which means that whenever we see them, they're not moving even, though they could be, because they're played by actors, except we're looking at them, through the screen, so they can't. And that's brilliant. I think there's something to be said for having Sally Sparrow, whom I liked quite a lot, woven into this very confusing five-dimensional freakout where people are constantly getting moved around her like chess pieces, and she has to keep up. That's gotta feel like drowning, you know? And she's good at it. But if you can see the physics of this, moving like those LSD spider webs, it's so neat: people pop out five feet from your left and end up five feet from your right, but thirty years back. And you're the still point around which all of this is happening: you're quantum-locked, like in movies where people take drugs and everything happens around them and they don't move. Sally's the main character, so we never blink while looking at her, so she stays safe. That's fun.
I think it's something that they're called "weeping angels," and that they fence Sally around just as badly as the Lonely Angel does, vis-à-vis the chaos he inflicts on the people around him. When the Doctor comes into your world and tells you to run, or to duck, get ready for things to start folding and unfolding from unexpected directions, and don't blink. This is concretized in the end, with the weeping angels literally surrounding Sally in the three dimensions as the TARDIS whisks her away. And of course, there's the old Gollum story, where they are quantum-locked now on each other, stuck in time just like the Aubertide Family, or the Carrionite Witches, for all eternity: "Evil can't look at itself." Which is...pithy, to say the least, but certainly sheds some light on the finale, again. The only way you get clear, the only way you can work with your Master instead of letting him age you prematurely and control you like a poppet, is to look at him and see him for what he is. Evil is just confusion of purpose: it's no coincidence that the Doctor defeats the Master when he's at his most powerful; that's him taking on the Master again for his own, by looking at him, by loving him, by letting him out of the box and back into the light.