Fandom

TARDIS Index File

Sleep No More (TV story)

56,158articles in progress
Add New Page
Talk7 Share

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.

RealWorld
ImagesAvailable
Sleep No More
Rassmussen
Doctor: Twelfth Doctor
Companion(s): Clara
Main enemy: Sandmen, Rassmussen
Main setting: The Le Verrier space station, 38th century
Key crew
Writer: Mark Gatiss
Director: Justin Molotnikov
Producer: Nikki Wilson
Release details
Story number: 258
Season/series: 9
Premiere broadcast: 14 November 2015
Premiere network: BBC One
Format: 1x45 minute episode
Navigation
←Previous Next→
Doctor Who television stories
The Zygon Inversion Face the Raven
Production order
Heaven Sent Hell Bent
Official trailer
Sleep No More Trailer - Series 9 Episode 9 - Doctor Who - BBC00:27

Sleep No More Trailer - Series 9 Episode 9 - Doctor Who - BBC

Another official trailer
Sleep No More Next Time Trailer - Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 9 (2015) - BBC00:37

Sleep No More Next Time Trailer - Doctor Who Series 9 Episode 9 (2015) - BBC

Memorable moment
The Sandmen Attack - Sleep No More - Doctor Who - BBC04:14

The Sandmen Attack - Sleep No More - Doctor Who - BBC

Another memorable moment
DO NOT WATCH THIS! - Sleep No More - Doctor Who - BBC01:51

DO NOT WATCH THIS! - Sleep No More - Doctor Who - BBC

Behind the scenes video
The minds behind Morpheus - Doctor Who Extra (2015) - BBC02:44

The minds behind Morpheus - Doctor Who Extra (2015) - BBC

More behind the scenes stuff
Enter the Sandmen - Doctor Who Series 9 (2015) - BBC01:47

Enter the Sandmen - Doctor Who Series 9 (2015) - BBC

Another behind the scenes moment
Through fire and flame - Doctor Who Extra (2015) - BBC01:33

Through fire and flame - Doctor Who Extra (2015) - BBC

Sleep No More was the ninth episode of the ninth series of Doctor Who produced by BBC Wales.

It broke away from the traditional filming style of the series by featuring a unique and non-musical title sequence and depicting the events of the story through a found-footage style of direction, featuring all of its scenes in a manner that suggests they were being viewed through video recordings rather than in third-person.

It also was the first episode of Doctor Who to have its title given during the closing credits rather than the opening credits. The only other time that a television story did not feature a title during the opening titles was the 2005 Children in Need Special, which did not display any discernible title at all.

According to the Doctor Who Extra for this episode, Steven Moffat had commented that this episode also serves as a reminder that the Doctor doesn't always win; referring back to his early adventures in the 1960s, a victory for the Doctor often just meant getting back to the TARDIS and escaping.

Synopsis Edit

From footage in the Le Verrier space station, the Doctor and Clara are shown to be up against terrifying Sandmen in a situation which involves sleep and lots of death.

Plot Edit

Professor Gagan Rassmussen breathlessly introduces a video he's assembled from found footage, warning would-be viewers of the recording's inherent (but unspecified) danger. Rassmussen explains that he's not quite sure what's been going on, but he's put together some footage from the security cameras and perspectives of the people in involved. Hearing a strange groaning sound, Rassmussen once more adresses the camera, telling the viewers that they were warned.  

The screen temporarily fills with random numbers and letters, before a flash of static marks the beginning of the footage. 

Nagata and her team (Chopra, Deep-Ando, and Grunt 474) have been sent by the city of Triton on Neptune to investigate the Le Verrier space station, which has been silent for over 24 hours. Deep-Ando emerges from a Morpheus pod, stating that he feels refreshed. Chopra repeatedly voices his dislike for it. Nagata and Deep-Ando mock him, saying he's a R.I.P., a person who refuses to use Morpheus. 474 tries calming Chopra, but instead annoys him because she can't speak proper grammar, missing out words.

