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< 9.8 - The Zygon Inversion
9.10 - Face the Raven >

9.9 - Sleep No More

Rating Votes
10
7%
5
9
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3
8
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5
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12
6
34%
25
5
12%
9
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13
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Average Rating
6.1
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74
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Reviewed By: doctorwhnoeReview Date: 1/28/18 9:26 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Back in 2015, the BBC revealed the synopsis of the series 9 episodes. In this crowd of episodes, the only one I was very excited to see was this one. When he aired on BBC One I was very excited and finally...
I was wrong.
It is one of the worst story directed. The plot is ridiculous and the monsters are horribles.

Sleepdust ? Really ? I think there's other ways to create an original monster (look at the Silurian in the 70') and mutant sleepdust who eat peoples well, it's a bit childlish. Where did Gatiss find an idea so stupid ? And why did Moffat accept this ? And, god, why did Moffat continue to take Gatiss in the serie. Ok some of his novels were good but it was a long time before we see the horribles stories he ploted on TV.

The directing, like I've said, is horrible. This episode is experimental of course and it was amuzing to have found footage. But when Rassmussen was eaten by the monster the scene was so badly made than I haven't understand the scene. It's only when he come back at the end than I find he has been eated.

The supporting charaters are boring. They're so basic: One is a stupid creature, the other is the sort of 'rebel' of the team, and the captain of the crew is like every captain we've ever seen in this show. There's also an other guy in their crew but I don't even remember his face because he die quickly and he didn't reveal his personnality.

Rasmussen is the main ennemy of this story and he is bad. The actor is good but the character is bad. He is like every cliché ennemy of the show: he obey to the power of the sleepdust. I didn't even understand what he do at the end of the story. Why is he telling us all this and why this sort of plot twist is so unnecessary ?

Clara is, like always, quite irritating. I've noticed: in this story, she never stop to follow the Doctor. There isn't one scene where she isn't with him. And in this story she didn't do anything. I think Gatiss had forgotten her.

The Doctor is interesting, I'm not a fan of Capaldi because in serie 8 he was quite devlloped but in serie 9 he is more basic: a Doctor who wear humanity in his heart and who save innocent. And it's quite boring because it's the same thing since Tennant's Doctor. And, guy, did he won at the end ? Or did he loose ? I'll like to know.

To conclude this is a waste of time, a waste of episode and I'm happy that it end at one moment. Like Rasmussen said 'watch this and you're dead'.
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Reviewed By: DalekbusterScreen5ReviewsReview Date: 4/21/17 5:10 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The found footage format has been used in many films since its success with the Blair Witch Project. Some have been successful but most tend to disappoint. It was inevitable that one day Doctor Who would attempt it.

It works incredibly well with Doctor Who too. One of my favourite things about my love for the show is how effortless it is at creating a world around wherever the TARDIS happens to land. This is no more evident than here. The found footage style allows you to feel like you're actually on a space station that feels like a real space station; the environment has its own rules and behaviour that allows it to feel convincing, such as an onboard computer that was reprogammed during a party by the space station crew so that you have to sing Mr Sandman to progress through the door. That is something that you can imagine real people doing in real life, especially if they were extremely drunk at the time.

Another thing Sleep No More cleverly does with the found footage style is explain why the camera is still rolling whilst all the bad stuff is happening. The explanation? Because there are no cameras; instead the sleep dust that make up this episode's monsters act as visual receptors that have been hacked by Doctor Rassmussen (more on him later). Everything we see, therefore, is more or less from the corner of the eyes of a character's point of view. It's a very intelligent way to bypass 'Why don't they just stop recording?'; a problem that many often have with found footage.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here. I haven't even explained the story yet. Well, basically a rescue crew have been sent to space station Le Verrier to save Doctor Rassmussen (Reece Shearsmith), where not only do they find the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) but also the revelation that he's the only crew member there. Rassmussen invented the sleep deprivation machines Morpheus, which due to getting rid of our need to sleep and wipe the sleep dust from our eyes has allowed the sleep dust to gather and create a monster - the Sandmen. Sleep No More is a classic style of Doctor Who known as the Base-Under-Siege story. There's something about the Base-Under-Seige that really works as a format for the show. Maybe it's the fact that the characters feel trapped, therefore conveying a feeling of claustrophobia? Or maybe it's because of it's simplicity - monster takes over base, monster chases Doctor and companion down a corridor, characters try to stop it getting in...? Whatever the reason, it clearly makes for an appealing format for the show and it was a wise choice to use it for a found footage episode. It emphasises that claustrophobic feeling well and feels unique to the show's other base-under-seige stories.

