Sleep No More

Home Forums Episodes The Twelfth Doctor Sleep No More

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    tommo @tommo

    i noticed Clara refer to the cables that ‘pulled her in’ to the Morpheus machine as snake-like. did anyone immediately link that to the first 2 episodes? Colony Sarf and his cable mimic…? hmmm

    maybe some dalek foreshadowing…?

    i liked the episode. Capaldi on top-form as usual. Shearsmith never fails to impress me either.

    Whisht @whisht

    well, I watched this on iPlayer on a PC with a dodgy connection for my headphones (a TV that’s broken means someone’s making money out of me when sales time comes!).

    So I had a few moments of glitching adding to the general disorientation of the ‘point of view’ camera angles and first person shooter feeling.

    Even so – I kinda enjoyed it. ;¬)

    I caught some of the things that others have already (Clara in a pod – again; especially with wires to the head; stories as being important; something you see that re-writes you; but scarily the moment that the Doctor calls her “pedant” – is Clara @pedant ?????!!!!?? blimey, I was beginning to think she was merely Clara after all!!)

    In terms of Tarot @juniperfish – I’d plump for The Moon. To be honest I don’t think they thought about Tarot for this one but this forum hardly cares about that!! So, in a non-Tarot sense the Moon is associated with sleep and dreams (I think). And in Tarot the Moon is a symbol for uncertainty and fluctuation which I think this episode delivered! 🙂

    btw – is Gatiss “yanking our chains” [not heard that expression before this forum mentioned it!] in terms of writing a story (after the furore of Kill the Moon and the Forest one) that made no sense?
    Until of course it did make sense at the end (as @phaseshift says in an Amicus horror-film kind’ve way).



    @whisht @purofilion

    Bugger. My secret is out.

    SirClockFace @sirclockface

    I rather enjoyed that episode (but then again I’ve enjoyed every one this series bar ‘The girl who died’)

    A few points:

    @ozitenor If this episode were a two parter then it wouldn’t of had the same effect that it did.

    A few people said that the Doctor left without knowing what was happening. The video could have been cut and edited to meet Mr Morpheus Mans plans.

    I feel Mr Gattiss has made up with the not-so-good Robots of Sherwood

    And finally another way they could kill off Clara!

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    The cables snakily pulling Clara in – a bit reminiscent of the scene with Davros and the Doctor perhaps, at the point where the tables (apparently) turned?

    And yes, there she is again.  In a Dalek, in a Zygon pod, in the Morpheus pod – there’s got to be serious significance in all that.

    I note that Morpheus is depicted by Philostratus as having two boxes, a horn and ivory box full of dreams, of the same colours, to signify good and bad.  Coincidence, the episode after the Osgood boxes?  Well, possibly but who knows…


    nerys @nerys

    @countscarlioni Right away I spotted Clara’s name listed in the downloaded names at the beginning, but I didn’t catch “Doctor Who” (shown horizontally, intersecting with Clara’s name) till my second viewing. And even then I had to hit “pause” to really see it. Good catch!

    Mersey @mersey

    Has anyone noticed that Doctor has shorter hair in Sleep No More than he had in The Zygon Invasion/Inversion?

    Mersey @mersey

    stevethewhistle @steve-thorp

    Some lovely bits:

    The english teacher not recognising a quote from Shakespeare.

    The little white dot at the finish (for any younger people. this is what the broadcast picture defaulted to at the end of the day’s programmes, after the epilogue.) – it might have been through this dot that the “infection” was broadcast,if it wasn’t through the pixelated bit.

    The unstated reference to That Thatcher Woman!!! who apart from her propensity to evil deeds, was also notorious for not sleeping much.


    jphamlore @jphamlore

    Am I the only one who liked Robot of Sherwood?  For a man of his time, I thought the Sheriff of Nottingham was portrayed as having vision as well as ambition, even some small sense of nobility, one of the best portrayals of his character I have ever seen.



