After a busy series opener and a slightly less frenetic, if rather gory follow-up, Class settles in to its weekly pattern with ‘Nightvisiting’, which draws its beautifully macabre premise from the notion of the dead returning to visit those left behind.
Despite seeing a fair amount of death on the show already, the episode focused primarily on Tanya (Vivian Oparah) as she received a late night visitation on the second anniversary of her father Jasper’s sudden passing.
Probing her still raw grief, the alien intruder who wore her father’s face spun her a compelling tale of preparing the way and lessening her burden – all the time remaining umbilically attached to Coal Hill’s rip in time. As we pulled back, in a tremendous reveal, we saw that countless homes across Shoreditch were being visited in that same grotesque manner.
Quill (Katherine Kelly) too was confronted by a lost relative. Although she was hostile and deeply suspicious of her “sister”, she remained unable to act until the intruder posed a threat to Charlie. Their conversation revealed a little more of the race’s culture, with talk of their nest and a violent struggle for survival between siblings.
While Ram (Fady Elsayed) was visited by Rachel, his late girlfriend slain by the Shadow Kin, the manifestation provided little more than a fright, and was there to propel him towards April (Sophie Hopkins).
In quieter scenes, welcome amid the intensity of interactions with the monster, we discovered the reason for her mother’s need for a wheelchair and her father’s absence; the latter’s drinking and depression caused him to attempt suicide at the wheel while driving the family.
As well as building mutual respect between the pair, they also shared a kiss which seemed to signpost quite obviously where the relationship is headed. Let’s face it, if there is to be another couple on the show, Tanya is fourteen and Charlie is gay (with Matteusz, and an alien), so Ram and April are surely the obvious contenders!
Amongst the grief and sadness, there was another personal development too, as Matteusz (Jordan Renzo) was evicted by his parents – apparently able to tolerate his interest in boys until he actually began seeing one.
Thrown together, he and Charlie (Greg Austin) took their relationship to a physical level and it seems that Matteusz will now be a permanent fixture in the Charlie/Quill household. God help him, but surely this can only be a good thing to help the pair cope with the social niceties and hurdles of modern day human life!
With its insights into grief and a genuinely unpleasant monster concept which was cleverly rendered, this episode of Class appeared to be on another level to what has gone before; although there were great performances across the board, the scenes between Kobna Holdbrook-Smith and Vivian Oparah as reunited father and daughter were simply riveting – and Miss Quill’s inspired use of a London Bus as a blunt instrument was simply the icing on the cake!
Available from 10am on Saturday 29 October 2016 on BBC iPlayer.
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