Students, students! Settle down! Yes, you in the back. I see you. Alright, who’s the wise guy who wrote “K9 and Company” on the board? Anyway, welcome to “Night Class”, where we’ll be analysing each episode of BBC Three’s Doctor Who spin-off, Class, and its reception.
Tonight’s episode is For Tonight We Might Die, written by Patrick Ness, who also wrote this whole season as well as the Fifth Doctor short story, Tip of the Tongue in 2013. It’s directed by Ed Bazalgette, who directed 2015’s The Doctor’s Meditation, The Girl Who Died, and The Woman Who Lived, and we’ll see more of his work later this year with The Return of Doctor Mysterio.
Your homework for today was to vote on what you thought of the episode, and here was your results!
Top of the Class! 24.62% (16 votes)
Almost as good as real Doctor Who 33.85% (22 votes)
Not sure; I’ll give the series another try 27.69% (18 votes)
The best thing about it was the Doctor 9.23% (6 votes)
Ungradably bad 4.61% (3 votes)
Judging by your responses, you all seemed to have a similar enough response to me. Steven Moffat’s statement of “Class is dark and sexy and right now” really made me nervous, as any show trying to seem hip and cool normally translates onscreen as “a bunch of adults really trying to seem hip and cool”. The trailers looked promising, although I was still apprehensive. But now I can gladly say that the show is actually far better than I expected it to be.
Not flawless, mind you. But all the flaws seem to be the usual flaws of the start of a new show, the odd joke doesn’t hit quite right and the pacing’s off in a few places. My biggest complaint is that one totally undeserved moment where April shouts at the students after realising she’s “too nice”. Nowhere near enough set up enough to warrant that moment that distracts from the Shadow Kin invasion. (I also think Shadow Kin is a silly name for an alien, but get that that’s personal preference.)
I thought there was a lot to like about this episode: I enjoyed the main cast quite a bit, even though I think Vivian Oparah’s character, Tanya is the least developed after the first episode. The dynamic between Quill and Charlie was quite interesting, and that tease of the Doctor during their flashback was really well done. I love when the Doctor is a mythic figure in the eyes of other characters. It was nice to see Mr. Armitage again, although I won’t be satisfied until I get an Ian Chesterton cameo. The Coal Hill School Roll of Honours Board was a wonderful idea; it reminded me of the UNIT companion wall in The Day of the Doctor – there’s a lot of references to Coal Hill stories from all over Doctor Who canon if you look hard enough.
Obviously seeing Peter Capaldi again was a joy, and he lights up the screen the moment he makes his half-ceremonious, half-unceremonious entrance through some prom decorations accompanied by A Good Man?. The moment he sees Clara’s name on the Honours Board was a surprising gut punch I wasn’t expecting. Speaking of music actually, the original score by Blair Mowat was also well done, feeling enough like Doctor Who-esque music while still being its own thing. Overall, I’m looking forward to the next episode!
So, what did you all think?
Hey, hey, don’t leave yet! Class isn’t over till I say it’s over! Alright fine, get out of here. Animals, all of you. Next class is The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo, so don’t be late!