‘Class’ Review: Nightvisiting

October 28th, 2016
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

This week, our Classmates are kept up all night by a soul-sucking temptress as the ghosts of their individual pasts quite literally come back to haunt them. Just whatever you do, do not take their hand…

Three episodes in and, thankfully, Class is showing no signs of running out of speed. Nightvisiting takes the series in another completely different direction whilst still managing to remain true to the established style and characters, whom, it has to be said, we are finding ourselves rapidly falling deeper and deeper in love with.

And ‘deep’ is definitely the right word for this particular story. This terrifying tale of death and deception explores the show’s darkest and most mature theme yet, and it is Vivian Oparah as Tanya who feels the full brunt of the ominous threat when she comes face to face with her father on the second anniversary of his death. The ghostly image of him appearing at the end of her bed is chilling to say the least, but all is not as it seems (well, duh…) as it’s all part of a sinister ploy at the hands of the luring Lankin. Suffice to say, Tanya’s pain of losing her parent so suddenly is still very much raw, which only serves to fuel the foe’s ever increasing power as it is quickly established that it’s drawn to those who have yet to let their lost loved ones go. We told you it got deep, didn’t we?

It’s the sort of deep that’s to be expected from a Young Adult drama, though, especially if you’re familiar with Patrick Ness’ previous work. We’re lucky that the Doctor Who franchise finally has a platform on which it’s free to explore such concepts, and its one that Patrick has touched on several times before. In this scenario, he succeeds in keeping it original and unique to the confines of this particular universe, and the underlying morals and motives are handled effortlessly and beautifully. It’s the overall simplicity of Patrick’s script and its accompanying villain (spoilers: it’s not just bad flu!) that make Nightvisiting such an important and powerful story, and it’s also further proof – if more was even needed – that the imagination of its creator literally knows no bounds. Simply put, Patrick Ness and the Whoniverse are a match made in heaven.

Once again, though, it’s all in the name of sci-fi. There is yet more to discover about our protagonists as the big, bad world around them seemingly comes to its latest end (as Ram correctly points out, this isn’t even the third weirdest thing that he’s seen this month), and it’s a testament to Patrick’s writing that they all still manage to remain relevant – particularly in its limited 45 minute timeframe – as they each bring their own perspective unto the ensuing danger.

The ensemble is once again on top form, with Sophie Hopkins especially adding a new layer to April by revealing just why she’s always so god damn sensible with her account of the ordeal that led to her mother’s life changing injury. Meanwhile, fans of Greg Austin and Jordan Renzo as Charlie and Matteusz (do they have an official ship name yet? Mattie? CharMattz?) will no doubt be pleased to hear that this is the episode in which they take their relationship to the next level (if you know what we mean…), and it goes without saying that Katherine Kelly as Miss Quill is simply the gift that keeps on giving. We particularly enjoyed the scene in which she’s reading The Hunger Games and ponders if it’s based on true events. Stranger things have certainly happened, and Class can definitely vouch for that. Let’s just say, a double decker bus comes in very hand. It’s totally bonkers.

Is it really the end of the world, though, or is it all just a severe case teenage angst? It’s definitely a bonding exercise, but sometimes with Class, it’s hard to tell. But that’s precisely the point. There’s monsters and aliens and Shadow Kins (oh my!), but there’s also a strong, beating heart (no offence, April) which has thus far been carrying us through every episode and leaving us desperate to go back to Class. Nightvisiting is a thinker and we’re sure that the Lankin will stay with you long after you’ve finished watching. There’s plenty more where they came from, of course. In fact, they’re just the tip of the tongue. All in a night’s work, eh?

Class Episode Three, Nightvisiting, is released on BBC Three tomorrow at 10am.

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