Thread: Class

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  1. #51
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    The series is airing on BBC One starting on Monday 9th January in a graveyard slot of 10:45pm. However, I would urge anyone who hasn't watched it all yet to give it a chance as it shows some real potential if it gets a second series.

  2. #52
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    I've had the whole series sat taking up space on the Sky box since Oct/Nov - so over the past week or so I've watched the whole 8 episode run. Having read this thread, I agree especially with the view that it's not entirely clear who exactly it's aimed at. Not entirely suitable for kids, not totally appealing to adults, I don't know if there is a 'teenage' demographic for TV shows nowadays...?

    Anyway, just a few random thoughts:

    As Rob said, it would have been much better to use 'who are Charlie & Quill?' as a mystery for a few episodes rather than this massive info dump in episode 1 setting absolutely everything right away. On the other side of that argument, maybe they wanted to get it out the way as quickly as possible, because it seems a combination of hugely implausible and convolutedly convenient (Charlie just happens to have this cabinet of souls which also in some way is also a super weapon)

    There were an awful lot of sort of old-fashioned TV scenes, where people stand around talking for absolutely ages. Episode 5 (while in danger of being killed on an alien world, is not the best time to start chatting to your Dad) and episode 8's final stand-off, being particular culprits. I think I'm right in saying that Patrick Ness has written a lot of novels before, but this is his first TV? It works better on the page than on the screen, where it just seems a bit daft that every other character casually stands by to let people natter!

    The implausibility factor. Not the set-up, but the fact that by episode 2 Ram's Dad knows; a couple of weeks later, April's Mum and estranged Dad. And yet, they then carry on as normal, which just loses all credibility. The parents might have looked to take on the responsibility of dealing with aliens themselves; or more credibly stopped their kids ever going out at night; they'd have taken them out of school at once; quite probably looked to move away; gone hammering on the doors of the police or their MP or the army... Anything but casually carry on as normal!

    In similar vein, nobody else in episode 3 notices huge strands of alien tentacleness all across the streets...? The police aren't investigating the death of Ram's girlfriend, her parents aren't hammering on his door, etc, etc...?

    I'm not expert (it's years since I watched it, and then only casually) but I think Buffy (surely Class's most obvious forefather) handled that balance a lot, lot better. Buffy's Mum never knew, for example, meaning that her character could still seem real, rather than (as with Class) appearing to be the most irresponsible parent ever.

    There were moments where it seemed to be getting its act together, but they were a bit too few and far between for me. Also, I'm quite happy for it not to feel at all like Doctor Who - but it's hard not to view the appearance of the Doctor in part one as nothing more than a cynical way to make sure somebody was watching. That sort of jarred because the notion of "and then the Doctor appeared and saved us" is clearly not what this series is aiming at.

  3. #53
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    Just a quick run through...

    Ep 1 Starts quite well, but then becomes a massive infodump. It didn't help that (although this may be me getting old) half the time I couldn't make out what the Shadowkin (Shadowking?) was saying.

    Ep 2 Not too bad, not as much of a letdown as ep 2 of Torchwood for example.

    Ep 3 A bit dull, to be honest. Good idea, but maybe not quite enough to fill up 45 mins.

    Ep 4 & 5 Presumably intended as a big mid season action packed 2 parter, this one is a bit of a letdown. Too much contrivance, and lots of moments where the characters are simply acting as the plot needs them to. On the other hand, the subplot of the petals was very, very clever and probably the most frightening concept in the whole series.

    Ep 6 Nice idea, but 'intense character study' episodes aren't easy to do, 45 minutes felt just a bit too long again.

    Ep 7 Looked like it was going to be a good one, but very quickly became rather messy. And a bit confusing. The shapeshifter needed his God's blood to restore his ability to shapeshift, but then he says they haven't got enough, but then he's able to shapeshift, but then he still has the blood to fix Quill's face, and then... And if I'm honest, I didn't understand at all why they were inside the cabinet at the end - and, since that's an actual rather than a 'believed' place, isn't that different to popping up in Quill heaven, and... No, never mind. Very clever idea of the metaphysical engine, but the episode sort of felt it was cleverer than it was. And, although it doesn't really matter, but her baby/babies presumably won't necessarily be full Quills, because the father was... well, some sort of Zygon wannabe I think?

    Ep 8 It's a long time since I was a teenager, but I think these guys seem to be dealing with sudden and horrific parent murders in far too calm a way. One very intriguing cliffhanger (to be honest, the one thing that really would make me watch a second series is a pay off to it) along with a slightly dafter 'comedy' last moment.

    So, not a disaster, but not great, and I'm not sure whether Moffat was all that involved in his Exec Producer role - I know it's not the same thing exactly, but some of his writing in Press Gang was much much sharper than anything here. I guess he wasn't in a position to rewrite too much, but I can't help think he might have given it quite the polish if he'd been able.

    The lady playing Miss Quill was at least entertaining, and so was Pooky Quesnel as Dorothea... although I think we can be certain she won't be back in any second series.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Brinck-Johnsen View Post
    So this article suggests that the BBC aren't exactly happy with the overall less than enthusiastic reception Class has received and whilst I've enjoyed it, it's pretty clear that my husband and I are in a minority.
    Doctor Who spin off Class will get a late night slot when it airs on BBC1 Next Year

    It appears that having previously agreed that they will show it at an as yet unconfirmed future date, BBC One are quite keen to bury it in the late night schedule as they aren't keen on some of the darker content (and let's face it the first episode did feature some slightly gruesome shocks).

    I think the poor reception comes down to the problem I first identified when it was announced that Class was aiming at late teens and would not be suitable for younger viewers which is the same reason that Torchwood's first series almost disappeared up it's own backside (and was probably only saved by having a cliffhanger which was picked up by it's lead character returning to the mother show).

    Ultimately by aiming Class at Young Adults it seems to have alienated a large swathe of the core Doctor Who audience. Class really needed to be a much more family friendly offering. If we want an adult spin off then bring back Torchwood (the two surviving leads have clearly indicated they'd do it in a heartbeat). What's really needed is a replacement for the series that sadly can't be brought back for obvious reasons which is SJA. The reasonable success of Wizards vs Aliens which is now also on hiatus showed that the format of a drama set in a school could work just as well if not better for younger viewers.
    So this week we finally had the confirmation (as if it were needed after the earlier announcement by show runner Patrick Ness that he was no longer going to write any more episodes) that Class has been officially cancelled as it wasn't the success BBC Three were hoping for.
    Unfortunately the fact that it was being pitched in the direction of the BBC Three Young Adult audience was probably the main reason it failed and I stand behind my earlier comments that it needed to be aimed at the core Doctor Who family audience and not a small subsection that have largely lost interest.
    If it had been given a decent broadcast slot on BBC One or Two it might've done better but the first episode was all over the place tonally so it's no surprise that BBC Drama weren't exactly keen to promote it. Such a shame that the final episode gave a glimpse of potential excellence. If only there had been more established characters and monsters from the main show throughout the series.
    To be honest, as good as (some of) Patrick Ness' writing was. Letting someone who had never written for Doctor Who on TV before be the show runner on the first new spin off series for over five years was clearly a mistake. If Moffat didn't have time to be involved with this the way RTD was with SJA and Torchwood then it shouldn't have happened (or at least not yet). Much as I enjoyed watching it, this had the potential to be a much better series than what actually appeared and sadly will now just be another footnote in the history of failed spin-off attempts.

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