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Characters / Doctor Who Weeping Angels

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Weeping Angels (Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)
"In the sight of any living thing they literally turn to stone. And you can't kill a stone. 'Course, a stone can't kill you either, but then you turn your head away. Then you blink, and oh, yes it can!"
Tenth Doctor, "Blink"

Quantum-locked creatures so ancient, even the Doctor doesn't know where they come from. As long as they are being observed, the Angels turn to stone. The "Weeping" in their name comes from their habit of holding their hands over their eyes so as not to accidentally see each other. As soon as they are unobserved, they move with Super Speed to overtake their prey. For nourishment, they'll transport their victims back through time and then feed on their lives spent in the past. If they're not feeling hungry, though, they'll just snap their victim's neck like a twig. One of the creepiest aliens in the history of the series.

  • Abstract Eater: They feed on time energy, sending people back in time and consume all the years they would have lived in the present.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Though their usual method of "killing" isn't all that bad, they only employ it because that is how they feed. In their second appearance they find another, better source of nourishment... since they don't need food they proceed to act like the sadistic psychopaths that they are — snapping necks, playing mind games, and ripping out vocal cords. Why?
    Angel Bob: For fun, sir.
    • Possibly averted by the lone Angel at the end of "The Angels Take Manhattan", who sent Amy back in time to the same point as Rory when it could've easily done otherwise.
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  • Ambiguous Gender: While this is rather appropriate for an angelic being, it only serves to increase the Uncanny Valley for these.
  • And I Must Scream: Angels cannot look at themselves or other Angels, because it triggers their quantum-locking functions. As long as nothing disrupts the line of sight of an Angel that has suffered the misfortune of locking eyes with a mirror or its brethren, they will remain stone permanently. Well, at least until they starve to death and corrode into dust.
  • Angelic Abomination: One of the most bizarre monsters in the show, despite looking like stone angels.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: At first glance, they appear to be statues that would be seen in a cemetery. Look away, and it's your funeral.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Creatures of the abstract. They turn to stone when anyone is looking. Ultimate defence mechanism.
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  • Breakout Villain: They're to the revived show what the Daleks were to the classic show. They actually beat the Daleks as the fans' scariest monster in a poll, and get a lot of appearances outside their own story arc.
  • The Cameo:
  • Can't Move While Being Watched: They are "quantum-locked", which means they can't move as long as they're being observed. But if you so much as blink... they can get you.
  • Creepy Changing Painting: More accurately a Creepy Changing Statue. The painting applies as well, as anything that bears the image of Angel becomes an Angel itself. Amy finds this out with a recording of an Angel.
  • Eldritch Abomination: It is implied that they are, in fact, sapient ideas which have come to life to kill people. It helps that ideas of them (photos, visual memory) literally can come to life to kill people.
  • Enfante Terrible: Baby Weeping Angels appear to be innocent cherub statues at first glance, but turn away and they will reveal gruesome looking fangs just like their full-grown counterparts. They haven't developed enough strength to send victims very far into the past, but often appear in clusters. They're also audible before attacking — you can hear their footsteps and creepy laughter — which may make them more frightening than the adults. Worse yet, the cherubs are a lot smaller and harder to keep an eye on if you're a fairly tall person.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: The implication at the end of "Blink" is that any statue is a potential Angel. "The Time of Angels" has the Maze of the Dead full of statues which were all possible Angels, until eventually it's revealed all of them are Angels. Then in "The Angels Take Manhattan", every statue in existence is an Angel, including the freaking Statue of Liberty.
  • Evil Laugh: Is not even recognizable as laughter, so much as horrible screeching. However, the baby cherubs have a very distinct, terrifying giggle, often accompanied by pitter-pattering footsteps as they rush their prey while their back is turned.
  • Fangs Are Evil: They show off fangs as they rush in to attack.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Depending on the perspective of the victim and how much of they have going for them in the present, it absolutely can be. In their very first appearance, where they "kill you nicely", the tragedy of what happens to their victims isn't downplayed, but the first one is actually quite content in the past. It's played dead straight in their second, where they kill most of their victims and partially reanimate Sacred Bob into a mouthpiece for the Angels. In their third, they keep humans in solitary confinement for their whole lives while repeatedly sending them back into the past to feed.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Sending people to live in the past, though not all bad, is only a circumstantial side effect of how they feed. If they aren't desperate for energy, they'll just violently snap your neck and enjoy it too.
