‘Blink’ Might Be Even More Timey-Wimey Than You Think

Guest contributor: Jenneral Geek
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Ok, this is just a theory based on simple math and reason, but hear me out guys…

Sally Wainwright Shipton..? 

You may not have seen the season 3 episode of Doctor Who, ‘Blink’ in a while and have no idea what that means, so let me break it down.

At the offset of the episode, our leading lady, Sally Sparrow brings her friend Katherine Nightengale to Wester Drumlins (the Weeping Angel’s abandoned house party). Remember when that guy shows up, Kathy Nightengale is sent back from the year 2007 to 1920, and then that guy turns out to be Kathy’s grandson delivering a letter that an elderly Kathy wrote in 1987 for Sally Sparrow? That’s a mouthful, but bare with me. Well, in that letter, Kathy states that she got married to a man from the 20’s named Benjamin Wainwright and had three children. The youngest Wainwright child being a girl that Kathy named Sally, after Ms. Sparrow. 


Now, you may also remember a flirtatious babe from the same episode named Billy Shipton. Billy is a detective investigating the disappearance of people in relation to Wester Drumlins. This is what brings us to the lovely meet-cute in which Billy Shipton and Sally Sparrow flirt in front of a dusty blue police box. Billy gets Sally’s number and when he asks for her full name she retorts, “Sally Shipton” without thinking, followed by her instant mortification and departure. Cut scene and fast forward – Billy gets Weeping Angel’d back to 1969 where he receives instructions from the Doctor not to contact Sally Sparrow until after their original encounter. Billy lives his life back to 2007 and calls Sally. They re-meet minutes later for Sally and 38 years later for Billy in his hospital room. An elderly Billy tells Sally Sparrow information that is relevant to the plot, BUT he also tells her that he married a woman coincidentally named Sally from the 70’s. He even shows a picture of his dearly beloved, Sally Shipton. 


I know this is timey-wimey enough as is, but what if there is more? At this point of the episode I had to press pause because my mind was going through the time vortex. Hey, how cool would it be if Billy Shipton actually married Kathy Wainwright’s daughter? So, I couldn’t resist whipping out my handy dandy calculator and pretending like I don’t blow at math. 

Kathy’s tombstone says that she was born in 1902 (because that “cow” lied and said that she was 18 years old in 1920). This part may seem unlikely for that era, but if she were to wait until she was about 25-30 years old to have children, that would bring us to the years 1927-1932. In the picture that Kathy kindly provided in her letter to Sally, her eldest son looks to be about 11 years old. If I guessed his age correctly, that would hypothetically mean this picture was taken around the year 1941 (with a five year window of leeway). Sally Wainwright herself appears to be about 3 years of age in the picture. So with these rough calculations, Sally Wainwright could have been born around the years 1935-1940. This would make her about 29-34 years old in 1969 when Billy Shipton entered her time period. Billy seems to be in his late 20’s at the beginning of the episode, so this kind of works. Plus, in the the wedding picture that elderly Billy shows us, Sally Shipton appears to be in that age bracket. 

I know that there are a lot of variables, hence my excessive usage of the word, “about.” Now this isn’t factual information and we don’t know enough to affirmatively verify most (if any) of these claims. Also, there is the question of who Kathy’s grandson’s parents are. He does not say, but since Kathy had three children, there is a 66% chance that Billy Shipton is not the father. My point is this, wouldn’t it be crazy if this theory was true? That would mean that Sally Sparrow in a sense created and crafted Sally Shipton’s life. Think about it, Kathy would have never gone to Wester Drumlins if it wasn’t for Sally sparrow, meaning Kathy would have stayed in 2007, and Sally Wainwright would never have existed. Also, if Billy Shipton had not showed Sally Sparrow the Tardis, The Weeping Angels who were following Sparrow would not have sent Billy to 1969 where he could have potentially met Sally Wainwright. All of these potential happenstances make it extra crazy that Sally Sparrow accidentally says, “Sally Shipton.”

I would appreciate your feedback. Does this make sense? Did Moffat’s arguably best episode just get a little better? How many Sally’s could be in one episode? If there are three Sally’s in one Doctor Who episode, chances are two of them are the same person, am I right? How many Sallys do you know? Am I insane? Have you heard this theory before? Is your name Sally? If so, do you sell seashells by Wester Drumlins? 


16 thoughts on “‘Blink’ Might Be Even More Timey-Wimey Than You Think

  1. I found this by Googling the picture of Kathy’s children because I was thinking the same thing.
    And for those of you who also like goodnight sweetheart, I can’t help but wonder if Sally Sparrow is the grandchild or maybe great-grandchild of Gary Sparrow. it’s Gary’s son, Michael, had kids late he could be Sally’s father. If he and his child both had kids when they were young, Sally could be Michael’s grand daughter


  2. I never actually thought this far about it. Seems not just possible, but even quite likely. It’s the kind of thing Moffat would do if he thought of it… so maybe even is subconscious made it happen! I’ve generally spent less time deconstructing this episode than I have noting that Rory/Amy is basically Sally and her friend’s brother expanded out over several seasons… with just a dash of Ace (from McCoy’s tenure) thrown in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha Moffat is a sneaky fellow. Now that you mention it, you are absolutely right about Amy/Rory’s parallel structure to this episode! That’s super interesting and I never thought of it that way before. Now I know what I’m looking into next.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We both learned something! I should have said, too, that there’s a certain elegance to your theory… because it contaminates the timeline less IF the two folks sent back in time have families that intertwine. If you watch classic Who, there’s a particular part of Ace’s storyline that is VERY similar to Amy/River Song… but then a lot of everything else Amy/Rory always felt like “what if” we got to see more of Sally and her (probable) boyfriend evolve.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yea I love getting new DW homework to look into! Classic Who is something I’m not as familiar with as New Who. I know of Ace, but don’t understand how she relates? I would really like to learn more about it, sound cool.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Moffat is clearly a fan of classic Who, as he has borrowed lots of bits and pieces for inspiration. I don’t want to spoil it if you’re going to watch them. New Who has generally given companions more of a story arc than classic Who did… but with McCoy’s Doctor, Ace ended up getting a story arc that is reminiscent of modern Who. You’ll know it when you see it, if you go watch them.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yea, I’ve watched more of Tom Baker than anything and still have a long way to go, but this revamps my DW addiction, so I’m really excited to see this!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I like all the classic Doctors… I watched most of them on PBS back in the day. My mother even watched a lot of them with me, but she only ever really liked watching the Tom Baker ones.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You are not insane and I’m no Sally. This is a very good episode that actually makes use of time travel, so much more than just going to a place and doing the stuff. i love your theory, I have never pieced all that extra possible tie ins together, surely I will have to revisit this episode. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why thank you, non-Sally! I’m glad to have helped you see the episode in a new light! Yes, I love this episode for that reason as well! It’s a very clever play on time travel.


  4. Yes, I thought the exact same thing. I think when Sally was looking through the pictures and things Kathy had sent her, she must have seen the name “Sally Shipton” somewhere, and then accidentally repeated that when introducing herself to Billy.

    Liked by 2 people

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