The Weeping Angels were an extremely powerful species of quantum-locked humanoids (sufficient observation changes the thing being observed), so called because their unique nature necessitated that they often covered their faces with their hands to prevent trapping each other in petrified form for eternity by looking at one another. This gave the Weeping Angels their distinct "weeping" appearance. They were known for being "kind" murderous psychopaths, eradicating their victims "mercifully" by dropping them into the past and letting them live out their full lives, just in a different time period. This, in turn, allowed them to live off the remaining time energy of the victim's life. However, when this potential energy paled in comparison to an alternative power source to feed on, the Angels were known to kill by other means, such as snapping their victims' necks.
With an age almost as old as the universe itself, Weeping Angels that were converted from ordinary statues appeared as they did before being taken over. Other Angels resembled stone statues of winged, humanoid women in chitons. Baby Angels resembled cherubs — naked, infant-sized versions of adult Angels. Baby angels possessed the same traits as adults, but when unseen, their footsteps and childlike giggles could be heard. Angels sometimes took the form of even bigger statues, such as the Statue of Liberty. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan) When showing ferocity, Weeping Angels would bare their fangs and claws. (TV: Blink)
Weeping Angels grew weaker from starvation, with the stone wearing away over years. This wearing could become so severe that they might not look like their original forms anymore, losing their wings and becoming more like a typical statue of great age. Weak Angels did not have the same speed as their "healthy" counterparts. They could regain their appearance and restore themselves if re-energised (fed). A single hour was all it would take. (TV: The Time of Angels) Weakness could hamper their ability to send people through time. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)
Powers and abilities
River Song once indicated that the Weeping Angels had the ability to transform ordinary statues into Angels (or at least animate and control them, and give them the abilities of true Angels such as quantum-locking). (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan) It is also known that the kiss of a Weeping Angel had various abilities and effects, including transforming kissed people into complete duplicates of other individuals, which died after a matter of weeks; an Angel's kiss could also suck a kissed victim of their life energy, reducing them to dust. (PROSE: The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery)
The Weeping Angels could move their victims back through time with a touch. They would then consume the potential energy from the lives the victims would otherwise have led. They could move people through both space and time, as Kathy was touched in London, but ended up in Hull in 1920; Billy Shipton was touched inside a parking garage and arrived in 1969 in an outdoor location. (TV: Blink) The first time Rory Williams was touched was in an archway in a park, and he arrived in a street; and the second time he was touched was in Grayle's cellar, and he arrived outside Winter Quay in the same time period. This appeared to indicate the Angels could choose whether or not their victims were sent through time, or they simply lacked this ability at their infant stage. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan) The Tenth Doctor theorised that getting touched by the same Angel as someone else would send you back to the same time as them when both he and Billy Shipton got sent back to 1969. This theory would seem to hold as Rory Williams and Amy Pond both got sent back to the 1930s. (TV: Blink, The Angels Take Manhattan) This ability led the Fifth Doctor to describe them as the most humane psychopaths in the universe. (AUDIO: Fallen Angels)
The Weeping Angels could also feed on other types of energy, such as radiation given off by a Galaxy class Star Liner, or the electrical energy in electronics. This would cause lights to flicker, making it easier for them to get around their quantum-locking. (TV: Blink, The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone) If they were sufficiently fed, however, the Angels would kill by sneaking up behind their victim and breaking their neck. The Angels were very strong, being able to break through steel doors, force magnetised wheels to turn, and snap victims' necks without difficulty. (TV: The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone, The Lost) According to one account, they could feed on the energy of a time paradox, (PROSE: Touched by an Angel) rather than being poisoned by it. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)
The Weeping Angels had a unique and nearly perfect defence mechanism: quantum-locking, which caused them to turn into harmless stone when being observed. (TV: Blink) It could also happen by instinct when they believed they were being watched. (TV: Flesh and Stone) When not being observed, they could move incredibly fast, though they appeared to slow down the closer they got to their prey; they appeared to like "playing with their food". However, quantum-locking meant that they had to cover their eyes when in their stone form, as if they saw each other they would be trapped forever. (TV: Blink, AUDIO: Fallen Angels) This also applied in the instance that an Angel were to see itself in a mirror. (TV: The Time of the Doctor) They seemed to be able to see in the dark as well, as the Angels had no trouble pursuing their quarry in total darkness. (TV: Blink)
