Sunday, 5 February 2017

Class: Detained

"Sometimes action isn't pretty, you big Polish giraffe!"

Interesting bottle episode, this one. It's obviously the season cheapie, with a tiny cast, no location filming and limited sets, and Miss Quill is clearly off having her own simultaneous adventure elsewhere- obviously involving the removal of the creature from her head. Isn't detention a wonderful plot device?

Essentially the classroom is moved to nowhere and no time, a bit like The Mind Robber except the nothingness is black. This is a harsh alien prison but, more to the point, it revolves around a MacGuffin which causes people to be both angry and uber-honest, thus getting the gang to say loads of hurtful things to each other which give the episode it's emotional beats and break up the team somewhat. Thus we learn that Matteusz may love Charlie but is also a little bit scared of him, that Tanya fears insecurity from being so much younger than the others, we get a bit of valid criticism of C.S. Lewis for his authorial agenda in the Narnia books, and Ram feels that he loves April more than she loves him back, which is devastating.

As a bottle episode it works, and genuinely advances some character stuff, but bottle episodes always show their working a bit and so does this; it may shake up the format a bit but this is by necessity rather than creativity, and the limitations, well, limit things. This is not one of the greatest episodes. Still, it works well within its limitations while not quite transcending them as the best bottle episodes (Midnight) often do.

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