Doctor Who #982: The Lost

"Do you ever feel like it's so dark, it'll never be light again?"
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Dec.3 2016.

IN THIS ONE... The Shadows return to slaughter humanity.

REVIEW: The Shadows again?! That's HALF the entire series. And I must say, despite April's beautiful original song in the opener, this almost put me off completely. As soon as the Shadow King started bumping off members of the supporting cast like Ram's dad and Tanya's mom. Neither those characters nor the main cast they are tied to deserved it. Even Ames buys it at the end, so I suppose I should be grateful Matteusz somehow survived. Class really is a very murdery show, and while that gives resonance to April's song about "The Lost" (makes perfect sense a teen would write something like that at a school with so many disappearances), it nevertheless exhausted me. Killing characters is such a waste, you know? And  generally, I've had enough of the Shadows, with their rubber suits and hard-to-understand voices. They have some interesting tricks, here taking Charlie hostage by putting shadow around his heart, making it impossible to kill them without killing himself, but like Quill and now Tanya (who learns to fight a little too easily, doesn't she?), I was QUITE ready for someone to use the Cabinet of Souls on them.

There's an additional obstacle in that the kids are still reeling from Detained's fallout, not taking each others' calls, etc. If they can't work together, how will they stop the Shadowkin? Charlie wasn't affected by the Prisoner in the same way and seems to be the most positive of the cast. He cares for Quill while she hibernates through one of her trimesters. He and April have a hug that makes you wonder if his sexual fluidity could lead him astray. And he and Matteusz share some nice moments. In the end, he sees no other choice but to use the Cabinet in a negative way, however, to cause the genocide of the Shadowkin before they overrun the Earth, even at the cost of his own life. Except Quill saves him from the Rhodean soul aiming for him to prevent him from escaping the guilt of what he's done - an interesting revenge - while the death of the Shadows kills April (but see below) and reaffirms her mother's disability, her legs powered by Shadow stuff.

It's an epic finale with cool effects, powerful emotions, and real consequences, but it does flatten out eventually by starting at an insane level of intensity and trying to maintain it. It's too much, and is at times strident. But still a good series overall, probably outperforming Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures' first, more efficiently finding its footing despite some tonal or pacing problems along the way. Frustratingly, the BBC hasn't yet announced whether Class will continue, but they've left us with a triple cliffhanger. Quill's pregnancy and whether the changeling inside her will eat her as per her people's biological imperative. April's mind having been somehow transferred into the Shadow King's body (bit silly, that one). And most shocking of all, that the Board of Governors are working for the Weeping freaking Angels, preparing Earth for the "Arrival". That is a LOT of ground to cover if they decide to cheap out and drop a resolution in a Doctor Who episode.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High, but I didn't want to give more than a Medium for the longest time - The Shadows are too powerful and annoy me greaty, but I enjoyed watching them die in a blaze of glory.


Tim Knight said...

"That is a LOT of ground to cover if they decide to cheap out and drop a resolution in a Doctor Who episode."

Personally, I suspect - should Class not get a second season, which wouldn't surprise me - all this will never be mentioned again.


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