They dock on the space station, hoping to find the crew. Instead, they find the station dim with emergency lights on; there is no sign of life on the station.474 tells the group that she hears people talking; the quartet hide, until they can determine if the voices belong to the crew or some kind of hostile invaders.

The voices turn out to belong to Clara and the Doctor, who are wondering why the lights are off in the station, debating several ideas. Clara walks into view of the group, with her back to them, noticing a decoration; Clara assumes that the Doctor has brought her to a space restaurant. The Doctor walks into view, annoyed; he explains that nobody puts the word "space" in front of something just because it's the future, listing off things. They walk off into the next corridor as Clara asks about the word "space-suit".

Nagata and her team rush after them, holding the Doctor and Clara at gunpoint. The Doctor holds up his psychic paper, which makes Nagata believe that they are Engineering Stress Assessors. Nagata asks the Doctor what happened. Assuming that she means what happened from the beginning of time, the Doctor says "that's a long story". However, Clara clears her throat; the Doctor takes the signal, realizing that Nagata means the station. The Doctor explains that they haven't any idea as they've only just arrived; he asks Nagata for an explanation if she knows what's happened.

Twenty-four hours ago, the station lost all communications. Nagata and her team are here to find out why the station lost power, assuming it to be a meteor strike or space pirates (which contradicts the Doctor's theory of not putting "space" before certain words). The Doctor correctly guesses Nagata and her team to be a rescue team of four; the small group is due to budget cuts. Nagata tells them to consider themselves under her command, but the Doctor finishes her sentence by singing "part of the furniture", before Nagata finishes her command. (The Doctor is subtly amused as he's the highest authority in the room).

The Doctor tastes his finger twice to reveal that he and Clara are in the thirty-eighth century on a Tuesday. He tells Clara that India and Japan were sort of merged after the great catastrophe, which caused a realignment of the tectonic plates. Clara is confused by this; the Doctor, usually getting the timeline mixed up, tells her she has a lot to look forward to. The Doctor then notes that there happens to suspicious amount of dust in the space station, after just a day of no-one being around.

Grunt 474 says "Eyes. Watch. Eyes in sky.", which confuses Chopra. 474 says that she will protect Chopra because she thinks that he's pretty. Chopra pushes her away, which causes her to react aggressively - because she is programmed to respond to physical threat - and get Chopra into a choke hold. After Nagata tells her to let Chopra go, 474 does so and crouches by the wall, apologizing. Chopra complains that 474 could have killed him, but Nagata tells him that it's how grunts are grown. The Doctor tells a confused Clara that grunts are bred in hatcheries with cloned muscles, low intelligence and brute force, which makes for an instant army, much to Clara's disgust. The Doctor tells her that it's how they roll in the 38th century.

Suddenly, they hear something moaning nearby. The Doctor tells Clara to hold his hand; though Clara's fine, the Doctor is scared. Two humanoid creatures appear, forcing the Doctor, Clara and the rescue team to run. Deep-Ando goes down a different route from the others, who manage to shut themselves in a laboratory, but not before one of the creatures manages to get its arm through the gap in the door. 474 pushes the door shut, which slices off the creature's arm, causing it to dissolve into dust. Nagata wonders what the creatures are and where they came from.

Meanwhile, Deep-Ando comes across a bulkhead door and tries to get in, but the computer tells him that he has to "do the song" since it was reprogrammed after the Christmas Party and finds the song very amusing. Deep-Ando doesn't know what the song is, but the computer assumes that he's being silly. A group of the creatures that attacked the group begin to advance on Deep-Ando, who eventually sings the Morpheus jingle and is let in. Just when he thinks he's safe, however, he turns away from the window and sees the gaping maw of one of the creatures.

Rasmussen informs us that Deep-Ando was the first member of the rescue team to die as they heard the scream, but they had their own problems.

