Things warm up a bit for the Coal Hill Gang in the fourth episode of BBC3's Doctor Who spin off Class (which hasn’t made it into the iPlayer Top 40 yet, though it has received favourable reviews from The Telegraph, Guardian, Sun and Star). The eight episode series presented the first of a two-part tale, Co-Owner of A Lonely Heart , which adds a few more twists of the screw.
For a spin-off, Class is remarkably devoid of Who connections, Coal Hill and that board not withstanding. the Sixth Formers occupy their own world.
In the first episode of the Patrick Ness written YA show, a back-firing space weapon swapped hearts for Shadow Kin leader Corakinus and “nice” Coalie April (Sophie Hopkins). It meant they were linked and couldn’t harm each other without assuring their own destruction. It was a pressure point that was used to encourage the Shadow Kin to retreat to their home world.
The Shadow Kin seem to live in a fireplace, so perhaps that is what draws them to Coal Hill.
In Co-Owner, Corakinus isn’t satisfied with this state of affairs and has one of his boffins attempt to reverse his link with April. It doesn’t work, the link is stronger and April wakes in the night to find she is slicing up furniture.
Watch out for those pink petals falling from the sky.
April starts her day slicing her finger on a petal during violin practice. She starts feeling a bit more stressed after her estranged father turns up. She isn’t about to forgive him for crippling her mother even if he wants to apologise. Magically summoning a couple of Shadow Kin swords might provide a hint that she isn’t ready to talk.
Meanwhile Matteusz (Jordan Renzo) is growing uncomfortable with Prince Charlie’s role as guardian of the Cabinet of Souls, an artifact that contains the spirits of his people and might double as a super weapon. It could save his civilisation, but through possession, wiping out which race winds up donating their bodies. Tanya (Vivia Oparah) argues with Charlie over the way he treats Miss Quill, likening it to slavery. Charlie says she shouldn’t judge the morality of his civilisation. Hey, more petals.
Pookey Quesnel arrives as new Headmistress Dorothea Ames, a sexy milf in a red dress who seems to know everything about everyone. She is strangely understanding about Ram (Fady Elsayed) taking April home after she has had a snappy and shouty spell during a lesson. April’s Mum is less understanding when she wheels in on the couple in bed.
The new Head tells Miss Quill (Katherine Kelly) that The Governors are taking a special interest in her and dangles the promise of a way to remove the creature that holds her in thrall to Charlie. For the moment, she draws Quill’s attention to the petals. They drink blood and then they multiply.
Corakinus is still trying to break his link with April, which involves getting it on with a Shadow Kin tech lady and then getting uncomfortable about this union. On Earth, Ram is digging himself a hole with April’s Mum and retreats to his car (am I old fashioned or is that an expensive looking vehicle for a Sixth Former).
This a cue for April’s Dad to turn up, for his daughter to get upset and manifest those swords. Ram rallys the gang and they rush over as Corakinus relocates Earth and vows to invade and slaughter all in his path. Tanya takes a snickeringly lascivious interest in the possibility that Ram and April were having sex. Charlie can’t work out why Ram would want to have sex with the Shadow King.
In between arguing with her parents, April reaches inside her mother’s chest. It inflicts pain but it isn’t clear what she is doing. As the others arrive, she cuts a hole in space and leaps through to the Shadow Kin World. Ram tells the others to tell his Dad as he jumps through after April. The portal closes ...
And the credits role, it is to be continued.