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23 December 2016 @ 05:38 pm
The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did  
Oh, of course, one of Class's themes is interpretations of Heaven and Hell across cultures. In some ways I was surprised I hadn't spotted this earlier, both with the set-up of the Cabinet of Souls, and some of the conversation April and Ram had in the realm of the Shadow Kin, but it wasn't until this episode that I really cottoned onto the fact, perhaps because it is a less obvious theme to explore in a drama aimed squarely at teenagers which is otherwise mostly about growing up.

I'm not sure how well it works as a theme. It's exploration is mostly explicit, as in this episode, and doesn't seem to mesh terribly well with what the rest of the show is doing - particularly since in general the show doesn't seem particularly interested in exploring ideas of spirituality. Possibly it is something we will see developed further should there be a second series which will (presumably) involve the Weeping Angels as antagonists and must deal with the emotional (and possibly theological) fall out of the events in the final episode.

The Metaphysical Engine is a strange episode, since it doesn't feature any of the teenage protagonists, taking us completely away from their lives and concerns into three depictions of heaven or hell for three alien species. I'm not sure how well the story motivated the need for the metaphysical engine, and the final scenario in which Quill and Ballon must fight to see which escapes from the Cabinet of Souls seems more than a little contrived. It feels like a less assured piece of story-telling than the rest of the series (arbitrary obstacles are created to which arbitrary solutions are found), but then we might expect Ness to be much better at the more YA-style episodes than something which is closer in presentation to its parent series.

I think it benefits Class as a whole to demonstrate that its stories need not necessarily revolve around the school and the teenagers. Given Katherine Kelly's Quill is one of the best characters in the series it was good to have something that explicitly centred upon her and developed the character. There are a lot of nice moments in The Metaphysical Engine but at the end of the day it felt a little more contrived than many of the other stories.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/226963.html.
fififolle: Primeval - Becker confusedfififolle on December 24th, 2016 03:28 pm (UTC)
I rather liked it. Obviously she's a good actor :D And I didn't have a clue what was going on half the time, but anyway *g*

louisedennis: Classlouisedennis on December 25th, 2016 01:10 pm (UTC)
I think Miss Quill is one of the best things about Class - and I like the show more than I think these reviews suggest. I just feel it keeps almost but not quite hitting the spot, which is a bit frustrating.