How could I not like ‘Sleep No More’? It’s written by one of my favourite writers Mark Gatiss, guest stars the wonderful Reece Shearsmith and is based on found footage horrors. So how could I not like ‘Sleep No More’? It was far too easy I’m afraid.
Each series of ‘Doctor Who’ has that one episode ‘Whovians’ never speak of. The most notorious of these is the David Tennant era ‘Love & Monsters’. ‘Sleep No More’ could be the ‘Love & Monsters’ of series nine.
It’s not that it was awful just so un-engaging it was passable. The shame is that it could have been so much more. The premise sounded so promising. Monsters created by mans desire to not sleep. When it was revealed these monsters were mutated sleep dust you could almost hear an audible collective groan from across the country. They were less scary and more like the pixelated monsters from the 1993 computer game ‘Doom’.
Much like episode five of this series ‘The Girl Who Died’ ‘Sleep No More’ almost felt like a prologue for the next part of the story. The rescue team seemed under developed and were so unlikable I felt no jeopardy about their situation. Reece Shearsmith wasn’t given enough screen time. Which is a shame as his character ‘Rassmussen’ did give the episode some real menace.
As you’d expect from something written by Mark Gatiss there was some great humorous dialogue within ‘Sleep No More’. The exchange between the Doctor and Clara about the word space prefixing other words in the future, with a punch line which referenced the part missing Patrick Troughton episode ‘The Space Pirates’, was well executed and timed. But a few funny lines could not hide the fact that most of the dialogue was just so laden.
So a great idea poorly executed. It could have been worse but, it had the potential to be so much better. So fellow ‘Whovians’ let’s move on to ‘Face the Raven’ and, as is our ways, let’s never speak of ‘Sleep No More’ again.
Rating out of 10: 6.5