Anything with the image of a Weeping Angel, such as pictures or film, also gained the abilities of an Angel and would eventually become an Angel, provided the image isn't broken; for example, in the case of a video recording, the image of an Angel could be stopped by pausing it on a blip as "What takes the image of an Angel, is itself an Angel." (TV: The Time of Angels) This could occur were an Angel to see itself in a mirror; however, the Angel's reflection would be perpetually staring at itself for as long as the Angel were reflected. (PROSE: Magic of the Angels, TV: The Time of the Doctor, AUDIO: Fallen Angels) When victims looked an Angel in the eyes, the Angel could infect their visual centres, creating an image in their mind. The victim could be mentally influenced by the Angel until it became fully grown, at which point it could escape the person's body, killing them. This ability could only be stopped by shutting down the visual centre, by means such as having the victim keep their eyes closed, and even so, it is believed the ability would resume if the victim were to reopen their eyes. Examples of mental influence included making the victim count down the minutes to his or her death, and making the victim hallucinate that a limb was petrified. (TV: The Time of Angels, Flesh and Stone)
If a Weeping Angel became trapped in a CCTV system, it would be able to follow its victim in the image created by the camera, and not in the real world. An Angel threw Mark Whitaker back in time after it chased him through the CCTV systems of a high street. However, the effort this cost the Angel caused it to solidify in the real world and crumble into dust. (PROSE: Touched by an Angel) If a video recording of a Weeping Angel was made, then once the video became an Angel, it could exert significant power and influence over and through any system directly exposed to the recording the Angel came from - a projection of one Angel created from a looped recording displayed the ability to deadlock a vessel's entire system even when it had no deadlock seal, and protect the vessel's walls against penetration by methods such as thermal cutting. (TV: The Time of Angels)
The Weeping Angels did not naturally possess intelligible voices, (TV: The Time of Angels) although they could still produce horrific screeches as a form of laughter, (TV: Flesh and Stone) and the infants could produce childlike giggles. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan) The Angels could take the consciousness of someone who had died and speak through it to communicate, as they used the Cleric Bob, whom they killed, to talk with the Eleventh Doctor. (TV: The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, AUDIO: The Side of the Angels) They also possessed the ability to communicate with each other over long distances, even when frozen; they perhaps had some telepathic abilities to help coordinate their teamwork. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)
Because of their defence mechanism, Weeping Angels were very hard to kill, being immune to all kinds of weapons. However they were capable of starving to death if left without time energy for too long. (TV: The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone) It was also possible to defeat Weeping Angels by forcing two Angels to look directly at each other, which would cause them both to constantly see and quantum-lock each other. (TV: Blink) Another way of defeating them, and the only way of killing them apart from starvation, was to cause a paradox which would poison the time energy they used to feed. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan) When the Angels were starved, they could be vulnerable to Grenades. (COMIC: The Weeping Angels of Mons)
Weeping Angels appeared to have the ability to reform themselves when destroyed in their stone form, however. An Angel reformed itself when it was destroyed by the Doctor's sonic screwdriver, despite missing its right arm. (TV: Good as Gold)
A group of Angels were also killed (or at least, dispersed to the point where their consciousnesses could no longer affect anyone) when the Doctor used CCTV cameras to film them, while also having each Angel viewing all the others through the screens. This caused the Angels to dissolve into the screens. (PROSE: Touched by an Angel)
Victims could avoid the Angels by winking rather than forcing their eyes open and not blink. The Tenth Doctor avoided them in this way during World War I, (COMIC: The Weeping Angels of Mons) and Amy Pond did this briefly, though visibly struggled with it. (TV: The Time of Angels)
According to the Time Lords, the Weeping Angels evolved at the Dawn of Time. (AUDIO: The Side of the Angels) However, the Weeping Angels also had a mythological status in Time Lord society, with the Fourth Doctor being sceptical of their existence. (COMIC: Gaze of the Medusa)
During the Renaissance, the three Angels who were trapped in Earth as it formed were discovered inside marble blocks. Believing it was a miracle, a group of priests and believers formed the Order of the Three Angels, and commissioned Michelangelo to "release" the angels. They were defeated by the Fifth Doctor and locked under the catacombs of the Sistine Chapel. (AUDIO: Fallen Angels)
In August 1914, before and during the Battle of Mons in Belgium, Weeping Angels were seen hunting soldiers from both sides. This caused some to believe that angels were coming to save them from the horrors of World War I.
