Episode 3 – Nightvisiting
Episode three of Class saw the new series have its first hiccup. Nightvisiting never seemed to know what it was trying to achieve and in the end turned out to be a bit of a mess.
With the dead seemingly returning to visit those who’d been most struck with grief, this episode had bags of potential. Sadly though, that potential was never met. The dead, who it was revealed was just one entity, just didn’t make any sense. Did they contain everyone in the country before targeting Tanya and Miss Quill? If so, why were these two so vulnerable? If not, then why was there no intervention from outside? Surely U.N.I.T would’ve been alerted to the situation. This is a Doctor Who spin-off after all, so it has to feel like a story taking place within the Doctor Who universe, and this didn’t.
The whole episode seemed to take an age to get going. Patrick Ness seemed intent on making us feel for Tanya. There were endless scenes of her trying to convince herself that the alien was her real dad, and in the end they grew tiresome. Tanya herself reacted quite unbelievably to the presence of what appeared to be her dad. “I’m out of here” she said, as she casually went next door to check her mum was ok. It was this sort of dismissive behaviour that made it hard to invest in what was happening. Ram and April were also acting strangely. From quibbling at the start of the episode, they bizarrely had time to station themselves at a bus stop before having a heart to heart. They were supposed to be in incredible danger. Ram had just seen his recently deceased girlfriend and he and April were trying to make sure Tanya was ok, but they had time to have an intense conversation. The sudden change between running to escape to deeply emotional dialogue again made it hard to take the threat seriously.
I’ve mentioned in my last two reviews of Class that defeating the enemy was all to simple. Well sadly this theme continued here. I questioned if the trunks and stems had engulfed the entire country. If this was the case, then surely something like a bus would’ve done similar damage to that which Miss Quill inflicted. Driving a double decker through the chords was another easy way to overcome the threat. We’d seen the chords previously reattach themselves after being cut by knives, so if we were to believe this creature was a massive danger, then a bus breaking a few of the connections was a feeble method of defeating it.
One positive from the episode was Miss Quill. She is fast becoming integral to the series and I think it’s fair to say she carried this episode on her own. Katherine Kelly’s gripping performance was the only thing that made me sit up and intrigue me.
It’s a shame because the series had started so well last week and this episode could’ve been brilliant. The motive of the Lankin wasn’t clear, although it has to be said it was designed superbly. Tanya, Ram and April all behaved far too inconsistently and the plot suffered as a result. The story of Charlie and his boyfriend, who’d been dismissed by his homophobic family was an interesting aside, but it wasn’t enough to make up for the slightly tedious overall plot.
Episode Rating: 4/10