    I think Robots of Sherwood is a much misunderstood ep (admittedly not helped the That Edit), and like Sleep No More ably illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of Gatiss. A very strong and distinctive flavour, delivering a nice sense of distorted point-of-view, but in the end the last morsels sometimes just don’t quite satisfy.

    On the Victory of the Daleks-Cold War spectrum, this was a slightly towards the Danny Boy, and less the Captain Zhukov. Which is a pity.

    Still, it was bold stylistically (with strong female characters, in authority, being just a fact and not worthy of comment AND breaking ground for the transgendered (not sure that’s a word?)) and it deserves many a brownie point for that.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    Well, this was different, and I enjoy different.  🙂  The previous pair took on racism and terrorism, this week we get the dangers of the corporate agenda, science, and too much TV! A fun, creepy, arc-light episode that made a great breather after the socio-political drama of the last couple of weeks, and the ongoing foreshadowing of Clara’s end.

    I enjoyed the clues of the shifting perspective, and the Doctor occasionally looking straight at us through Clara’s eyes. I really liked this glimpse of a whole new bit of our future that we haven’t encountered before. I could have seen more details of this society, I found it fascinating. There was a certain low-key quality to the Doctor in this: calmly disabling the Chordettes (“No more of that”); “Your lot… the Human Race”. Even his supreme moment of disgust at what we are capable of, was delivered in a controlled way that was very effective.

    Tough end for most of an interesting crew. Poor Deep-Ando dying horribly because he couldn’t quite remember the words to “Mr. Sandman”, while I thought that, for a very undeveloped aside, the Chopra/474 relationship was touchingly done. And a suitably disturbing ending.

    Another music reference, are we keeping track of these?  🙂

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    @nerys   I’d missed the `Doctor Who’ in the coding. @doctordoctorwho spotted that; excellent catch!

    Isn’t the big take away from this episode that, for once, the Doctor lost? As noted by @jimmyp he didn’t just win and then leave behind issues or a mess (a big theme this series), but he lost.

    Still pondering (among other things): How, exactly, the blind sandmen are able to find people, like the rescue crew, to attack (I thought that point was pretty much a throwaway) & given the staggering number of sand particles that must be transmitting images, how can all that information be sorted (not even a gesture at an explanation)?

    lisa @lisa

    I kept thinking that the dust was very Vasta Nerada-ish. I was ok about this one but I’m
    more psyched up for the next episodes. Last season was some what more light hearted in its
    tone and this season has felt darker for me with more villains of very dubious morals.

    My SO said they forgot to bring their Swiffer dusters. That broke the fear aspect for me. 🙂

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    The english teacher not recognising a quote from Shakespeare.

    Hmm. I wonder if this is a clue as to who, or where, Clara is? I mentioned upstream my idea (the result of thinking about “The Sixth Sense”) that perhaps Clara’s fate is not to die, but to discover that she is already dead. I have been trying to figure out how this might work. Remember back when it turned out that Amy wasn’t really Amy but a ganger that had been replaced by Madame Kevorkian?

    If something similar is going on here, could Clara have been a duplicate since…?

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @miapatrick   Yes, for a teacher, and educated person generally, I would have thought she would assume that most people would know the genesis of “Morpheus”. But as @steve-thorp points out, she also didn’t recognize the Shakespeare quote. Hm. Have to say, the Clara as hybrid theory seems increasingly certain. And as others have pointed out, the Doctor’s promise to “fix” Clara was a bit muted, to say the least. It remains to be seen exactly how it will play out.

    So, would the same gravity from Neptune that destroyed the Sandmen eventually destroy the station? And hence the video?

    @janetteb    I too liked the Sunmakers. I didn’t realize that it had received poor reviews. Too political for some, maybe?

    @spacedmunkee  I like your list of callbacks! As for the Silurians, I think it was referencing the fact that Silurians are misnamed based on actual earth history.

    @tommo   Yes, I thought of Colony Sarf as well!

