The Doctor’s Foes: The Weeping Angels
Guest contributor Gustaff analyses the Angels.
I am hoping to start a new trend by creating a category of articles for people by analysing the Doctor’s enemies. I don’t know if someone has already done it, but if you haven’t, here’s the start-up. If you have, then this is a continuation.
The Weeping Angels are a species of humanoid statues, described as coming from the early universe; so named because of their usual habit of covering the faces, making it seem as though they are weeping. They also have wings, but it is unclear if the Angels can actually fly or if the wings merely provide for decoration.
River Song has mentioned that the Angels’ statue form may not be their original and that their original form may be some sort of consciousness or energy, capable of taking over or transforming ordinary statues into Angels. It has been mentioned that they are creatures of the abstract universe, so River’s theory that they may indeed be some form of consciousness might be accurate. The lifespan of an Angel hasn’t been discussed either, but a lone Angel on the Byzantium has been shown to survive a long life waiting for its escape and another since the 1930s, all the way to 2012 without showing signs of age. This might mean that given regular nourishment, Angels can lead extraordinary long lives, maybe even longer than Time Lords.
The Weeping Angels, when cornering their prey, have been shown to enjoy toying with their food. Their facial expressions morph into bestial versions, featuring vampire-like fangs. Their fingers appear to transform into claws as well. The Doctor describes them as psychopaths, so it can be assumed they feel little to or no remorse for their actions and exhibit all the inherent personality traits that an advent psychopath would have.
The Angels’ primary method of killing is temporal, as well as spatial displacement. Afterwards, they “consume all the potential energy” the victim would’ve had, had they not been displaced in time. This potential energy has been shown to be the Angels’ main food supply. It has also been explained that Angels need food, otherwise risk becoming older and/or grow weaker as a result of starvation. Starvation would then lead to disfiguration of the Angels’ form. These ‘starved’ Weeping Angels eventually lack the speed their “healthy” counterparts have.
Time energy isn’t the only source of nourishment the Angels have. They can also feed on other types of energy, such as radiation. They have been shown to feed on electrical energy as well, leading to lights flickering, making it easier for them to use their quantum-lock abilities, as well as moving around when they accidently end up in a deadlock situation.
A later described power of the Angels is their psychic ability to reach out and create new Angels from any media capturing device, even human minds. Pictures or films which contain an Angel will eventually become one and gain all the power of a regular Angel.
Some of the other arsenal the Angels possess includes super strength which render them capable of breaking through steel doors or bending items that are magnetized to their will, as well as remarkable speed which enables them to move great distances in the blink of an eye. It has been theorized that the Angels are telepathic, as they are capable of communication with one another across long distances. Although the Angels have no voice, they can manipulate the voices of others who have died and communicate through them; although this seems to be only when communicating to others who are not Angels.
The most unorthodox defence mechanism
The most prominent aspect of the Weeping Angels is their Quantum Locking capabilities which render them stone-like until they are out of sight of onlookers (including the audience). Because of this, they are extremely hard to kill. The only things shown to have any effect on them are paradoxes and erasure from reality. Forcing two Angels to look at one another would defeat them, but not kill them. Because of the risk of being observed by another Weeping Angel, the Angel, while in its Quantum Lock, will cover it eyes. This implies that they can see in the dark or have some external awareness of their surroundings. Their quantum-locking appears to be an uncontrollable, evolutionary or even instinctive reaction that cannot be suppressed, but can be initiated voluntarily if they believe themselves to be in danger or observed.
Why it’s a defence mechanism?
A simple example would be the turtle. Its docile nature, lack of strength or protection, not to mention lack of speed meant it had to evolve in a way as to protect its being from other predators…hence the shell. Like most creatures, this defence isn’t perfect, but protects against most predators. It is very possible that the Angels didn’t always have this Locking ability and that it came about as a sort of evolution. To help prove the above: The Doctor on several occasions has referred to the Weeping Angels’ Quantum Lock as a defence mechanism, not an attack mechanism. This is further supported by their incredible speed which would make the entire idea of needing protection redundant. Can you imagine a cheetah lagging around a giant shell on its back all the time just in case it comes across a lion or something bigger than it? But the Angels have shown to Quantum Lock themselves even when harmless creatures are viewing them (including the audience). Why is that?
The above seems to indicate that the Angels come from an environment that is home to other predators that even surpass or scare the Angels into always Quantum Locking themselves no matter where they are. Although their place of origin hasn’t been named yet, the Quantum Locking could be the Angels’ way of adapting to life on their planet as a means of protecting themselves from other predators. Given their unbelievable arsenal (and let’s count them: super strength, super speed, cloning by imprinting other life forms with their physical imprint, energy consumption, telepathy, voice manipulation etc.) I cannot begin to imagine what type of creature would qualify as a predator to a Weeping Angel and how strong they must be in comparison.
Now to add more nightmare fuel: since the Angels have been described as predators themselves, the above seems to indicate that wherever the Angels come from, there are other creatures there that, if the two should engage in combat, the Angels would easily be overpowered and lose.
How scary is that?