Episode 9 – SLEEP NO MORE

In perhaps the most ironically named episode of all, Mark Gatiss produced his worst script by far for the show. To his credit, the found footage was a new way of producing an episode, so he deserves praise for trying something different. However the way it was filmed was too jumpy and flicking from one angle to another just got irritating, and the flickering picture quality didn’t help either. The Sandmen were actually designed not too badly but all creditibility was taken away when we found out they were formed from the sleep in the corner of your eye. It was just such a ridiculous statement and it made these monsters a laughing stock. Rasmussen was also very annoying. Yes, his plan was to spread the virus and try and deceive the Doctor and co. but what we saw of him made him out to be a dithering moron. The Chordettes’ Mr. Sandman being played occasionally was surreal and didn’t fit in with the dark and spooky tone the episode was trying to create. “The dust has been watching us” was another stupid concept. How on earth do the dust manage to record what’s happening? The Morphius pod flying through the spaceship was one of the worst looking CGI scenes of the modern era and the pod itself ended up being an anticlimax. All that was in it was another Sandmen that was easily trapped. Gatiss then scripted a monologue for Rasmussen where he said this episode was “exciting” and “spooky”. Sadly, I’m afraid it was anything but. This is a low point for series nine. Moffat has reportedly asked Gatiss to write a sequel and I really, really hope this is untrue. If a sequel is on the cards, it would need to have far more action and be more conventionally produced. 2/10

Episode 10 – FACE THE RAVEN

I don’t think there have ever been two consecutive episodes of Doctor Who that have been so contrasting in quality. Sleep No More was horrendously poor, but this was simply stunning. The episode began with Clara’s urge for adventure being evident once more in the series as she was almost begging the Doctor for praise for her risk taking behaviour. Rigsy’s mysterious tattoo brought the trio to Trap Street where they met Ashildr/Me. Again, I don’t really know why she had to be in the episode, any new character could’ve performed her role easily. That didn’t take away from the brilliance that followed though. Trap Street was such a magical set, I loved seeing all of the aliens flicker between their true form and the human form that their perception filter created. The Raven was quite a poetic villain and it was good to see it in action as it killed the old man midway through the episode. When I watch this episode, I like to forget that Hell Bent happened because this was a perfect way for Clara to exit the show. Her urge for risk taking and action came back to bite her as she took the chronolock from Rigsy. In doing so, she took control of the death away from Me, so her fate was assured. Peter Capaldi again puts in a superb performance as he lashes out at Me and promises to “reign hell” on her street if she fails to save his cherished companion. As she’s done throughout her time with the twelfth Doctor, Clara then talks sense into him as she urges him to avoid seeking revenge. The emotion on display from Capaldi and Jenna Coleman is extremely moving throughout Clara’s final moments. Seeing Clara in pain as she crumpled to the floor was very impactful and made her death even more fitting. The Doctor looking on at her lifeless body was such a poignant moment and the rage that followed from him was chilling. I loved how his fierce loyalty and love for Clara continued after her death and his threats to Me back inside were spine-tingling. In particular, the line: “The universe is a very small place when I’m angry with you” made the Doctor seem very dangerous. The ending of the Doctor being teleported to an unknown location on anonymous orders was a great way to set up the finale. Lots of people claim Doomsday is the best modern companion exit, but Rose Tyler’s soppy departure had nothing on this sensational story. Forget about Hell Bent, this was a perfect end for the Impossible Girl. 10/10

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