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Doctor Who: Sleep No More (Review)

“No. No no no. You don’t get to name things. I’m the Doctor, I do the naming.”

Sleep No More is not a bad idea by any stretch.

One of the defining features of the Moffat era has been a willingness to engage directly with imagery and metaphors tied to the history and culture iconography of Doctor Who. The show has played not only with monsters, but also with the idea of monsters, frequently creating conceptual nightmares that have undoubtedly cost many viewers (young and old) a few nights sleep. The Weeping Angels are monsters that can only move when you can’t see them. The Silence exist in the gaps in your memory. Last Christmas even has the Doctor confront the idea of Santa Claus.

What? No HD feed?

What? No HD feed?

In many ways, Sleep No More feels like a logical continuation of this trend. In a way, the episode doubles-down on the show’s scariness, offering viewers (particularly children) monsters that are immune to (and even capitalise on) potential defenses against scary episodes. If Weeping Angels of Blink are monsters designed to be especially scary to viewers hiding behind the couch or covering their eyes, then the “Sandmen” of Sleep No More are intended to be particularly unsettling to viewers who already have trouble falling asleep after a scary story.

The biggest problem is that the episode is written by Mark Gatiss.

Guess Who?

Guess Who?

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