Later in the war, in July 1916, the Tenth Doctor and Gabby Gonzalez encountered a flock of starving Weeping Angels hunting victims in the town of St Michel in France. (COMIC: The Weeping Angels of Mons)
In Paris, 1923, the Eleventh Doctor bought a bundle of comics (COMIC: The Doctor Shops for Comics) but which really contained a miniature Weeping Angel. While on the run from the Voord, Gabby Gonzalez opened the package, causing the Weeping Angel within to grow and displace her back in time to the meeting between the Doctor's companions in Paris, 1923. Gabby guessed that the Weeping Angel was deliberately chosen and placed to send her back the proper length of time to change history. After defeating the alternate Twelfth Doctor, the Eleventh Doctor promised to find the correct Weeping Angel and to plant it to ensure history continued on its current course. (COMIC: Four Doctors) After getting the correct Weeping Angel from the Weeping Angel Museum, Alice Obiefune planted it for the Doctor to find. While the Weeping Angel was in the package, a viewing device kept it docile. (COMIC: The Doctor Shops for Angels)
In 1938, the Weeping Angels were using New York City as a "farm" due to its massive population and transformed most of the statues in the city into Angels themselves. They would keep victims imprisoned in Winter Quay and send them back in time whenever they tried to escape. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan) At this time, Max Kliener used the kiss of one of these Weeping Angels to transform people into duplicates of Kliener's stars and bodyguards. When River Song investigated Kliener, she used hallucinogenic lipstick to cause him to kiss the Angel he was using; allowing the Angel to drain Kliener's life energy and kill him. (PROSE: The Angel's Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery)
Crime lord Julius Grayle also had the same Angel that Kleiner fed and several baby Angels in his possession at this time. He kept the adult manacled in his office, torturing and damaging it, and the babies locked in his dark cellar. In response to the captive adult Angel's distress, at least two other Weeping Angels watched over Grayle's home, disguised as ordinary statues. They eventually attacked it when it was left defenceless.
Shortly after the Angels' attack on Grayle's mansion, the Eleventh Doctor, Amy, River and Rory Williams travelled to Winter Quay, where they were trapped by the Angels. However, Rory jumped from the Quay's roof, creating a time paradox (as an alternate timeline in which the Angels kept Rory imprisoned in Winter Quay until he died of old age already existed), which poisoned and killed the majority of the Angels. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)
During the 1970s, the Weeping Angels of New York formed an alliance with Cardinal Ollistra to power Gallifreyan structures that will shield them from the destruction of the universe, in exchange for humans as a source of potential time energy. They maintained communication with Ollistra and The Monk through a quantum communicator. When The Eleven came, the said alliance was broken as he let the Angels feed on Enclave members hiding in the city. (AUDIO: The Side of the Angels)
In 2007, a group of Weeping Angels stranded the Tenth Doctor and his companion Martha Jones in 1969 and captured his TARDIS with the goal of using the Time Lord technology for its near-unlimited temporal energy in a process which could cause enough damage to "switch off [Earth's] sun". Despite gaining the TARDIS, the Angels could not find a way into the police box-shaped construct; however, they later found the TARDIS' key. Unfortunately for the Angels, Sally Sparrow took the key from one of them before they could reach the TARDIS. The Angels stalked Sally in their efforts to gain access to the TARDIS. They also sent Kathy Nightingale to 1920 and Billy Shipton to 1969, unknowingly allowing the Doctor to indirectly communicate with Sally through them. Sally and Larry Nightingale later visited Wester Drumlins again, the Angels soon cornering them in the basement where the TARDIS was being stored. Despite the Angels turning out the lights, allowing them to move closer, Sally and Larry eventually entered it and sent it back to the Doctor. When it finished dematerialising, the Angels gazed at each other across the empty space where the TARDIS had been, each turned to stone eternally, their menace ended. (TV: Blink) The Eleventh Doctor later recounted these events when asked if he had ever encountered the Weeping Angels, describing these particular Angels as "scavengers, barely surviving". (TV: The Time of Angels)
