Class episode 8: The Lost (3/12/2016)
‘It is time to use the Cabinet of Souls.’ So, imagine The Day of the Doctor except the Doctor uses the Moment to exterminate the Daleks. If Class had continued, I suspect Charlie would have followed the ninth Doctor’s survivor’s guilt trajectory: ‘I should be gone with them.’ As it is, Class ends here, with our hero committing genocide to prevent genocide, Quill still pregnant, April trapped in the body of a Shadow Kin, and The Sarah Jane Adventure’s enigmatic Shopkeeper revealed as an agent of the Weeping Angels.
One cliffhanger I could handle, but that’s a lot to leave unresolved without a guaranteed second series. The Lost is really the first part of a two-part story – and we’ll never see Part Two. Lacking an ending, it can only be marked as “ungraded”. There are good moments in this – some of the deaths are genuinely shocking, and Charlie’s inexorable progress towards using the Cabinet of Souls feels like the natural pay off to the series, as he rejects Matteusz’s love to become an instrument of destruction with the endorsement of Ram, Tanya and Quill.
But all the unfinished business, and the slow realisation that Class had been dismissed, works against the show, leaving an unsatisfactory feeling about the whole endeavour. Like a lot of first series, this had rough patches, moments of over-reach and things that didn’t work (particularly trying to focus on more characters than could comfortably be accommodated in eight episodes).
But for me the biggest issue was the repeated attempts to force the show into a space that is usually only reached organically, with time, and the investment of the audience. It told us to care about the characters rather than letting us discover it for ourselves, and it tried to use them in a way most series would avoid in their first year. Outside the episodes themselves, I even got the sense that it was trying to force-grow a fandom rather than finding a viewership. Sadly, it failed, and these eight episodes, bereft – by choice – of a destination, don’t stand as their own, complete piece.
Next Time: The Return of Doctor Mysterio