For Tonight We Might Die
For Tonight We Might Die was the first episode of Class. It introduced the series’ regular characters, and revealed that an excess in artron energy from nearby time travel has opened up a tear in space-time in Coal Hill School.
Broadcast on BBC Three on 22 October 2016, along with The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo, For Tonight We Might Die aired exactly ten years after the airdate of Torchwood’s first episode, Everything Changes.
This episode was also shown at the Class World Premiere in Shoreditch, London on 20 October.
At night, in Coal Hill Academy, a student is chased down a corridor by an unseen creature, when he is suddenly pulled aside by a woman with blonde hair. While they are hiding, a shadow slides in underneath the door, and from the shadow emerges a tall molten-stone like monster. It cuts to a shot outside the room; a gunshot is heard and the young man screams. Elsewhere, a crack begins to open out of thin air, through which can be seen a very volcanic looking landscape and suddenly, a shadow flies out through the crack…
The following day, students around the school are talking about the student’s disappearance, with one boy saying that “Everybody knows students at this school disappear – they all just pretend it isn’t happening”. April Maclean tries to convince Tanya to help her decorate for the school prom, but she declines on account of her strict mum. She ponders over asking new boy, Charlie, as her date. The new physics teacher, Miss Quill, argues with the headteacher, Mr Armitage over her new position but ultimately concedes. While everybody heads to class, Charlie notices a strange shadow on the ground. Students mumble about mundane topics throughout the class, while Miss Quill subsequently chastises them equally over some of their personality traits. After class, Charlie tells April that he plans on taking Matteusz as his prom date, slightly disappointing her.
At a football match, Ram Singh is about to score a goal when he notices a shadow move across the ground and take the form of another boy’s shadow. As a result, he misses the goal. Tanya is walking home, contemplating whether to help April decorate for the prom; unbeknownst to her, a lone shadow is quickly following her. As she turns, she sees a shadow growing across the wall and she runs. The shadow, now grown to the size of a building, chases her into a shop. She dismisses the event as her being under too much pressure.
Charlie makes his way back home, where Quill is waiting for him. Tanya attempts to convince her mum to allow her to go to the school prom, but she immediately dismisses the thought. Miss Quill sits, eating a chocolate bar, while Charlie asks her if she had anything to do with the student’s disappearance. It’s revealed that she handed Kevin Williams a gun and told him to shoot the creature from the shadow, and it disintegrated him. She goes on to tell Charlie that while she is currently bound to “slavery”, she will protect him but he should not question her.
Later that night, April is decorating for the prom alone, when the shadow seeps across the hall floor without her immediate notice. Then her own shadow moves, but she dismisses this too. Elsewhere, Tanya is talking to Ram on her laptop, when he notices a tall, darker shadow move across her room. She turns to look. April finishes her banner, when the shadow of a hand slides over her hand and pins it to the floor. In Tanya’s room, the same creature comes out of the shadow and attacks her; she manages to fend it off with a lamp while Ram calls for help. The shadowy hand releases April, who turns to see Miss Quill standing above her; she says they are “in terrible danger”. The two run through the school corridors when the monster appears, and Quill tries to get April to use the displacement gun, knowing it will kill her too. At the last moment, Charlie runs in and saves April from the beam facing in her direction, while the one facing the monster hits it and it falls, and the one in Tanya’s room disappears.
The creature rises and April cries in pain. Quill scans her and the creature, revealed to be Corakinus, the king of creatures called Shadow Kin, with the gun, and finds that it and April now share a heart, given that the Shadow Kin’s original heart had been displaced in time and space. Charlie refuses to kill the Shadow Kin, as it would also mean killing April. The Shadow Kin retreats through a crack in thin air and it closes shut behind him. Quill makes a call to someone, telling them that they’ve got a problem.
Tanya and Ram have both filled their rooms with lights in a bid to keep the Shadow Kin from coming back. Back at the school, Quill is contempt in going after the Shadow Kin to kill it, but Charlie refuses. He goes on to explain to April that he and Quill are both from another planet, and that he was prince of his species, the Rhodians. Miss Quill was a member of the Quill, who were seen as terrorists (or “Freedom Fighters” as Quill puts it) on the planet, and when the war between them was over, Quill was bound to service to Charlie through the use of an alien parasite called an arn, explaining why she cannot use weapons. Charlie goes on to explain that while the Rhodians and Quill were fighting among themselves, the Shadow Kin came to the planet and slaughtered all the Rhodians, including Charlie’s mother. Charlie and Quill fled to the city’s vault, where Quill took the gun and Charlie took a peculiar looking box, right before the TARDIS materialized in the room. They were dropped on Earth, and were told to fit in, telling people they were from Sheffield. April again cries in agony as her heart is split between her on Earth and Corakinus on the other side of the universe. She hears its thoughts and tells Charlie that it wants something he has, and that it’s coming for it tomorrow night. At their homes, Charlie glances at the cabinet he took from his planet’s vault, while April lays staring into the starry sky, hand against her heart.
