The Weeping Angels are an ancient race of aliens from the British Doctor Who television sci-fi series. Steven Moffat, their creator, attributes their appeal to childhood games such as Grandmother’s Footsteps and the notion that every statue is secretly a Weeping Angel.
According to the Doctor, the Weeping Angels “are as old as the universe (or very nearly), but no one really knows where they come from.” He describes them as the loneliest beings in the universe since their quantum-lock reaction makes it difficult for them to socialise; he also describes them as “the deadliest, most powerful, most malevolent life-form evolution has ever produced.” That said, in all their TV appearances, the Angels could communicate with each other and work in groups. The quantum-lock is apparently an evolutionary, instinctive, uncontrollable reaction to being seen. However, if the Angels are scared themselves, this reaction can be exploited to make them believe they are being watched when they are not. Though they themselves cannot speak, they can communicate through the voice of a person they kill by removing their brains and reanimating their minds. They are also very physically strong, capable of snapping necks, though physically killing a victim is rare for them unless the need arises (such as stealing someone’s voice).
In the episode “The Angels Take Manhattan”, another form of Weeping Angel is shown, the cherubim. Unlike the Weeping Angels they are not silent, making childlike giggling and having audible footsteps. It is not explicitly stated that they are young Angels, but they are referred to as “the babies”. The Weeping Angels appeared again in the ‘The Time of the Doctor’ special episode broadcast on December 25, 2013.
In a poll conducted by BBC, taking votes from 2,000 readers of the Doctor Who Adventures magazine, the Weeping Angels were voted the scariest monsters of 2007 with 55% of the vote; the Master and the Daleks took second and third place with 15% and 4% of the vote. The Daleks usually come out on top in such polls. Moray Laing, Editor of Doctor Who Adventures, praised the concept of escaping a monster by not blinking, something both simple and difficult to do. In a 2012 poll of over ten thousand respondents conducted by the Radio Times, the Weeping Angels were again voted the best Doctor Who monsters with 49.4% of the vote. The Daleks came in second place with 17%.
The Weeping Angels came in at number three in Neil Gaiman’s “Top Ten New Classic Monsters” in Entertainment Weekly. They were also rated the third “baddie” in Doctor Who by The Telegraph, behind the Nestene Consciousness and Daleks. The Angels were listed as the third scariest television characters by TV Squad. In 2009, SFX named the climax of “Blink” with the Weeping Angels advancing on Sally and Larry the scariest moment in Doctor Who‘s history. They also listed the Angels in their list of favourite things of the revival of Doctor Who, writing, “Scariest. Monsters. Ever.”