Class – Series 1, Episode 1

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    Craig @craig

    Class - For Tonight We Might Die

    For Tonight We Might Die

    So here it is, Patrick Ness’ spin-off from Doctor Who, “Class”. Set in Coal Hill Academy, previously Coal Hill School, it focuses on a small band of mostly awkward students and a few of the staff members.

    Due to The Doctor’s frequent visits to the school the walls of time and space have been stretched thin, and all sorts of dangers are on the other side. When the school comes under attack from deadly monsters, the students must form an unlikely alliance to defeat them.

    This first episode is mostly scene and character setting and although I wasn’t overwhelmed I think there were a lot of interesting ideas and character developments already and it left me hope for future episodes. I’m keen to see where it goes. So am now going to watch episode 2, which is also available today in the UK.

    Anonymous @

    I really liked it. The characters are going to be great – they have a lot of potential. It seems like the character development might be a strong point.

    Being set in a school, I thought it might be more on par with Doctor Who’s level of violence and scariness. My kids were hanging out to watch it, but I had to pull a pin quite early on and they agreed but they’re really dissapointed. It’s not like I wanted an actual kids’ show, but it’s still sad they won’t be able to see it. Let’s hope it doesn’t dive to the depths of Torchwood.

    I have a big gripe with the music so far. It seemed to be mostly tacky oopy doopy “be frightened now” synthesiser  stuff and really uninspiring. Maybe there was a little bit of orchestral music and a piano towards the end? But I can’t be sure – obviousy it could have bee synth too. The music is such a big part of the awesomeness of Doctor Who.

    I hope it wasn’t just a cameo for Peter Capaldi… This year has been so Peter Capaldi deficient. I’m even watching The Musketeers now!


    Couple of very nice touches here, and not just the ones at the end:

    Coal Hill Roll of Honour

    Anonymous @

    @pedant and other

    Oh LOL as Puricle would say.

    He saw 10 mins and wandered off. A bit rude, innit?

    He said -prior to watching – “5 bucks it’ll have a nerdy girl and a nerdy boy. There’ll be a romance but not necessarily between them. There’ll be gay issues which I’m fine with, most teens will speak with a posh accent, there’ll be a weird teacher and a bully and corridors. Loads of corridors. There’ll be an event, like a soccer game or a ball and  there’ll be posters blowing about.”.

    So, I watched it and there were: nerdy girls (too pretty to be nerdy), crushes, posh lads, a bully and yep all of that.”

    I think he doesn’t want to watch it! He says “mum my fav shows are Leftovers, Who and Buffy” and this YA stuff aint for me.”

    Does he need a slap? 🙂

    Very probably so.




    Does he need a slap?


    The sin of prejudice needs to be beaten out of the young.

    Schools have nerds (the idea that they can’t be pretty is, when you think about it, pretty offensive), bullies, sports and teachers. And in London they have all sorts of accents. (Also, the second episode sets up what I suspect will be a seasonal arc.) And corridors. Seriously, that was a complaint? To write a school-set show that omitted these would be, to put it mildly, odd.

    Slap him again.

    Also, no Australian is qualified to talk about posh accents.

    Slap him again for that. Obviously your medical status means the slaps will be as of a slightly irked butterfly, but it is the symbolism that counts.

    (Aside: Watching as Aussie show called Glitch, courtesy of Netflix. )

    My (really quite major) issue with YA is that it ghettoises writing about young people. But Ness is one of the best.

    Anonymous @


    Oh, I’ve done it: I wacked him on the butt. I assigned him H/W to answer a question from newbie milkisnice (who may not be)

    He deserved it. 😉

    What I found funny was that he did in fact pick out the aspects that would be shown in the first half hour or so. Without seeing it.

    At 14 which was him being “all too clever”.

    I think the way to look at it is that he’s seen a lot of ghostly (so-called) horror films and of course Buffy, Who and other fantasy style programmes. After Buffy he felt not much could better it.

    Willow was nerdy. She is definitely gorgeous but not in the conventional manner, perhaps? The character, is it “Sarah”(?) was obviously very attractive and a bit too posh in his estimation.

    God, I’m defending him now!

    He was right insofar as there were plans for a dance and posters AND a soccer match (so 2/2 for that).

    He assumed romance, corridors and same sex attraction -well duh, it’s a school. Of course there’ll be phones and dancing, boyfriends and girlfriends or b’friends with b’friends. Of course there’ll be nerdy style people.

    I didn’t object to any of it actually and watched it just now. I didn’t enjoy the opening theme song.

    I did enjoy the rest: the wall of honour (thx for the screen shot), the “are you talking to a BOY?” cracks me up every time. I did find the complexity of slaves to the Rodians very interesting indeed -in one hour a lot of clever exposition yet the element of ‘souls’ in the box (as it were) and the discussion of the Prince’s people was completed deftly in less than 5 mins.

