BBC America’s ‘Class’ 1×01 ‘For Tonight We Might Die’ review

BBC America’s Doctor Who spin-off Class premiered tonight for US audiences.

The series has been described by many critics as the next Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Vampire Diaries, but it seems closer to the former than the latter. There is no love story, well, one that the story doesn’t surround the story. There are just aliens and humans fighting against dark forces that invade their school. Imagine if Doctor Who were set in a school and the Doctor is a teacher who hated their life. This is Class.

Coal Hill Academy teacher Miss Quill (Katherine Kelly) is an alien who is forced to protect her enemy, alien prince Charlie (Greg Austin). They were sent to Coal Hill Academy by the Doctor to blend in since their home planet was destroyed. Unfortunately, the forces that want to kill Charlie show up and cause havoc at the school, which include fellow students – lonely April (Sophie Hopkins), young genius Tanya (Vivian Oparah), and popular jock Ram (Fady Elsayed).

After all four students see shadow monsters appear in the university, they must work together to get rid of them. Of course, sweet and innocent April ends up sharing a heart link with the shadow leader, so there’s that. This gives our characters some sort of attachment to alien life other than three students working with aliens.

The series does require you to know the Doctor Who universe because the Doctor appears in the pilot episode. The Doctor, of course, saves the day with the courage of the students.

The characters are all established in the beginning of the series – Tanya is a young genius with an overbearing mother; April is a lonely  teenager who yearns to fit in; Ram is the cocky star player on the football (soccer) team; Charlie is the alien prince who lost his home to the shadow people; and Miss Quill is an alien who is punished by Charlie’s people into becoming his bodyguard on Earth.

Miss Quill is pretty entertaining as the tormented prisoner-turned-body guard who is tasked to take care of Charlie, her sworn enemy. Instead of a wise teacher, she’s just in contempt in what she has to do and with funny results. Ram is a likable character, especially when you see him fight for the people he cares about. After losing his girlfriend, he wasn’t afraid to die. His character has proven to the Doctor and his classmates, he’s a valuable team player. I can’t wait to see more of it.

Class airs every Saturday after Doctor Who on BBC America.

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Laura Sirikul
Laura Sirikul 1730 posts

Trekkie. Jedi. Whovian. Sherlockian. Hobbit. Sanrio. Comics. I am Spartacus. Warrior Princess. Superhero. Nerd. Follow me @lsirikul

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  • Floy Joy

    In the UK the series has bombed big time. It was seen as a flimsy WHO-spin-off, not even remotely in the same class (ha!) as Torchwood, or The Sarah Jane Adventures. It was seen as PC-ism at its worst-students of every colour/creed and even a character in a wheelchair (April’s mother)-as if sponsored by the United Nations! But not just that. The stories, acting- in fact everything about it- was generally given a big thumbs down by viewers.The ratings did not even dent the top 100 chart! It was sometimes called Buffy-Lite (ie. all the good bits of Buffy taken out!). I happen to agree with this assessment and found it cringe-worthy. Compared to Doctor Who it is awful. The BBC UK are ready to cancel it but if BBC America responds well and wants to buy a 2nd season, that is the ONLY thing that will save it!

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  • Achirae

    Canada Here.

    I downloaded and watched it as it aired in the UK, and by and large, I have to agree with Floy’s assessment, though I do appear to have liked it a little more than Floy did. The show has potential, but after watching season 1, it’s got no grab factor. The Class cast doesn’t have the Scooby Gang’s (Buffy) zing. It boasts little humor or camaraderie, just teenage angst often aimed at each other.

    It’s got great Whovian aspects to it, what with the cool and unusual aliens and story arcs and dimension-stuff (though their dimension portal thingy seems suspiciously like a poor man’s Hellmouth), but strip away the Doctor and you don’t have a whole lot of reason to really care about anyone else.

    I’d be willing to give season 2 a watch, assuming it makes it that far, but they’re going to have to really wow me to have me come back for a third season.

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