Class, is the series that Steven Moffat made before Dracula. This project started life because of Moffat’s boredom and disengagement with Doctor Who. It was a spinoff developed during Doctor Who’s tragic downward spiral when Clara Oswald became the defacto star of the show.* The story takes place at the high school that Clara works at.
I was hoping for something good here. Yes, it was by the BBC which automatically precludes that possibility but it was by Steven Moffat who has delivered the goods in the past. There was always the chance that he might do so again.
Particularly when you are talking about the start of a new show.
Moffat usually does his best work when he is starting a new show. Coupling is a little dated now but is one of the most Game aware comedies that’s ever been made. Geoff’s advice about making sure you take off your socks as well as your shoes to avoid being, “a naked man in socks,” is just as relevant today as it was twenty years ago.
Another show of his, Jekyll, had a great opening scene.
Clock is ticking with five minutes to midnight. A door opens, revealing a chair that at first glance appears to be an electric chair. You as the audience member are suddenly wondering if you are about to see an execution. It’s all very suggestive of death. Hot chick enters and examines the chair, allowing the audience to change it’s mind. It’s obviously not an execution chamber.
“He’s due at midnight, he’s usually punctual,” says the Good Doctor.
The name of the show is Jekyll, so you automatically know who “he” is. There is clearly (and joyously) going to be no fucking around with an origin story. Why would you have to bother with one. Everyone know that where there is a Doctor Jekyll there will be a Mister Hyde. No point in going into it. Awesome! The origin story is always the worst and dullest part of all of these things. Getting rid of it was nearly a stroke of genius.
The rest of the episode follows along that path. Ending with Hyde meeting the family that Jekyll has been hiding from him. CLIFFHANGER!
Then things start to slip off the rails. We find out that Doctor Jackman is the last decedent of the actual actual Doctor Jekyll, except that Jekyll had no children. And there is a secret government conspiracy at a secret base (shades of the Harker Institute to come) involving Americans that want to produce clones of Jekyll, except that Jekyll is NOT one of the clones. The bad is however frequently interrupted by some good interplay between Mister Hyde and Jekyll’s wife, it keeps the show watchable. Eventually the bad wins out. Jekyll and Hyde fuse into a superbeing named JekyllandHyde. Worst of all is when Moffat hit episode four, he went ahead and did the damned origin story! Guess what? It was boring as hell because we knew exactly how it would end.
Sherlock, same deal. The first episode was fantastic…mostly….mostly fantastic. I was kind of leary of a modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes because it’s been done before and it’s always sucked because Holmes just belongs in turn of the last century London. But this time it didn’t suck. It was a nearly…nearly perfect retelling of A Study in Scarlet set in the modern world. It was a modern Sherlock Holmes story told from Watson’s POV. Almost everything revolved around the process of solving the crime. There was no attempt to develop the characters of Holmes and Watson because it’s utterly wrong to change them. At this point the restriction of telling a Holmes and Watson story is that these characters are fixed, so you have to just work within that framework.
The problem that Moffat ran into with Holmes was that the BBC suddenly told him, we’re changing this programme’s running time from sixty to ninety minutes. Suddenly Moffat needed filler and that filler nearly ruined the show. Mycroft was hauled out of his club and dusted off and crammed into the story as the head of some super secret government organization. The evil Cabbie was now working for the mysterious Moriarty. And instead of drugging and kidnapping Holmes, (which was filmed and cut out). Holmes inexplicably just hops in the taxi after the Cabbie introduces himself.
In the next episode the crime solving procedural came to an end, as Moffat started to commit heresy by developing the characters of Holmes and Watson.
In Moffat’s parade of suck there is the special place that is Doctor Who. Moffat wrote what everyone views as the best episodes of the Eccleston/Tennant years. So everyone was pretty cool with the idea of him taking over the show.
The problems didn’t show up for about a year. Things worked well at first but there was a ton of heavy foreshadowing. Followed up by stories that did explain the foreshadowing but left the audience disappointed. The payoff was never anywhere near as good as the setup. Moffat is great at creating a mystery but terrible when it comes to resolving it.
He was committing Abrams crime, he was creating a setup before he had thought of the payoff.
On top of that Moffat turned Doctor Who from this:
Doctor Who was never meant to be the Messiah but in Moffat’s last years he became this godlike figure out of legend. All of the bad guys know who, Who was, not just the Daleks. There were frequent and prolonged speeches about just how special and miraculous the Doctor was. You can tell when an SJW is at that helm because your hero starts getting a constant and unending stream of emotional validation and reinforcement. They may as well have renamed it Doctor Sue.
Doctor Who became such an SJW shitfest it was completely unwatchable. And this was before the incompetence of Chris Chibnall made itself felt.
But like I said, I had hopes for Class because up until now at least, Moffat has always started out strong. Sad to say but this time Moffat front loaded the disappointment.
Maybe Moffat has lost his fast ball. Maybe the restrictions imposed by the SJWs that now run the Converged Bullshit Broadcasting Corporation, make artistic excellence impossible. Maybe it was just a bad idea that was never going to work.
Class takes place in the school that Doctor Who’s very first companions used to work in as well as Clara. So, it is a place of power and mystery in the Whoniverse. The problem is, so freaking what? It’s like reading about the guy who lived in 221A Baker street or all the stuff that happened to the reporter who worked sports desk at the Daily Planet. The setting is not the star.
Class was a perfect example of SJW paint-by-numbers entertainment. Your lead character is a girl who is a dead ringer for Bella Swan, she is the only native to Britain featured on the show. She is also in love with the new boy who happens to be a Space Prince…a Gay Space Prince whose boyfriend (kiss on the lips in the first episode!) is a Polish immigrant. But the immigrants don’t end there! There is Ram who is a Sikh but doesn’t have a beard . And a random POC Girl who provides a few Moffat quips. There is also another alien who is a teacher and is the slave of the Gay Space Prince because, as a punishment for her crime, she had a Wrath of Khan Bug put in her ear and now she has to obey her enemy.
They are being at first menaced and then openly attacked by the Shadow Demons that destroyed the Gay Space Prince’s home world. Doctor Who shows up and deus ex machinas them away by turning on the lights and I’m not joking about that. That was actually how he defeated them.
Class is garbage for SJW babies. I knew it would get there eventually because that is how Moffat has always done business. But now I’m afraid Steven Moffat is starting with bad and going down hill from there.
*I never liked Clara which is weird because I really liked, Oswin Oswald, the girl imprisoned in the body of a Dalek, (she died). I nearly loved Clara Oswin the adventurous 19th century governess, (she also died). But I really didn’t like Clara at all, which is weird because it was the same actress playing all three parts!
UPDATE: Technically this is Chibnall bashing but that’s nearly the same thing as Moffat bashing.