At some point in the 2000s, Julia Hardwick found clues that warned her of the Weeping Angels, as well as photos which seemed to depict her in the past. When she investigated, she was sent to the past by an Angel. It was she who had sent herself the warnings. (WC: A Ghost Story for Christmas)
In 2011, Mark Whitaker encountered a Weeping Angel which sent him back in time to June 1994. In the past, Mark followed instructions from a letter he thought to be written by his future self. This Angel was trapped in the CCTV system and crumbled to dust after using all its energy to send Mark back. In fact, it was psychic paper sent to him by a group of six Weeping Angels. The Angels wanted Mark to save his wife, who had died in a car accident in 2003, to create a paradox so they could feed. Mark eventually decided against saving his wife and returned to the present in the Eleventh Doctor's TARDIS after helping the Doctor, Amy and Rory trap the Angels forever in a TV system and disperse their consciousness. During the adventure, Rory got sent back to 2001 by a Weeping Angel, but after spending a month setting up a trap for the Angels in 2003 following instructions the Doctor had given him, Rory reunited with the Doctor, Amy and his younger self. After trapping five of the Angels and the sixth accidentally trapping itself, the Doctor realised that the Weeping Angel that sent Mark back in time was trying to change its own past but caused it instead. Mark's time in the past ended up actually leading to him meeting Rebecca and ending up with her with his future self facilitating many of the events in their lives. If he had changed her death, it would've caused a paradox because it would've changed both the past and the future. The Doctor realised that the Angels planned to do this to everyone eventually, starting with Mark, until they used every person on Earth to create paradoxes and feed. (PROSE: Touched by an Angel)
In 2012, a single Weeping Angel chased an athlete across the Olympic stadium in an attempt to steal the Torch and the spirit of the games. It followed him into the TARDIS and grabbed the torch, but the Eleventh Doctor used his sonic screwdriver to destroy the Angel. However, it reformed moments later, despite missing its right arm. (TV: Good as Gold)
In 2012, a Weeping Angel was captured by Sammy Star, who kept it trapped in a lead-lined box. Not entirely knowing what he had, Star found out the Angel's ability to make people disappear and used it to achieve fame in the magic business by having a different "missing" girl be taken by the Angel. The Angel remained placid due to Star "feeding" it every night.
However, Star's scheme was stopped by the Eleventh Doctor, who was also indirectly responsible for Star being taken by the Angel, before Star could put his act on television, an act, unbeknownst to Star, that would allow the Weeping Angel to make duplicates of itself appear in every house that watched the show.
The Doctor, Amy and Rory neutralised the Angel by making it make a duplicate of itself through its reflection on a mirror. After a brief panic of more Angels appearing, the mirror was smashed, leaving the two Angels in quantum lock. The Doctor, making a trip back in time and collecting a few favours, put the two Angels in Trafalgar Square on the Fourth Plinth, under the title of Monument to the Missing in memory of the Angel's victims, where the two Angels would be in someone's line of vision for many years to come. (PROSE: Magic of the Angels)
On two occasions in 2012, a Weeping Angel in New York displaced Rory Williams in time. The first time was when an Angel disguised as part of a water fountain sent Rory to 1938. On the second occasion, he was displaced by a survivor of the destruction of Winter Quay near his and Amy's gravestone. Amy allowed the Angel to touch her, sending her back with Rory, but preventing the Doctor from ever reaching them again. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)
In 2016, a Weeping Angel killed Dorothea Ames for her failure in stopping Charlie Smith from using the Cabinet of Souls against the Shadow Kin. The Governors worked for the Angels, preparing for the Arrival. (TV: The Lost)
At an unknown time, a definitive piece of literature about the Angels was created.
