Monday, November 16, 2015

Doctor Who, Season Nine, Episode Nine: Sleep No More

This episode begins with Rasmussen delivering a stern warning to the viewer that they must not watch this recording. Yeah, doesn't a warning like  that always make you want to watch whatever you're not supposed to watch even more?  Rasmussen warns that he has pieced together the story the best that he can but that there are elements missing. We are told about a rescue team from Triton and warned not to get attached to any of them.  The team is made up of Chopra, Commander Nagata, Deep-Ando, and 474 - a drone. Rasmussen says that the team came to find him and warns everyone that if they are to watch, they have to pay close attention because our lives will depend on it.

Chopra is upset about the colonizing of sleep but Nagara is only interested in finding out what happened to the missing crew.  The team make their way through the station noting that there is no sign of anyone.  Cue the arrival of The Doctor and Clara.  it's 474 who hears Clara and The Doctor coming.  Clara wonders if the Doctor has brought her to a space restaurant and the Doctor goes on a small rant about people never putting the word space in front of items.  When the Doctor and Clara are confronted by the rescuers, the Doctor pulls out his psychic paper to explain their presence. Nagata asks what happened and the Doctor explains that they just arrived. Nagata responds that they are a rescue mission because 24 hours ago, the station went quiet.

The Doctor and Clara join up with the rescuers and he licks his finger to test the air, saying that they in their 38th century.  When The Doctor brings up the great catastrophe and the alignment of India and Japan, Clara starts to ask questions, only to be diverted the Doctor.  474 and Chopra end up in a slight fight after Chopra shoves 474 away.  The Doctor explains that 474 is a drone and the purpose is to create an instant army.  In the distance, groaning can be heard and the Doctor tells Clara to hold his hand. When the sound gets louder, The Doctor yells run and the group complies but gets split up, with Deep Ando heading off alone.  The Doctor, Clara, and three members of the team make it into a room where they bar the doors. A sand like creature reaches it's hand right through the door.

Deep Ando tries desperately to reach the rest of the team as he walks through the halls of the ship. In the room, Nagata tries to get into contact with Ando, while the Doctor ties to figure out what the creatures who attacked them are made of.  The Doctor learns that the creature is definitely organic. Clara leans on a machine and is informed that it is a Morpheus (yep, the Greek God of dreams) machine. When Chopra hears some static, he steps away to try and gain contact with Deep Ando. The Doctor offers to take a look at the communication device. Clara however is more interested in the Morpheus machine.  When Clara gets it to open, it swallows her and plays a retro version of Mr. Sandman.  The Doctor panics and releases Clara, as Nagata explains that it was just Morpheus.

Clara asks why the machine grabbed her and the Doctor explains that it thought that Clara need some sleep. The Doctor asks what Morpheus is but before anyone can answer, 474 notices that the last pod isn't empty.  The last pod starts to play Mr. Sandman and an irritated Doctor uses his wretched Sonic sunglasses (yes, he is still wearing the blasted things) to shut it down.  Clara talks the person inside the machine into coming out.  You guessed it, it's Rasmussen.

Back on the tape. Rasmussen says that he wanted to get out of the machine but that The Doctor wanted an explanation first.

A hologram appears and talks about how people can take stimulants to stay awake but people always have to sleep.  It seems that the Morpheus concentrates the experience of sleep into just five minutes. Now people can go a whole month without sleep, freeing the night for humans to continue working. Clara calls the plan insane and horrible.  The holograms encourages everyone to join the new generations of wide awakes.  Rasmussen explains that Morpheus is his invention and that the pod sends out a signal that changes the chemistry of the brain.  Chopra expresses his absolute disgust with the machine.  The Doctor tells Rasmussen that he has conquered nature and created an abomination. He even admits to sleeping when Clara isn't looking.

On the video. Rasmussen explains that the Doctor felt that they had to go and find Ando and that there was a connection between the Morpheus machine and the monsters.