    You know how I detest exposition that is better done showing…and it was handled very well.

    No-one was talked down to -so I’d imagine a 16 year old would find it terrific.

    The variety of parental groups was intriguing to me as were many of the Prince’s lines and the Doctor’s himself:

    “Use your brain Miss Quill it’s the best weapon there is” and the repetition of “freedom fighter/terrorist” was nicely handled. Twelve’s use of “genocide avenged by genocide” was especially telling when one considers our current world – misery in Africa and South America doesn’t even find its way into the papers any more. The entire episode provides a canvas for broad stroke discussion.

    So all in all I’d give it an 8/10. But then I’m not the main audience (presumably). I think we’ll see a lot of people using words like “brave” and “gory” or “daring” etc. Blech. 🙂

    So, I’ll watch it again and insist Spawn watches it all the way through!

    After a round of his own clothes washing <*\*>


    Anonymous @



    Mmm. Yes.

    Did you see Cleverman?

    Might be floating around on Netflix. Not bad. Not awesome. But some stellar performances.

    Back to nerdy. Yes, pretty nerds -to assume otherwise is contemptuous isn’t it?

    I’m not entirely sure what he meant there. Knowing him and the fact he’s very sensitive (but also a bit arrogant) I would think he expressed it poorly. Perhaps he meant that a nerd such as this lass would have had a heck of a lot of help decorating the hall because she is attractive. So, young’uns at that age would put some faith in her rather than being so obviously disinterested in the dance/prom. Also, from my own perspective I wouldn’t think a girl would be left alone, in a school, to decorate a hall. There’s a prom committee.

    Yes, I know, I need a slap too. 🙂 But:

    “I’m not made of glass”   (see what I did there? *preens*)

    Did you view the Oz series The Slap?

    I’ve very diverse opinions about the way the series was handled considering the popularity of the book. The actor who played Liz 10 in The Beast Below was the female lead in The Slap. Her delivery was superb.

    Wrong thread!

    janetteB @janetteb

    Ow. I looked at that image of the honour roll and the first name I saw was the family name I am currently researching. Now that makes for an interesting twist on the family  history..

    We will watch Class tonight over dinner so I have to reserve comment until then meanwhile back to the research/writing project.





    Craig @craig

    @puroandson @pedant My take on it is that Ness is using all the expected tropes (or cliches) on purpose but getting them all in early so he can then subvert them. We’ll have to wait and see, but I think a big clue was having the Prom in the first episode. Usually everything in teen drama builds up to the Prom.

    Already we’re seeing that one dork is the last of his species, the other now shares a heart with an alien shadow thing, and the jock has possibly lost the one ability (skill at football) that made him popular.

    I do hope that son’s predictions, as brilliant as they are, were meant to be addressed quickly so that we could move on from them.


    @craig @puroandson

    I reckon that is a good shout from Craig.

    Did nobody else notice FOREMAN, S on the memorial board?

    Anonymous @


    Of course! He was showing off and being silly. This is the ooh, second time, he has been a smart ass?  (on the site)

    Hence the H/W…and I couldn’t agree more: addressed, done and dusted.

    I loved it on re-watch myself.

    On to episode 2 by the looks of it.

    N0pe @pedant I didn’t see FOREMAN on the board. I will have a better clever look.





    *thud thud thud*

    Take more meds 😉

    Anonymous @



    I found it. Eventually. It’s the eyes you see. 🙂

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    Overall, I though this was a promising opening, with some story arcs being set up and natural character development. The Doctor’s intervention wasn’t crucial to the story, and that’s a good thing, as if the series is to stand up, it can’t depend on the Doctor breezing in to save the day.

    Sure, there were some elements that you’d expect from a school setting, but not to the point of cliché, apart perhaps from the use of the prom setting. @craig suggested having this up-front might be to deliberately subvert normal tropes, which was an interesting suggestion. It also occurred to me that the prom wouldn’t be something you’d be able to build up to, as it just won’t seem a big significant event to the major characters any more, after what they’re going through.

    @puroandson No-one was talked down to -so I’d imagine a 16 year old would find it terrific.

    Agreed. I thought the characters were quite well painted and believable, and that’s also key for making the series accessible to older viewers (which is often the case with good YA fiction anyway). If the characters fail to ring true to adults, then they’re double likely to fail to be relatable for teens.

    @puroandson I didn’t enjoy the opening theme song.

    I can’t understand that. For me the opening sequence – visuals and theme song – were just straight up awful and the tone was way off-theme and will be a mandatory skip for me in future. Fortunately that was by far the low point of the episode.

    Anonymous @


    Um, well the theme song was something I didn’t enjoy -I’m not sure it was awful. At least that’s not how I feel at any rate.

    Glad you liked it though.

    Sparse comments from other members at mo.

    Thank you.

    Puros Son

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @puroandson well the theme song was something I didn’t enjoy -I’m not sure it was awful.

    The song itself perhaps isn’t too bad- it’s more I felt its tone was way off that of the program, so not suitable for the opening. I’ll stick with my guns on the visuals though- not at all sure what they were trying for- 80’s Bond film? Had it been a show I’d come across at random, I’d have switched it off before the opening sequence finished. These days I’d be suggesting minimising opening sequences anyway- get the show name up and whatever credits are essential and then get rid of it without breaking the atmosphere.

    @puroandson Sparse comments from other members at mo.

    I suspect this has gone under the radar for many, which is a pity, as it’s worth a look- may hit consciousness when the main series awakens from its slumber for the Xmas ep.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hi folks,

    Thanks for starting a thread on Class @craig . I’ve just caught up with it.

    Like @tardigrade I disliked the opening sequence, which just seems like a CGI on-speed attempt at the painfully contemporary. The sound-track in general is frequently… unpleasant. But, there is always the possibility that I am just, “too old for this sort of thing” TM.

    I didn’t start thinking the series had possibility until Capaldi entered and forced everyone else on camera to up their acting game.

    Miss Quill and her insectoid alien demeanour of ice however – oh yes, a distnctive character already.

    Charlie is a prince though, really? Why do planets have to be ruled by earth history compatible aristocracies – it’s normatively hierarchical and lazy (sorry just re-watched the Star Trek movies, and hated it when Spock likewise revealed [this is Star Trek V The Final Frontier we’re talking about] that Sybok his half-brother’s mother was a “Vulcan Princess”. Ugh.

    I did love the flash vision of Charlie and Miss Quill in their native alien forms. Miss Quill has quills! And they’re telepathcally bound together, last of their (warring) kinds. The Doctor has a weakness for lasts of a species – awww.

    The meta-textual rattle through the show’s predecessors in the school-based supernatural genre (Buffy, The Vampire Diaries) was a little self-conscious, as was some of the other dialogue – “You just made us fail the Bechdale test”. Although, some of that works. I did like the Gibbs probability density equation on the blackboard, which is used to study infinite systems  – very appropriate for a school where tears in the space-time fabric let in detritus from an infinite number of other worlds. And the dig about Media Studies (as much as I generally deplore it) was funny, in the context of the myriad academic papers on Doctor Who!

    No to the Shadow-Kin – they looked like CGI dark Ents, and the double swords were just cheesy. Give me someone in a rubber suit any day over CGI though – I prefer to watch people act.

    A gay kiss right off the bat? I like the continuation of RTD’s legacy in populating the Whoniverse with LGB folk as standard, as brash and awkward as it is here. Likewise, I’m a fan of the ethnic dversity of the core ensemble. And one with a disabled Mum, one who’s had to deal with the death of a parent, one who develops PTSD after his girlfriend gets speared by an alien – these are all good character beats.

    Coal Hill’s shield logo is of two dragons  – more monstrously appropriate than the school board realises.

    There are some other nice details – April is wearing a tiny silver heart pendant, visible as she makes the poster for the Autumn Prom, and she shortly thereafter gets her heart linked to the Shadow-Kin King (bloody aristocracy again). After the linking, at the prom, she wears an infinity symbol.

    A cabinet of souls (souls are now officially “a thing” in the modern Whoniverse). And the Doc has a new neon green/ blue screwdriver.

    The fact the Doctor left a bunch of teenagers in charge of an Artron energy rift definitely adds another layer of ice to his own character, particularly given the amount of gory death which seems to be happenng there.

    You’re right, @pedant the list of school alumi with Susan and Clara clearly visible was a nice touch, particularly the Doctor’s pause, gven that Clara has been (as far as we know) erased from hs memory. “Time has looked at your faces, and time… never forgets.”

    Someone on Tumblr has complied this list of significant mentions:

    • <i>Foreman. S.</i> naturally is Susan Foreman, presumably considered dead some time after disappearing in 1963 in <i>An Unearthly Child</i>.
    • <i>Fairchild. A.</i> is a bit more questionable, but may refer to Aubrey Fairchild, the Prime Minister who succeeded Harold Saxon but was later killed in the 2009 Dalek Invasion of Earth in <i>The Stolen Earth</i>. Perhaps he was a Coal Hill School alumnus?
    • <i>Gibson. J.</i> and <i>Hatcher. D.</i> are Joe Gibson and Dudley Hatcher, who were two students at Coal Hill at the same time as Susan, who were killed by “The Cold” in the Telos Novella: <i>Time and Relative</i>.
    • <i>A. Okehurst.</i> was a teacher killed in the same events above.
    • <i>H. Parson</i> is Harvey Parson, the headmaster in 1963. He was taken control of by the Daleks and later exterminated in <i>Remembrance of the Daleks</i>.
    • <i>A. Dunlop</i> is the teacher who came to get Clara in <i>The Magician’s Apprentice</i>. It is unknown when or how he died

    I’ll definitely keep watching and see where this goes.

    <waves at everyone>

    J-Fish out.


    Anonymous @


     …a little self-conscious, as was some of the other dialogue – “You just made us fail the Bechdale test”

    It’s Bechtel isn’t it? I could be wrong. though.

    “Metatextual rattle.”

    Uh oh!

    As for Prince, it’s a YA show: it’s acceptable to use such terms. I believe he himself having researched Earth’s history would try to find a noun (as would Quill) that fits…for their sake.

    It was a fast pilot. Lots to do. Lots to explain and many, many 15 year olds to hold on to before they said “fuck this”.

    Kindest, PuroSolo


    Anonymous @

    I deplore media studies too. 🙂

    Although @juniperfish you may have meant you deplore the “digs” -not sure?

    But yes, if the former, I did enjoy that little aside.

    The opening wasn’t the best was it?

    I find that a lot of YA shows do have some rather unusual openings? 🙂

    I suppose, when we compare it to Who, which is SO beautiful, we expect it to be as good as, or better. I guess we need Murray Gold after all.

    But thank you for the list from Tumblr -I hadn’t seen it. Only picked out three names and one after @pedant did his “thud thud”.

    I needed that one.

    I do wonder about the obvious character beats: the two non-anglos, then the girl with the mother in a wheelchair and then the alien. Basically every issue is covered with the five youngsters: religious, sexual, parentals. I found that a tad over textualised: yep, I made that word up: as media study fellas tend to do themselves.

    Miss Quill’s “I am war itself” is what sent Puro the Younger right out of the room giggling. What was that?

    We determined it was a post-normative statement best fitting the position of “freedom fighter” underwriting the  trope tipping point. Or something….

    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @purosolo It’s Bechtel isn’t it? I could be wrong. though.

    Bechdel Test actually. It’s only applied to a work of fiction though, so a character saying that is 4th wall breaking. I suspect it’s partially a dig from the writer on formulaic YA fiction, which may sometimes struggle to pass the test, something that won’t be a problem for Class 🙂

    Anonymous @

    It’s Bechtel isn’t it

    @tardigrade Yes, I was referring to the spelling not the “test”. In some dictionaries it’s spelt “Bechtel” or “Bechdel”  -the Czech/English dict. refers to it with a “t” whilst an Aust. dictionary has a “d”. Anyway a very minor point so I’ll move on from there, post haste 🙂

    You may have thought it was Puro the Younger who was in this discussion not Puro the Elder. Generally I sign off as PuroSolo for clarification.

    Puro the Younger learns a lot from the writers on this Forum -@pedant @jimthefish etc.

    He enjoys having a peek when he’s not too busy.


    Anonymous @


    It’s only applied to a work of fiction though, so a character saying that is 4th wall breaking.

    Mmm, using the comment “Breaks the [The]  Bechtel Test” – don’t think it breaks the 4th Wall, necessarily?


    tardigrade @tardigrade

    @puroandson Mmm, using the comment “Breaks the [The] Bechtel Test” – don’t think it breaks the 4th Wall, necessarily?

    Used as it was, it could be construed as a comment on the conversation from Tanya- at a minimum it’s a “meta” comment, i.e. about the conversation, rather than part of it really. In a work of fiction, it then felt to me, at least in part, like a comment from the writer to the audience, hence my comment.

    Anonymous @


    they were conversing.

    …at a minimum it’s a “meta” comment,….

    If so, then everything is “meta” at some point. 🙂

    Most writers throw in something which appeals to certain audience members: conversations, scenes of galactic awesomeness etc.

    Kindest, Puro

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hi @puroandson  (Puro the elder)

    I’ve always loved Murray Gold’s scores. Blair Mowat is the composer listed for Class. There were some moments I liked – familiar notes as the Doctor appeared. But, it didn’t feel seamless. Obviously, with the inclusion of contemporary popular song (theme tune and at the Autumn Prom) it’s doing something different deliberately. Just, not to my taste, as yet! I always loved the bands who played at the Bronze in Buffy.

    Yes, I generally deplore digs at “Media Studies”, because, under that umbrella, in fact, fall courses in Animation, Journalism, Media and Politics, Media and English, Scriptwriting, Advertising, Marketing, Public Relations, Film, Cyber-security, Coding, and more…

    People who produce “the media” (in all its multiplicity) study the media. “The Media” is a tremendously powerful system(s) with which us humans are increasingly interfaced (has anyone been watching the new season of Black Mirror?). To surrender conscious study of that system(s) is to surrender oneself to control by forces, corporate and governmental, which would indeed prefer that we laugh at the idiocy of “Media Studies”. Edward Snowden would agree, no doubt.

    BUT,  in Patrick Ness’ case, given that he has worked as a journalist, screenwriter, television producer and lecturer, I’ll let him off, because I know it’s the insider version of the joke.

    Rant over 🙂

    I do agree with you @tardigrade that the Bechdel test comment (my bad – sp originally) is a meta-textual moment, because it is a moment in which the text, through the characters, comments, knowingly on itself – a wink at the audience regarding the architecture of the scene. A writerly joke, inviting a readerly audience. It;s a signal, usually a good one, that the writer wants to play with the audience at the level of structure.

    Now for episode 2…



    Bechdel Test actually. It’s only applied to a work of fiction though, so a character saying that is 4th wall breaking.

    Used as it was, it could be construed as a comment on the conversation from Tanya- at a minimum it’s a “meta” comment,

    Nope. Being meta is nothing to do with breaking the 4th wall, which specifically refers to directly addressing the audience (the 4th wall in question being the TV screen).

    You can have an many meta, knowing and nod-to references to real world issues and fan debate as you like without once breaking the 4th wall.


    I found that a tad over textualised:

    The area of London where Coal Hill is set is one of the most diverse parts of the UK. Just about any migrant group, from Huguenots on, has passed through and the most recent is a coterie of small technology enterprises doing the whole external economies of scale thing in cheap workspace (except it’s not cheap any more, but that is a whole ‘nother story).

    Thus spake an economic geographer.

    (Before it got a bit poshed-up, I lived in Shoreditch for a while and was once stood at a bus stop (Hackney, where Shoreditch is, was until very recently the only inner London borough without a Tube station) and was looking at a huge poster listing all the newsagents where I could by a daily or weekly Travelcard. About 90% of them were run by people called Patel. Most of those would have been Ugandan Asian thrown out by Idi Amin).

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Yes, agreed @pedant – it would only have been a fourth wall break, if Tanya had then rolled her eyes at us, the audience, after April failed to get the Bechdel reference – i.e. “looked at the camera like she was on The Office” – I love the way that phrase is now used as an eyeroll to one’s online buddies whilst in a room full of offline stupid 🙂

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @juniperfish- I would have thought ‘Prince’ was a translation- she was also picturing them all as teenagers, as I remember, and wearing school uniforms. There are hints that the rebellion wasn’t unjustified – I noticed that is isn’t that that the doctor is punishing her for- so some kind of hereditary ruling class could make sense.

    Anyway, I quite liked it, for a beginning- hopefully the fact it’s on bbc three means that it should get a bit of time to bed in.  How well it does might give an insight into how many teenagers are watching Doctor Who at the moment, and it should benefit from this endless wait for new episodes. (Doctor Who is actually making me look forward to Christmas for once…)

    I really liked that they made one of them a young carer. There are a lot of young carers with very little support so I think it could be helpful.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    Yes, you’re right, I also liked the master/slave ethical puzzle box the Charlie/ Miss Quill dynamic leaves us to chew over.

    And when we remember that, in one time-line, the Doctor was responsible for the genocide of his own people, you can see why he’s somewhat forgiving of this pair, lasts of their kinds after a terrible war.

    Agree on the young carer front. And I’m assuming the series title “Class” has a deliberate double meaning, which will allow the show to explore the dynamics of social stratification at Coal Hill, also mirrored in the dynamics of social stratification which characterised the Charlie/ Miss Quill relationship.



    Anonymous @


    The Media” is a tremendously powerful system(s)

    Seriously? Big, is it?

    Never have known.

    Media Studies in this country does not include anything remotely like Journalism, Animation etc etc at high school level.  Typical media studies has a class of 12 donut heads on the same line as physics, Chem, Music, Drama, Legal Studies: hence my comment. At university you may consider it different. Certainly the two semesters of Journalism I took were not deplorable.

    At least until the sport writers took over.


    “over textualised”

    Post modern crap -see?

    As to the group of students who happen to know each other, talk to each other before the invasion begins I find it hard to believe that these then become the ‘Class’.

    Thus spake Zarathustra.

    Jeepers. What a morning wiv you lot.

    Anonymous @

    @juniperfish :  Hi Miss. This is from Son. You say this:

    Charlie is a prince though, really? Why do planets have to be ruled by earth history compatible aristocracies – it’s normatively hierarchical and lazy (sorry just re-watched the Star Trek movies, and hated it when Spock likewise revealed [this is Star Trek V The Final Frontier we’re talking about] that Sybok his half-brother’s mother was a “Vulcan Princess”. Ugh.

    Puro states:

    As for Prince, it’s a YA show: it’s acceptable to use such terms. I believe he himself having researched Earth’s history would try to find a noun…

    @miapatrick states:

    would have thought ‘Prince’ was a translation- she was also picturing them all as teenagers, as I remember, and wearing school uniforms.

    Miss @miapatrick said pretty much what Puro was thinking and describing, no?

    I thought so. I aint no scholar of Media Studies though, so….. 🙂

    Still, @miapatrick is considered “right”.

    Been a solid year since I’ve joined this terrific forum and generally I haven’t noticed this “you’re right” or “no, you’re not right” expression. As if the person writing: “you’re right” has some final word on the matter.

    I thought it was a forum for ideas being discussed equally. Without lecturing? With people being equal?

    And look, if it isn’t that, that’s fine: I have a heck of a lot to learn. But I’m also learning a lot about social relations. About how some-one swoops in and waves a wand and claims “this person is right. This one isn’t and this…..well, I’ll ignore that one.”

    And again, that’s OK too, in a way, because people here have enormous knowledge: more knowledge than I could have dreamed of.  So thank you for enlightening me. I have to go back and watch it a second time -or is it a third?

    Puro the Younger 🙂

    winston @winston

    Hello all!  I watched this first episode and found it promising. I will keep watching to see what happens to the “Class” and Ms. Quill. Her character and back story intrigued me the most , especially after she phoned the Doctor. He gave her his number.  The shadow bad guys were really nasty and I was a little suprised at the gore and blood but I had been warned. It was great to see the Doctor again and his talk to them about taking care of themselves because he couldn’t always be there to save them shows some of the humility he has learned. So far so good .now on to episode 3.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @juniperfish hear hear. well Said. I studied cinema at Uni for about three years and it was by far the most intellectually stimulating subject I did it covered so many fields of knowledge and thinking, politics, philosophy, history, psychology, literature, just to name a few. R.1.(our eldest recalcitrant) has just enrolled into the same course at my old Uni which I am really excited about. Was worth subscribing to Sight and Sound for all those years after all.

    Oh and thank you for the list of names and their links to the series. I do wonder where the remainder of the names came from purely random or the Paisley phone directory? (But that has nothing to do with Dr Who or Class.)

    I am afraid I can’t really say too much about Class. Have still not managed to watch episode two or rewatch one so I am still in the “wanting to like it” mode. There is as yet “no verdict” from other family members.

    Sometimes it takes more than four episodes for a show to get into its stride. It can take an entire series. Still thus far the kids show potential to be interesting characters and Miss Quill seems a little too obviously alien but she had only been at the school a few weeks and I suspect that there will be a lot of character development there.





    Mudlark @mudlark

    It has taken me a while to get round to it, but I have finally watched Class 1 and 2 end to end.

    Last week was a trifle hectic and evolved into a prolonged celebration of my birthday, spread over several days.  My visitors left on Monday morning, but it has taken me several more days to unwind and get myself organised once more.

    Back to the subject in hand.  In my case the jury is still out, but there was more than enough in this first episode keep me watching.  There was a great deal packed into it and in consequence, to my mind, the pace seemed rushed and the establishment of the individual characters lacked subtlety, but I can understand why that was the case.  There were, on the other hand, some deft touches, including the cinematic use of (normal) shadows to prefigure the manifestations of the Shadow Kin – echoes of the Vashta Nerada in Silence in the Library?  There were also almost subliminal hints as to how the abnormal at Coal Hill School was being rationalised: the policeman glimpsed on the premises as the pupils were arriving – because people had been disappearing – and the firemen in the aftermath of the Prom. The Doctor’s appearance was nicely judged, because of course he would have saved the last two members of their species; and who better than he to warn against genocide as a solution to a threat, who had in another reality brought about the genocide of two species, one of them his own.  He was there to establish the background and the terms of engagement but, although it was no doubt irresponsible on his part to leave two somewhat compromised aliens and a group of teenagers to deal with the consequences of his past activities in the locality, he cannot be everywhere to pick up the pieces, and this is no doubt a scenario replicated many times and places in the whoniverse.


    I did love the flash vision of Charlie and Miss Quill in their native alien forms. Miss Quill has quills!

    I took this to be April’s imagining of what an alien might look like, the quills suggested by Miss Quill’s name, just as  when told that Charlie was a prince among his people she visualised him in a crown, seated on a throne. It struck me as significant also that, as @miapatrick noted, when Charlie described the Rhodia as ‘a cultured, learned society’, she pictured them all dressed in school uniforms – so not even sixth-formers ?*. When I was her age the image brought to my mind would probably have been of himation-clad philosophers strolling and debating in the Peristyle of the Athenian Agora, or teachers and students in the setting of an Oxbridge university quadrangle, or perhaps French intellectuals arguing in a fug of pungent cigarette smoke at a café table on the Rive Gauche.  It conveyed the impression of a naïve and somewhat literal imagination, which was probably the intention.


    Miss Quill’s ‘I am War itself’ reminded me of the Doctor in his ‘oncoming storm’ aspect, but she has a long way to go yet before she qualifies!

    puro the younger

    … generally I haven’t noticed this “you’re right” or “no, you’re not right” expression. As if the person writing: “you’re right” has some final word on the matter.

    I think that when people say  ‘you’re right’ they usually just mean ‘I agree with you’, but I take your point. It could be interpreted as an assertive statement, as if to say, ‘no other point of view is valid’.

    Final, random observation, of significance to British members of the forum only, if any.   Why Sheffield?  I’ve heard posher accents than Charlie’s, but if they wanted to be convincing, couldn’t he and Miss Quill have managed at least a faint approximation of a south Yorkshire accent?


    * When I was in the sixth form, back in the Palaeolithic era, we still had to wear uniforms; not the same uniforms as those lower down the school, but almost equally hideous.  How times have changed 🙂




    Why Sheffield?  I’ve heard posher accents than Charlie’s, but if they wanted to be convincing, couldn’t he and Miss Quill have managed at least a faint approximation of a south Yorkshire accent?

    Especially when lots of planets have a north.

    (But seriously: I think that is what writers call “a joke” 😉 )


    PS My 6th form was smart dress, but not uniforms.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    (But seriously: I think that is what writers call “a joke” )

    Exactly so 🙂  Perhaps I should refrain in future from trying to make an oblique joke about a joke, or at least add a smiley to signify intention 😳





    Poe’s Law in action.

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @pedant  😆

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @puroandson- I don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth but I personally saw @juniperfish‘s ‘you’re right’ as ‘yes she did imagine them all in school uniform’ (as @mudlark points out, sign of a very literal imagination. Almost disturbingly so.) or ‘yes the Doctor did say he was punishing her for her crime on earth not on her old planet’.

    Like you I’ve always found this a very egalitarian site and I’m sorry if you felt snubbed (or, worse, felt your mother had been snubbed) but I really don’t think that was the intention. We have to take great care while talking on the internet, without eye contact and tone of voice, and with such long gaps between comments, and every sentence, being written down, seeming so much more significant than when one is spoken. I’m slightly intimidated, sometimes, by the extent of knowledge and experience of some of the members here (they are also a significant part of the draw of this site for me.) But I’ve seen you hold your own, on your own, several times, and I always enjoy the @puroandson postings.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    Congratulations to your eldest – I hope they enjoy the film course as much as you did.

    You will be able to compare notes!

    @Puroandson (son)

    If you met me, you’d find I often use, “You’re right,” as an agreement-based equivalent to, “I see what you mean.”

    Text-based internet misses a lot of human nuance.

    I wasn’t insulting your Mum, just, in that moment in space/time chatting to @miapatrick.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    Sorry I’m late to the party…

    Have to admit that I wasn’t all that enthused about Class when it was first announced but that was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. The two key touchstones for the show as far as I can see are Buffy and Torchwood. Certainly the revamped Coal Hill is looking suspiciously like Sunnydale High these days. It’s a natural enough move, I suppose. There’s been numerous attempts at a Brit version of Buffy and they’ve to varying degrees fallen on their arse (yes, I’m looking at you, Hex).

    There’s other similarities too. Miss Quill’s symbiotic ‘punishment’ struck me as being very like the en-chipped Spike of mid-period Buffy, as did her assured anti-heroic sociopathic stance. She’s a great character (and another in the line of female psuedo-Doctor figures we’ve had of late) but I think she runs the risk of stealing the show unless the other, more juvenile, characters assert themselves a bit more. Also on a Buffy note, I thought the Shadow Kin were channelling The Beast from s4 of Angel a wee bitty too much.

    The Torchwood aspect I think is rather more of a negative one. I’m two episodes in so far and Miss Quill aside I’m finding the cast are yet to really come alive, to bond. And they really need to. Because otherwise you get Torchwood, a dominant, otherworldly figure, surrounded by a collection of bland, samey characters. I have high hopes though. Mrs Fish is very keen on Patrick Ness and @craig has indicated, Nightvisitors seems to take a step into deeper character territory. I suspect we need a bit more humour but that may come if we see them bond a bit more. (We need a collective noun for them though. The Coalies?)

    I agree with @juniperfish that the title ‘Class’ is going to be more than just a school reference. I didn’t have too much of a problem with the obvious human parallels in the Rhodian culture (am I the only one who was thinking ‘Greedo’ everytime that was mentioned btw?). Though I agree it would be nice to see the influence of Banks’s The Culture maybe start to be felt in mainstream SF.

