One fat geek's SUCCESSFUL attempt to regenerate into a not-so-fat geek by watching the entirety of Doctor Who while walking on a treadmill

you're not nice, you're kind. There's a difference. Kind is better.

Jan 26 2019
you're not nice, you're kind. There's a difference. Kind is better.

I am so, so frustrated right now. Although I missed a bunch of workouts early on with K9, I have really been much more consistent for the past week. Even so, my weight just seems to keep going up and up and up. I know, I know, I swore this ridiculous project was not about weight, but that's really easy to say when you are on the free fall slope of the graph and way harder to say when you are on the upward slope. I really think I have hit the point where I need to start varying my workout significantly. I have been doing the treadmill thing for dang near two years, and it is absolutely time to start changing things up. The good news is I am roughly three weeks away from completely running out of unwatched officially-licensed Doctor Who related stories. I have some obscura to delve into after that, not to mention rewatches of older stories as the new BluRay seasons come out, but I think by the time I hit the two year mark on February 20th I will basically be done with this project as a daily thing. It's time to start breaking out my bike and my inline skates, and to maybe take another look at yoga, and to just generally change things up. That being said, today I started the last of the official spinoff programs, Class. I have really been looking forward to it, which is kind of why I saved it to the end. Here goes...

For Tonight We Might Die

(TARDIS Data Core recap)

Writer Patrick Ness is perhaps best known for multiple successful Young Adult novels. He conceived of Class to be a series not so much about mythic heroes like the Doctor, but instead about what happens when normal people get caught up in exceptional events and just have to cope. While it is true the series is targeted to the YA market, it is very different than The Sarah Jane Adventures or K9 in that those were very much aimed at the "tween" demographic whereas Class skews more towards the Torchwood end of the spectrum. It is certainly not as gratuitously graphic or sexual as Torchwood was, but it very much sways in that direction.

The setting is Coal Hill Academy, which has been the center of all kinds of temporal shenanigans every since An Unearthly Child back in 1963. All of that rogue artron energy has stretched the boundaries of space-time, and so it is common knowledge among the students that sometimes kids just die for mysterious reasons and nobody really talks about it.

This first episode has to do the heavy lifting of introducing a diverse group of characters, and it does so masterfully. We've got new student Charlie Smith, who actually turns out to be an alien prince and the last of his kind. We've got sinister new teacher Miss Quill, who actually turns out to be the unwilling guardian of Charlie and another alien (of a slightly different species) from the same planet, sentenced to effective slavery as punishment for her part in the destruction of Smith's civilization. The two of them are placed at Coal Hill by the Doctor in order for them to start a new life and to hide from the Shadow Kind that murdered everyone else on their planet. Then there is April McLean, a student who winds up unwillingly sharing a heart with an alien monster, Ram Sing, a popular athletic student who winds up losing half of his leg to said alien monster and who is given an alien prosthetic replacement by the Doctor, and Tanya Adeola, another younger student who has been placed in a higher grade due to her intellect and who gets caught up in events.

It is a lot of moving parts to introduce, but Ness does a tremendous job of spinning all of the plates with deceptive ease and servicing each of the main characters and even a few other secondary ones. By the end of the story the Shadow Kind assault at Prom is repelled, all of our major characters are battle-tested and left in some ways stronger and yet some ways weaker, and the series premise is firmly established.

The guest appearance by the Twelfth Doctor is nicely done, and wisely left until the final act. Peter Capaldi is amazing as usual, this being set in the time between when Clara died and when he met Bill Potts, so basically at the strongest point of Capaldi's tenure in the role.

And of course, this series has a much higher budget than Sarah Jane or K9 did, and it shows. The special effects are amazing, sure, but also the cinematography, set design, and costume are all a substantial step up from the other spinoffs. It is very much in the same class as Torchwood on that count, but I would say this show is much more sure of itself right out of the gate than Torchwood ever was. I am sure it helps that the whole thing is the singular idea of one very talented writer. The premise is good, the cast is interesting and diverse. what more could you ask for?

Thus far I am very happy with this show. I suspect I am going to be very disappointed that eight episodes is all we will ever get of this one.


Companion(s): Charlie Smith, April McLean, Ram Singh, Tanya Adeola, Miss Quill
Episode(s): For Tonight We Might Die
Steps Walked: 7,610 today, 4,335,362 total
Distance Walked: 4.11 miles today, 2,268.68 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 0 today, 10,300 total
Sit-ups Completed: 200 today, 4,465 total
Weight: 266.80 lbs (five day moving average), net change -40.50 lbs


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