A Touch Of Class
Tripwire’s contributing writer Tim Cundle takes a look a Deadly Class episode 1, now on Starzplay in the UK…
Deadly Class episode 1: Reagan Youth
Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Stars: Benedict Wong, Benjamin Wadsworth, Lana Condor, María Gabriela de Faría
Based on the comic series by Rick Remender Wes Craig, Deadly Class is set in San Francisco at the tail end of the eighties. It focuses on the story of Marcus, an orphan who, having been forsaken by the system, took his revenge on the institution that degraded and humiliated him.
Unfortunately for Marcus, his act of vengeance made him one of the most wanted men in his home city and also brought him to the attention of Master Lim, the headmaster of King’s Dominion – a school essentially for criminals. Having been press ganged into becoming a pupil, Marcus soon finds himself entangled in the prison politics of a place where survival is dependent on gang affiliation and remaining constantly vigilant. Murder, double dealing, and betrayal are the order of the day in this remarkably compulsive, character driven, inventive show whose opening chapter exhibits considerable promise.
It’s an edgy affair, brimming with black humour and a wittily dark soundtrack. Deadly Class wastes little time in finding its rhythm, echoing other Netflix genre shows like The Umbrella Academy and Titans. While its central theme of the outsider protagonist battling himself and the world is somewhat dated and perhaps over-familiar, it’s all deftly handled and immersive. And despite featuring a highly watchable cast, there are two main scene-stealers – Benedict Wong, whose portrayal of Master Lim comes across as a psychotic Dumbledore, and Henry Rollins, with his understated turn as a dour, aloof poisons teacher.
Uncompromising, unrelenting and visceral, Deadly Class whispers sweet nothings in your ear, slips its claws into your heart and draws you into its chilling embrace. Definitely worth investigating. Tim Cundle
Deadly Class is on Starzplay now in the UK. Here’s a clip from the first episode