Monday, April 17, 2017

Preliminary Thoughts on Bill Potts and Class

So - finally, Dr Who is back. And Class is finally in the US (BBC, I understand why you did it the way you did, but I'm still annoyed).

Bill Potts - I like her already. The dudebros will no doubt argue that the opening episode focused too much on her sexuality - but I'd point out the storyline would have worked just as well with any gender combination. The episode itself, "The Pilot," was Dr Who in its best place - the intersection of science fiction and horror, with the horror elements creepy rather than intense. It wasn't "Blink." I'm wondering if the very brief Dalek cameo was satisfying the Nation contract and we won't see much more of the Daleks. On the other hand, we last left Missy... Distracted! Back to Bill Potts. Pearl Mackie is an able actress, the character has a sassy edge to her that was very much lacking in Clara or Amy. As an Ace fan they missed an easter egg opportunity - the Doctor actually is a Professor in this episode. Guys, guys...missed opportunity.

Class

Very mixed reviews of the show in general, both viewer and critical. I liked it. Rumors that it has already been axed are false - likely no decision will be made until they know how it is received in the US (bear in mind that the BBC gets more money from America than Britain these days). The first episode focuses on prom, which is not a thing in the UK except in a few schools.

The first episode was rough in a way very typical for ensemble casts - I'm told they hit their stride in episode three. The actors were fumbling a little when it came to working out all the relationships. This is normal - honestly, the only recent show that didn't have this problem was Leverage, and creator John Rogers is a gamer and I suspect he had them around a table ;).

Some of the bad reviews were reviews of the content. The five-member ensemble cast contains not one straight white male - and of course that is annoying people (I read one review which accused the show of checklisting, which I don't think was the case this time).

American viewers note: Charlie's hairstyle is specifically coded for "Rich and preppy."

I think the show has strong promise. It's very Doctor Who flavored sci-fi Buffy (Buffy people, if you haven't seen it yet, listen carefully while the Doctor is explaining what's going on...) But, to be fair, I felt like it had a target audience of, well, me.