Episode 2 – The Coach With The Dragon Tattoo
It would have been easy for the follow up episode to the stunning series opener to waiver in quality, however this was nearly as good as its predecessor. We were given what was essentially a character piece for Ram and it was a fascinating forty-five minutes.
I mentioned in my review of episode one that Ram was a character who we hadn’t seen much of, but definitely had the potential to grow. Well, grow is certainly what he did here. Fady Elsayed performed superbly well and carried the episode by himself. After the events of the previous episode, Ram was struggling to deal with the loss of his girlfriend. The rest of the newly assembled gang were worried that Ram was shying away from them and hiding his feelings. Tanya was the only person who could get Ram to talk, and in doing so she also cemented herself as a solid and important character in the series. The dynamic between Ram and Tanya was quite comforting to watch. Two contrasting personalities were written really well and watching them discuss things they hadn’t discussed with anyone else was a good way of letting the viewers get to know them. It also showed Ram had a much softer side, as previously he’d come across as quite an egotistical and arrogant person. Again credit has to go to Patick Ness as Ram’s isolation from the others lasted the perfect amount of time. Long enough to make you believe he wanted nothing to do with them, but not long enough to make it grow tiresome.
The plot of the episode was also pretty strong. Ram’s football coach had a tattoo which was linked to a beast who was alive, and needed to kill to keep his partner alive in tattoo form. I didn’t really like the coach. I get that he was meant to come across as a stern and demanding figure but his nastiness was just irritating and at times too forced and unbelievable. The CGI monster was once again impressive, although an early recurring theme of the series is monsters being overcome a bit too easily. I know Ram’s impassioned speech was key to the plot, but it should’ve taken more than that to talk a murderous and blood-thirsty beast out of more destruction. It’s just a minor criticism, and doesn’t take much away from the entertainment of the episodes, but I hope it’s something that improves.
Another thing that fascinated me was the Ofsted inspector. I really do hope that’s going to be a recurring story arc. Every series of Doctor Who since 2005 has had a story arc, so did the two full series of Torchwood, and they benefited enormously from them. Story arcs link episodes together when there might not be a link between the plots themselves. Hopefully we’ll see more of the robots who seemingly wanted Miss Quill for something. If we don’t, the whole sequence will feel like a waste of time in the episode as it ended abruptly and we didn’t learn much at all from it.
To follow up such a strong start to the series with another excellent episode means an impressive start for Class. I enjoyed the character based format to this episode and I would like to see every character get their own fory-five minutes this series too. Little features like seeing Ram and his dad practise football in the garden helped make the story seem even more personal. As I said, defeating the enemy is something that could be fleshed out a bit, but overall, everyone involved deserves huge credit for starting the series in style.
Episode Rating: 8/10