    • 'Angel Bob', who reanimated the consciousness of Bob (one of the clerics in "Flesh and Stone" and "The Time of Angels") to communicate drips with this, maintaining Bob's polite and diffident tone when communicating with the Doctor and explaining that a) the Angels are killing for fun, b) they're making Amy count down to her own death, also for fun.
  • Femme Fatalons: The angels are genderless, but their statue forms sometimes look more feminine (they're generally pretty androgynous) and they certainly have claws which, if you are lucky enough, you might see reaching out for you.
  • For the Evulz: The reason they give for making Amy Pond count down to her own death is "for fun, sir".
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Part of what makes the Weeping Angels so terrifying to viewers was the implication that the audience counted as an observer when determining when the angels can or can't move, as the Angels could often be seen quantum-locked when only the viewer was watching them. Averted later in "Flesh and Stone", but un-averted in "The Angels Take Manhattan".
  • Healing Factor: As they starve, they will deteriorate in appearance, but give them a source of food (energy) and they'll be back to their traditional angelic appearance in hours.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • In their first appearance, the Doctor tricks them into looking at each other, freezing them forever.
    • In their second appearance, they try to draw energy from one of the omnipresent "cracks in the universe" to become a universe-devouring army of death. This backfires badly on them. The crack is "the end of the universe" and releases time energy which wipes anything it consumes out of existence. They drain all of the power from the ship to try and escape... which switches off the artificial gravity, resulting in them all being hurled into the crack and erased from time. That is, until the universe was rebooted, allowing for their return.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Their "quantum-locked forms" look like human statues, until you look away and the abomination comes forth.
  • Implacable Man: An Angel will never stop hunting a victim when they have their eyes set on them. They're near impossible to kill, and little can keep them out or slow them down for good.
  • Kick the Dog: Angels will taunt and torment anyone and anything that looks delectable. In the case of the babies, it's Poke the Poodle, since they can't do as much harm.
  • Kill the Lights: They can drain power from lightbulbs so it's easier for them to move around.
  • Light-Flicker Teleportation: They will advance in the instance of darkness, as their quantum lock has subsided. It's made even more prevalent that they can move at very high speeds.
  • Light Is Not Good: Angelic in appearance, demonic in nature. As of "The Angels Take Manhattan": they can be anything... including cherubs with creepy laughs and bronze statues in parks... and the freaking Statue of Liberty!
  • Living Statue: Partially subverted. While they certainly seem like this, they only appear as statues under observation. Since this makes it impossible to see them move, many would assume they're statues themselves. However, as indicated in "The Angels Take Manhattan", they can turn formerly ordinary statues into more of their kind.
  • Made of Iron: Though the obvious logic would just be to smash them into dust as stone statues, they are a lot tougher than statues should be. A group of soldiers unloading on them doesn't even scratch them. It's somewhat justified in this case. It was a dark hallway and the muzzle flash from the bullet was lighting them up, meaning they were stone when the bullets struck them. The split second of darkness between shots caused them to revert to their natural form, then reform back into unblemished stone when the next flash occurred. Their natural defense mechanism can therefore double as a rather effective Healing Factor. Then we get to see their true form is very stonelike as well, so they're immensely tough all the time. As the Doctor says, "You can't kill a stone."
  • Mysterious Past: No one quite knows where they came from, including the Time Lords. "The Time of Angels" implies they were an idea that took on a life of its own.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: According to the Doctor, they are also known as the "Lonely Assassins".
  • Neck Snap:
    • Normally, the Weeping Angels kill by sending victims back in time and feeding on their residual energy... but should they not need to feed on a person's temporal energy... crack goes their neck. They have very strong clamping force that makes it near impossible to escape their grip. If an unlucky soul gets caught, they're either dead, or doomed to a struggle that will likely tear up their body.
    • Worse, Angels like to play with their food and steal the consciousness of a person they killed, then steal the voice of the deceased and use it to lure others into a false sense of security, until they get to break their necks as well.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Each episode starring them adds new abilities, while sometimes ignoring their existing limitations.
