This spin-off from the Doctor Who universe was awaited with nervous anticipation. I have to admit, I too was concerned this was going to be a resurrected Sarah Jane Adventures… which I did enjoy, but which was also distinctly aimed at a young audience.
Class is not only aimed older, but it doesn’t shy away from the dark and violent, and even a bit of skin. In other words, it recognizes that teenagers are young adults with real lives and wants and living in a real world, and so is its audience. There is something here for both older kids and adults. It isn’t quite Torchwood, but neither is it Wizards vs. Aliens.
Now, also admittedly, the cast is a bit self-consciously integrated (both in gender and race) and the solutions are somewhat easy. But, on the plus side, the teens are responsible for themselves and the situations; adults are somewhat optional. Also, unlike Sarah Jane, their Miss Quill, played by Katherine Kelly (Mr Selfridge), is delightfully snide and not exactly in control or as helpful as she might be.
Anyone who had doubts if this would have chops should be happily surprised by the show’s launch and second episode. There are rich story-lines, open mysteries, and characters with some depth. It may or may not be able to deliver on the opening promises, but it is starting from a strong position and a lot of potential.
For its inaugural season, Class really came through. The series is chock-full of surprises, big decisions, and intense relationships. Up through to the end it will do the unexpected… and where they go from that, I have no idea, but I’m more than willing to give them another shot to find out. This is still aimed at a young adult audience, and the writing is, at times, short-cutted (leaps in logic, wrap ups of situations) but it still manages to keep you believing and engaged thanks to the strong cast and direction.