For those who tuned into editor/producer Emily Cook's live-tweeting of Doctor Who episode "Blink" over the weekend, you know that Steven Moffat shared an essay that he said was his last word about the episode, including insight into his thought process as well as the mechanics of writing. But while that might've been his "last word," it appears he wasn't quite finished with his "last thought." On Monday, Cook and Moffat shared a copy of the originally barely-seen first draft script for "Blink," entitled "Sally Sparrow And The Weeping Angel."
Never referencing the word "blink" and with an ending different from the final screen version, the first draft was lost to time because of the horrors of technology. Simply put, the script was saved in a format that no one could open until years later- when like Excalibur, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran were able to free the file from its digital limbo. Here's a look at the first page of the draft script, followed by Moffat's introduction on the website:
I felt very guilty, missing the Blink tweetalong, especially in these days of renewed sadness. Doctor Who should always be riding to the rescue where the world is sad. One thing I hoped to do to make up for my dereliction of duty, was to post the very first draft of the script. The one called 'Sally Sparrow And The Weeping Angel', which never mentions the word "blink" and has a completely different ending. The trouble was, the script was in an old format and I couldn't even open it. In fact, nobody could open it. I asked Russell, I asked Chris, I asked many wise people, but the past remained stubbornly entombed. Finally those comedy Gods Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran came riding to my rescue. They had the right software, stored on some ancient stone slabs buried in their garden under a ruined church and a Roman encampment.
So here, finally, is it. Draft One.
A few things before you read. I hated the last scene so much that the morning after I emailed the script – before I'd even heard a note – I wrote a new ending and hurriedly sent it in. No one has seen this version in years, and hardly anyone saw it at the time. Forgotten history, I suppose. The road not taken.
Most of the script is very close to what you saw – it changed less any other Who script I wrote, except maybe The Husbands Of River Song – but the proper title hadn't arrived yet, so no one says "don't blink!" Weird, really, looking back. When I changed the title, it was Russell who suggested I hit the word "blink" over and over again, like a cheesy old trailer. As you know, I ran with note for all I was worth – and what a brilliant note it was.
Elsewhere, you'll notice my sitcom reflex gets out of control a few too many times, and Martha barely gets to appear. There's one joke I regret cutting but that's about it, I think. I think you'll agree it got better.
Mind you, Russell always rather liked this ending – because, in his words, "it was a bit more lesbian."
Lots of love, have fun, stay safe.
The former Steven Moffat.
You can check read and even download a copy of Moffat's first draft over at the "'Doctor Who' Lockdown" extras site by clicking here.