Sleep No More (DOCTOR WHO SERIES 9)

Sleep no more was an interesting episode for two reasons, one it was the first single episode of the series and second it was done in a rather unique way that has to be seen to be believed.

This episode began with a cool looking title that spelled out the name of the show and the assistant clara oswold in a kind of word search grid but that was it, no credits, no title sequence just a cold opening and you know what, I think it worked rather well. The found footage style was made famous by the blair witch project but this episode holds the audiences hand and allows you to know who has constructed it which I thought was a rather interesting twist. Sleep no more was written by mMark Gatiss who has previously written episodes such as The Unquiet Dead (2005),  Victory of the Daleks (2010) and Robot of Sherwood back in series 8 (2014).

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Basically the premise of the episode is that a group of soldiers have gone to check out and try to rescue and surviving members of a space station orbiting Neptune that had recently gone dark. Meanwhile Clara and the Doctor are checking out the space station when the run into the soldiers and are forced to join up with them to investigate the strange going on.

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The found footage continues throughout the entire episode with the occasional interruptions from the good scientist and inventor of the Morpheus pods Ramussen. It is an interesting way to tell the story and it really helps to keep us engaged as we try to work out what is going on. Another good part of this episode was the fact that the Doctor got to focus even more on the dialogue and even got some straight to camera shots which I thought was pretty cool indeed.

The latest episode in Doctor Who series 9 managed to actually keep the Doctor and Clara together for once which was nice to see. While Clara still managed to get some great lines, she is also still playing second fiddle to the doctor and I just hope that we get to see her stand out a bit more before she departs from life on board the Tardis. Clara has had an interesting journey in the time she has spent on Doctor Who and had lots of great moments in her own right plus I think she has made a great assistant to the Doctor and series 9 has greatly improved the chemistry that exists between them.

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The soldiers themselves were an intriguing bunch of characters, each with there own unique traits that helped the audience to easily distinguish them from one another. We had the captain, the grunt, the skeptic and the clown, seeing everything from there perspective was interesting and it allowed us to get to know them better which also helped to further the story. I really liked this method of storytelling and I applaud them for trying something new and using characters that are a bit different from the norm on Doctor Who has only got to be a good thing.

 

Ramussen proposed an interesting start to the episode and an interesting conclusion to a story that had everything from good guys to bad guys and included some rather strange looking monsters that had been born out of the stuff that builds up when you sleep. Normally that wouldn’t be much of a problem but when you live in a society that can get a full nights sleep in about 5 minuets thanks to a Morpheus machine then it certainly starts to become a massive problem for everyone aboard the space station.

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There was a lot of action, ideas and talking in this episode and of course the monsters but alongside all of that we also had the mystery as to what was really going on and what the story was all about. I can’t say much as I don’t want to give away the ending but all that I will say was that the conclusion to this episode was rather interesting to say the least and I really enjoyed watching it. Sleep no more has a lot of potential and it does a good job at what it is trying to achieve but there are just a few bits that if they had worked on some more could have made it an even better episode.

Previous Episode: The Zygon Inversion

Next episode: Face the Raven

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