Whilst the Sandmen are unlikely to become iconic Doctor Who monsters, the villain of the story Doctor Rassmussen is fantastic and brilliantly played by Reece Shearsmith. He is definitely the most convincing 'human' villain the new series has seen as of current; it's brilliant how at first he seems somewhat vulnerable but hidden underneath is a cunning and devious side. There's a great twist at the end that you definitely don't see coming concerning the Sandmen and Rassmussen's real species; it's also a great idea that Rassmussen was compiling all the footage together to keep us watching and transmit a signal that will turn us all into Sandmen.

Which leads me onto another thing I love about Sleep No More: the Doctor doesn't win. Isn't it great when the Doctor doesn't win? I like to see the Doctor lose because it shows he isn't the hero who always saves the day. Of course, I wouldn't want to see the Doctor lose in every episode but it is always refreshing to see it happen so long as it stays to a minimum. It's also nice set-up for a proposed Sleep No More sequel, as the Doctor clearly has unfinished business here.

Of course, Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman are both brilliant as always here. The rescue crew are kind of average and nothing very special but Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman really shine as usual, especially during their exchange about putting 'Space' in front of everything. As Clara points out when the Doctor says placing the word 'space' in front of things doesn't happen, spacesuits are called 'spacesuits' and not something else suits. Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman had so much chemistry together; I think they will always be one of the best Doctor-companion partnerships. It would take a lot for the Doctor and Bill to be as good as them.

Overall, Sleep No More is a brilliant episode that fantastically utilises the found-footage style to its advantage and even improves on it by explaining why they don't just stop filming. Doctor Rassmussen is the best human villain the new series has seen and it's great to see the Doctor lose. Here's hoping the proposed sequel to Sleep No More happens in series 10.
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Reviewed By: TakeTheType40Review Date: 1/18/16 12:58 pm
1 out of 5 found this review helpful.

ugh how can anyone like this? I'll write more on it later. This is not Doctor Who. Worst episode of New Who.
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Reviewed By: traves8853Review Date: 12/13/15 11:34 pm
0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Sleep No More is an attempt at bringing the highly successful found footage genre to Doctor Who. It attempts to do something different and isn't particularly successful at it. Free from Murray Gold's instructional music it has a more minimal and functional soundtrack which makes a nice change, but ultimately it does more wrong than right. There are a lot of implausible explanations for the monsters and how they propagate; additionally, the characterisation is extremely poor. However, I do think that Sleep No More kind of drew the short straw here, being only 45 minutes compared to the two-parters. I know that after watching it, your first reaction probably isn't, "I wish that was twice as long." I just think that the main flaw is the lack of characterisation and with no real filler where would it go?

I watched the film Event Horizon recently, and they were very clever with what they did. They allowed you to get to grips with one of the main characters and slowly drip feed information about the others slowly. Some were still little more than cannon fodder, but it isn't whether a film is tropey, as such, that makes it bad but how noticeable the tropes are. In case you haven't seen it, Event Horizon isn't really Science Fiction, it's more Hell Raiser in space-type horror. In contrast to that, Sleep No More has characters like 474 who can't speak properly, and we all know how popular Jar-Jar Binks's baby language was. Plus, 474 seems to be trying to constantly touch up Chopra. In space nobody can hear a sexual harassment claim?

Then there are the silly bits like Deepando having to sing to a door to let him in, but in the end, he just screams, "Let me in, let me in!" Then, it does. Also, Clara gets roughly snatched into one of those machines by the cables. Is that usually how they work then? Hardly ergonomic. The flickering static being how the creatures spread is highly implausible to say the least, as were their origins. One criticism I don't accept though, is that the lack of a resolution was a plot hole. It was an open ending which done well can be a fantastic way to finish a story, but it just feels like they ran out of time. Listen tried something similar, but again, it didn't work very well in my humble opinion.