WARNING: This article contains some MAJOR spoilers
The newest spin-off of the hit BBC series Doctor Who, Class, has just finished its first whole series. If you want to look at my review of episodes 1 and 2 then click here and if you want my verdict on episodes 3-5 then click here. This review is dedicated to the quasi two-part ‘Detained’ and ‘The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did’, and the series finale ‘The Lost’. Here is my verdict.
Episode 6 – ‘Detained’
In all honesty, episodes 6-8, whilst having some big action sequences, were all about the series’ central characters. Episode 6 is Class’s response to the critically acclaimed 2008 Who episode ‘Midnight’ and featured the protagonists (minus Quill) trapped in a room outside time and space with an alien murderer for company. Like Midnight, the presence of an unknown alien species opened up cracks in the relationships between the group due to the alien forcing them to state truths about their feelings and pasts. The acting from the younger cast was probably the strongest it has been the entire series and the alien asteroid that housed the prisoner was a menacing threat. Once again it felt like a step in the right direction for the series, after the shaky episodes 4 and 5; it feels like the series is at its strongest when they strip away the massive alien threats and instead focus on issues that the audiences could identify with through the protagonists.
Episode 7 – ‘The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did’
The fact that episodes 6 & 7 ran alongside each other chronologically allowed a whole episode to be gifted to the scene-stealing Katherine Kelly as Quill. What started out as a adventure romp turned into a self-reflection on her warrior past and what she would do to gain freedom from the mental slavery of Charlie. Arguably Quill had been one of the least fleshed out characters in the series but here the audience got a whole adventure with her. The episode also fleshed out the impressive Pooky Quesnel as headmistress Dorothea Ames and introduced Ballon, a shape shifting warrior, who was a good contrast to the cold yet calculating Quill. The fact that the episodes are only 45 minutes long sometimes makes the episodes feel too fast but here it matches the frenetic tone and the time that passes quickly in the Cabinet of Souls.
Episode 8 – ‘The Lost’
These two episodes ran nicely into the final episode and emotionally the stakes were higher than ever, featuring the deaths of parents Varun and Vivian and initially April as well. Killing off the parents got a mixed reaction from me; on one hand it highlights the dark tone and makes for a more emotional episode but on the other hand it all felt a bit too swift. April’s death was unexpected but her consciousness being placed in the Shadow Kin leader’s body feels like a misstep and one that takes away the power of her death. The Shadow Kin returning, whilst was as scary and as tension filled as we hoped, almost made episodes 4 & 5 feel irrelevant. Their deaths hopefully will allow the series to move forward in the future and the closing segment with the introduction of the mysterious Governors and the fact they are working for the Weeping Angels was a great twist and one that Who fans were hoping would come around. Decisions were made in the final episode that will have repercussions for the relationships among the protagonists and the clear direction the series is indicating gives me big hope for it being recommissioned.
P.S. Matteusz Survived! – Just wanted to put it out there.
What do you make of the final three episodes of Class?
Comment below what you think about the newest Who spin-off.