The source of the title of the episode ‘Blink’ comes from the fact that only when you don’t look at a Weeping Angel can it move. The Doctor says they don’t have a choice in this, if a living creature sees them then they turn to stone.
What we learn from ‘Time of Angels’ is that they can hold this form. Even though Amy is effectively blind the Weeping Angels remain in their stone forms because they think she might see them. So while they can’t consciously unfreeze if something is looking at them they can trigger that state if they wish.
We can also take it that their transformation is not dependent on their being aware if they are being observed. There are times when someone sees a Weeping Angel from behind, so unless their eyes are just for show and they have a wider range of sense it would appear that it is the observer who triggers the Weeping Angels quantum locked state.
This then could indicate a telepathic element to this process. The Weeping Angel senses when someone is looking at them and automatically shuts down. This is certainly supported by the mental infection of Amy in ‘Time of Angels.’
The Doctor says that this occurs if any living creature sees them. Taken literally this means that animals, birds, insects and fish could all stop a Weeping Angel in their tracks. One wonders how they are able to get around the city without being spotted by a pigeon, cat or dog.
Anyone who wants to make sure they’re safe from a Weeping Angel only has to surround themselves with creatures with eyes, such as mice, gold fish or insects. At a certain point there will be so many living creatures in the area that it is almost guaranteed that something will be looking in the Weeping Angels direction.
To remove this limitation we could take it to mean that the Weeping Angels only freeze if there is a sentient mind that sees them. Humans, Sontarans, Daleks and Silurians could all turn them to stone while a humble creature such as a house pet has no effect on them.
This could lead to creepy scenes where a player characters dog barks frantically. When the player characters investigate all they find is a statue but when they turn their back the dog’s neck is broken.
So how does a non-living observer affect a Weeping Angel? In ‘Time of Angels’ we are shown recorded footage of a Weeping Angel but it could be maintaining its form. Such surveillance devices typically have a rate at which they capture images. The gaps in between, although less than a second, would probably be the same as a blink, allowing them to move.
Since it is explicitly stated that only living creatures freeze them in place I think most Weeping Angels would only stay in their statue form in front of a camera as long as it suited them. This prevents player characters from simply putting a camera in front of them and walking away.
It can also be scary for confident player characters of NPCs to be watching a Weeping Angel statue through a surveillance device only for the Weeping Angel to vanish from view in a split second. Even more scary if the Weeping Angel is now standing behind them.
What we do know is that Weeping Angels do count as observers. They can’t even look at each other. At the end of the episode the four Angels are trapped, each one facing the other. That is until the light in the basement goes out.
When there multiple Weeping Angels at least one will have their eyes covered, giving them the appearance of crying. The Doctor explains that this is to avoid seeing each other. A good illustration of this is the scene at the police station garage where Billy sees one Angel frozen in the act of trying to open the TARDIS while the others stand with their hands over their faces.
It makes sense that if they did travel in groups that some of them would hold themselves in reserve, avoiding looking at their companions to prevent them being frozen. Should something happen they can uncover their faces and help them.
When using multiple Weeping Angels in a single location they should be placed strategically. The ideal situation is for them to avoid each others eye line either by facing different directions or having a solid object block their view. At the very least some should have their faces covered and not be facing each other. This will stop the player characters from only having to look in one direction to paralyse the Weeping Angels.
Environment should also be important. A Weeping Angel would require that a space be small enough that it would restrict the number of people able to view them at one time. They’d also want to avoid any reflective surface as this would create additional angles from which someone could see them. It could be that a mirror might even stop a Weeping Angel who sees their own image.
We must remember that the Weeping Angels transformation is primarily one of defence rather than camouflage. This suggests that while they might be fast when unobserved their body is vulnerable.
One could imagine that a player character firing a gun or swinging a weapon with their eye closed might actually have a chance of harming them as would using remotely activated explosives or dropping bombs on the Weeping Angels. That is if they can be used before the Weeping Angels consciously transform into their statue forms.
An ability that ‘Aliens and Creatures’ doesn’t address is the Weeping Angels ability to turn off lights, as demonstrated in the climatic scene in the basement. An Angel is shown to be pointing at a light bulb which begins to dim and then flick on and off.
If the Weeping Angels feed off time energy it makes some sense that they can control other forms as well. This power can even be used when in their statue form. As the games master you can limit this to controlling electrical energy but you could include all types including fire. This would allow Weeping Angels to extinguish any candle or lantern that is being used for illumination.
Next we’ll examine more about the Weeping Angels feeding habits, abilities that are only hinted at and explore how you can use them in your own game.