A little bit of a wobble for the second episode. It was far from terrible, but if it wasn’t for the Doctor Who connection, I’m not sure what would be compelling me to stick with it. I get the feeling that the show’s not quite sure who its audience is. It’s trying to be Buffy, but it also seems to be making its appeal narrower than it needs to be; just because your characters are teens, it doesn’t mean you have to aim so squarely for that demographic. The focus on character development and relationships is good, and that stuff’s universal, but it seems to fall down whenever there’s any sci-fi action required.
This is mainly because it veers worryingly into the realms of the silly, drawing unwelcome comparisons to Who‘s last “more adult” spin-off. There’s a lot of blood and gore – I’m neither for or against that in theory, but it’s used so frequently and with the same shots repeated so often that it loses all impact and just becomes comical. Especially as it’s always poor old Ram who seems to get splattered in the face by buckets of the stuff.
His recent experiences have seemingly turned him into a bit of a prick since the first ep. And do you know, he smokes. But at least he’s working his way through it, and it’s good that the show takes the time to examine the impact that all this insanity is having on our heroes’ lives. Well, apart from Matteusz, Charlie’s prom date who was there when the Doctor put the gang together but has seemingly since been dropped – we’re told he was “grounded” this week, but he doesn’t feature in the title sequence or main publicity photos with the others. A bit odd, really – is he the Class equivalent of Kelsey?
Still, after the gore count was upped with Mr Armitage’s recurring crossover character status coming to and end, the core group came together to defeat a monster without the Doctor’s help for the first time, and they achieved it by just having a bit of a chat and persuading it to leave. Like I say, it falls down a bit when it comes to the actual plot – why couldn’t the dragon have fed on cow blood from the local butchers or something, rather than killing all those humans? – which means that while it’s an enjoyable setting to spend 45 minutes in, it doesn’t quite satisfy in the end.
Oh, and also Miss Quill is Sherlock now, in a seemingly unconnected side-plot where she discovers an Ofsted inspector is a mysterious robot in disguise by noticing that his trousers are older than his jacket, or something. I assume that the robots will become important at some point in the future – that foreshadowing of “The Governers” at the end was far from subtle.