After the underwhelming opening episodes, BBC’s Class looks forward to redeem itself in hopes it will eventually find that magical hit formula.
And certainly, if first you don’t succeed, try and try again. But the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Episode 3: ‘Nightvisiting’
Tackling raw emotion can be difficult, but the opening scenes of ‘Nightvisiting’ don’t disappoint, and quickly had my dulled expectations wonderfully reinvigorated. Not only is there some heart stabbing emotion, there’s smooth and snappy dialogue and even some horror elements (which I’d love to see more of.)
From the off-set we’re thrown in to a tearful montage of overlooking the story of Tanya’s parents. This is followed by her uncontrollable grief and struggle after her father’s death. It’s hard-hitting and superbly emotional. Even more so throughout the episode we often follow an exploration of our innate emotions towards loved ones, and it can really hit home.
In addition there’s a new alien introduced, the Lan Kin. Who are slimy, creepy and downright gross. In every scene they successfully made me feel uncomfortable and jittery in my seat. They do feed on emotion however, which is a little lacklustre. This is where the episode shows some cracks in the foundation. A common convention used in fictional writing is the use of emotion to resolve an issue. It’s disappointing when this trope is used to defeat a monster because we just spent a whole episode being told how scary and powerful they are. Then they got beaten by the power of good thoughts. It’s acceptable in a kids show, but that’s certainly not what Class is aiming for. And Class has used ‘Emotion ex Machina’ twice now. Two times in a row. A bad ending can always make that cake taste sour.
At times, ‘Nightvisiting’ feels like triumph when it comes to dialogue driven episodes. It contains little to no action, and aims to uphold itself though intriguing conversation and interaction between characters. However this it still apparent how new Class really is. For every good idea, there’s a lack in execution in the final project. It still needs to find its feet. It’s certainly a memorable episode, and at its heart finds itself using some awesome ingredients from all corners of TV, but maybe it just needs a little longer in the oven.
Final Rating: 7/10
By Robert Anderson