Doctor Who: Season 9: Episode 9: Sleep No More by Mark Gatis.

As usual with these examination of ‘Doctor Who’ stories shortly after transmission, if you haven’t seen them, I’ll try not to give away too many unintentional spoilers, although I will give a quick resume of the plot. Much of the analysis will be about it so feel suitably warned.

‘Mr. Sandman, send me to sleep. This episode is so dark that my eyes can’t stay awake.’

It is the 38th century and on a satellite over Triton which orbits Neptune, a military team has been sent in to find out what has happened only to discover a couple of stress assessors, whom we shall call the Doctor and Clara. They in turn discover Rassmussen, the inventor of the Morpheus pods that reduce the need for sleep to improve work production but in doing so created his own monsters, mostly made of the dust that you have at the duct of your eye after sleeping. They’re also after you so truly are monsters although can be locked out of places, which has shades of ‘Under The Lake’. It’s then up to the Doctor to sort out.


It looks like someone has been reading my comments that we don’t get to know the names of the characters. Although scriptwriter Mark Gatis identifies everyone and even gives them a character moment but ultimate so many of them are cannonfodder that you still don’t care much for them.


This story is the nearest we’ve had so far of ‘Aliens’ on ‘Doctor Who’ only not so good. The real problem is the space station is so dark is that I really had problems keeping my eyes open. If you’re going to create a story about sleep or lack of it, then you risk falling for its charms itself, especially when the lights are turned down. This might have happened to you if you saw the ‘Alien Vs Predator’ films. All praise DVD recorders and a re-watch because my head jumped to the end wondering what had happened to the Doctor and Clara. I didn’t even need to use their Morpheus pods to find out. By the way, can anyone explain why the symbols on its lid spells ‘TiT’?


Unusually for this season, this is the first single episode of the season but the one that could have done with more development. This is largely because of how good the stories have been before it. Gatis needs to raise his game more if he is to equal them. The fact that I practically described his single sentence plot description above is most telling. Likewise, the sandmen creatures didn’t feel that scary. I mean, they should have but who’s going to be afraid of something that is so fragile. A curio or blip in season 9 but I guess we had to have one. Mind you, as a bottle show, it probably paid for the other stories.

GF Willmetts

14 November 2015

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