Saturday, 14 November 2015

Doctor Who: Sleep No More

Doctor Who tackles the found footage format in the first single episode of the series Sleep No More.

After last weeks superb The Zygon Inversion any episode that followed was going to have a lot to live up to and sadly for me Sleep No More was a big let down.
The found footage format was a new idea to bring to Doctor Who but behind it was just a standard episode that bar a twist near the end and an ending where the Doctor 'lost' didn't offer anything new. Empty space station, check. Disposable army characters, check. Monsters, check.

I'll start with the monsters. In the trailer they looked like they were going to be quite creepy but ended up jus stumbling round like lumbering bogey zombies, I found it hard to believe that they could catch up with any of the soldiers nevermind kill them. Though I suppose it was possible with the way that the soldiers were not checking behind them and just aimlessly attacking them.

Moving onto the soldiers themselves. It was hard to care when they died as they didn't have enough time and presence to have a personality. The only one who did have anything vaguely like a personality was the one who wasn't supposed to, the grunt who had feelings for another soldier and who sacrificed themselves to save the other soldier, who then died shortly after anyway.

Saying that though the episode wasn't totally bad.The scene in the cold room where they were hiding from the monsters was a bit tense and the Doctor 'losing' at the end was a nice touch as it doesn't happen that much. The twist at the end with the video being the catalyst for the transformation rather than the eye gunk that everyone thought was causing the change was also interesting as it showed the narrative in a different light. Instead of Rassmussen telling/showing you what happened to the characters he showed the viewer what he wanted you to see from his perspective. Creating a story that will have people wanting to watch the video and planning everything that happened in advance so that he could make the video.

The idea of the Morpheus machine was interesting and it's one of those things that wouldn't surprise me if someone out there was trying to create one. We are becoming like that in modern society with people working too hard and not sleeping enough.

Whilst I am going on about how good some of the bits in the episode was overall it just didn't quite do it for me. I think after Under the Lake/Before the Flood which showed that you can flesh out the characters and tell an interesting story Sleep No More just fell flat as it seemed to be more concerned with doing the found footage rather than fleshing out the story and characters. It's a shame that it wasn't another two-parter as I really think that it could have been a lot better that way but then maybe two episodes of the found footage style may have been annoying.

Either way unfortunately for me Sleep No More didn't quite live up to the rest of the series and just lacked from being a really good episode.

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