In the lab, the Doctor takes a sample of the creatures and begins scanning it. He then reveals to everyone something shocking: the creatures are made of dead blood cells, used skin and such, effectively making them eye mucus. Clara sees some Morpheus pods; she and the Doctor question what they are, only to not get an answer as everyone on Triton should know. They manage to open one of the cabinets, to investigate. However, the moment the Doctor walks away, Clara is heard screaming; the cabinet shuts with her inside. Nagata tells the Doctor to clam down as its only Morpheus; the Mr. Sandman song plays over the machine in hologram form.

The Doctor manages to force the machine open, to find an unconscious Clara wired into it. Clara awakes, confused, wondering if she just slept; Nagata confirms this. The Doctor asks Clara what she was doing; Clara explains that the wires pulled her in against her will. The Doctor examines the door, finding the machine is slightly sentient; it thought it knew what Clara needed - "clearly you needed 40 winks." 474 then says that there's someone in the last cabinet. They try forcing it open, but the occupant keeps the machine shut. While the soldiers prepare to react with force, Clara decides to politely introduce herself and the Doctor to coerce the occupant into exiting the pod. It opens to reveal a scared Rassmussen.

The Doctor demands explanations, so a holographic announcer is played. The woman explains that Morpheus was created to give human beings all the benefits of sleep, but in a five minute burst that would allow them to stay awake for a month; the primary reason being for businesses to try getting ahead of their competitors. Rasmussen takes credit as its inventor; the Doctor retorts "Congratulations, professor; you've conquered nature. But you've also created an abomination." The Doctor explains that the monsters stalking them are the result of Rasmussen's attempt to improve the machine; instead of prolonging the effects of the machine, it hyper-evolved the eye mucus into carnivorous monsters.

They head to find Deep-Ando, but are chased by the monsters into the kitchen. At that moment, the gravity shields holding the station in orbit go out. The Doctor demands the plans for the station from Nagata, so he can reactivate the grav-shields; it works, after Clara yells for cooperation. Unfortunately, one of the creatures swallows Rasmussen whole. Chopra and 474 escape from the room, as the Doctor manages to fix the shields. However, with the creature blocking the way he, Clara and Nagata are forced to hide in a nearby freezer, with the creature trying to get in.

A fire starts in the corridors, forcing 474 to knock out Chopra and carry him through the flames. Chopra awakens later, finding 474 fatally burned. Rather than feel useless, 474 feels happy to have saved Chopra as she likes him; as the creatures are approaching, she tells him to go. 474 goes into a kamikaze charge.

Back in the freezer, the Doctor becomes annoyed as Clara dubs the creatures Sandmen; he mumbles to himself that "it's the Silurians all over again." The Doctor soon realizes the Sandmen are blind; they only went after them when they made sounds. So long as they remain quiet, they can trick the one outside the freezer inside and lock it in. They quickly trick the Sandmen in, and lock them inside.

Chopra heads back to the ship, locking himself inside to wait for the others, but the Sandmen's howling startles him. He then notices something shocking outside.

Meanwhile, the Doctor leads Nagata and Clara back to the lab, where he uses his sonic sunglasses to hack into the footage already seen by the audience. He goes on to explain that there is all this footage, but none from Chopra's point of view; adding onto this is Nagata mentioned that she and the others didn't have helmet cams. He goes on to explain that anyone who used Morpheus is effectively a walking camera for the Sandmen, and the Sandmen's eyes are all over the station. That's the paranoia that 474 was feeling earlier. Clara isn't in danger from the advanced machine as she was taken out of it before things could get worse.

The trio head back to the ship, where they find Chopra dead, but not eaten. The Doctor sees Rasmussen's beginning message on a monitor; he realizes Rasmussen's death was a trick to throw them off his trail. Rasmussen explains that he thinks the Sandmen are better life forms, and that spare him to ensure they can get to Triton.He then reveals a Morpheus capsule next to him; it holds the very first patient, who hasn't slept in five years. He opens and releases it; Rasmussen prepares them ship, but is shot by Nagata.

