We have been a little starved of “Doctor Who” this year. Patrick Ness has thankfully made this horrible hiatus year a little bit more bearable with new satellite show “Class”.
Zygons disguised as wild horses wouldn’t have stopped me from watching this school-based spin-off, if only just to see the Doctor himself!
Yet Capaldi’s cameo wasn’t the highlight of the opening episode of this new young adult series. The Doctor was his wonderfully charming and eccentric self, but when Time Lord and Tardis finally rocked up, I was far too engrossed in Ness’s gripping storyline even to care.
An intriguing plot, plus the realism and modernity of “Coal Hill Academy” along with pitch-perfect performances from the cast had me hooked from the start.
I love Miss Quill, something of a rebel teacher to say the least. She breaks all the classroom rules. Like waving a space gun around. And committing the even more heinous crime of trashing a student’s mobile!
Sweet April and sporty Ram are gorgeous heart-throbs. At the same time they are rounded and believable characters with their own lives and problems. Bring ’em on board the Tardis, Doctor! A modern day Polly and Ben!
Gentleman Charlie is a convincing angst-ridden prince, whose sensitive side is quite touching. Tanya is quirky and likeable too, unlike her control freak of a mum.
The world of Doctor Who is lucky to have such a respected and talented writer as Patrick Ness. The quality of his writing shines through in all the scenes and Ness doesn’t shy away from swearing or gore.
The script and dialogue almost harks back to the kitchen-sink realism of the RTD days before everything went just a little bit too fantastical and timey-wimey.
I enjoyed Blair Mowat’s atmospheric musical score (Watch out Murray Gold!) and Ed Bazelgette’s pacy direction.
Yes, I would still love to see William Russell turn up as Ian Chesterton, but deep down something tells me that this is just not going to happen. Part of the strength of “Class” is that it is shiny and new. Nostalgia trips aren’t the order of the day.
Does “Doctor Who” itself need to be as hip and cool as “Class” is? The spin-off bounds along with endless energy. Arguably we need some of this youthful “zing” in Series 10.
Perhaps the Doctor really does need to “get down with the kids”? After all, young viewers are the lifeblood of the “Doctor Who”. The show requires a brand new generation of Whovians if it is to survive.
“Class” will surely help achieve that. Top marks all round!