Don't blink. Blink and you're dead. Don't turn your back. Don't look away. And don't blink.
The first time I watched this stand-out episode from the latest season of the British children's science fiction programme Doctor Who, I didn't think too much about philosophy. I was far too busy consoling my terrified children. For some reason weeping angels who send you back in time, ageing or killing your present-day self, were much, much scarier than Daleks or Cybermen.
The second time I saw Blink I couldn't understand how I missed the existential theme the first time around.
The episode's title - BLINK - as in " blink and life will pass you by" - is the first hint.
Then there are the experiences of the characters. After a visitation by the time-stealing angels, all that remains of Sally's friend Kathy are her remains in a graveyard. Billy, a young and sassy policemen, fares little better. One moment he is chatting up Sally Sparrow with the immortal line
Life is short and you are hot.
The next time we see Billy, he is an old man in hospital, on the point of death. As he catches sight of young Sally he laments
Look at my hands. They're old man's hands -- how did that happen?
We know that Billy and Kathy's fate await us all - weeping angels are but an exaggeration of the human condition.
Generally Doctor Who reminds us of the downside of the immortality. The Doctor lives for hundreds of years and regenerates when his old body gets damaged beyond repair. The Doctor can help us be aware of problems with life going on too long - boredom, too much knowledge, too many memories and the loss of loved ones being some afflictions associated with extreme longevity.
BLINK firmly reminds us of the opposite reality. Life is short - and we have no idea just how short. Life is short -so we need to make the most of it. Life is short - so treasure every moment.
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
And - whatever you do - don't blink.