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We’re Only 2 Episodes In And Already Hooked On Class

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 18/10/2016 - Programme Name: Class - TX: n/a - Episode: Class - Ep1 (No. 1) - Picture Shows: (L-R) April (SOPHIE HOPKINS), Miss Quill (KATHERINE KELLY), Charlie (GREG AUSTIN) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Simon Ridgeway

Graduation came early this year. Not the kind where you get enough credits to finally escape high school—we’re talking about the experience of levelling up from the type of person who’s never battled the supernatural to someone who’s got hand-to-hand alien combat on their transcripts. The first two episodes of Doctor Who spinoff Class aired on Saturday night, instantly drawing us into a little-explored segment of the Who universe: Coal Hill Academy, former place of employment of Clara Oswald.

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Too bad for the kids of Coal Hill, but all that’s left of Miss Oswald is her name on a plaque in the school hallway. Clara could have been of use in fighting the various alien invaders who show up at the school in the first two episodes.

Due to the Doctor’s mucking around with space and time at that specific site, the Academy has become a bit of a sieve that non-earthly entities use to travel between their world and ours. In the series premiere, “For Tonight We Might Die”, the Shadow Kin crash the Coal Hill prom, steal April’s heart (in the most literal and painful sense), and kill Ram’s girlfriend.

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We also get Charlie’s backstory—he’s not a posh prince from Sheffield, he’s an actual prince from another galaxy who (along with his protector/nemesis Ms. Quill and a box containing the souls of everyone he’s ever known) is on Earth courtesy of the Doctor, who rescued the pair following the annihilation of their planet by the aforementioned Shadow Kin. Just when it looks like the genocide is about to become complete, the Doctor shows up to save Charlie and Quill a second time, and charges the newly formed teen clique with protecting the school from whatever else may come through the “bunghole of time” (as April has coined it) in the coming semesters.

For example, dragons. The alien kind that skin victims alive so that their mates can feast on fresh blood (so far, this show is really, really bloody). In episode two, “The Coach With The Dragon Tattoo”, Ram—who’s already seen his prom date vaporized and had his leg amputated by the Shadow Kin—witnesses two more campus murders and begins to think he’s losing his mind. But then his new friends have a run-in with the dragon, too.

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Several near-death experiences later, the roughly formed group (alien prince, child prodigy, footballer, and teacher’s pet) seem pretty tight. The showdown with the dragon/Ram’s coach (whose skin is host to dragon #2, long story) bonds them and convinces them that they’ll need to team up to, well, survive. An awful lot of people go missing from Coal Hill. The two-episode bodycount already sits at around a half-dozen and there are signs of more trouble looming. Who sent that robot to monitor Ms. Quill’s class anyway?

Here’s what we’ll be wondering about until next week:

Why aren’t there more alarm bells going off/PTA meetings being called about all the missing/dead kids and staff at Coal HIll? It’s like everyone except Ram, Tanya, Charlie, and April have serious short-term memory deficiencies.

Who are “The Governors”? When Ms. Quill examines the remaining parts of that humanoid class monitor robot, she finds their stamp on them. What do they do (besides manufacture class monitor robots), what do they want with Coal Hill, and are they affiliated with school sponsor EverUpward Reach Ltd.?

quill

…Or is it Ms. Quill alone that The Governors want? When she confronted the mechanical monitor after hours, asking him why he was there watching her and what he wanted, he replied (in writing) “YOU”. Is someone (other than the completist, genocidal Shadow Kin) after her?

What will the parents think? Ram has already confessed everything to his dad (it’s pretty hard to hide a bionic leg—you can’t wear knee socks forever) and it seems like April has a pretty close relationship with her mom (but ignores calls from her dad). Tanya’s mom, however, seems like she’d ground her daughter for even mentioning aliens.

When is the Doctor coming back? (Soon, please.)

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