Class continued this week as Miss Quill entered a dangerous alliance and April and Ram joined forces to explore the Underneath (if you’ll pardon the expression). We’re not in Coal Hill anymore, Toto.
If you thought poor April had been through the mill and back again (and then some!) in last week’s episode, just wait until you get a load of this. She is really p*ssed off. Seriously, though, will somebody just give that girl a break?! There’s just no rest for the god damn sensible, however, as our honourable hero found herself in uncharted waters – and, you know, a whole different planet – when she was transported through a crack in the universe on a vengeful mission to kill the King once and for all. We hope she finished her homework.
Luckily for April, she wasn’t alone. As ever, she was followed in hot pursuit by her knight in shining armour, Ram, although let’s agree to ignore the fact that she literally had to rescue him within seconds of his arrival. He tries his best, and he definitely gets bonus man points for tailgating her into the path of certain doom. As romantic gestures go, that isn’t half bad. Besides, it all makes for an awesome pre-titles sequence, which finally unveils the Shadow Kin realm in all its fiery, Tolkien-inspired glory. We almost expected Gollum to show up at one point, because that’s the sort of show that Class is. Cue the opening titles…
Back on Earth, Dorothea’s true identity is revealed and, surprise, surprise, it turns out that she actually is more than just your average headteacher after all. But we had all pretty much figured that one out already. Suffice to say, her timely proposition gives Miss Quill (man, that gal can scream!) something to chew on as she suddenly holds the future of an entire race quite literally in her hands. Don’t worry, though, she has a history. Whatever floats your boat.
As the invasion of the flesh-eating flowers continues, priorities change and the ensuing drama serves to shine a fascinating light on Miss Quill and Charlie’s unconventional relationship. History looks set to repeat itself as they’re forced to examine their conflicting motivations and morals, and Katherine Kelly puts in a stellar performance when she gives us an all but fleeting insight into her character’s underlying emotional trauma.
Meanwhile, the rest of the gang are left to pick up the pieces as Tanya explains to April’s parents that their daughter has been sharing her heart with a murdering alien and she’s cut a hole into his world to destroy him. Which makes the whole thing sound crazy, when you put it like that. Still, it’s nothing that they’re not used to by this point, and so they all face up to the escalating threat with the usual bravery, wit and pluck that we’ve thus far come to expect from our far from cowardly Classmates. We can’t deny it, they’re good in a crisis.
Brave-ish Heart is a well-executed story with various story strands which are all given a fair share of the spotlight. Amidst all the sci-fi (and this one gets really sci-fi), there is still a strong heart beating throughout the chaos, and the underlying themes just affirm what a brilliantly rounded platform this genre is, and what a perfect match it has found in the Doctor Who universe. It’s pretty good, this Young Adult malarky. No matter how bad things are looking, we have faith that everything will be OK in the end… ish.