    @jphamlore   No you are not. I absolutely loved Robot of Sherwood! It has one of my all-time favourite lines, the one about, “After Nottingham… Derby!”  🙂

    soundworld @soundworld

    Just a thought (and I don’t look ahead at schedules, so that everything can be fresh for me).  It may be a 2-parter, but does the 2nd part have to follow directly after in order?

    nerys @nerys


    I’d missed the ‘Doctor Who’ in the coding. @doctordoctorwho spotted that; excellent catch!

    Thanks for that correction. Excellent catch, indeed!

    As for the episode itself, I enjoyed it. It made a lot more sense on second viewing. Of course, for me first viewing wasn’t ideal. I worked all day, while hubby cooked dinner for guests coming over. So then we all enjoyed a lovely meal, with lots of beverages, and after our guests left I tackled several sink-loads of dishes, while hubby enjoyed some “brain pudding”-style TV viewing. By the time I got around to watching Doctor Who, it was past midnight, and the many beverages were taking their toll.

    So this episode didn’t make loads of sense to me when I first watched it. But on this afternoon’s second viewing, the narrative flow came together a whole lot better for me. Quite creepy … and it would have terrified me as a child! (Believe it or not, I managed to sleep quite well after watching it the first time, despite the theme. I think the beverages played a role here!)

    CountScarlioni @countscarlioni

    @arbutus   So, would the same gravity from Neptune that destroyed the Sandmen eventually destroy the station? And hence the video?

    Maybe my physics is messed up but….With the grav shields off, I’d expect the space station’s orbit to start to degrade and in time it would plunge into the atmosphere of Neptune and burn-up. While that’s going on, the Doctor, Clara, Nagata and assorted sandmen would have been floating about weightless. The Doctor would not even need his yo-yo to work this out. So, when the Doctor said he “self-destructed the grav shields,” I suspect they must not have turned-off immediately but for a short time he had in fact increased the effect of the grav shields, thereby exerting greater gravitational forces on the sandmen, who displayed little in the way of structural integrity, unlike the Doctor, Clara and Nagata.

    Kharis @kharis

    Just watched it, haven’t read the other posts yet.

    Well, I’m sure everyone caught all the names in the beginning in typing across the screen

    Goes with all of our “Clara in a dream state theories” and may be a hint to the long month.

    I don’t like to be negative, but I would be lying if I said this episode wasn’t the slowest episode of Doctor Who I’ve ever watched, save one other in the 10th Doctor’s run.   The sandmen were amusing, since their movements and look did have a touch of nostalgia with the almost laughable monster movements and B grade scary movie sci-fi look.

    It was hard to watch straight through.  Couldn’t help the many pauses to go get other things done.  It was tedious.  After last week’s episode with it’s incredible war speech and pace, it was hard not to feel a little let down.  I’m trying to think of a positive.   Here goes: I liked Clara’s skirt and the position the story takes against creating a humanity so obsessed with productivity that it loses it’s humanity.

    I’m interested to see how other people on the Forum reacted, but wanted to write my raw impression without influence first.


    SirClockFace @sirclockface

    @kharis I was also thinking about the dream state theories and the whole she-might-be-in-the-dalek-hallucinating-it-all theroy but I thought with this episode added in it felt a little too far fetched but then again Moffat might be ready for us doubting him then pulling out something completely random

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    This episode just doesn’t sit right with me. It feels like it was meant to be in the last series and Gatiss has just recycled the idea, with a little bit of tweaking. Of the 3 themes to have appeared in every story prior to it this series (Tarot, Hybrid, Snakes) only the latter definitely appears with an iffy possibility that Tarot could still be there.

    I mean there were parts I liked. The having Clara’s name in the coding was good, and the actual acting was great as usual, but I really felt like the story was very anti-climactic. No resolution, The Doctor lost but the villain died, there was no explanation to why Chopra died, who I was sure would survive after the Grunt sacrificed himself because he had not used Morpheus.

    Furthermore, I just feel really confused. In the coding every name apart from The Doctor’s is horizontal. If it was who’s been infected, Chopra shouldn’t be on there. If it’s who survives Le Verrier, neither Clara nor Nagata should be on there. It just doesn’t make any sense and I don’t like it.