    • In "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone", we learn in addition to having straightforward Offscreen Teleportation powers, the image of an Angel becomes an Angel, looking one in the eyes can cause a new Angel to grow in one's mind, and the Angels can partially reanimate a dead person to be their "voice". Somewhat justified in that the Angels in "Blink" were starving while these Angels are slowly feeding off the crashed ship and getting stronger, but the abilities still come a bit out of left field.
    • In "The Angels Take Manhattan", the Statue of Liberty becomes a Weeping Angel. This seemingly means that any statue, even ones made of copper, can be converted into a Weeping Angel. (River says, "It's like they've converted every statue in the city.") It's also not clear how "the image of an Angel becomes an Angel" rule applies to all the postcards and other images of the Statue of Liberty.
    • Averted in "The Time of the Doctor", where from what we see they have their traditional powers.
  • Nightmare Face: They look very Uncanny Valley up until the point when they prepare to feed on someone's temporal energy — that's when they sprout monstrous fangs and bare a set of claws at their target.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: They don't hide as statues deliberately; they just happen to look like them when quantum-locked. Nevertheless, it is effective camouflage against the unwary.
  • No Eye in Magic: Looking them directly in the eyes allows them to create an image of an Angel in the vision centres of the brain... which will then come alive and out of the victim's head, killing them, if not somehow stopped.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Unlike the Time Lords, Daleks and Cybermen, the Weeping Angels' origins are a complete mystery, having existed for so long that the Doctor (being a Time Lord and incredibly old by human standards) calls them ancient. We never find out what they look like when they aren't quantum-locked, how they have learned space-travel, how they are capable of violating the laws of physics and they could be anywhere at anytime.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Their explicit super-power, although it's more of a restriction, as they cannot move while someone is looking at them.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: They're called "weeping angels" because they happen to look like them; they're actually hiding their eyes to prevent staring each other in the eyes. The actual name of the species, if there is one, is unknown.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: They're not gargoyles, but their statue forms appear to be them in the right location.
  • Pet the Dog: The closest thing to a Weeping Angel displaying something resembling empathy we see is sending Amy to the same time period as the one they sent Rory to, so they can live out their lives together, when it could have sent her away to a different time period. Even this is debatable, as each angel may send people back by a fixed amount of time.
  • Putto: Adolescent Angels tend to look like this.
  • Reality Warper: A minor example: there are limitations to what they can do, but they can defy several laws of physics.
  • Scare Chord: Their Leitmotif.
  • Slasher Smile: If an Angel knows victory is at hand and its victims have no chance of escape, it flashes a horribly malicious grin at them.
  • Staring Contest: One where the consequence of losing is death.
    Tenth Doctor: Don't blink. Blink and you're dead. Don't turn your back. Don't look away. And don't blink.
  • Step into the Blinding Fight: Justified; they become "quantum-locked" and completely incapable of moving when being observed by other living things, so they've developed abilities that let them drain power from light sources when in statue-form, making it easier to approach their prey. Unfortunately, the darkness doesn't hinder their vision at all.
  • Stupid Evil: All angels are sociopaths, but even knowing who the Doctor is they'll go out of their way to piss him off for no reason other than to be a dick. They don't seem to understand that this might not be the best idea.
  • Super Speed: They need only the time it takes to blink to dart forward and slay their victim.
  • Taken for Granite: Whatever they are in their natural state, they turn to stone if looked upon. It seems they're like the Nestene, in that while anything plastic can be a Nestene, any statue can be an Angel; this was hinted at in the Paranoia Fuel last terrifying minute and a half of "Blink" and outright confirmed in their third appearance.
  • Time Abyss: They're as old as the universe, or very nearly. Rassilon himself calls them "the Weeping Angels of old".
  • Tulpa: The Angels' origins are unclear, but one book about them openly speculates:
    "What if we had ideas that could think for themselves? What if one day our dreams no longer needed us? When these things occur and are held to be true, the time will be upon us. The time of Angels."
  • Voice for the Voiceless: The Angels have no voices of their own... but they can tear bits of consciousness from a victim they murder and make it speak on their behalf.


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