So that’s Class done with then. I feel a little underwhelmed by the finale, in which a hell of a lot happened, and yet it feels like it never really got going. The choice of the Shadow Kin as the big bad didn’t really help. It had to be them because the whole series had been leading up to the Cabinet of Souls being opened, but it means that they’ve been the main baddy in four of the eight episodes, and they weren’t that good in the first place.
The stakes instead came from the sheer number of life-shattering disasters that befell the kids. It was an absolute bloodbath – Ram’s dad and Tanya’s mum being killed within the first few minutes. The pace was relentless, which was good for keeping the interest up, but it meant that there wasn’t much time to deal with these huge events, and so very broad strokes had to be used. It was exciting enough to watch, but no real substance.
On the plus side, this devil-may-care attitude did mean that by the time everyone was together for the final confrontation, I genuinely didn’t know what the outcome would be – it felt like anyone could die, and I wondered at one point if they were deliberately tearing apart the status quo, perhaps in the anticipation that there wouldn’t be a second series. In the end, April died, Charlie survived, and then April came back to life in the body of the dead Shadow King. That would have been a tricky one to sustain throughout a second series, but I kind of want to see them try.
An even better sequel hook was the appearance of the Weeping Angels. In retrospect, they should have used them as the main baddies for the finale instead, but what they seemed to be setting up for the second series looked exciting. It’s a shame that it’s never going to happen. Class is far from great, but it does qualify as “good”, and it’s the sort of thing that could have been a real success in a different era of BBC Three. Sadly, its commissioning came just at the wrong time, and the channel’s move online sealed its fate before it even began – nobody will sign off on a project this ambitious if it’s going to be seen by so few people.
It’s a failing of the television industry that shows like Class don’t seem to have a home any more. There’s an audience there that’s not being served in the same way that previous generations were at that age. Maybe Class itself wasn’t the answer, but it’s sad to think that despite the very mixed results attained by Who‘s various spin-offs over the years, it’s unlikely that there’ll be many more attempts.
SERIES AVERAGE RATING: 6.14
- Class series watched: 1 of 1
- Class stories watched: 7 of 7
- Individual Class episodes watched: 8 of 8
So nearly there. Just one more thing to slot in before going back to proper Who…