As Doctor Who fans wait patiently for the forthcoming tenth season since the show’s glorious return in 2005, information regarding spin-off series, Class, is beginning to emerge in anticipation of its October premiere. Class will be set at Coal Hill School, a fictional British high school that has a long history in the universe of Doctor Who dating as far back as its first episode in 1963 (which saw the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan attending the institution).
The show, created and written by Patrick Ness, will feature a core cast of young actors and actresses including Greg Austin, Fady Elsayed and Sophie Hopkins, as well as the more recognizable Katherine Kelly (Mr. Selfridge, Coronation Street). Class will seemingly mix the trials and tribulations of everyday teenage life with the otherworldly goings-on common in the world of Doctor Who – and fans will already be aware that the Doctor’s continued presence at Coal Hill has made the school an easy target for monsters throughout space and time.
The first of the two videos describes Class as being “funny, exciting, scary, sexy”; and although traditionally, hardcore Whovians have a particular disdain for the show and the term “sexy” being used in the same sentence, Ness is clearly aiming Class at a young adult audience who perhaps find Doctor Who a bit too heavy in terms of science fiction. The fact that the creator admits to being a Who fan however, is reassuring for all.
Although the second video provides no hints as to whether Miss Quill is a human or alien villain (the smart money is on the latter, by the way), Katherine Kelly is a widely respected and award winning actress in the U.K. and will undoubtedly bring the show a safe pair of evil hands – adding experience to the otherwise green cast.
Doctor Who is, of course, no stranger to spin-off shows and the more recent of these series have fared quite well. The Sarah Jane Adventures ran for five seasons and was well received by its younger audience, whilst the more adult orientated Torchwood has a fandom almost as feverish and dedicated as Doctor Who itself and is a fantastic piece of television in its own right. As such, there’s no reason to believe Class can’t achieve similar success, with a solid concept and the right people working both in front of and behind the camera. The show has the potential to introduce a whole new generation of people to the world of Doctor Who.
Perhaps some longtime Whovians will be more than a little skeptical of the ‘Skins-with-monsters’ approach – but with a confirmed appearance from the Doctor himself, Peter Capaldi, on the cards, expectations will be high for Class. Whether they can live up to them, only time will tell.
Class will premiere on BBC 3 (online) on October 22nd, 2016.