    AlexWho @alexwho

    This is the easilly the worst episode of a strong second season for Capaldi’s Doctor. Not that the concept is bad.  It was the distorded POV way of telling the story and the way the Doctor figured out who the Sandmen were so quickly.

    No interesting supporting characters. Who cared who the rescue team was? They were all the same to me. The episode especially looks bad after The Zygon Inversion’s powerful ending!

    lisa @lisa

    So I notices like @Whilst that Clara was again trapped inside of a containment
    and actually there was a pod in the Lake/flood episodes too. Also the thing about the
    eyes. In the Lake/Flood episodes the people that saw the writing became infected.
    All sorts of attacks on bodies and minds this season.
    Oozy Daleks, A drink made from people for the Mire, ghostly images of people, and people
    being copied by Zygons. I’m just wondering about this season being just full of this sort
    of stuff and if this suggests in any way what we are going into?

    Anonymous @


    welcome mate, hope you enjoy our forum. I personally liked it (didn’t love it) but then I have adored all the others thus far.

    So, do you have some favourites of this season?

    Kindest and warm wishes,


    Anonymous @



    You know what we need? A list, is what! All the stuff on one side which is relatable:

    pods (Sleep N More, UtL and partner ep)

    eyes (sleep n more, Mire episode and following one -the lion creature, UtL possibly also zygons -or maybe not that one?…)

    snaky things and serpents (both Dalek eps, Sleep no more, first ep with Maisie)

    tarot (the lot!)

    ghosts (under the lake, zygons (sort of), Sleep NM)

    water (UtL, Mire ep, lack of water in lack of sleep evidenced by no ‘crusty sleep in eyes’ in SnM)

    shape changing (Mire ep, following ep, Daleks, Zygons, UtL and SnM)

    Based on my Grade 4 list, I would say ‘shape changing’ is the winner people!

    (teacher I want a lolly pop)

    That idea of becoming someone else is the concept most keenly ‘sticking out’.

    What do you think @kharis @arbutus @lisa @anyone else awake?


    lisa @lisa

    @Purofilion It all implies a mega hybrid but is it Clara or is that
    maybe a misdirection?

    Anonymous @


    Isn’t the big take away from this episode that, for once, the Doctor lost?

    Yes, and I don’t think people are entirely getting that (and looking at my previous post, neither did I) because it goes completely against expectations, especially for AG Who. I think it’s one reason for the confusion about the episode.

    The bad guys won; the message to turn the people on Triton into Sandmen is sent out, and presumably succeeds.

    The Doctor failed, to the extent of never figuring out what was really going on, and in the end simply had to be content with getting himself and Clara out alive. (A bit Davison-esque.)

    It’s a gutsy move, really.

    winston @winston

    Well I just finished watching and I think I liked it. I know it was good cause it creeped me out a bit. It definately needs a rewatch to catch it all. All of  those dimly lit corridors and sliding doors that close, when you don’t want them to, always add to the shiver factor for me. I also thought the Sandmen were pretty scary with those huge gaping mouths like Dementors.

    The fact that we are only seeing a fragmented and edited version of a story, made for some future Youtube, in order to spread a virus, makes me question what I’m watching. Is this what really happenned or just what Morpheus wants us to think?

    I think because we are only seeing footage from the station ,we don’t know if the Doctor somehow destroyed the station/ Sandmen after he left in the TARDIS. Since I have to sleep later I choose to think he did.

    Right from the start this episode was strange…….no “do do dooo” .

    lisa @lisa

    @Supermumarary @countscarlioni

    Not really spoilery The Doctor knows there is something wrong. He’s not fooled

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @supernumerary, @countscarlioni, @jimmyp

    I had missed the post of @jimmyp. Yes, of course.  And I agree that this is not a normal AG Who outcome. That is why I think it is Gatiss doing a version of a BG Who story. On the issue of the Doctor “losing” and 38th century Earth being threatened, I strongly feel that Gatiss has consciously written a meta fiction here. I don’t believe it is supposed to fit into a narrative where A must mean B and therefore C in terms of canonical Who. I think the fact that the Doctor realises it is all a “story” is key here. That’s just what it is. A story. And Gatiss is reminding us of that. It is a story. In a way, this is as close as you can get to breaking the 4th wall. I think this episode deserves more praise than it has received.

