What are the Doctor Who Weeping Angels?

The Doctor Who Weeping Angels, a race of predatory creatures known as “The Lonely Assassins,” are quantum-locked alien killers who are as old as the universe itself or just nearly as much. Very little is known of their origin and their culture, or the fact that they even had one, apart from the fact that they resemble ordinary statues representing an Angel of Sorrow, with their eyes covered. However, when unobserved, Weeping Angels can move vast distances in a blink of an eye.

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These alien killers have been characterized as the nicest psychopaths in the universe since they don’t actually kill their victims. Instead, they hurl their victims through time, creating a time paradox that allows them to feed on the potential energy of the years their victim would’ve lived in the present.

The Abilities and “Curse of the Weeping Angels”

Weeping Angels are immensely powerful and aggressive beings, but they do have a major downside – they’re quantum-locked. The term comes from the field of quantum mechanics in which the current state of an object changes its “behavior” based on a number of elements including environment and observation. And in the case of Weeping Angels, when they’re observed by other beings and other Angels, they become ordinary statues by turning into a stone-like state.

Outside of this quantum locked state, Angels are incredibly fast, and one could sneak up on a person in a matter of a few blinks. Yes, they can literally travel great distances in just a fragment of a second during which they’re unobserved. Weeping Angels themselves have the ability to move through time and space, which is essential to their feeding habits and their other objectives.

Weeping Angels drop their victims into the past with nothing else but a single touch and feed off the potential life energy of the remaining years that person would’ve lived in the present. For that, they’re recognized as the kindest psychopathic killers in the universe.

Key Doctor Who Weeping Angels Appearances

Weeping Angles have appeared in numerous episodes of the main series, as well as a spin-off series Class.

Blink (Season 3)

Steven Moffat introduced the Weeping Angels in “Blink” in 2007 – an episode that featured very little of David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor, and pitted Sally Sparrow against four Weeping Angels. She and the Doctor later achieve victory by strategically luring the Angles to look at each other thus trapping them in their quantum locked state.

“Blink ” immediately established the Weeping Angels as some of the creepiest and unique Doctor Who villains, Steven Moffat as a future capable showrunner with big ideas, and made a Hollywood star out of actress Carey Mulligan.

The Time of Angels/Flesh & Stone (Season 5)

Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor also had a run-in with the Angels while reuniting with River Song. The Doctor is sent to an entire colony of starving Weeping Angles on Alfava Metraxis, where he managed to balance defeating the Angels and preserving the fabric of space-time.

The God Complex (Season 6)

In “The God Complex,” The Doctor, Amy Pond, and Rory Williams accompany Gibbis (portrayed by David Williams) into his own personal nightmare, which contains a Weeping Angel. Unfortunately, the resident Weeping Angel stone statue is there just for fright and isn’t an actual Weeping Angel.

Good As Gold (Mini-Episode)

“Good as Gold” features Matt Smith and Karen Gillan in a mini-episode tied to the Olympics of 2012. An athlete accidentally enters the TARDIS carrying the Olympic Torch while running away from a Weeping Angel, who’s trying to steal it. It’s a 3-minute short episode.

The Angels Take Manhattan (Season 7)

“The Angels Take Manhattan” episode contains Weeping Angels that are farming humans, which they cycle through time, feeding off their energy, including Rory Williams. After his future self dies old and lonely, Rory resorts to suicide, which creates a time paradox and kills the Weeping Angels in New York. Also, this episode reveals that the Statue of Liberty is actually a Weeping Angel.

The Time Of The Doctor (2013 Christmas Special)

In Matt Smith’s final outing as The Doctor, Weeping Angels attack him and Clara Oswald in pursuit of a password that would release Time Lords from their pocket universe into reality. The episode features a cleverly captured Weeping Angel who looked at himself in a mirror.

Hell BENT (Season 9)

Just as in “The God Complex,” a Weeping Angel found in this episode is just for a scare and nothing else. However, it does describe the Cloister Wars, which involved Time Lords and their enemies and seeing a Weeping Angel trapped in the Cloister opened up an idea of war between the Time Lords and Weeping Angels.

Village of the Angels/Survivors of the Flux (Season 13)

These two episodes reveal that the Angels work as operatives for the Division across countless times and dimensions. They besiege an entire village in pursuit of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor and even manage to turn her into a Weeping Angel stone statue.

Doctor Who Lore and the Time Lord Connection

In “The End of Time,” Timothy Dalton’s Rassilon calls a vote to end the universe and all but two Time Lords vote in favor. Rassilon then declares that the dissenting votes “stand as a monument to their shame, like the Weeping Angles of old,” suggesting that the Time Lords recall Weeping Angels from ancient times.

The other theory would suggest that they’re Time Lords sentenced to an eternity of service for The Division, though that wouldn’t explain their vast numbers. They could very well be other criminals and renegades that the Time Lords and The Division have sentenced to servitude. This implies that the Angels’ existence is one tinged with shame, through which they’re branded into servitude for The Division.

How have the Doctor Who Weeping Angels Changed Over Time?

Well, in “Blink,” they were described as lonely assassins due to their inability to communicate or socialize with other beings due to their quantum-locked ‘docile’ nature. Additionally, their sole motive since their inception has been hunger, and hunger alone, which is something that changed over the last season.

However, additional elements have been introduced in later depictions, like the one that declares that which carries an image of a Weeping Angel can project and Become a Weeping Angel. Or a Weeping Angel hiding in Amy’s retina. With everything said, in the recent episodes, we’ve learned that Angels do communicate with each other and that they’re the operatives for the Division.

What More Can We Speculate About the Doctor Who Weeping Angels in the Future?

There are some evident changes from the first appearance of Weeping Angels to the recently aired episodes of Doctor Who on BBC America. We’ve learned that Angels aren’t just motivated by hunger; they’re either following orders or simply choosing their own target.

Additionally, it would seem that they communicate telepathically with each other and with other beings, as we’ve seen in the latest season of Doctor Who. They’re also very cruel. However, the Rogue Angel of the season has proven that Angels aren’t just malicious entities but also yearn toward self-perseverance and are willing to make trades and deals to ensure their survival.

The Whovian Weeping Angels Quiz

Think you’re a Doctor Who Weeping Angels expert? Take our Whovian quiz to find out.


In all TV appearances of the Weeping Angels what is NOT one of the ways the Angels have infiltrated a room?

Correct! Wrong!

In “The Time of Angels” when the Eleventh Doctor was Almost Captured by the Angels what article of clothing did he Leave Behind?

Correct! Wrong!

In "Village of the Angels" what psychic landscape did the Angel choose for a Chat with the Doctor When It was Possessing Claire Brown?

Correct! Wrong!

In “Blink,” the canonical first appearance the Weeping Angels in Doctor Who, what was Sally Sparrow's Profession?"

Correct! Wrong!

In the episode “The Angels Take Manhattan,” what did River Song use instead of a TARDIS to travel through time?

Correct! Wrong!

The Whovian Quiz

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Jason Collins

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jason Collins is a freelance Pop Culture Journalist with a degree in English Literature. While he has had the distinct privilege of seeing Tom Baker up close he was not offered any Jelly Babies which was highly disappointing. When he’s not out on the hunt for the latest and greatest podcast he is lounging at home with more cats than he would care to disclose at this temporal moment.