Quiet down everyone, our Class review is about to begin.
Last night (in the US anyway) the Doctor Who Universe got a bit of an extension. I’m not talking homework deadlines, although that might be good for this group of students given their extra-curricular activities. Welcome to our Class review.
Written by Patrick Ness, the author of A Monster Calls, Class is a clever little show that plays with the rules. Riffing on the monsters-as-metaphor-for-growing-up idea already trodden by shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The Vampire Diaries (both of which get a name check in the pilot episode), Class swaps roaming through Time and Space like its parent show for Time and Space roaming the halls of Coal Hill School.
Coal Hill has been a feature in the Doctor Who Universe since the very beginning, popping up here and there. Most recently companion Clara Oswald worked there and The Doctor was a caretaker, so it’s seen its share of weird goings-on.
Time to meet our core cast. There’s brainiac Tanya (Vivian Oparah), nice girl April (Sophie Hopkins), bad boy Ram Singh (Fady Elsayed) and posh new boy Charlie (Greg Austin), plus teacher Miss Quill (Katharine Kelley). But these first impressions are, predictably (but not in a bad way) not the whole truth of these characters. Quill is no ordinary teacher, Ram is actually a complete sweetheart and Charlie is DEFINITELY not from Sheffield. I won’t spoil anything, for those who might be reading this to be persuaded to watch, but Class handles these characters really well.
In just this first episode the group go on quite the journey. Everyone shows layers to the characters and potential for growth and change. A couple of characters undergo pretty huge traumas and that has huge bearing on the rest of the season.
“For Tonight We Might Die” is a solid opening episode. It handles its character introductions and world building deftly. The pop culture references are occasionally a little clumsy, but still engaging. Tanya’s early mention of the Bechdel test was great. The discussion which namechecks Buffy and The Vampire Diaries made me roll my eyes a little but also elicited a giggle.
Did you miss the first episode of Class? Fear not…
— BBC America (@BBCAMERICA) April 16, 2017
If you are in the UK and missed Class when it was shown here then fear not. The ENTIRE SEASON is available on the BBC iPlayer for you to binge at your leisure!