Review: Class – What Quill Did or the Metaphysical Engine

I really enjoyed this chaotic episode – maybe I’m just keen on a Ms Quill TV series.

This is a partner episode to the last episode, in which we see what Ms Quill was up to while the rest of the cast were trapped in a classroom in space with a psychotic rock.

There isn’t actually much of a plot – it is essentially a hunt for some plot coupons with a betrayal at the end – but it suits Quill and has a host of ideas some of which are disposed of too quickly. It has the opposite (but related) problem to the issue Doctor Who has with two-parters – sometimes a single episode has too many ideas and not enough time to explore them.

Central to the story is a device that allows people to travel to world’s of collective belief. In each case, the world is the heaven or hell of a species. We get a shapeshifter hell, a parasites heaven and an atheist gets to meet a manifestation of their god.

Fun, weird, cheap but not unconvincing alien worlds. I felt it had the feel of a better Blake’s 7 episode without actually resembling one – perhaps because Quill feels more like a character from that universe of dodgy BBC sets rather than the Who universe of dodgy BBC sets.

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4 comments

  1. KasaObake

    The parasite’s heaven was absolutely stunning – worth the price of admission by itself. I was a little less enthralled with the subsequent landscapes and sort of put off by the clumsy quill goddess fight.

    When all’s said and done, it’s an interesting development for Quill’s character and I’m intrigued to see how she now interacts with the rest of the cast for the finale. (but did she need a full episode for this? It seems an odd choice to completely sideline the younger cast for a full episode leading into the finale)

    I’m finding that on the individual episode level, I’m not overly bothered by the show (I find some of the writing and choices made kind of clumsy and awkward – which I also thought of the one Ness novel that I’ve read) but taken as a whole, I like the arc of the series and where it’s headed, particularly this latest development with Quill (who has remained the real standout character of the whole series)

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    • KasaObake

      Argh more thinky bits about why I find the show slightly awkward! And this episode (as good as it was) is a perfect example of weird choices made. It’s basically a filler episode – a very nicely made filler episode, but it doesn’t do all that much for character development – we already know of the major change because of how the previous episode ended. Anything else (the friendship/betrayal with the shapeshifter, questioning her [lack of] faith) could’ve been brought in a little more subtly either in the finale, a replacement episode that fully utilises the whole cast and leads better into a finale episode, or even leave some of it hanging for the next season.

      In an 8-episode season, when they’ve already had to rush through things in the previous two-parter to make things fit, there isn’t really the luxury of enough space to have a full episode of filler that ignores a substantial portion of the cast in favour of a single (admittedly excellent) character. If this was a ~20 episode US style tv show, sure, but it’s a very time-restricted BBC series so to ignore most of the cast for fully 1/8th of the series total runtime strikes me as a bizarre choice to make, especially inasmuch as the episode basically offers a fuller explanation of the end of the previous episode without adding all that much that was actually new – or at least not so striking that it couldn’t have been introduced in a better/more subtle way throughout the remainder of the series.

      I basically just get the feeling sometimes with Ness that he doesn’t trust himself or his audience enough to allow a more subtle approach to the characters.

      Anyway sorry for this rambly mess – I’m tired and trying to think quickly on my lunch break

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  2. Mark

    Quite liked the last one, thoroughly liked this one. Admittedly there are quite a lot of holes once you look back at it, but it waved its hands sufficiently fast to cover them at the time.
    Basically, Quill is hands down the best character and so going full-Q is totally justified. (OK, not really given the series length, but I forgive them)
    I was a bit disappointed that the head teacher turns into evil betrayer quite so quickly – I was enjoying the ambiguity of her.

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