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Class episodes 1 and 2 (spoilers edition)


As previously mentioned, I really enjoyed the first two episodes. I suspect that I'm a little biased, because the Doctor Who label automatically makes me want to like them, but I'm relieved to find that it's not difficult to like this show.

It's a little gory and horrific, and I definitely had to close my eyes in a few places in the second episode, but not to the point where I had to turn it off. Hopefully there weren't any Torchwood-like incidents where people let small kids watch the show despite the trailers and warnings!

I have a couple of minor quibbles, but none enough to be more than minor irritations. The autumn prom I'm fine with, because it may be a little American-esque, but schools were having proms back in my day and it does make more sense to have a dance in the autumn than during exam season. The second episode had a coach who didn't appear to have any other function, not even as a regular PE/games teacher, which did ping my "American!" radar a bit. I went to a girl's grammar and my sister went to a mixed secondary modern, and we definitely never had a dedicated team coach. If anyone can persuade me that this happens in academy schools, please enlighten me in comments.

I thought the first episode was stronger than the second, but that was mostly because I loved the Shadowkin and the backfiring gun and all of that arc. It looked gorgeous, it was legit creepy in places, and it managed to fill all the pilot requirements (establish characters, arcs, setting) with only one infodump. And I didn't even mind the infodump because of the way it was framed, using showing the way we use our own experiences as reference points when trying to imagine something. Well done, show, for making the info-dump interesting!

The second episode had a plot that isn't that new, the sentient tattoo, but I appreciated that they went somewhere a little different with it. And the resolution was definitely not what I expected from a Doctor Who show.

I'm loving the characters. Honestly, loving them. Favourites by miles are Quill and Tanya, for totally opposite reasons.

Quill is such a wonderful mixture of burning resentment, anger, bitchiness, brilliance, selfishness, and bravery, with just enough humour to make her incredibly entertaining. She's wonderful.

Tanya is adorable, brilliant, sympathetic, and kind, but not the kindness that makes Alice feel like a doormat. Her kindness is in compassion and being a friend, not jumping in to organise everything because nobody else will. Her scenes with Ram are wonderful, particularly in the second episode, and they make me so intrigued about their backstory together. How did people who seem so different on the surface--age gap, sporty vs nerd, cultural background--become such tight friends? I'm really hoping we get to dig into that more.

Ram is far more interesting than I expected him to be. Out of all the humans, he's lost the most: his girlfriend, his leg (and possibly a football career), and his innocence. Watching him work through his grief in episode two was fantastic, and I really hope they keep that thread going. I'd also like to see them explore the impact of what he did in episode two. He might not have stuck a knife in his coach, but Ram encouraged the alien to kill him. It's stated explicitly that they've killed someone and they're all trying to work out how to react to it. Usually angsty manpain isn't my thing, but the actor playing Ram is terrific and made me really care about him.

I'd also love to see the relationship between Ram and his father some more. I expected it to be distant and cold, but then we got that scene at the end of episode two and it was just gorgeous. More of that, please!

So far, Alice hasn't really had much expansion beyond "nice to a fault", so I'm finding it hard to really engage with her. Hopefully that will be rectified as the series goes on.

I knew Charlie wasn't human from the moment he claimed to be from Sheffield (yes, I did avoid spoilers!). Weirdly, after I learned about his background, he suddenly became more interesting for me. Where he'd felt a little bland previously, it felt like getting that information made me reassess what I was looking at. I'd really like to see more exploration of what his bond with Quill really means, and also what his understanding of gender and sexuality is. There's so much potential in his character that I'm excited to see.

I guess what I'm really loving is the characters and the way they're being developed, and that's what I want more of. Aliens of the week type plots keep everyone moving and growing, but I hope they bring us back to the Shadowkin and co. regularly, because that's a thread that will hold everything together.

I'm not sure how Whovian it feels, but when the writing is this good, I'm not sure I care.

(Wait, no, I care, but only in the sense that I want to see the Doctor pop up every now and again without making him into the deus ex machina who saves everyone at the end. Just remind me that this is set in the same universe once or twice, okay?)

So far, Class has been every bit as good as I hoped for and sigificantly better than I expected in certain respects. Give me plenty of Quill, lots of lovely Tanya and Ram friendship, and loads of adventure, and I'll be happy. I suspect I'll get this plus more, so I'm excited. Yay new show!


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