At some point in the 47th century, hundreds of Weeping Angels came to Alfava Metraxis and wiped out the civilisation of the Aplans. Afterwards, they ran out of food and began to starve, going dormant in the Aplan Mortarium. Another Angel somehow learned of this, and feigned dormancy in the ruins of Razbahan until it was dug up, persisting on to the end of the 50th century. It passed through private hands and eventually was brought to the Byzantium, when it caused the ship to crash onto Alfava Metraxis, planning to use the radiation as fuel. River Song, who had been tracking it, tried to warn the owner, but he didn't listen to her forewarnings.
The Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond, along with River and soldiers from the Church, entered the temple to find it. Inside the Maze, they found many worn statues. The Doctor deduced that the Angel must have hidden among them to avoid being found. The Angel killed three soldiers and used the consciousness of one to communicate with the Doctor. When the Doctor eventually realised that all the statues were Angels, the awakening Angels attacked. (TV: The Time of Angels)
Surrounded, they escaped by destroying a gravity globe, creating an "updraft" and falling onto the Byzantium. The Angels followed them, only for both groups to encounter a crack in one of the ship's walls. The Crack was bleeding pure time energy, something the Angels had predetermined would appear, bearing limitless energy for them to feast on. However, after capturing the Doctor, he told them they could not feast upon pure time energy, which was the fire at the end of the universe. This allowed the Doctor to escape and regroup with his posse.
Fearing the Crack, the Angels began fleeing to the other side of the ship, being briefly halted by the clerics' gazes. When only Amy, the Doctor and River remained, the Angels confronted the Doctor. They told him the only way he could seal the crack was by throwing himself into it. Instead, the Doctor waited for the Byzantium's artificial gravity to shut off (because the Angels were absorbing too much energy from the ship itself), causing the entire Angel army to fall into the Crack, sealing it and removing them from history along with the mental image in Amy's mind. (TV: Flesh and Stone)
At an unknown point in time, the Weeping Angels travelled to Trenzalore along with many other races in response to a mysterious message broadcast through time and space. Unlike the other species, they managed to make it onto the planet, where they were discovered by the Eleventh Doctor and Clara Oswald. The Weeping Angels surrounded them, but the Doctor summoned the TARDIS to them and they escaped. During the later Siege of Trenzalore, a Weeping Angel tried to invade the town but was trapped by the Doctor using a mirror on which he wrote "with love from the Doctor!". The remaining Angels eventually retreated, as with all the invaders except the Daleks. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)
In the year fifty squillion, the Weeping Angel Museum contained hundreds of thousands of Weeping Angels trapped under constant surveillance, many of whom were donated to the museum by the Doctor. (COMIC: The Doctor Shops for Angels) The Doctor borrowed the miniature Weeping Angel that would send Gabby Gonzalez back in time (COMIC: Four Doctors) from here after figuring out which one would send Gabby an appropriate length of time back her own timestream. (COMIC: The Doctor Shops for Angels)
End of the universe
Strax captured a Weeping Angel. After sending a message to Sontar, Strax decided that he'd figured out a way to become immune to Weeping Angels. He thought that since the Doctor always told him not to blink around Weeping Angels, he'd close his eyes to get rid off the need to blink. (COMIC: The Adventures of Strax & the Time Shark)
Four Weeping Angels once trapped someone in the attic of a house on Earth. The Twelfth Doctor helped the trapped person and sent his TARDIS. After the person escaped in the TARDIS, the angels were trapped in a quantum-locked state in the attic. (GAME: Don't Blink)
In an alternate dimension in which the Doctor's adventures existed as a fictional TV show called Doctor Who, a fan dressed as a Weeping Angel was present at a Doctor Who convention which the Eleventh Doctor visited with Ally in 2013. (COMIC: The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who)
