Review: Class (BBC America) – At least the intro tune is catchy
By Robin Oatley on March 20, 2017
is set in the same universe as Doctor Who, or so they want us to believe. But this universe is a dark, bloody, dangerous mess. And I haven’t even mentioned the fact that the series focuses on teenagers, who by nature are also dark, bloody and a mess. Doctor Who spinoff? More like the millionth teenage angst series.
features two aliens posing as humans – Charlie Smith (Greg Austin, Mr Selfridge) and Andrea Quill (Katherine Kelly, Coronation Street). Teen Charlie is a Rhodian prince, and adult Andrea – real name Andra’ath – is a Quill. Quills and Rhodians are long time war enemies. Andrea was enslaved as Charlie’s servant and protector, and together the Doctor saved them when both their races were being slaughtered. Now, Charlie is a student in Andrea’s class.
Other main characters are human teens Ram Singh (Fady Elsayed, Silent Witness), April MacLean (Sophie Hopkins, Breaking) and Tanya Adeola (newcomer Vivian Oparah). The teens notice their schoolmates are going missing, and a weird shadow is lurking around their school and neighborhood. They’ll soon find out that it’s the consequence of the Doctor and his time traveling. The walls of time and space are stretched thin, and something is trying to break through from the other side. The thing that killed Charlie and Andrea’s entire species.
Though the series is presented as a Doctor Who spinoff, it shares nothing with the iconic series. Whereas Doctor Who is relatively innocent, with no real gore on screen, violence kept to a minimum and a lot of humor and brilliant remarks, is a gore fest. Nothing in ‘ nature of presentation makes it anything like Doctor Who, and for those families who enjoy watching the latter together, will be a nightmare fueling disappointment.
I cannot help but think this series is only attached to the Doctor Who brand to benefit from its name, although there have been no positive effects in the UK where the series originally aired. The series itself doesn’t even know whether to go into the Doctor Who creepy-but-family-friendly direction or not. For instance, when Ram’s girlfriend dies she disappears in a puff of energy, but Ram is then pelted with her remains. Logic – there is none.
The worst part of this series is the fact that they let Peter Capaldi, the actor portraying the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor, show up in the middle of this mess to wave around his sonic screwdriver. Capaldi is brilliant, of course, but all it does is highlight the mess this show is compared to Capaldi’s brilliance.
For those who may have missed the obvious judgement in the above review, I shall recap: this is not a series for your to-watch list. I predict the series will fail miserably in the US, like it rightfully did in the UK. Also, someone needs to teach Katherine Kelly how to chew with her mouth closed because that sh*t is just plain nasty.
Class airs on Saturdays at 10/9c on BBC America.