In a tense final episode, Patrick Ness drew BBC Three’s Class to a close with plenty of shocks and a lot of heart.
Set to music (did we know April could sing too?), the pre-credits sequence provided an easy-to-digest catch-up and reminded us how shattered the group’s had become; avoiding each other’s calls, skipping classes and keeping their distance. Only Charlie and April remained on speaking terms.
Given this separation, a consequence of unburdened truths from the claustrophobic ‘Detained’, it took seismic events to draw then back together; enter the deposed Shadow Kin monarch Corakinus, who promptly dispatched Ram’s Dad, then orphaned Tanya and her brothers in short order.
Meanwhile, the newly independent and spontaneously pregnant Quill awoke aster six days, having been cared for by Charlie. These moments were the comic highlight of the story, with Katherine Kelly’s brilliantly judged reactions to the suggestion that her offspring will expect to consume her after birth. However, as she rationalised, this is no ordinary Quill baby – a sole infant rather than a litter and conceived within the Rhodian Cabinet of Souls.
We also loved her scenes with Tanya (Vivian Oparah), with Quill ill-equipped to offer emotional support but willing to provide grief counselling through fight training. Quill also saved the girl’s brothers from Corakinus (but sadly neither of the silent pair seemed to own an equity card).
With Charlie and Matteusz bringing Headmistress Dorothea into the situation at gunpoint, we finally found out more about the mysterious Governors – although initially they remained an enigma behind a cupboard door, accessed with a charming flip action roman numeral key. Dorothea did, however, imply that their actions may have granted the Shadow Kin access to Earth.
Together for a finale climatic standoff in the school hall (where else), all bets seemed off with Corakinus believing that Charlie would not unleash the weapon, and demanding he take April back to his homeworld. He failed to count on both April and Charlie’s willingness for self-sacrifice though, and the gang prevailed – albeit at a heavy cost and with a genocidal act which has seemed inevitable for some time.
While the consequences of Charlie’s actions, the shocking result of April’s sacrifice and Quill’s pregnancy will doubtless rumble on, other plans were laid for the future too.
We were thrilled find Cucumber star Cyril Nri behind that door as the Chair of the Governors, returning to the Whoniverse having formerly guested as the enigmatic Shopkeeper on The Sarah Jane Adventures. His masters too came as a genuine surprise, and not an entirely welcome one especially as they promptly offed the brilliant Dorothea (Pooky Quesnel).
Despite their enduring popularity, we cannot help but think that the Weeping Angels’ early appearances, like ‘Blink’ and ‘Time of the Angels’ have not been surpassed and, ironically for this particular monster, their best days are behind them.
Although we have smiled at the gentle nods to the parent show, and of course Peter Capaldi’s cameo, Class has beaten its own path rather than relying on elements from the main show.
However, with the creative vision that Patrick Ness has demonstrated throughout, we have faith that he will put a new spin on the killer statues and we look forward to seeing where he takes them and Coal Hill Academy in the future.
Available from 10am on Saturday 3 December 2016 on BBC iPlayer.
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