BBC’s Doctor Who spinoff, Class, has officially gotten the boot. After only a single season of alien-fighting teenagers grounded in the Whoniverse’s historical Coal Hill School, BBC has cancelled the series.
The series revolves around a group of students and their unorthodox teacher, Miss Quill (Katherine Kelly) at Coal Hill School, which first appeared in Doctor Who‘s pilot episode, “An Unearthly Child,” back in 1963. The general concept behind the series is that the school has become a sort of vessel for otherworldly occurrences (think the Hellmouth from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which the characters in Class go so far as to directly mention), but is too much for the Doctor to handle himself. So, for peace of mind while he travels through space and time in his trusty TARDIS, he deputizes this motley crew to keep all things evil contained.
Despite earning an accumulated 88 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the show’s ratings ultimately couldn’t live up to expectations. Damian Kavanaugh, Controller of BBC Three, explained that he simply couldn’t justify keeping the show, despite its devoted fandom (via Digital Spy):
“In honesty, it just didn’t really land for us on BBC Three. Things sometimes don’t, and I’ve got to make decisions about what we’re going to do from a drama point of view. There’s always times when you do something and you have to decide that it’s not going to come back. Class is just one of those things.”
Doctor Who is no stranger to spinoffs, and Class is only the latest in a string of shows that have come and gone. Torchwood ran for four seasons (from 2006-2011), The Sarah Jane Adventures ran for five seasons (from 2007 to 2011), and K-9 ran for a single season in 2009.
BBC made other unsuccessful attempts at Doctor Who spinoffs, including Sarah Jane’s Alien Files in 2010, which ran for six episodes, and K-9 and Company in 1981, which only filmed a pilot that ultimately never aired.
Creator/writer Patrick Ness tweeted about his experiences working on Class, stating that he was “proud” of the show and “lucky to have had the opportunity.” And this isn’t the last that we’ll be hearing from Ness, with one of his novels, A Monster Calls, having already been adapted into a feature film with Academy Award nominees Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson, and Sigourney Weaver, and another, based on the YA series, Chaos Walking, currently in production, which will star Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, and Mads Mikkelsen.
Whether Ness will ever return to the Whoniverse remains to be seen, but Doctor Who itself will return on Christmas Day with the episode “Twice Upon a Time.” The episode will feature Jodie Whittaker’s first appearance as the titular Doctor, taking over the role from Peter Capaldi.
Source: Digital Spy
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