The Doctor and Clara begin running back to the TARDIS, with Nagata behind them. The Doctor destroys the grav-shields, knowing that the Sandmen can't handle the rough reentry. However, even as they get into the TARDIS, the Doctor notices that none of these events make any sense.

Rasmussen appears on screen again, during the reentry. He goes on to explain that the Morpheus process has been broadcast with this message, stating that he did warn whoever watched to have not done so. He rubs his eye, revealing that the Sandmen have been impersonating him; in a deep voice, he invites the victims to join him and the other Sandmen before dissolving.

Cast Edit

Uncredited cast Edit

Crew Edit

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

Movement

Casting

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound







Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.


References Edit

  • The Morpheus pods play a hologram of four female singers performing the song "Mr. Sandman", and is used as a key on the security system. Clara also hums the first few bars as she tells the Doctor where she got the name "Sandmen" from.
  • The Doctor recites the lyrics "Part of the furniture?" from the song "Consider Yourself" from the musical Oliver!
  • The Doctor argues with Clara's naming of the Sandmen, saying that he does the naming. He complains that "it's the Silurians all over again."
  • The Doctor quotes from Macbeth, and mentions Shakespeare.
  • The sleep deprivation pods are named Morpheus after the Greek god of dreams.
  • The presenter says there will be no more Rip Van Winkles, referring to the syndrome of too long sleep, and there will be a new generation of Wide-Awakes.
  • The Doctor can tell the century and the week-day by wetting his finger and touching his ear.
  • The Le Verrier space station is in orbit around Neptune.
  • The Doctor mentions "the Great Catastrophe".
  • Grunts are artificially grown human soldiers.
  • The rescue crew are all from Triton.
  • Rassmussen said he would transmit his video to the whole Solar system.

Story notes Edit

Sleep no more title card

The Doctor Who title logo used for the episode.

  • This is the first televised episode of Doctor Who to carry no opening titles. The episode title and writer credit were instead placed at the start of the closing credits. The Big Finish audio story LIVE 34 previously utilised a similar format of presentation, with no titles or credits whatsoever. However, when Rassmussen's initial video footage ends, the series title appears in the form of a code. All characters' names as well as the space station's name all appear in the code, as does the word "Who". The words "Doctor" and "Who" intersect with that of Clara Oswald.
  • The story is notable for using the found footage format, and for using elements of first person monologue told by Professor Rassmussen.
  • It is also notable for being the first episode in the series to cast an openly transgender actress, Bethany Black.[2]
  • The Radio Times programme listing was accompanied by a small colour head-and-shoulders shot of a helmeted Nagata, with the accompanying caption "Doctor Who / 8.15 p.m. / Found footage shows what fate befell the rescue mission led by Nagata (Elaine Tan)".
  • Writer Mark Gatiss had visited the countries Japan and India prior to writing this episode, which in turn inspired the use of them in this episode.[3]
  • This is the first TV story written by Mark Gatiss to be set in the future rather than the past or present.
  • The Doctor mentions "The Great Catastrophe". After the airing of this episode, writer Mark Gatiss confirmed it was a reference to Frontios.[3]
  • The space station in this story is named after French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier.
  • This is the only episode in series 9, that isn't be considered part of a two-parter or three-parter.
  • The scene involving a fire on the space station was shot by controlling the fire off-set and removing part of the set to allow the heat to rise. This was first indicated on 27 February 2016 in an enhanced version of the episode as part of The Doctor's Notes promotion that aired on BBC America.
  • Discounting cliffhangers and stories that form part of ongoing story arcs, this is the first stand alone episode in which a villain actually prevails over the Doctor.

Ratings Edit

Filming location Edit

to be added

Production errors Edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.

to be added

Continuity Edit

Home video releases Edit

DVD releases Edit

to be added

Blu-ray releases Edit

to be added

External links Edit

Footnotes Edit

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki