Class – Series 1, Episode 7
26 November 2016 at 11:38 #54803Craig @craigEmperor
The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did
Don’t know about you but this is the one I’ve been waiting for. Yay for Miss Quill! She embarks on a dangerous mission, travelling to impossible worlds, to remove the Arn from her head and reclaim her freedom. Here’s hoping it’s good.
Edit. I liked it. Not as much as I hoped I might but it was certainly different. Ness definitely has a great imagination. It was like Time Bandits in the metaphysical world, and there were enough ideas to fill a movie. Katherine Kelly as Miss Quill is a total star and Ness gives her some fantastic lines.27 November 2016 at 18:44 #54812Juniperfish @juniperfish
100% my favourite episode of the season.
The engine of metaphysics (the study of being) as belief, is a very writerly take – belief manifests the gods.
As a mirror episode to the last one, beginning and ending with the same scenario (the locking and unlocking of the kids in the space prison) the emotional journeys of Miss Quill and Prince Charlie are paralleled.
How do you come to terms with the genocide of your entire race – the part your enemies played, the part you played? How much was free will, and how much was inexorable circumstance?
It’s pretty interesting to watch one of the Doctor’s cosmic “lessons” play out in long-form. He stranded Quill and Charlie at Coal Hill to learn, as he learned, that emotional connection is the path to recovery.
The Governors are wrong ‘uns, that’s for sure, and they are putting a spanner in the works. Interesting we still don’t know their relationship to UNIT.
They gave Quill an emotional connection (to the Shapeshifter) and then deliberately set up a scenario from which only one of the two of them could walk away. And let’s be clear, they rigged it so it would always be Quill, because the weapon they left was hers, which she knew intimately how to use, whilst the Shapeshifter did not. In other words, as part of the process of taking the Rodean control creature, the Arn, out of her head, the Governors made certain to control Quill’s mind in another way. They manipulated Quill into maintaining the mindset of “I am war itself”. She trusted someone, for an instant, and it was stamped on.
Charlie, meanwhile, in the mirror episode, is forced to see that he is frightening to Matteusz, with whom he has already made a love connection. And, that he is the guiltiest person in the room – guilty of participating in the murder of millions. He also admits that he is tempted, continuously, to use the Cabinet of Souls as a weapon. Anchored by love and friendship, Charlie is having an easier path to freedom, thus far, than Miss Quill, but what will his friends think when they see the horrible reality of the Arn which he put in Quill’s head?
I was beginning to think I’d give up on Class, but this episode was worth it.28 November 2016 at 04:52 #54814tardigrade @tardigrade
Agreed that this was a strong conclusion and the limited cast did well in carrying the episode.
@juniperfish They gave Quill an emotional connection (to the Shapeshifter) and then deliberately set up a scenario from which only one of the two of them could walk away.
I wasn’t sure whether the Governors deliberately set things up for Quill to need to kill to escape. In the end the reason Dorothea gives for not being able to get two people out of the cabinet doesn’t seem to hold water, as Quill seemed to make her way out without needing to use the Reliquary. So it does seem like outright manipulation, apparently with the intent to push Quill to force the destruction of the Shadow Kin. But the rapid deterioration of the Reliquary was unexpected, so this may not have been the original plan – the Governors do always appear to have a plan B.
I’m always iffy when the concept of belief creating reality is raised. Depending on how that’s played, it can fall anywhere between the self-evident (belief shaping everyone’s personal subjective reality) and the silly (The Secret). It’s in the grey-zone in this case- how objective the reality of the places traveled to is open to interpretation.
It does seem we got a look at the Quills’ natural form, assuming that the goddess is a bigger, badder version of normal Quill, which seems reasonable if she is a product of the Quill creating her in their own image (certainly the expectation is that she has a Quill brain). Unfortunately that natural form looks quite a lot like someone in a rubber suit.
I immediately got the idea that Miss Quill might be pregnant when there’s a one-off sexual encounter with someone who then dies almost straight away. I didn’t expect to see that start resolving almost immediately though- that’s bound up in time behaving differently in the cabinet though :-).
Some open questions:
When Dorothea is reporting to the Governors about the Reliquary she starts saying “Request further information from the j…[?]”. Interesting to wonder what the rest of the sentence might have been :-). It would seem to me that source would likely be alien. It did occur to me this might be another alien the Governors were holding prisoner, but “request” doesn’t fit well with that. So some alien who is co-operating with them or guiding them? If not alien, then they at least have access to alien tech (Black Archive?)
The Reliquary is hexagonal inside (and out)- reminiscent of the Tardis in some ways. Could this possibly be TL tech?
Is Quill getting pregnant something that the Governors had in mind might happen- it seems they might well have assigned that a probability, given what we know of their usual MO.28 November 2016 at 10:00 #54815Miapatrick @miapatrick
Definitely best episode. Class has always been better, in my view, with Quill on screen. To be fair, the actress is a lot older and more experienced than the rest of the cast. She made Coronation street quite watchable for a while. She almost made Steve MacDonald watchable for a while!
I liked (well not like exactly) the trick with the gun in the end. I’m not sure it was set up so she would always win, it seems like the idea is that the person who actually tries to kill the other/succeeds in over powering the other, would be the one to die. So, possibly, the more dangerous warrior is disposed of? Or, slightly different idea, the most cold blooded?
So why did ‘war itself’ seem to snap back into the pissed-off teacher state she was so disguised by? Presumably she still needs Charlie to open the cabinet, but does she need more from him than that? It did seem to me last week, in confession mode, he expressed a lot of guilt about the shadow cabinet, but still none about the position of the Quill within his society. Or the fact of enslavement as punishment. And is she going to find the Shapeshifter’s niece?
One thing I particularly liked was the part about eating mothers. Outdated, she says, and medically unnecessary. Her people have sworn off religion, but still follow a rather gruesome ritual she didn’t seem much keen on. Does this make Miss Quill something of a progressive among her people? I’d actually rather like to see her as the Doctor’s companion.28 November 2016 at 23:15 #54816tardigrade @tardigrade
@miapatrick I liked (well not like exactly) the trick with the gun in the end. I’m not sure it was set up so she would always win, it seems like the idea is that the person who actually tries to kill the other/succeeds in over powering the other, would be the one to die. So, possibly, the more dangerous warrior is disposed of? Or, slightly different idea, the most cold blooded?
It is a gun that Quill is familiar with. So I rather got the impression that she could have fired it safely, so it was stacking the deck in her favour. With these guns that tend to backfire, I get the feeling you’d learn to fire them without looking down the sights 🙂
So why did ‘war itself’ seem to snap back into the pissed-off teacher state she was so disguised by? Presumably she still needs Charlie to open the cabinet, but does she need more from him than that?
I didn’t read a lot into that, since as you say, she does need Charlie alive and somewhat co-operative to operate the cabinet. Charlie immediately went for the gun when he knew that Quill was no longer under his control though, so any trust there is gone. Things aren’t going to go back to how they were before.
For that matter, had she not collapsed, she might have intended to march Charlie at gunpoint straight to the cabinet. That direct approach may not be a good one anyway. Charlie would likely feel that if he did do as she wanted, there would be nothing to stop her shooting him anyway, so might be backed into a corner and target her, as the more immediate threat, with the cabinet, not the Shadow Kin.30 November 2016 at 02:53 #54817winston @winston
My favourite episode so far. I liked it all , story ,actors and sets. Quill was great, matched closely by Dorathea , her screamy rant as a hologram was chilling.This felt like an old- timey quest with lots of twists and turns for our searchers and in the end betrayal (and a baby?) for Miss Quill and death for the Shapeshifter. Like all true quests our hero, Quill ,wins the prize (her freedom from the arn) but pays a great price. I can finally say that I can’t wait till next week to see what will happen.5 December 2016 at 22:26 #54833Mudlark @mudlark
Who is Quill when she is free? and
Who is Balon when he is free?
If ‘Detained’ centred on personal truths central to those who were trapped in the classroom, this episode was concerned with the fundamental identity of two who have been denied the freedom to act according to their nature. Miss Quill is of an actively aggressive species who has been forced into subservience, and Balon is a shape-shifter whose essence is fluidity, existing in a state of constant flux, but who is trapped in a static form. What the two have in common, it turns out, is the mutual fellow feeling and loyalty of soldiers in the field, and it isn’t clear that this was according to the Governor’s calculations.
It seems that the purpose of the exercise was to free Quill, using Balon to that end, but realistically,with so many variables it was a long shot, even with a rigged gun. Although Quill did in the end survive, Dorothea was worried that things were not going entirely to plan, and in what way things went wrong remains unclear. Was Quill’s pregnancy part of the calculation or is it a potential spanner in the works?
I rather like the idea of the metaphysical engine; it isn’t all that far removed from a concept central to a novel I read recently – Arcadia, by Ian Pears, which posits a reality in which any idea conceived in the imagination has the potential to exist as an alternative vector in time and space, provided that it is internally consistent. On the level of pure fantasy, a somewhat similar concept is the basis for a trilogy of novels by Michael Scott Rohan
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