Class For Tonight We Might Die Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – This Doctor Who spin-off takes place at Coal Hill School, a high school that has been part of the Doctor Who universe since the very first episode back in 1963.
Class For Tonight We Might Die Season 1 Episode 1 Recap
The show opens with a teenager named Kevin, running through the school after hours, away from what appears to be a shadow. He meets a teacher, Miss Quill, who is also hiding from the shadow, and the shadow takes shape into a black and fiery monster, before the scene ends abruptly.
Next day, everyone is talking about how Kevin has vanished. Miss Quill is still around however. And her teaching skills seem questionable, as she tends to belittle her students and talk down to them, nor much bothers with explaining any of lesson materials to them.
We also meet our cast of teenage characters. Charlie, who is new to the school. He is strange, struggling to understand what is normal, not picking up on common pop culture references, and just generally seeming off. April, a nice and kind girl, who has a crush on Charlie until she finds out he’s gay. Tanya, who is two years younger than the others but in their class for being exceptionally bright. Matteusz, whose religious parents are unhappy when Charlie asks him to the prom. And Ram, a soccer player who secretly gets tutoring from Tanya.
All the teenagers are well acted and likable, and one of the strongest aspects of this pilot episode is that when it’s done, you not only want to see what adventures the group will have next, you want to continue seeing them interact with each other and watch as their friendships develop.
Charlie goes home after school and it’s revealed that he lives with Miss Quill and he suspects her of being guilty of Kevin’s disappearance. Later, April is at the school decorating for prom when she is attacked by a shadow. Quill shows up and gives her a gun, telling her to shoot the shadow as it morphs into the monster form, but Charlie arrives at the last minute to knock the weapon out of her hand. April still manages a glancing blow on the monster however which has far-reaching effects. The gun is built in such a way that it would kill the shadow monster but also April. That is how Kevin went missing. Miss Quill had him shoot one of the shadow monsters with it. April’s glancing blow, destroyed the shadow monster’s heart, but her own is now being shared between the two.
Quill and Charlie explain to April that they are from another planet. Charlie was a prince on that world, and Quill was a freedom fighter. When she was caught, as punishment, a creature was placed in her head which ensures that she must do everything that Charlie commands of her.
The shadow creatures subsequently wiped out both Charlie’s people and Quill’s. They are the last of the kinds, saved from their own death by The Doctor and brought to earth. The monster who April now shares a heart with is the Shadow King. Sharing a heart also allows them to read each other’s minds occasionally.
Tanya is also attacked by one of the shadows, while on video chat with Ram, and later they’re told about Charlie and the Shadow King.
At prom, the shadows attack once more, coming through a rift in time. In a rather harrowing scene, one of them kills Ram’s girlfriend and cuts off his leg. Charlie fights off as many as he can but he cannot bring himself to kill the Shadow King as it would kill April as well.
Just as it seems the group has no choice but to go down fighting, The Doctor arrives, having been called by Quill.
The Shadow King explains that when Charlie fled his home planet, he took with him something called a Cabinet of Souls, believed to contain all the souls of his people, condensed down into a light so bright it could destroy all of the shadow people. The Doctor says he could not tolerate one genocide as punishment for another, but Charlie says that the cabinet is empty.
The Doctor manages to drive the shadows back out of the school and closes the rift. He gives Ram a prosthetic leg and then explains that more creatures are likely to come to the school as time is very thin there and more rifts are likely to open.
He instructs Quill to look after ‘these amazing humans’ as punishment for what she did to Kevin, and tells the teenagers to look after her in exchange before getting into his TARDIS and departing.
The final scene is of Charlie going home, opening his cabinet, and revealing that it’s not empty after all.
For a pilot episode, this one was great. The characters really stood front and center and were given good introductions. The shadow monsters proved to be formidable foes through their treatment of Ram. It had some of the flavor of Doctor Who while still managing to have a bit of its own style. And there was every reason to look forward with anticipation to next week’s episode.
Class For Tonight We Might Die Season 1 Episode 1 Recap characters and cast include:
Miss Quill – Katherine Kelly (Happy Valley, The Night Manager, Mr. Selfridge, Coronation Street)
Charlie – Greg Austin (Mr. Selfridge, Law & Order: UK)
Ram – Fady Elsayed (My Brother the Devil, Sixteen, Silent Witness)
April – Sophie Hopkins (Brackenmore, Breaking, Dead Gigolo)
Tanya – Vivian Oparah
The Doctor – Peter Capaldi (In the Loop, World War Z, Doctor Who, The Fifth Estate, Torchwood, Midsomer Murders)
Kevin – Alex Leak
Matteusz – Jordan Renzo
Corakinus – Paul Mark Davis (Son of God, Cassandra’s Dream)
Varun – Aaron Neil (Tracey Ullman’s Show, Peaky Blinders, The Promise, Exodus: Gods and Kings)