I was one of the few to remain open minded when Class was announced in October 2015. It had been four years since The Sarah Jane Adventures had come to its untimely end in October 2011, and only a month before that Torchwood aired its final series too, so, like many others, I was itching for a new Doctor Who spin-off as further expansion to the Whoniverse. Sure, it wasn't the Paul McGann Eighth Doctor series we’ve all been calling for, or even one starring River Song or the Paternoster Gang, but it was something at least.
A pity really… because Class wasn't very good.
Not only was it a poor excuse for a Doctor Who spin-off, to be perfectly honest, it wasn't a very good show in its own right. The tone all over the place, the characters are unlikable and it's completely missing the charm of Doctor Who and it’s previous spin-offs. The general idea for this series should, ideally, have been made for CBBC or pre-watershed BBC One (the BBC made a terrible error making this a BBC Three show) and had the tone of Grange Hill but with added aliens and Doctor Who goodness.
Instead, they chose to be ‘edgy’ by including gore, sex and swearing but everything else remained childlike and had zero appeal. As much as I want to try and forget it, Class wasted the legendary June Hudson on a forced and unfunny masturbation joke to make the show seem more ‘edgy’ than it really is…
“I caught my husband fiddling with himself on the stairs”
As much as I don't think the Doctor should have shown up in Class (the TARDIS scenes alone would have sufficed) it was quite nice to see him - but I think that was more to do with that the main show hadn't been on air all year. But the fact they felt they needed to bring the Doctor in only shows, to me at least, that there was nothing of substance to connect Class to the main show, aside from that cameo and a few references here and there. And not only that, but I also think it shows a lack of confidence.
But the biggest thing I think Class was missing was the hook that Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures had - otherwise known as established and likeable characters.
I didn’t care for any of the main characters, expect for Quill. I found Ram irritating and April boring. I thought Tanya was just there and didn't have much to do, though I did quite like her in episode 3 but the ‘white people’ comments in the first episode were unnecessary and put me off her character. Charlie was a little more interesting given that he’s an alien. I quite liked seeing him not understand certain situations and his and Matteusz’s relationship was pretty well handled.
These criticisms are not aimed primarily at the actors, I’m sure they're all great, it's more that I didn't care for the way they were written. Quill on the other hand was great! I love Katherine Kelly and she was in some the best scenes of the series and got all the best lines, although even she was spoilt by some poor dialogue - another one of the show’s problems. I hope Class doesn't spoil the chance of seeing Kelly in a different role in the main show!
Episode seven; ‘The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did’ remains my favourite of the series as it is completely Quill based, makes me care about her character and also takes us to different planets. Episode 5; ‘Brave-ish Heart’ is entirely forgettable, and although it’s proven to be a fan favourite, I found episode 6; ‘Detained’ to be mind numbingly boring, but then that’s what happens when you have an episode with unlikeable characters trapped in a room for 45 minutes.
Just in case you've not seen the final episode I'll try to stay spoiler free. All I will say is a certain monster from Doctor Who appears at the end of the series and it is actually a very well handled and creepy scene. However, not only does it completely come out of nowhere, as the show currently stands I don't think Class has the ability to carry off what it is hinting at with this scene, so I am hoping ‘The Arrival’ is part of Series 10 of Doctor Who, and not the potential second series of Class.
Now, to be fair, it has to be said that Torchwood had a pretty shaky start too and improved greatly in its second and third series so if Class is recommissioned then maybe, possibly, hopefully it might go the same way and bring me back on side. But from what we've see so far it has a lot of work to do.
Overall Grade: D+
Nick is a 2000 year old alien who travels through time and space, saving the good and conquering the evil... or so he likes to think.