Finally catching up on Doctor Who! I’m told the final three go together, so I’m planning to put them all in one review, but first just a quick discussion of “Sleep No More.”
It was dumb.
There were glimmers of something good — Hints of creepiness, with the scientist narrating events from the future. And I love meta-narratives, and I especially love “found footage” episodes in a long-running series like this. It can be a very interesting and emotionally revealing approach, when the audience is accustomed to identifying with the main characters. It can make them seem more real, but also emphasize the subjectivity of the camera, the idea that the characters might “actually” be different than we thought, if we could see them from the outside.
This episode didn’t do any of that, because the plot and dialogue were so incredibly stupid. Sort of redeemed at the end, in that it was basically all a lie the whole time, but by then it was too late. The opening “Don’t watch this!” monologue wasn’t convincing, because if he really didn’t want anyone to watch it, he wouldn’t have MADE the video.
Then the “sleep dust”? Coming to life somehow when you don’t wake up to wipe it away? Who in the universe thought this would be creepy instead of just silly?! Also. It’s sleep goo. Not dust. At all.
Yes, the Doctor shouting “It doesn’t make any sense!” was pretty funny, but seriously. It didn’t make any sense. Also, the “humans tamper with nature” theme was heavy-handed when present, ignored otherwise.