    Not sure I have expressed this as well as I could.

    bendubz11 @bendubz11

    @purofilion you missed 2 for the snakes/serpents: The mural in UtL and the name of the school in the first Zygon ep being Draketon

    i would say, as I suggested earlier this makes a triple theme of Snakes, Tarot and shape changing/hybrid

    lisa @lisa

    Been going over the episode list and I got a few more eye references.

    hand mines, the ghosts in Lake/Flood didn’t have eyes, the Doctor
    noticed that Bonnie the Zygon was winking at him and his sonic sub glasses
    Last season we had some eye stuff too.

    But what does it mean????

    catladymeow @catladymeow

    I have read all the comments so far, and wanted to add mine.  I am not one for forums usually, but this episode made me feel I HAD to talk to someone about it.  My friends have not seen the episode as yet.

    This is be far, IMHO, the worst episode of Doctor who since the new series started.  The first thing that struck me was the sand in the corner of your eye thing.  I have NEVER had this in my eyes.  Perhaps due to the fact I rub my eyes a lot.  Then, the reasons for the monsters, the Sandmen, to even exist.  I just could not suspend my disbelief enough to continue to watch with my usual enjoyment of the only show I have watched faithfully from the early 80’s to the present.  I have no desire to see if the Doctor succeeds or not in the second part.  I had to force myself to watch this through to the end.  As a result, a lot of what is discussed here I missed.  Did anyone else have any troubles with this issue?

    DrBen @drben

    This one just didn’t work for me.  Much of the story seemed like a retread (two base-under-siege stories in one season?), and the found footage aspect was more of a distraction for me than an enhancement.

    And really, can someone explain to me what the hell happened?  Rassmussen faked the whole thing in order to create a Blair Witch-style horror movie that the people of Neptune will want to watch, into which is embedded… what, some sort of virus?… in the video glitches?  So which parts are real and which are faked?  Is the Doctor just plain wrong about the “sleep boogers in the corner of your eye evolve into a monster” thing?  (And really, that’s about the weakest explanation for a monster I’ve seen in AG Who.)  Is the human race doomed now because the Doctor failed to guess what was really going on?  Seriously, what the hell?

    You all know that I am generally an enthusiastic supporter of DW, and able to look past a lot of issues and still enjoy myself.  But this one was a complete mystery to me.

    Anonymous @

    without tagging people -but you bloody well know who you are, why oh why do you flippin bother to come to this site to phuckin complain about one, bleeding, one, episode?

    If you’re not a “one for forums” then piss off. Or stay and have a decent conversation about the other episodes.

    Sorry, but it really peeves me off.

    In watching it again, I’ve changed my mind: I’ve gone from liking it to loving it. Why?

    “Because unlike stoopid people, I can see layers”**

    OK. If I was a troll, I’d say that and I shall not -unless in  a quote.

    But, folks, the incredible layering, the hints, mixed with beautiful quotations and connections with previous episodes -they’re all there. Not to mention some sort of Oscar equivalent for the photography itself -and I don’t mean the found footage stuff (not a huge fan myself) but the spot-on and meticulous editing -sharp and focussed and in colour, mixed with what I call the Hitchcock colourization found in the ’50s and ’60s together with plain B&W.

    It was an ep as @blenkinsopthebrave suggests has a lot to offer on more than even 2 viewings. It’s not a place holder (as I originally believed) but a link, effectively, what we’d call a ‘coherent link’, between Parts A (those which have come before) and Part B and yet not directly in the middle.

