Class: 1.08 The Lost
So here we are, at the end of the first run of the Beeb's Doctor Who spin-off Class and for a debut season that had a lot to prove it's done pretty well. Has it been a complete success? It's definitely stepped away from the shadow of its long-running parent but ratings have disappointed and whether we get a follow up is in doubt. This makes the fact that The Lost is the moment Class becomes must-watch television somewhat bittersweet.
The Shadow Kin are back to round up their dangling plot threads but they're pretty much a cipher for an episode that deals again in deep emotion and there are bound to be huge repercussions to address next year if the series does get renewed. The core story is somewhat simple and pretty much telegraphed from the first episode - we knew that dealing with the Shadow Kin would, barring some deus ex machina, end in some pretty devastating results but the way we get there is one which really surprises. Come on, who really had any doubt that Charlie's 'cabinet of souls' wouldn't be answer? That said Who has never shied away from political statement but with Class being removed from the shackles of the family audience Ness has been able to be less restrained in tackling adult themes and here we have what are effectively teenagers arguing over actual genocide.
Again we're dealing with loss and death; to date we've had a lot of that and one of the weakest aspects of the series is how to portray the long-term fall out of that - again that isn't really addressed in any depth but its going to have to be with Charlie and April both, by the end of the episode, having been to places and done things that they'd never have imagined they'd ever have to do. All the while Miss Quill is dealing with a VERY unconventional pregnancy...
By the end of the episode we've come full circle but there are still some surprises and a last-minute twist that introduces a very familiar monster sets up a cliffhanger and intrigue for the future. Whether we get to see that future is a different question and the BBC have clearly struggled with promotion for Class in a year where a lack of real Doctor Who could have been an opportunity to really push viewers at the new series. Viewing figures have disappointed where the series itself has not - great writing, intriguing stories and phenomenal acting would, in a more conventional TV environment, have been a roaring success so we're keeping our fingers crossed for another term at Coal Hill Academy.