Some thoughts on the way the BBC handled Class

It’s no secret the Doctor Who spin-off hardly broke ratings records, when it premiered on the IPlayer a few months ago.
It’s recent terrestrial broadcast didn’t fair much better either, pulling in just 0.94 million when it aired on BBC One earlier this week.

Even though it did manage to build a fanbase. A second series looks unlikely. Members of the cast have even been retweeting a petition for a new series.

I thought I’d take this opportunity to look at the way the BBC handled the show.

From announcement to broadcast, the BBC have handled the show rather poorly.
I mean, logistically speaking. Who in their right mind launches a spin-off show, that doesn’t feature pre-existing characters (in a lead role), when the main show has been off the air for a year?

Yes, I know Star Trek did shows set in the same universe.
As did CSI, but those were different. Those were expansions on already familiar concepts. If you call a show CSI:Miami, there’s instant brand recognition, same with Star Trek.

With the upcoming Star Trek:Discovery, we already basically know what to expect. We can guess the key ingredients.

Just what is Class to the average channel hopper?

When Torchwood launched in 2006, Doctor Who was at its height of popularity. It featured a recognisable character from Doctor Who. There was brand familiarity.

What the BBC have essentially done, is give a Friends spin-off, to a character that never appeared in Friends. Mental.

 

6 comic book movies (most) people don’t realise are comic book movies 

Blade

  

I guess a lot of people missed the Marvel logo at the start of this movie, as it never fails to surprise me just how many still don’t realise it’s a comic book movie.  

Blade came on out in the summer of ’98 and was pretty successful, it had a budget of $45 million and ended its run with a profit of $70 million. 

New line took a huge gamble here, it came out a year after a run of unsuccessful and critically panned comic book movies; Spawn, Steel, Batman and Robin. Warner Bros had also just cancelled Superman Lives.

  
The success of this opened the doors for the first X-men movie, which in turn opened the doors for Spider-Man. 

Tamara Drewe

  
Yep, this one even surprised me. I had no idea Stephen Frears (director of The Queen) had made a comic book movie.

  

Tamara Drewe is a comic strip based on Thomas Hardy’s ‘far from the madding Cow’, that ran in The Guardian.

A history of violence
  

A History of Violence is the most recent on my list. It’s a gripping thriller that tells the tale of a small-town man whose violent past suddenly catches up with him, when he stops a robbery at his store. 

  

The film differs from the comic in many ways. It’s more of straightforward crime story in the books, with much of the series dedicated to showing us the character’s backstory. 
The film plays with ambiguity a lot more and leaves the wider spectrum to the viewers imagination.

Men in black

  

Before it was a successful Sony franchise, Men in black was a Marvel comic book series. Like the film, the comic follows a top-secret organisation who defend the Earth. 

Unlike the film the MIB don’t just defend the world from alien threats. They also defend it from the supernatural, Demons, Werewolves, Vampires etc. It also has a much darker tone.

  
We still follow agents Jay and Kay, but agent Jay is a blonde white guy and the MIB aren’t quite the heroes the film portrays. 

The Mask

  
Most remember this as one of Jim Carrey’s break-out 1994 movies. But its origin is also rooted in comic form. 

Both the film and the comic have the same basic idea; a man discovers a magical mask that transforms him into an unstoppable force. 

In the film, the mask just amplifies your inner personality, if you’re a hopeless romantic, you become what Jim Carrey’s character did. 

  
However, In the series of comics by Dark Horse, the mask turns the wearer into a violent vigilante who dispenses cruel justice. In fact, New Line very nearly made it as horror, before opting to make it a comedy. 

This gave Jim Carrey a hat-trick of successful comedies in 1994.

Road to Perdition

  
Published by DC Comics’ Paradox Press, ‘Road to Perdition’ tells the tale of the O’Sullivan family. We follow them, and their dealings with criminal underworld from the 1930’s-19’70s. The movie is set in the 30’s and is based on the first graphic novel, even though the film feels like “Oscar Bait” it’s surprisingly faithful to its source.