This third spinoff from the New Who lands squarely between the squeaky clean juvenile sensibilities of The Sarah Jane Adventures and the mature audience tone of Torchwood. It is too early to tell how successful the middle ground will be.
I like the adult lead of Katherine Kelly as Ms. Quill. She has the presence and charisma of a heroic character, but her adolescent cohorts are mere stereotypes at this point. We have a jock, a nebbish, a math geek, a posh and another foreign guy and none of them have accomplished enough for me to care about them. Whatever depth any of them might have is hinted at, but the backstory remains to be seen.
The Doctor appears in this episode only for exposition purposes and although the story occurs at the fabled Coal Hill Academy, and references some folks from the past, the reliance to Doctor Who canon is tenuous. The school seems to be some kind of nexus for strange activity, but it’s not a rift like they had in Cardiff, but hey, do they really need an excuse for alien incursion?
Anyway, I have moderately positive expectations.