The Mataphysical Engine, Or What Quill Did

The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did is the seventh episode of series 1 of Class. It aired, originally, on BBC Three on November 26, 2016.


Charlie, Ram, April, Tanya and Matteusz are out of the way in detention. Before leaving, she tells them she has things to do and does not want to be disturbed. She then locks them in the classroom, and goes to see Dorothea in the school hall.

Dorothea warns her that if they proceed with the operation to remove the arn, Quill may die. Quill states that she wants to either die or have freedom. As they are discussing, a man named Ballon arrives and Dorothea says that they can begin. She takes out a device and they are all miniaturized and transported inside it.

They arrive in a mysterious forest that is clearly not on Earth. Dorothea orders Quill to remember her earliest childhood memory while Ballon charges into the forest, returning with a dead animal, which he reveals to be an arn, the first step to removing the arn in Quill’s head. Dorothea explains that the device is a metaphysical engine, capable of transferring individuals into a thought or belief, in this case, the “idea of” the heaven of the arn.

Dorothea activates the device again, sending the trio to the version of hell believed by the Ballon’s species, the Lorr. He reveals that he is a shape-shifter who is frozen in one form. Here, Quill and Ballon encounter the devil of the Lorr, from whom they must extract blood. Ballon fears the being, but Miss Quill consoles him with her people’s concept of the “first fear” that they must overcome. Meanwhile, Dorothea contacts the Governers, claiming that the mission is not going as planned. Ballon manages to overcome his fear and extracts the blood from the being, freeing his hands.

Finally, the trio must obtain the brain of a Quill so Ballon can learn their anatomy. They travel to the idea of Quill heaven (despite Quill claiming such a place cannot exist) and encounter the birth of the Quill goddess. Quill attacks the goddess, furious at it for allowing her people to die. The goddess attempts to speak to Quill, however Ballon decapitates it before it can, later claiming he believe it was Quill’s first fear and he wanted to help her as she helped him. Quill begins to feel the arn causing her pain, which Dorothea states is due to her believing the surgery will work.

Having obtained all the necessary materials, the trio return to Coal Hill. After practicing on the goddess’ head, Ballon successfully removes the arn from Quill’s brain. Although she is in extreme pain and has severe disfigurement to her face, Ballon uses the flesh of the Lorr devil to ‘heal’ her skin, resulting in a long scar being visible on her face but all other injuries removed. After announcing that she is proud of the scar, as it was a mark of honor for a soldier, she realizes she is attracted to Ballon and the two have sex. After they wake, they notice that Dorothea is absent, and explore the school to find her. They eventually find their way to a vast desert where Dorothea is standing. Dorothea announces that ‘Coal Hill’ was simply an illusion and they are actually in the Cabinet of Souls. She also announces that she has actually left and that she is appearing by hologram only. She tells them the Governors only expected one of them to survive, and as such only provided enough energy for one of them to escape the Cabinet. She suggests that a fight to the death will be necessary, given the warrior status of their respective races. She provides Quill with her gun, and informs Ballon that the Governors have located his niece (the only other living member of his species) on Earth. She also warns that time passes faster in the Cabinet, and they may die of old age within a day if they do not escape.

Although they initially try to resist, they eventually realize they must fight or they will both die. Ballon overpowers Quill and takes the gun. Quill demands that he shoot her with honor. He fires the gun, however Dorothea tricked them and made the gun shoot the person holding it rather than the person they are aiming it. Quill is devastated at Ballon’s death and buries his body in the sand. As she stands to leave, the souls of the Rhodians appear to her, and she announces that she wishes for them to dead.

She returns to the real Coal Hill and discovers that she has aged several months at least, however she has only been absent for 45 minutes in real time. She then returns to the classroom, and where the students are. She tells them about the Arn and the holy collapses. However, we also see that Quill is noticeably several months pregnant.


Ram Singh
April MacLean
Tanya Adeola
Miss Quill
Matteusz Andrzejewski