    The Doctor’s guest appearance was very welcome in this long drought of Who we’re enduring and PC seems well and truly comfortably in the role now — which augurs well for next series. A new Doctor is only really established I think when you have a fair idea how they will react to certain situations and I think it took PC (deliberately) longer to get there than most. He does have a tendency to slip into a slight impersonation of the Fourth Doctor sometimes though and he was very much in that mode here. I think I prefer the more mercurial version of Listen/Heaven Sent, who seems far more unique to PC personally. But he definitely seems much more assured and in command of the role than in his earlier days.

    Having said that, it was possibly a shame that he did rather commandeer the end of the episode and maybe that’s what making me feel that the Coalies (yes, I went there) haven’t quite managed to establish themselves yet (Dragon Tattoo felt like too much of a breathless runaround to help matters either). It might have been better if they had had more of a hand in the denouement, rather than ‘the ‘Doctor arrives and saves everyone’.

    So, quite promising but it’s not there yet. If the characters bond and the show forms strongly around their relationships then this could really work. But if it doesn’t get there in three or four episodes max then I suspect I’ll be tuning out again. And it is nice to see that Ness and co have made use of the fact that they’re working in the online medium and not been afraid to go darker than perhaps the show would have been if it had been made for terrestrial TV. Same with Fleabag (which everybody should also take the time to watch in my opinion.)

    thehumantimelord @thehumantimelord

    Does anyone know when Class comes out in US





    On another note, has anyone been able to make out who the sponsors of CHA are (in the big sign out front)? I think that might be significant

    Juniperfish @juniperfish


    There’s info about where to watch BBC Class around the world here:

    Looks like 2017 on BBC America.

    <Waves at @jimthefish>

    Yes, I rather think Miss Quill is stealing the show already.

    Thanks for the Fleabag recommend – It’s been lurking at the edge of my “to possbly view” consciousness, but I’ll give it a go, if you think it’s worth it.

    @pedant – the sponsors will 100% be nefarious – I trust Ness to take a swipe at forced academisation 🙂

    Incidentally, @everyone – I wondered whether the title of this episode was a reference to the poem “If We Must Die” by Claude McKay?

    He was a Harlem Renaissance poet and the poem is about the struggle of the oppressed:

    It’s a rather fitting poem, perhaps, for the Coal Hill Bung Hole Gang (CHBHG) in Brexit Britain with its rising tide of rascism – two actual aliens, one Polish boyfriend, one black Briton, one Sikh Briton (April being the only white Briton on the team, although Charlie and Miss Quill are currently passing).


    Missy @missy

    This will be short and sweet.

    I watched the first episode and the only shining light was when PC came on the scene. The second episode was even worse. Too much gore and violence and the acting lack lustre. Not for me.


    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord

    waves back at @juniperfish

    oh and @juniperfish and @pedant — I’m waiting for the episode where CHA is turned into a grammar school. (Could be mistaken for an anomaly in the space/time continuum but, nah, it’s just the feckin’ Tories.) Agreed that the sponsors could well turn out to be nefarious as hell….

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    We rather liked the Sheffield references. After all, Sheffield includes one of the wealthiest political constituencies in the UK, as well as some of the most economically deprived – so no lack of realism in a Sheffield person being proper posh.  However we took umbrage at ” ‘It was paradise’.  ‘So, not Sheffield then’.”

    Mudlark @mudlark



    the revamped Coal Hill is looking suspiciously like Sunnydale High these days

    I am in no position to comment on the Buffy comparisons, because I have never watched Buffy * but I did get the disconcerting feeling that the metamorphosis of Coal Hill into an Academy in smart new buildings had transformed it into an American High School.  If that is what British schools are like now I wouldn’t know; my schooldays are so far in the past that I cannot use them as a basis for comparison and, as L P Hartley observed, the past is another country.

    What in particular did strike a dissonant note was the glimpses we had of the classroom set-up.  It seemed to me odd for sixth-formers to be  sitting at desks in serried rows with the teacher invigilating in front.  Is this usual?  In the sixth form at my school, unless it was a lab practical, we sat around a large table with the teacher at the head, and classes were more like seminars, with everyone actively participating in discussion.

    Suddenly I feel old and clueless 🙁


    * Yes, I know, my loss by all accounts, but when that show aired I was working long hours in a demanding job, and the time I could spare for TV viewing was very limited.




    And now you can catch up 😉

    Mudlark @mudlark


    In theory, yes, but 144 episodes over seven seasons looks a bit daunting, and I scarcely have the time, even now, let alone the stamina for binge watching on that scale.  I find it difficult enough not to fall behind with current shows I want to watch 🙁

    If I ever become completely house bound, perhaps then …

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