Class starts with Miss Quill being mysterious and fighting a shadow...
Then a credits sequence which is a bit Doctor Who and a bit Seven Nation Army.
Not sold on a bouncy poppy show choosing a bouncy poppy theme song (Up All Night by Alex Clare) with lyrics about boredom, “watching my youth slip away” and how “we go on and on and on and on...”
We meet our assorted heroes as they arrive, then find they’re all being subtly pursued by shadows.
April, the kind helpful girl next door.
Charlie, the terribly polite and slightly confused guy who is, as April points out, rather obviously an alien. (The biggest laugh of the episode is April asking if they look human naturally or had to change - cut to them in monster makeup and back saying “... No...”)
Matteusz, his boyfriend.
Tanya, the socially awkward three-years-ahead genius.
Ram, the jock.
Miss Quill, the snarky alien ninja teacher.
The Shadowkin are not Vashta Nerada, though they initially appear as the victims’ own shadows, so I feel the show should have namedropped the earlier CG shadow-monsters. Sometimes they turn into Pyrovile-alike Balroggy warriors. Their leader is a CG-enhanced costume, the rest are CG. There’s a nice effect as April’s hand is grabbed by its own shadow.
Miss Quill gets April to shoot at the Shadowkin leader with a symbiotic gun that makes them solid and also kills the firer to kill the Shadowkin, but Charlie gets in the way and it’s just a glancing blow - which leaves April sharing her heart with the leader. (So she becomes an early warning system for the return of the series Big Bads.)
The Shadowkin emerge through a glowing rift in space and time which is kind of like the Crack.
Our heroes attend the autumn prom, confront the Shadowkin leader, and are saved by the Doctor popping in and talking Charlie and April down from heroic sacrifice, and Ram smacking the leader despite having had his leg cut off.
On which note, the show has 12-cert blood and PG-cert swearing but could otherwise probably have gone out about 8 p.m.
The Doctor gives Ram a new leg, tells the group to form an adventuring party and leaves.
Nothing will ever be the same again... and next day everybody acts like nothing much happened.
The series setup means the Crack Rift Hellmouth thingy lets all kinds of aliens and monsters pop in, a solid Torchwood DS9 Buffy setup for a show, or game.