In an alternate timeline, the miniature Weeping Angel in the Eleventh Doctor's comics was discovered by Gabby Gonzalez. The Weeping Angel sent her back in time to Paris, 1923 to the companions meeting, allowing Gabby to alter time. Learning of this event caused the Eleventh Doctor to plant the Weeping Angel in the comics package in the first place. (COMIC: Four Doctors)
Before the outbreak of the War in Heaven, Avus journeyed into an alter-time realm and encountered a malevolent army of statues that only moved when he wasn't looking at them. (PROSE: Cobweb and Ivory)
While trying to jog Jackson Lake's memory, the Tenth Doctor reminded him of his adventures with the Weeping Angels by asking him about the "Don't Blink" meme from his experiences with Sally Sparrow. (TV: The Next Doctor)
Rassilon declared that the two Time Lords who opposed him, who covered their eyes in the same way as the Weeping Angels, would "stand as monuments to their shame, as did the Weeping Angels of old". (TV: The End of Time)
While hunting parts of an Eternity Clock, the Doctor came across a stone angel statue in 1561 London; he warned River not to blink before determining it was just a regular statue. (GAME: The Eternity Clock)
As noted by the Twelfth Doctor in propaganda broadcasts to an occupied Earth in the late 2010s, the Weeping Angels were among the menaces to humanity whom the Monks took credit for defeating. (TV: The Lie of the Land)
Behind the scenes
The Brilliant Book 2011
- The Time Lords knew of the Weeping Angels and viewed them as nightmarish: an old manuscript on the Weeping Angels, written in High Gallifreyan, translated into "It's behind you".
- During the Egyptian era, a Weeping Angel was found at the entrance to a village. During an eclipse, the Angel killed most the village, save for one girl. Tracking the survivor to the tomb of the emperor, the Angel was defeated when the girl rearranged the mirrors, trapping the Angel in stone form. However, the girl then looked into the frozen Angel's eyes, and it is indicated that she thus became a Weeping Angel herself and remained with the trapped Angel.
- In 2009, a boy named Charlie Cause disappeared whilst filming an independent movie entitled Zombie Vixens. The last photos taken of him show that he was attacked by a Weeping Angel in a graveyard.
- In the 33rd century, flocks of Weeping Angels swarmed human colony worlds and darkened the sunlight to feed; worlds such as New Moscow were asked to take up arms against them. Some said it would not be possible to oppose such powerful creatures.
- There are Weeping Angels in the Doctor Who level in LEGO Dimensions.
- In the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, an easter egg was put it the multiplayer map Nuketown (stylized NUK3TOWN): shooting the arms of all the mannequins on the map in the first two minutes of the game will induce the mannequins to a "zombies"-style gameplay, however, the mannequins moves and attack when not seen by the players, and freezes when seen, a clear homage to the Weeping Angels.
- In the Blood and Wine downloadable content for The Witcher 3 video game, there are stone angels that also move when you look away in graveyards.
- The freeware horror game SCP: containment breach contains a weeping angel-esque SCP known as SCP-173 otherwise known as "the statue". The main similarities are that they cannot move while they're in direct eye contact and both are capable of moving around with surprisingly high speed, they're also capable of snapping the neck of their victims with the exception that SCP-173 uses it as a way of killing its victims instead of "communicating".
- There's an easter egg of the Weeping Angels in Just Cause 3. An abandoned ruin on a hilltop features four statues ringed around an ampitheater-like structure with a dead goat in the middle. If you approach the goat, the statues will close in on you, but only when they're off-screen.
- The Zeno paradox-like effect, proven in the article Measurement-Induced Localisation of an Ultracold Lattice Gas, showing that a particle is unable to move while it's being observed, was referenced in Gizmodo Australia as the 'Weeping Angel' Effect.
- In 2017, BBC news mentioned the Weeping Angels in connection with the CIA hacking tool, "Weeping Angel".
- ↑ Ouellette, Jennifer (18 September 2015). Quantum 'Weeping Angel' Effect Freezes Atoms In Place. Gizmodo Australia. Retrieved on 30 December 2016.