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Doctor Who's effective horror elements and unexpected cliffhanger save "Sleep No More" from being a gimmicky found-footage episode.
There is a series of brilliant misdirections at the center of this episode, and the Doctor-usually a master of misdirection himself-doesn't quite seem to see them. "Sleep No More" wants us to think it's about sleep, but... it's about the unconscious.
[The] episode falls down on delivering the shivers it promises, which makes its uniqueness less exciting than it should be.
The episode seemed destined to go down as the worst episode of Season Nine so far. Instead, a literal last minute twist all but shifts how the episode should be perceived, elevating the hour from "meh" to a more memorable "oh, damn..."
It's no fun reading someone struggling to find new and interesting ways to write "IT SUCKED" over and over again. Yeah, we thought it was that bad.
It's sort of a clever experiment, though I'm not sure it entirely gels, and it's probably saved by a fairly creepy twist ending.
"Sleep No More" was by turns spine-chilling, dismaying, gut-wrenching and frustrating-but one thing it was not, was boring.
Sadly, the show had very little to offer other than a gimmicky shooting style, making "Sleep No More" feel like the first real misfire of the season.
As a technical exercise and an expansion of Doctor Who's boundaries, "Sleep No More" is moderately engaging, but as a satisfying adventure in its own right it can only be described as a snoozer.
"Sleep No More" isn't boring or offensively bad, it's just a little underwhelming and the risky found footage format never quite gels. It's not the first time a Doctor Who story has failed to realise it potential, but we can't fault it for trying.
Gagan Rassmussen: "You must not watch this! I'm warning you. You can never unsee it." Rassmussen could easily have been speaking about "Sleep No More" itself with that very first line of the episode.
Resorting to a visual gimmick to aid in some late-season storytelling doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. Doctor Who certainly makes the best of it during "Sleep No More."
Doctor Who does found-footage... and it actually works in a way that most found-footage stories don't even bother with anymore.