The Doctor explains that the monsters are made from sleep dust. Yes, it's just as gross as your are thinking. The stuff that piles up in the corner of your eye that you wipe away every morning.  The sleep dust is essentially human skin and the machine has turned it into a carnivorous life form. The people using the pod become a food source.

A panicked Ando says into the communicator that the monsters are everywhere.

Nagata asks about them because of all of the sleep pods on Titan. The Doctor explains that the ones on Titan are probably primitive in comparison to what is on the ship.  Rasmussen admits that he has tried to improve the process and speed things up.  The Doctor says that the dust is adaptable and clever and is coming for them.  Rasmussen demands to be rescued because he is crew.  Rasmussen explains that he hid in the only place where he thought the monsters wouldn't find him and again demands to leave. The Doctor however feels that they need to destroy the machines or it will be the end of humanity.

An isolated Ando, uses the computer and tries to gain access to an area but is told by the computer that he has to do the song. Ando says he doesn't have time for this but is told that the crew reprogrammed the computer to demand a song for entrance. Ando asks what song and the computer tells him that he is being silly because everyone there knows it.  The computer starts to sing Mr. Sandman and asks again for the song.  Ando starts to whisper the song but only says a few lines.  The computer asks him to sing more.  Ando starts to panic as the creatures draw closer and the computer finally lets him in.  Ando thinks he is safe as he as he looks out a window but when he turns around, Ando finds himself face to face with a sand creature.

On the tape, Rasmussen informs us that Ando was the first to die and that everyone else heard the scream.

The ship starts to shake badly and Chopra says that the gravity shields are failing.  The Doctor demands the schematic and claims that he is charge but Nagata argues that The Doctor has no authority.  As the crew freaks because they are being pulled towards Neptune, the Doctor gets to work but not before Rasmussen is supposedly killed.  A sand creature breaks down the door.  The Doctor manages to fix it and when they take off running, Chopra and 474 are left behind.  Clara is insistent that they go after the others and Nagata agrees, saying that they are under her command. The Doctor however feels that this would be a suicide mission.  The Doctor quote Shakespeare and says that the ancients knew stuff because sleep is essential to every being in the universe.  The Doctor goes on a rant about the stupidity of humans for not recognizing the importance of sleep.

Chopra tells 474 that they cannot let the sleep monsters leave because they would act like an infection. Chopra tries to contact Nagata but gets not response.  Chopra says that they will head to the rescue ship and if they don't hear from them soon, they will assume that they are dead and destroy the station.

The Doctor hacks into the helmet cams to review the footage.  Nagata points out that they don't have helmet cams. The Doctor asks why the monster killed Rasmussen like that.  The Doc says that dust blows and consumes the host but the attack on Rasmussen was direct. The Doctor is convinced that there's something they are not getting.  After some bickering with Clara about what the creatures trying to kill them should be called, The Doctor finally clues into the fact that Nagata said that they don't have helmet cams. A creature starts to bang at their door and everyone hides.  The Doctor suggests letting the creatures in.

On the tape, Rasmussen calls the Doctor's strategy clever.  Rasmussen points out that he is not dead.

The Doctor lets the sandmen in.

474 and Chopra find themselves trapped by fire.  474 punches Chopra in the face, knocking him out and then picks him up.

Everyone continues to hide.

On the tape, Rasmussen says that the Doctor figured it out - the creatures cannot see.

Using hand gestures The Doctor, Clara and Nagata communicate with each other before sneaking out of the room.

Chopra regains his consciousness and finds 474 wheezing on the floor.  Sand creatures stand just outside of the flames as 474 explains that it will die soon. 474 orders Chopra to go, even as Chopra insists that 474 can make it.  474 tells Chopra to go the ship to safe that he is pretty. Chopra takes off as the sand creatures step through the flames. 474 attacks to cover Chopra's escape.

