This weekend saw the UK premier of ‘Class’, which is the latest Doctor Who spin-off series and centres on Coal Hill Academy, which has been a recurring feature of ‘Doctor Who’ since the show began back in 1963.
The show is airing weekly on BBC III, which is available online only. Below our my thoughts on the first two episodes.
For Tonight We Might Die: When monsters invade Coal Hill, four students form an unlikely alliance to defeat them.
Review: This opening episode pacing wise was a little slow, but not in anyway to the detriment of the story. The story sets things up wonderfully and the monsters of the piece were an alien species called the Shadow Kin.
We learn that at least two people on the team our aliens who the Doctor saved and deposited at Coal Hill. Which makes sense given that this device is used to set up the team.
Katherine Kelly is wonderfully cast as Ms. Quill who is wonderfully deadpan and the most effortlessly alien of all the characters.
The opening story does much to set up the characters and it is April (Sophie Hopkins) and Ram (Fady Essayed) that get the lions share of development here.
That said though. This episode does a heck a lot towards developing the characters.
The Doctor makes a guest appearance in the story and it is very much his idea for the kids to form as a team under the guidance and protection of Ms. Quill who is none to pleased with the task.
The Coach With The Dragon Tattoo: A dreadful new monster threatens the school, and the gang must unite to fight against it.
Review: This second episode is much slicker than the season opener and brings Ram into the team more as he struggles with the recent loss of his Girlfriend and adapts to his new leg while trying to keep his place on the footy team.
Ram does not feel a part of the group and is the character in the series thus far that seems to have the bigger personal struggle on his hands.
This story involves Ram’s coach who has a Dragon Tattoo, which is not your typical tattoo. Especially given that the monster that is reaping havoc on the school is a dragon.
Ram sees the dragon, but at first no one believes him.
Meanwhile Ms. Quill has a demon of her own to do battle with. An accessor who is making notes about her teaching performance.
I particularly enjoyed the interactions between Ram and Tanya in this story. Especially when Tanya talks a little about how she handled her grief.
The reveal at the end concerning the Dragon was not exactly a surprise if you are a seasoned viewer of this sort of show. But it was an effective tool for bringing the team together and for us viewers to get to know the different characters and their quirks.
Ms. Quill continues to be the comic relief of the series.
The series, which is aimed at teenagers has a fair amount of blood and gore in it. But unlike the early episodes of ‘Torchwood’ it does not have characters dropping random cuss phrases in order to proclaim itself an adult show. In fact the few phrases used come in a very natural way and are in no way forced.
Overall. I really enjoyed these opening episodes and see a lot of potential for this series moving forward.
- Incidental Music9.5