Film & TV

CLASS Episode 1: Review & Discussion

class_2016_tv_seriesClass is a new BBC Doctor Who-spin off show being aired on BBC Three’s iPlayer.  A lover of Doctor Who myself, I was a little sceptical about this show (also being a lover of Sarah Jane Adventures, I was worried it would simply copy it) but the first word out of my mouth when I finished the first episode was simply: Wow.

Note: there are spoilers in this post!

First thoughts: this is way gorier than expected. Like, seriously, it’s kind of like Supernatural I would guess, with all of the blood spurts and horrific deaths. I was hiding behind my hands a lot of the time, checking over my shoulder and sometimes just sitting here open mouthed because what the fuck is happening?  

Second thoughts: this is so beautifully diverse. It’s been written by one of my favourite authors Patrick Ness, who wrote The Rest of Us Just Live Here and other books (and I will definitely going to get more from the library soon!). Anyway, it’s a real pleasure to see on the screen as it does reflect the society of London today, unlike other TV shows which does not. (Obviously I don’t live in London, and I still don’t get why people do, but there we go.)

Third thoughts: this was actually pretty damn good.

The monsters were scary enough to make me not particularly look forward to going to bed tonight (always a plus from good old Who). It was the right mixture of funny, horrifying, scary and sci-fi-y. Peter Capaldi’s cameo was wanted, and yet very much like a penis. (“I think cameos are like penises,” Patrick Ness has said. “If you put it in the scene it’s all people are going to look at.”) I’m kind of glad he won’t be featuring much, because it will make it separated, but I definitely enjoyed seeing him on the screen!

Personally, I haven’t seen Torchwood, but Class does take a lot from both Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures. It isn’t very original on its own, perhaps because there simply isn’t that much new work to take. Also, this formula works: why change it? This isn’t a complaint, necessarily, more of a comment. For example, Charlie = Luke from SJA. Sarah Jane herself could be a mirror for Quill.

You could say about Class that it isn’t quite there yet. There was a lot of info-dumping in the episode, a lot of things that I missed because the events were moving so quickly (often in a debut for a sci-fi or fantasy series, though). Because all of this has been set up, however, it means that it can be picked apart in later episodes. I’m hoping that Class will get stronger as time goes on.

However, it was a really exciting thing to watch on the screen. I will admit I don’t particularly like Quill just yet, but I do like all of the other characters especially April, who is just downright kind. In true Who style, they are all social outcasts or don’t fit themselves in in one way or another, and I am really looking forward to seeing their friendships grow.

Overall? Class started out with a bang. I am really freaked out, really excited and am going to watch the second episode right about… now. Come along for the ride?

You can watch Class on the BBC iPlayer here!


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