Doctor Who & the Sleep-Crash

Here’s a riddle for you: I didn’t go to bed after you last night, and I didn’t get up before you, but I still got less sleep than you. How?

(Daily Doctor Who #311)

The answer is of course that I didn’t sleep at all. Instead, I stayed up all night working on a project for a team that I am part of, Cygnet Films, which has got deadline looming like a tidal wave and a whole lot of work left to do on it. My closest colleague did an all-nighter two nights ago working on it (or something close to an all-nighter, I didn’t pursue the issue), so I said I could do that last night, hopefully putting us into position to finish it during normal daylight hours.

But the end result is that I’m really tired. I was hoping to nap in the mid-morning, after I took my daughter to her driving test. Unfortunately, we had a car crash on the way to her driver’s test. She was driving but it was not her fault–we were rear-ended when we stopped for a red light. But we missed the test, the car is probably totalled (to be determined by the insurance investigators, and I spent much of the rest of the day in the hospital–not because either of us are actually injured, but just to get checked in case things were worse than they seem. Praise God, they are not.

So now my attention turns to more immediate concerns like Daily Doctor Who and my need to get a post up for today (or tomorrow, as I am technically writing you from the past. Hope things have turned out well in whatever potential future you happen to be living in).

So I was thinking…what are the best examples in Doctor Who of these two topics that are much on my mind…Sleep and Crash. I’ll try to think of three each.


Last Christmasthe Dream Crabs

The Dream Crabs (aka the Kantrofarri) are one of my favorite of the “lesser” Doctor Who monsters, and Last Christmas by Steven Moffat is my favorite of the series’ Christmas specials. The concept is not original by any means, but seeing Doctor Who‘s own take on dreams that are trying to kill you and dreams within dreams is real treat.

Kinda – The Mara

I’m actually in the middle of rewatching Kinda these days, with its fear-based entity that attacks people when they are in a dream-like trance. It’s a cool concept created by Christopher Bailey that really is ripe for a modern reappearance.

Deep Breath – A room with no point

Deep Breath is far from a perfect introduction to Peter Capaldi, but it’s got some good moments, including one in which the confused 12th Doctor derides the idea of a bedroom. It has no purpose except to sleep in, he discovers, which makes it a wasted room–a whole room that are just missing all the time.

Considered but rejected: Sleep No More. If I’d picked that instead of Kinda it could have been a perfect Twelfth Doctor trifecta. But I didn’t do that because it’s a terrible episode.


The Caves of Androzani – The Doctor gets back down to the planet

Peter Davison’s best story is his final one–The Caves of Androzani by Robert Holmes. His best cliffhanger is his final one, in which the Doctor manages to escape being captured by mercenaries but locking them out of the control room of their ship and crashing it back on the planet he’s trying to return to. It’s an epic moment of television and and epic moment for the character.

Time-Crash – The Fifth Doctor and the Tenth Doctor share a scene

This 2007 mini-episode featured Peter Davison’s and David Tennant’s Doctors meeting each other and sharing a brief little TARDIS-bound (and easter egg-filled) adventure by writer Steven Moffat. It’s short and silly, but really nice. And it’s got “crash” in the title.

The End of Time part 2 – What the Eleventh Doctor can’t remember

The Tenth Doctor disappears from our screens forever (or least, for a couple of years) and the bombastic hyper-activity of the 11th is introduced to us all. He’s energetic and confused, but is in general trying to remember one thing. He’s…what is it? Oh yes…He’s crashing!

And so the TARDIS crashes right into one of my favorite stories, The Eleventh Hour, and Amy Pond’s shed, and we get going again!

There you go! Three times Sleep!! Three times Crash!!


I’ve done one today, it’s time to do the other.

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