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Class - Series 1 [Blu-ray]
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From the Universe of Doctor Who.
"Time has looked at your faces now. And time never forgets..."
It's a new term at Coal Hill Academy, and students are preparing for their Autumn Prom. But when the school comes under attack from deadly monsters, four alienated students must form an unlikely alliance to defeat them.
Like all teenagers, these four students have hidden secrets and desires. They are facing their own worst fears, navigating a life of friends, parents, school work, sex, sorrow - and possibly the end of existence. And this incursion is only the beginning...
Charlie, April, Ram and Tanya, under the watchful eye of Physics teacher Miss Quill, are now charged with a great responsibility by the mysterious alien known as The Doctor: protect Coal Hill and guard against the creatures of nightmare that want nothing more than to find a way through to Earth and take it for their own.
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Top customer reviews
Ps. The first three episodes are "just okay" (my words precisely, when I was done watching them), but the rest are much better, so give it patience! :-)
Nevertheless, Class does have some good moments-the brutalities of the Shadow Kin, the Dragon Tattoo (where that episode is almost too gory and surreal) and the weird and wonderful Lankin, and a surprise appearance in the final episode by a Weeping Angel.
But what does make Class quite as good as I've ranked it is the cast where, as it set in the lives of teenagers where the actors are years older, and Patrick Ness, the writer of the series, manages successfully to give each of the characters a struggle in life, such as Charlie struggling to cope with the loss of his race at the hands of the Quill as well as having a relationship with a Polish lad Mattusz, or April who ends up sharing a heart with The King of the Shadow Kin-all the traditional sci-fi strangeness. Hopefully more Class may await us in the future and, in turn, a new Doctor.
I've seen other reviewers moan about the CGI and some of the acting; my view is that it all depends on your expectations. If you want Star Wars-level effects, you're probably going to be disappointed. For a TV science fiction adventure, it really is quite excellent. If I put my nitpicking hat on, there are a few slight issues; the first few episodes had a bit of an "alien invading menace of the week" formulaic approach. Yes, it appears that, within the small, core, cast, an over-exagerrated effort has been made to tick every political-correct box in terms of demographics, and each of our young heroes seems to have some extraodinary emotional baggage attached. With such a significant rift (the last time there was a gap like this in the fabric of space-time, the mighty Torchwood built a base around it in Cardiff), would the Doctor really trust the defence of his beloved Earth to a small group of youngsters who he barely knows? Surely he would tip-off UNIT? (And where are they, given the frequency of alien activity here?). So there is certainly room for some nitpicking, hence four stars, not five. But overall, did these issues detract from my overall enjoyment of the show? Not at all. At times, it has a typical teenage tone, all youthful banter and raging hormones. At others, I did find the heart pounding and more than a few times I was slipping towards the edge of my seat more than once. For all the critical reviews of CGI etc, I would say the main threat, the Shadowking, would slip into a Doctor Who episode with no effort at all. While the Doctor himself appears in the opening episode, you don't need to have seen a single episode of the parent show in order to be able to enjoy this one. If the Sarah-Jane Adventures was aimed at children, then puberty has definitely arrived to inspire this spin-off. A very enjoyable show, and I am looking forward to more.