In the morning, April warns Tanya to be careful of her shadow at the prom, a message she later passes to Ram along with everything else April learned. April, Ram and Charlie prepare for the prom, while Tanya tells her mum that going helps her with an school assignment, so she would be allowed to go. Charlie, April and Matteusz make it to the prom, along with Ram and his girlfriend Rachel. During the party, April collapses and enters the Shadow Kin’s mind again and learns that it’s coming through the crack. Ram and Rachel step outside of the party, where the Shadow King murders Rachel in front of Ram. He demands to know where “the Prince” is, speaking through April at the same time. Ram fights the Shadow Kin while more start advancing for the other end of the corridor. Charlie takes the gun and attempts the hold them off. April and Tanya attempt to get everybody out while the teachers are outside with students vomiting or crying. April announces that everyone is in danger, but nobody acknowledges her. Suddenly, Charlie and Quill burst through the door, Charlie still shooting the approaching Shadow Kin outside, and everybody turns to face them. The Shadow Kin burst through the door and everybody runs.
Outside, Ram continues to fight the Shadow Kin’s king, enraged at him for killing Rachel, when it gets the upper hand and dismembers off the lower half of his leg. While he screams, the Shadow Kin makes for the hall. Everybody flees the school in panic, while Charlie continues to hold off the Shadow Kin. The Shadow King comes into the room and destroys Charlie’s gun. Just as it’s about to kill all in the room, the Doctor strides into the room. He demands to know why the Shadow Kin are on Earth trying to kill Charlie and Quill, acknowledging that what they are doing isn’t their regular M.O. The Shadow Kin demands the Cabinet of Souls, the item in Charlie’s possession, which supposedly contains the soul of every dead Rhodian as a repository for a future paradise, or, as the Shadow Kin require it, a weapon. The Doctor does not wish for Charlie to use the cabinet to destroy the Shadow Kin as a method of avenging his people, describing it as “avenging genocide with genocide”. Charlie then reveals that the cabinet is empty and that the legends built up about it were merely a myth.
The Shadow King, his name revealed to be Corakinus by the Doctor, threatens to conquer the Earth with his legion, when April suddenly stands up to him, holding a broken chair leg to her heart, saying that she will kill herself to stop the Shadow Kin. Charlie also offers himself to Corakinus so that he will spare humanity and April. Tanya attempts to disperse the Shadow Kin by turning on the hall lights, and when that doesn’t work initially, the Doctor boosts the lights’ voltage up with his sonic screwdriver, and the Shadow Kin disappear. Charlie and the others chase after them to get April’s heart back, when April is grabbed by Corakinus. He gives the Doctor an ultimatum: kill them both, or let them live. Ram suddenly appears and hits Corakinus with a chair, pushing him back through the crack. The Doctor then closes the crack with his sonic screwdriver. Ram then passes out from exhaustion and blood loss.
The authorities are called to help with the damages. The gang and Miss Quill are gathered around the TARDIS. The Doctor emerges, wondering what to do with the group now. Charlie knows that the Doctor couldn’t close the tear completely, to which the Doctor explains that with all the artron energy built up around the school during the years of his travelling, time itself has worn thin. He forewarns the students that that the school still acts as a beacon to all of space-time and that more will be coming. Miss Quill is thrown that the Doctor is not taking them with him, but he explains they would be no safer elsewhere. All of a sudden, the Doctor stops in his tracks and takes paces toward a large board, on which are the names “Pink R. D.” & “Oswald C.” (referring to Danny Pink and former companion Clara Oswald). The Doctor is sure that the students will be able to handle whatever comes through the tears. Ram emerges from the TARDIS, with an alien prosthetic leg. The Doctor leaves Quill on Earth to work with the gang as penance for the death of Kevin Williams, and assigns them the task of protecting the planet from whatever comes through the tears, much to Quill’s chagrin. He then leaves in the TARDIS.
Ram and Tanya go home in grief and disbelief over what had happened that night. Charlie promises April that he will get her heart back, and she tells him that in the meantime, she will adjust, telling him of how her mum was paralyzed in a car accident. Quill later asks Charlie how he isn’t mad with grief over the death of his people like she is hers. He responds that there wouldn’t be a point, being furious. She then asks that is the cabinet were full, whether he would let the Doctor’s moral of “committing one genocide for another” stop him, as it wouldn’t stop her. It’s later revealed that the Cabinet of Souls is indeed full, and Charlie stares into the box at the millions of Rhodian souls.