    Like the song used, this is like  a ‘middle 8’ -and, “in that definition is the concept fitted” (said Mozart many a year ago) so we have repetition, reminders of what has come before (“yes of course we can fix that), sleep pods (like the Fisher King), and a base under siege (Under the Lake). I’m looking for connections with the first of what I’d call part A (eps 1 & 2 this season) and I can see it in the pods, the hybrid, the snakes lashing out -“they’re sentient too, they know what’s good for you” much like the Daleks also do, and in these little snippets we see the cleverness that hides in spaces behind and around this little episode, and thus the show.

    I loved it.

    For those who ‘hated’ it and come here just to complain I would ask from you a decent 200-300 word well written piece, explaining exactly why. Then I’ll listen.

    Failing that, introduce yourself -explain why you liked the other episodes or didn’t -it doesn’t have to be a treatise but it does have to produce more than naked anger.


    Anonymous @

    @drben  you know I didn’t mean you, right? You’re a member of good and noble standing, sir! You have opinions and you express them! You do it cleverly and with evidence.

    I was directing my own naked anger (about which I may get clocked by mods) at those who come here, firstly, just to show their own “hatred” -I’d say, give it a chance, give it three.

    Gattis is smart and I trust the guy to do something that is interesting -if not always to everyone’s taste. And it needn’t be to  “everyone’s taste” but like DrBen, it can be expressed in appropriate analytical tones, without the withering gabbling of  teenagers!


    Anonymous @

    @bendubz11 you’re right I did  -hence, grade 4 (also I should have done this properly with a pencil) but I suspect there are others (cough cough @bluesqueakpip) who could do a good job!

    @lisa misdirection? I think not -just my opinion.

    @supernumerary and @winston @countscarlioni spot on -the Doctor lost or remains confused. I don’t even think we need a call back this season -who knows, another a few years down the track? 🙂

    As others said, “gutsy” and I like it -it doesn’t always have to work 100% to be successful (again, she opines) but 80% and in other areas -the DP ought to be proud as should the Director himself and the producer (whose name I’ve forgotten -Vicki?…..)

    DrBen @drben

    @purofilion – I took no offense.  Even I reacted strongly to those who announced that they had joined the forum JUST to tell everyone how much this episode sucked.  Why would you do this?

    Anyway, I didn’t *hate* this episode (the only DW episode I actually hated was “Fear Her”), but I didn’t love it either.  I know Gatiss is capable of better.  I didn’t think the storyline was smart enough to deserve the twist ending, and the ending itself (as I said) made very little sense.

    Regardless, I don’t have to love every episode, and I’d rather they take risks and occasionally fail than never take risks at all.

    Anonymous @


    OK.  If you said this -and you did: “a lot of what is discussed here I missed”

    If you missed it, then give it another watch? No? I missed a lot on first and second viewing and then ended up watching with subtitles and I believe there were layers that were expertly laid out like tiny pieces of pastry -flecked and hidden and tasty -something that stayed on the palette and became ‘available’ after some thinking, some ruminating and I therefore think there is more to be heralded here.

    Whoa, 4 posts in a row: I’m hogging the boards. Sorry peeps.

    Anonymous @

    @drben No, I agree: it doesn’t always have to succeed but it can jolly well die trying!

    I think it did -at the end, I was “all a wha? it’s finished. Already?”

    The structure suffered in the last 5 mins – a hurried skirmish I believe.

    Kharis @kharis

    @alexwho @catladymeow @drben Exactly how I feel which is hard, because I was really looking forward to a good sit down with my favourite show.  This episode was beyond laboured, it was seriously my least favorite episode, well almost, ’42’ left me disappointed too.

    @lisa @purofilion good sleuthing! Yes, I agree, the themes are strong and screaming at us now.  Eyes, the friend inside the enemy, pods, dream, etc.  Snakes, changing shape, enemy becoming the friend.

    @jphamlore I actually loved the ‘Robots of Sherwood’ so you are not alone.  It was a fun, entertaining and an interesting episode, plus the characters were very endearing.  People didn’t like that episode?  I wonder why?

