Doctor Who 9.09: Sleep No More

Well, I’m not going to be sleeping for a while…

A stand alone story, how novel!

I don’t feel that I have a huge amount to say about this one. It was an interesting concept, but I’m not entirely sure that it worked. I didn’t find the filming style difficult to watch, which I’ve seen some people commenting on. It was the story itself that didn’t really work for me.

The story made no sense until the final reveal, and then it turned into an unexpectedly horrific thought that lingered. That moment kept the episode from being a total clunker for me, at least, but I’m not sure that it’s a good idea to rely so heavily on a big reveal to redeem an episode. We shouldn’t be doing the confused dog head tilt at a messy, incoherent story and hoping that something will happen to make it worth watching. That’s the kind of writing that, in other shows, would have me turning off the TV halfway through (or falling asleep). I stuck with it because it’s Doctor Who and my love is true and eternal, but I wonder how many other people gave up.

At least the Doctor hung a hat on how little sense the story made. That was nice. And having the lack of sense be the whole point of the episode was interesting, even though I don’t think it worked for me as a viewer. It just made me wonder why the Doctor didn’t figure out what was going on. He simply left in the TARDIS, which didn’t ring right for me. Surely he would have picked up on the final broadcast, at least?

We’ve been promised a sequel next year, so maybe he will work that out. Hmm. I’m not sure that a sequel can entirely save this episode from being my least favourite of the season so far, though. I didn’t even feel particularly attached to the guest characters, so all the death and destruction felt hollow. Ah, well, can’t win them all. On wards and (hopefully) upwards.

And the preview for the next episode looks bloody fantastic.

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