JReviews- Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 9- Sleep No More

Turns out that this isn't a series made up purely of two parters after all. We had a brilliant episode last week, but how about this week?

So, this episode.

Really the best way to describe this episode is to use the final line uttered by the Doctor as it ends. None of this makes any sense.

There are numerous bitty little problems with this episode that mesh together to make on big overarching problem that is "it makes no sense". Firstly the monsters aren't credible Ok, yeah, it works in the fact that we don't have this sort of technology so we don't know that it wouldn't happen, but monsters made out of the gunk that builds up in the corner of your eyes as you sleep? Really? It's a laughably bad idea. And whilst the did look pretty decent when in the shadows, they just looked, not bad but not good either, when in any sort of light. Secondly, the way this episode was filmed and edited is really off putting. It's quite hard to follow a story when you have random interspersions from some random dude breaking up the flow of the episode. Plus the whole "seeing from characters view points", I like the idea, very "found-footage horror movie", but it didn't help the story telling. Thirdly, and most importantly, THIS EPISODE HAS NO CONCLUSION!!! NONE!!! Whilst it's great to actually have a problem that even the Doctor can't solve, you can't just leave us with the TARDIS flying away without us having any real sort of ending, then have the "narrator guy" pop up at the end and explain that everything we'd thought about the episode was completely wrong and what was actually happening was that you've just watched a sleep-gunk monsters home video in all of 2 minutes of dialogue. What kind of ending is that? Seriously. And this isn't even a two parter, we don't get to see what happens next. It has to be the least satisfying end to an episode ever. My sister turned and said to me before the big end reveal, "this has to be a dream right?". That's what this episode felt like. It was so disjointed it felt like watching a dream, you know, where nothing makes sense and things happen just to happen. Yeah. Oh, and fourthly, apart from the anti-Morpheus guy, the episodic characters were a bit meh. Anti-Morpheus guy was cool, the first guy to die was so forgettable I couldn't even remember which one he was at the point he went missing and there were only four of them, the Grunt was amusing but blander than water-flavoured water character-wise and the Captain was a watered down version of the stubborn, bossy female captain Steven Moffets Who seems to love.

Now, things I did like about this episode. Well, the atmosphere was good, and was helped by the "found-footage" style camera work, so + for atmosphere - for storytelling with that camera work. The Morpheus devices were a suitably horrific idea that could well have come from a Orwellian dystopian future. Had they been used in a different story, with a different monster or a better plot, it could have been a very interesting plot tool.

Overall then, not the best episode ever. It was an enjoyable episode don't get me wrong, confusing but enjoyable, but too many problems for it to be described as "a good episode". Good idea to start with, just got too muddled for it to have a satisfying end. Suggest trimming down the excess randomness. Now over to Malfar for the counter-arguement (politely if you please).

And with that.

JR Out.

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5 Responses to JReviews- Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 9- Sleep No More

  1. Malfar says:

    Actually I don’t have any counter-argument here except my old song about that each episode of Doctor Who is a masterpiece. The idea of those monsters – for me it seemed more funny than scary. I was expecting something like that from Gravity Falls, or Rick an…burrrp…and Morty. It looked more like parody than an actual episode. But still, all episodes of this show are more or less like that. For me, as some IT specialists say (at least where I live) it’s not a bug, it’s a feature. Pepperbox nazis (daleks), hungry shadows, giant spaceship in a tiny police box. Classic episodes and new ones. Without the silliness this show would be less interesting. Too bad some guys desperately cling to reality and after watching the episode with vikings fighting the boxhead aliens they only notice the unrealistic horns on their helmets (vikings didn’t actually wear horns and all). But it seems that I’ve got carried away.

    The monsters looked decent though. But I played Morrowind without texture replacers for a while, so I don’t think any “un-decent” graphics can turn me off. And I still insist that imagination is necessary when watching sci-fi and fantasy movies/shows, reading comics/books and so on. It makes everything look much better.

    The characters were typical, I admit, but I liked the Grunt. In the movies and shows you don’t often see strong females (Grunt was female, wasn’t she?) that are not overly sexualised. I mean, usually it’s either super-duper smart and very cute young woman or superhumanly strong and beautiful woman. So the Grunt was special.

  2. JR19759 says:

    @Malfar- I’m assuming that Grunt was meant to be ambiguous gender-wise, especially as they got a transgender actress to play the part. The costume and face paint made it hard to tell anyway and the lighting didn’t help in that regard either. Not that it really mattered much in terms of the episode.
    And I did say to be polite, so that viking comment is very very close to the line there.

  3. DiCicatriz says:

    It seemed like it was trying to have this “gotcha” ending, but the setup and delivery just fell flat. Like [SPOILERS] they raised the stakes with the whole notion of the Morpheus spores, vaguely hinting that Clara was ‘infected’, the Chopra character saying they had to blow up the station to ‘save humanity’, etc., etc., and then just immediately threw all of that out with a line of dialogue in the last five minutes amounting to “Nope. It’s the video.”, which we are apparently supposed to have figured out through the video-diary framing device. Weak. Although I must say, you-know-who dissolving into dust at the end bit by bit was delightfully creepy [/SPOILERS]

  4. Malfar says:

    @JR, with all due respect, I’m not a telepath and I can’t tell what personally you consider polite. There isn’t any universal terms of politeness. In one country it would be “say that your friend looks good no less than three times before asking any questions”, in some it will be “do not punch the person you chat with”. I did not insert any NSFW content in my message, nor the content that would scar the psyche of a random child passing by.
    I made my message as neutral as it could possibly be. If you still see the viking part as “close to the line” then probably you’ve got some very weird lines, that’s all.

  5. Herr D says:

    I can tell you from experience that it was much creepier and odder and made even less sense if you were dozing off through parts of it . . .