In Blink there are a few images of the angels kicking about, here is one of them:

A stack of aged looking documents and photographs, held in someone's hand. They are also holding a photo of a weeping angel in their other hand.

Those are the ones sent forward for Sally. I'm sure there are more in the DVD shop.

The thing is, doesn't the image of an angel become an angel?

Why haven't these?

Note: I know the airing order of the Weeping angel episodes, so I understand that some of the 'Angel Facts' may not have been fully thought out by the writers.

  • Would an out-of-universe answer be okay?
    – bitmask
    Nov 4, 2012 at 19:34
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    @bitmask It would... but I can already guess at what it is, it better be good and if something in-universe comes up I'll be favouring that.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Nov 4, 2012 at 19:44
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    I don't know that we know they didn't -- how did the angels in that episode come to be on Earth at all? It's possible that the Doctor took the images with him to investigate what Sally Sparrow had written down, the images then became angels and sent them back, restarting the whole chain of events.
    – PeterL
    Nov 5, 2012 at 16:30
  • Ah, @PeterL nothing like a good paradox loop to kick off an episode!
    – FreeMan
    May 27, 2020 at 14:01

2 Answers 2


When The Doctor encounters the Angels inside The Byzantium, one of his companions (I forget who) makes a remark about how their behavior is different from what he described happening in Blink; this includes the fact that these angels are openly killing people, which contradicts what Ten says is their primary means of sustenance.

Eleven explains these differences as a matter of strength. He describes the angels from Blink as "scavangers" that were "starved and weak", while the subsequent angels inside the Byzantium were at full strength, and thus able to do a number of things that the first group could not.

  • Totally out of scope of this question, but interestingly enough, the words about scavengers is about exactly what he says about the Daleks when being asked why the TARDIS' defense mechanisms just don't work at all at the end of season 4. Just a note. Dec 6, 2012 at 14:08

The Weeping Angels are both a species and a temporal phenomenon bounded to locations by feeding on the temporal energies of subjects they send into the past. They are also able to exist in a variety of normal electromagnetic radiation which would be dangerous to most life forms become "dinner to an Angel. The longer they bathe in radiation, the stronger they will grow."

The Doctor is quoted saying: "The Weeping Angel is the deadliest, most powerful, most malevolent lifeform evolution has ever produced..." The nature of their current existence means they are nomadic, seeking prey without the ability to move themselves through time using artificial means.

They have a host of powers which make them dangerous.

  • In their natural native state, they appear as statues carved in stone. This stone is impervious to harm when they are immobile. They can enter a state of suspended animation and are capable of surviving for centuries in this state.

  • Unless killed by a being who understands their true nature, using phenomenally powerful technology, they are relatively immortal.

  • They feed on the temporal energy of subject while sending it back in time to a period equal to the lifespan of the subject.

  • Their curious weakness is they cannot move as long as someone sentient is looking at them. They remain in their impervious state for as long as you are making eye contact with them. The Doctor called it "quantum-locking." This may be your only chance of escaping them.

  • Their greatest power is the ability to manipulate time and images of themselves to attack targets and send them into the past. They can do this in both a linear or non-linear fashion. Their linear attack includes their simple approach, snatch and grab technique.

  • They can use another technique which allows them to attack a target using a photograph or even a still film image. But this attack can only work if Angels are actually nearby.

  • They can manipulate electromagnetic phenomenon so they can manipulate power supplies (dimming lights allowing them to attack), restarting video displays so they can maintain their appearance on the screen, locking electronic locks making it impossible for you to escape them.

In the episode: S05xE04 - "The Time of Angels", a four second loop of video footage of a Weeping Angel attacks Amy Pond while the actual Angel's trapped on a ship, hundreds of feet above them. It is this proximity that turns the footage from an image into a weapon.

Image of Angel Attacking Amy Pond

Image of Angel Attacking Amy Pond

The Doctor describes their quantum-locked state "in the sight of any living creature, the Angels literally cease to exist, the ultimate defense mechanism. They're just stone. Until you turn your back." River Song presents the Doctor with a book indicating images of Angels may be dangerous. "That which holds the image of an Angel, becomes itself an Angel."

But here is part of the secret: The reason those images in the binder are not dangerous is because their eyes are covered. As long as there are no Weeping Angels nearby to utilize the image as a temporal portal, and their eyes are covered, there is no threat from the image.

  • The problem is whether you can be sure if there aren't any Angels nearby. So it is generally safer to not have any images of Angels since they can use them as a portal to you.

  • There is even an admonition to avoid making eye contact because they can even attack you through your retina, since the image of the Angel forms on your retina, allowing them to access you.

  • Any photo of a Weeping Angel should have the note on the back, if the image changes, at all, burn it, and don't look it in the eye while you do it. Then RUN!

  • 3
    +1, thanks for picking out the key information: As long as there are no Weeping Angels nearby to utilize the image as a temporal portal, and their eyes are covered, there is no threat from the image. Brilliant!
    – AncientSwordRage
    Nov 4, 2012 at 23:45
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    An interesting answer. Was the bit about an image being safe as long as its eyes are covered in the series?
    – Xantec
    Nov 4, 2012 at 23:57
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    No. The show indicates NO image is a good image. But I suspect, few people have taken pictures of angels and gotten away to tell anyone IF the eyes of the Angel are uncovered. So, since the Angel can manipulate the image if they are nearby, it is best to assume, if you are seeing Angel with its eyes covered, you are probably safe, for the moment. Nov 5, 2012 at 0:04
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    What if the image and the original see each other do they lock themselves out?
    – Stefan
    Apr 2, 2013 at 16:13

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