Class is a 2016 spin-off of Doctor Who that lasted one season of eight episodes before being cancelled; the series takes place at Coal Hill Academy, the school where Doctor Who characters Ian and Barbara – and later Clara – taught at.
At the school, everyone is hard at work preparing for prom. We’re introduced to several characters, and the cast starts looking a lot like they’re from The Breakfast Club: there’s the nerd, the jock, the princess…the prince, the prince’s bodyguard, and then, uh, random guy.
One of the characters, the teacher Ms. Quill, is an alien in disguise who’s forced to protect another alien, Charlie (the prince of an alien world). These two fled to Earth after evil shadow aliens destroyed their planet, but now the shadows have followed them here.
The shadows attack some of the students. The princess (April) has an encounter with the shadow alien leader and their hearts somehow become linked thanks to a mishap with Quill’s space gun – if April dies, the alien dies, and vice-versa.
Also the shadow aliens attack nerd girl Tanya, and Ram the jock sees this during a Skype chat with her . Tanya and Ram seem to like each other and will end up together in the end, I’m sure.
The shadow aliens attack the school again on prom night, and all these kids we’ve been introduced to get together with Ms. Quill and Charlie to fight them off.
The Twelfth Doctor arrives, but just turns on some lights to make the shadow people run away and sends the alien leader into a rift or something.
Apparently there’s now a Hellmouth at this school and these kids and their teacher are going to have to team up and fight whatever weird alien shit that comes out for the rest of the series.
I had seen trailers for Class before I watched this episode, and I already knew I wasn’t going to like it. So that mindset may have tainted my viewing of this episode, but I tried to be positive. It’s difficult, though, when most of the characters are annoying angsty teenagers; Ms. Quill being the exception of course, and thus the best character. I’m not planning to watch anymore episodes of this, but if I was, it would be for her.
Class feels like a cheap rip-off of all the shows its characters name drop (especially Buffy the Vampire Slayer). It also feels like a mixture of Doctor Who‘s other spin-offs, Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures, but only the worst parts of each put together. Given Class‘ reception and performance, I have a feeling it will be soon forgotten, and lumped together with the oddities of the franchise, like the BBV films and the Australian K9 spin-off.
The Doctor’s extended cameo was okay. I liked that he didn’t do too much, giving the new Class characters more to do, but at the same time it felt like he did too little that it’s almost as if he shouldn’t have shown up in the first place. It’s true that first episodes are usually pretty rough, and based on the preview, the next episode looks like it could be a bit better, but I won’t be watching it. I’m done.
Perversely, I liked this series, which if I recall correctly I watched more than just the first episode of. Generally speaking I am not crazy about whiny teenagers either (although in my former life as a teacher I tried to make allowances for them). Perhaps my favorable attitude towards this show was due to the fact that Peter Capaldi, whose Dr Who I loathe, was in it for such a *short* time.