The Doctor shows Nagata the feed that he has been watching and says that there's one very obvious thing that's wrong.  The Doctor says that there's footage of everyone but there's no CCTV, or cameras or helmet cams.  The Doctor questions how this footage can exist. The Doctor says that the dust has been watching them and that each spec is a tiny spy.  The Doctor adds that the visual receptors of the Sandman have been hijacked.  The Doctor notes that Clara went into the pod and that the Morpheus project has begun.  Yes, that means Clara is going to turn into a sandcreature. Clara however is certain that the Doctor will fix this and the Doctor promises that it will be sorted before destroying Morpheus forever.

The Doctor realises that the gravity shields were deliberately powered down though that's not the sandmens style.  The Doctor picks up a hose and says that it's like something is being kept alive.

A box moves through the station and the computer states: "warning dangerous material in transit, human contact not advised".

In black and white. we see a helmet on Nagata's head as she asks who is watching

Chopra records a message saying that since he has no contact with the chief and others that he is leavin and planning on destroying the station.  When Chopra enters the ship he is attacked.

The Doctor and others head to the rescue ship because the Doctor feels that that's where "he will be".On board the ship the Doctor says that Rasmussen had to get his story straight.  Rasmussen appears and says that the sandmen are the future and are a new and better life form.  Rasmussen explains that he just needed to find a way to get the creatures back to Titan, so that the creatures could spread.  The professor adds that the creatures speak to him in his mind, though they are like children who are evolving and hungry. It seems that Rasmussen made them understand that they had to find a way out.  T|he Doctor brings up Rasmussen's cargo so Rasmussen takes them to see it. The container holds patient zero - a man who hasn't slept in five years.

Nagata points her gun at Rasmussen and the cargo opens releasing the sand man.  Everyone runs and the Doctor whispers that what Rasmussen wants is to get off the ship and that they need a distraction.

In the meantime, Rasmussen has been working on the computer.

The Doctor calls the creature and uses his sonic glasses to play Mr. Sandman.  They run into Rasmussen who says that humanity's day is done.  Nagata shoots Rasmussen in the back and Clara screams to Nagata about killing being her answer for everything.  The Doctor notes that they are the only ones alive on the station.  The Doctor still thinks that everything is still all for effect but Clara encourages him to run.

The Doctor is adamant that they have to destroy the Morpheus machine.  They head into the room with the Tardis but a sandman stnads in front of it.  The Doctor then puts the grave shields on self destruct as Clara uses the key to get the Tardis door open.  The Doctor boards the tardis even as he goes on about how none of this makes any sense.

On the tape, Rasmussen appears again and he says that there are no spores and that the Morphues conversion is the same - an electronic signal that effects the brain.  The signal is contained in the recording and Rasmussen plans to transmit the message to the entire solar system.  Rasmussen says that he warned people not to watch.  Rasmussen becomes a sandman who says that there is nothing left of Rasmussen anymore and asks that the film to be shown to everyone so that everyone can be together - dust to dust.  Rasmussen's dust starts to blow away as the creature laughs ominously.

This is the first episode this season that hasn't been a two part series.  To be honest, I am glad that they shook it up a bit because it was starting to get a little formulaic.  That being said, though there wasn't technically a to be continued, I don't think that we have seen the last of the sand creatures. Clara has a little nap in that pod which means that she is infected.  We didn't see the Doctor do anything to cure her of this which makes me wonder if in the upcoming episodes if Clara is going to turn.  I know that they must have a dramatic end planned for her.  Could this be how The Impossible Girl dies?

There's also the issue that the tape was not destroyed and Rasmussen said that he would spread the tape across the universe.  Yeah, this story isn't even remotely complete as far as I am concerned and I don't think that Moffat is going to leave us hanging long on this one.

Not only have we seen the relationship between Clara and the Doctor change, Clara herself has changed. When she yelled at Nagata about killing, that line could very well have been said by the Doctor.  I wonder if it's the Doctor's aversion to guns that triggered that statement from her?

From the beginning I new that Chopra wasn't going to make it to the end. It irks me that since the death of Danny that there have been no reoccurring POC in this series.  In fact, what we have seen are POC dying hand over fist when they appear at all. I get that the Doctor at present only has one companion but there should have been a way to make this series more inclusive than it is, or at the very least to stop killing off POC at every turn.