    Kharis @kharis

    @sirclockface Good to know you liked this episode, and also surprised you didn’t like ‘Robots of Sherwood’.   Goes to show that Doctor Who has something for everyone. 🙂   One of the great things about Doctor Who is that it is so diverse that it appeals to so many.    I loved ‘Robots of Sherwood’, and ‘Sleep no More’ I found boring.  That’s good though, since a part of me wants to know that this last episode is just a matter of taste, and not a complete let down.

    Kharis @kharis

    @purofilion So glad you liked this episode because it makes me consider giving it another chance.  I’m going to watch it again tonight when my house is finally quiet.

    Kharis @kharis

    @janetteb Also glad to hear you liked it.  I’m definitely going to give it another chance.

    I agree that this was a stand alone and the theme of Clara taking other forms must be preparing us for the big finale.

    janetteB @janetteb

    I am with those who loved Robot of Sherwood. It is one I frequently re watch because it is so much fun and every so often Dr Who needs to be simply fun. I was just bemoaning the lack of simple, fun episodes this series last night. I have really enjoyed this series and think the standard has been remarkable but it has become rather serious in tone.

    Something I have commented on before is Clara’s outfits this season. No more bright or rich colours. The skirt, (I think it was @kharis who commented up0n it) was nice but a very sombre tone and that was the first time I think she has worn anything with any colour at all. (I think) I note next week it is black and grey again. Earlier on I wondered if it was a kind of mourning for Danny but now I suspect the costume choice is telling us something about Clara or her fate.



    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I should have possibly mentioned that I made a rare excursion to the G on Saturday, taking Dan’s “Theories even more insane than what’s actually happening” as an invite to bang the drum, as it were.

    The last time I really had an opportunity to do that was in S7b. While this may bring a few ‘one hit’ moaners who don’t particularly get the site ethos, we’ve also pulled more than a few valuable members along the way. Swings and roundabouts. And hey! I got an excited “OOOOOOOOOH!” From @danmartinuk . I may have titivated his fronds. 🙂 Always a pleasure.

    What’s kind of interesting is that the response BTL on the G for this one reminds me of Rings of Ankhaten which got a bit boisterous with a lot of “worst episode ever” comments. Read about it in retrospect these days and most people seem complimentary. Perhaps the Episodes that are constructed differently do need time to bed in?

    Like “In the forest..” Last year I don’t think this is ever going to appeal to everyone, but I think there should be at least one experimental episode per season. This does have a few cheeky subversions which set it apart.

    Anonymous @


    I’m not saying “gosh I love everything Gattis does and therefore I love this.” Nor am I suggesting that it has no flaws -on the contrary but as @drben beautifully expressed, this is a show which takes steps to attempt new things, give the old tried and true base under siege, dark corridors with seamy interiors, a bit of a face lift -and in that respect it worked.

    If you do give it another go, maybe do as I did (but then I’m a bit ‘in between life’ at the mo) -assemble some academic thoughts, fiddle around with pens and paper -writing down some clues, looking for a narrative ‘hold’ which connects (and it’s not feeble either) with (what I assess as) Part A and then with what is yet to come,  Part B.

    There’s a meta-tale here which I think is quite interesting. A lot exists in ‘what is not said’. The ideal in any story is for a climatic resolution and I feel we expected something different. And yet the resolution exists but was given less time than is normally necessary to develop and gel properly.

    Given that we’ll be trolled mercilessly by people assuring us they’re not trolls (and yet have never bothered to do anything here before and will write loathsome little reviews explaining their vicious small hatreds over what is a simple 45 min tale -makes you wonder why they get so riled over telly!) I’d think assembling evidence about what made this little episode good is a virtuous start!

    Interesting, I loved this much more than Kill the Moon and already I feel a tidal wave of  hate approaching. Yet, this really was so much better than KtM, I think. The DP should be absolutely proud of the momentum -to me the driving force was, of course, the story, but that was told within the power of the editing and force of the movement which gave the story an edgy, deconstructed feel?

