Sophie Hopkins, Vivian Oparah, Jordan Renzo,
Sophie Aldred, Nicholas Briggs
First Released: August 2018
Running Time: 3 hours
Like the first volume, Class vol 2 contains three stories each concentrating on a small number of the leads from the series, again set during the original television run.
Everybody Loves Reagan
Unfortunately this opening story I found to be the weakest in the set. Now it’s worth saying that every single one of these Class audios is a GEM and even a slightly weaker story such as this one is still of an incredibly high quality. In this particular tale, it’s Sophie Hopkins and her character of April who really gets to shine. The story tackles a lot of the traits of her character, introducing a figure who essentially usurps what April feels her position is, but seemingly more successfully. Whilst April believes this ‘Reagan’ is a genuine threat, the others think that she’s just being jealous. The problem with this story is that it falls victim to a lot of the pitfalls stories in this mold usually do. Namely, there’s a lot of people denying anything strange whilst April insists. After a while, it does admittedly get a little dull, though the resolution is interesting.
Now You Know…
Once again it is the second story that wins my affections. Now you Know is an incredibly touching little story that chooses to tackle, in some depth I might add, the issue of bullying. Tim Lengs script is incredibly powerful, mostly putting the alien machinations in the background, though not to the point that it no longer feels like an episode of class. His character of Peter Dillard (brought perfectly to life in a show-stealing performance by Anson Boon) is an incredibly touching piece of script writing and a wonderful piece of tragedy. The two leads in this one are Tanya and Matteusz, an excellent choice to lead such a powerful tale given that they are arguably the two most underdeveloped in the entire series (not at all due to the excellent performances of Vivian Oparah and Jordan Renzo) and the characters interactions are a highlight.
The third story is eagerly the most highly awaited being, as the name suggests, a sequel to Remembrance of the Daleks. For the most part, this is an adventurous romp, with plenty of Dalek action and lots of nods to the classic 1988 story that inspired it. On the other hand, this (far more than the previous sets Don’t Tell me you Love Me) is Quills story, and explores her character in a number of interesting dialogue sequences with the Dalek. Katherine Kelley is superb in these sequences, utilising the wonderful dialogue by Guy Adams to really get to the heart of who Quill is and what makes her tick. At the end, she still remains a mystery, but we’ve had one more privileged scratch beneath the surface. Greg Austin, on the other hand, is given far less to do, a shame, primarily as I thought he was astounding in the original series and without a doubt the highlight. Here he’s given a few amusing interactions but is mostly left to running up and down Coal Hill corridors. What of the stories two guest stars? Sophie Aldred and Nicholas Briggs? Well as always they are excellent, Aldred, in particular, relishing exploring her character a little more it seems. The score is also excellent, evoking the score of Remembrance at appropriate points. Unfortunately, the story itself is a little sluggish at points with a bit too much running around, though on the whole this is an excellent finale.
Following on from an excellent first box set, this second series has been another al round success. Featuring clever and inventive scripts, Class must rank among the best BF releases this year. Not only that but these new Class audios have demonstrated without a doubt that the show still has a lot of life left in it, bring on a BF continuation series is all I say!