It’s been eight long weeks. We’ve had drama, killer plants, kissing, killer flowers, death, more kissing and finally; more death. This weekend saw the season finale of Class – the first Doctor Who spinoff since 2011. So was it worth the wait? Let’s have a look.
‘Doctor Who’ spinoff ‘Class’ review
Overall Class covered quite a bit in just eight episodes. It had the tough task of developing five lead roles and a handful of supporting actors in what could be considered a short season from the BBC. While we did get to grips with each individual character, there were definite moments where I wanted to see some major developments, and all I got was tired old cliches.
The definite highlight of the show was Katherine Kelly’s stellar performance of hard-arse teacher/alien Miss Quill. She perfectly portrayed a huntress in heels with an killer attitude to match. It’s a real pity that whilst the show revolved around the students at Coal Hill, they couldn’t hold a match to Kelly’s fantastic portrayal of her character. The younger cast members each had their moments where they shone, however Miss Quill definitely gets an A+. My fingers are thoroughly crossed she manages to high-kick her way into the TARDIS again at some point.
While it’s important to note that the other cast members are significantly younger than Kelly, I personally don’t feel their character development was due to a lack of acting skills – but more poor scripting. Most supporting characters didn’t come to life and their dialogue all too often made my eyes roll involuntarily. Need an example?
MATTEUSZ: Please no more promises. I won’t make any either. Except one. I promise to love you today. And tomorrow, I will make this promise again.
CHARLIE: I’ll make that promise, too.
MATTEUSZ: I would quite like to kiss you now.
I’ll give you a moment to throw up before I continue. There were just too many moments where Class felt like its sole purpose was to twang the heartstrings of viewers by using worn out cliches. Even the characterization was a bit on the nose. Being gay myself, I’m all for LGBTQ representation on television, but there there were definitely times when it felt that the show was over-compensating. It made it apparent from episode one that Charlie (Greg Austin) was our comfortably gay lead character. This was all the audience needed to know about him and his sexuality.
Unfortunately, the show continuously reiterated that this character was gay and that it wasn’t a big deal. Sadly this had the reverse effect, and by reiterating that it wasn’t a big deal, it became a focal point of early episodes and subsequently a ‘big deal.’
On paper Class seems like an fantastic concept. What happens to the world once The Doctor has sauntered off? How will people’s day-to-day life be effected by the waves he’s caused in time and space? In reality, Patrick Ness dealt us a story about the Shadow Kin. A race of aliens who are basically the most grudge-y creatures in the Whoniverse and love to back-stab (seriously – count how many times it happens!). There was little tie-in to the events of Doctor Who, something that would’ve been a massive positive for Class. While the show had some surprising twists that caught me off guard, there were definitely moments that were lost on me because there was no build-up of tension.
Take the most recent episode, “Lost,” as an example. This is your “spoiler-alert” warning by the way…
Our favorite jock, Ram played by Fady Elsayed, is having a friendly kick around with his Dad. We’ve April (Sophie Hopkins) singing about how people lose things (keys, sanity, the audience), and then what-would-you-know, Ram’s dad is dead. Completely out of the blue he’s standing in the middle of a football field with a sword through his chest.
While this is one of several deaths Ram witnesses (don’t get me started…) it’s a turning point for the character. A switch flicks in his head and he wants blood. However the gravity of this moment was totally lost on me because there’s absolutely no build up leaving me a bit confused and scared to play football.
As always with any bi-product of the Whoniverse, we’re left with a cliffhanger keeping us wanting more. This time around, we head into the mysterious Room M107. After another death and a cameo from a Weeping Angel, we hear about “The Arrival”, which presumably will be the main arc for season two.
The question is, was Saturday’s last scene enough to entice audiences back for a second helping? Personally – this is the one Class I’ll be happily skipping.