    There were some eerie but also rather witty pieces as the remaining ‘pod’ was moving (in B&W) whilst the crew were distracted -a very old BG trick. The references to the Japanese space restaurant, the flippant discussion about ‘space’ champagne (a reference to the Mummy last year), the Great Catastrophe (not referenced before -we’ve been to the 51 century and further and witnessed in the reboot of 2005 just what the Doctor did there and I wonder if there exists a situation which is the result of Ashildr’s involvement somehow?) and the wonderful political nuances of Thatcher, the bloated belly of capitalism and the history of the rise of production in post war America where every wife and mother seemed to value and covet a combined washer and spinner, a vacuum cleaner and a fridge on ‘credit’ 🙂

    On re-watch, these themes were actually more nuanced and meticulously painted or ‘planted’ into the ‘set’ and story of this episode than possibly the last two parters about the zygons. Here we have the resultant copying of people occurring as a so-called mutant chemical change in the brain -a slow, gradual change -no treaties, no outright invasion strategy, just a small piece of nano tech implanted in the viewers’ minds through re-watching (I liked that too: “you’ll watch this a lot and so will your friends…” a reference to people recording these episodes and manically watching them again; looking frantically for clues! Is this a clue? No! Is this?).

    I feel this is a bit of a slow burn -and I like a challenge!

    What astounds me is this little show, so old now, can create such happiness, thrills and be fraught with division and dislike that must make itself known. I suppose, as I’ve said before, if they’re shooting at you, you’re doing something right. People really seem to see it through the prism of what they want to see espoused, written about, or generally known.

    For whatever reason, if it doesn’t impress, there’s no shrug and ‘better luck next time’ but a real, heightened and definitive anger -like being disinherited for no known reason or getting a horrible disease and wanting to blame someone for it! Viewers take the show personally and I like that. It has had a fortuitous impression on people, and God, should a writer take the show in a different direction or make a mistake or take a risk, then out come the spider creatures from Kill the Moon -and we’re all doomed!


    janetteB @janetteb

    @purofilion That was really well said. I don’t think there has been a single episode of AG Who that I have not been able to find something to like in. That isn’t to say I have enjoyed the episode as a whole but there is always something, maybe a mere snippet of dialogue or a concept or character that stands out. There are plenty of episodes that, when rewatching  I tend to skip. Funnily enough The Doctor’s Wife is one of those. I just didn’t warm to it at all. Tastes vary and it does not surprise me that some people disliked this episode while others really enjoyed it. I am in between, neither really liking or disliking. I watched it on the edge of my seat. That is good. I need to re watch. That is also good. The only episode from last year I did not re watch was Kill The Moon though there was much in that story that was good. In the end we  will find and focus on the positives because we love the show. There is something unique and special about Doctor Who and we will defend it. Doctor Who is defended.



    JimmyP @jimmyp

    @blenkinsopthebrave Absolutely on the BG Who feel to the whole thing – Gatiss’ episodes so clearly mark him out as a real fan of the earlier stuff. And very interesting thoughts on the meta angle to it; I hadn’t thought of it like that and indeed this could survive in isolation as almost a ‘concept’ story, rather than an episode in a series.

    @drben @kharis and @others who didn’t enjoy it; I’d highly recommend a second watch. As @purofilion noted, there are complex layers involved here and only second time round did I properly follow the flow of it all.

    Interestingly a second viewing also allowed me to understand what I didn’t like about the episode, which was that they didn’t commit fully to the found-footage approach. IMO, having the ‘dust’ POV was a bit of a cheat (found-footage is a difficult film making conceit and nearly everyone resorts to having CCTV or something similar to establish wide angles, give context and scale etc). It also pulled me out of the story a bit because it felt unnecessary. The soldiers all had helmet cams and I think Gatiss should have been brave and just shown us the whole thing through them. As it was the dust-camera shots felt incongruous (although I’m open to the idea that there was a point to that, perhaps to be established in the future, about being watched; there’s been a fair bit of 4th wall breaking in this series).


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