Oh look! Finally! A stand alone episode! I was beginning to think Moffat forgot what they were.
WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS FOR DOCTOR WHO SERIES 9 EPISODE 9
The Doctor and Clara arrive on a space station orbiting Neptune where the crew has disappeared. Joining them is a rescue team come to save whoever’s left. It’s the 38th century and people use devices called Morpheus Pods, named for the Greek god of sleep, to put a month’s sleep in a few minutes and stay awake longer. This leads to the Sandmen, monsters created from the dust that appears at the corner of your eyes when you sleep. Along the way, a scientist tells us the story of how the team dies and the story of the monsters that haunts the ship.
Well, here are words I never thought I’d put together: Doctor Who does found footage. I havn’t seen many found footage films so I can’t say whether or not I like them, but I can tell you I’ve seen Chronicle and I like that. Most people don’t like the fact they shake the camera to give it the (supposed) appearance of realism even though no one uses a camera like that and you can’t see what’s happening. They do this a lot in action films these days. Admittedly, they’re not using handheld cameras and it’s not the shaky cam footage we’re used to so we can actually see what’s going on. That’s nice.
Okay, this was going to happen eventually and we finally came to it, an episode I didn’t like. Yes, I don’t like a episode. It’s okay. You can all go home. Anyway, for starters, the monster. Seriously, sleep dust? I’m sorry, but sleep dust is not scary. Maybe the point was to scare little kids into going to sleep when their parents tell them, but that seems a wee bit…childish. The only part I liked of the monsters was what happened at the very end, which was creepy and a great effect, but I can’t talk about it without spoilers. Plus, the story doesn’t really end. It’s like there’s a continuation in another story. Almost like an anime’s ‘Read the Manga’ ending which I HATE. It just all seems very complex and confusing…Who wrote this? Oh, Mark Gatiss…that explains it.
Other than the fact that almost the entire cast was not white, owing to the Indo-Japanese run 38th century, there was nothing really that remarkable about the supporting cast. It’s the boss, the skeptic, the prick, the non-human, and the guy who dies first. There, I just summed up the entire supporting cast in a few words. I did like Elaine Tan as Chief Nagata and Bethany Black as 474 though. Also of note, Reece Shearsmith, who played Rasmussen, also played Patrick Troughton in An Adventure in Space and Time.
The main cast did fine. Nothing really of note.
I’m not going to call ‘Sleep No More’ the worst episode of Doctor Who (That’s obviously either ‘Warriors of the Deep’ or ‘Love and Monsters’), but there are much better episodes. I might, however, call it the worst episode of the season. This is a shame cause it’s been a very good season overall so far. It’s probably one of the better found footage things out there though. If you want a good Mark Gatiss episode watch any of his Sherlock episodes. The series only has one genuinely bad (and by bad I mean boring) episode and it’s in the first season. Honestly, Mr. Gatiss, stick to Sherlock. Let Neil Gaiman write another episode. If you want a scary episode of Doctor Who, watch ‘Blink’.
Okay, I’m gonna try to finish these reviews up as quickly and best I can so we can be done with Doctor Who for a while and I can focus on the other reviews I need to write. That and I still have a lot to catch up on and only a week left of winter break…crap. Oh good, the last story is a three parter. So I only have one more of these to do before the Christmas Special. Yay!
(Photo via BBC)