Earlier this year, BBC America announced the latest Doctor Who spin-off show Class. Set in the Coal Hill School — now Academy — that was first referenced in the very first episode of Doctor Who and later revisited when Clara begins working there, the show follows four students navigating the treacherous landscape of growing up and saving the world. At New York Comic Con 2016, the cast along with creator Patrick Ness and producer Brian Minchin talked about the show and gave fans a sneak peek of what to expect.
A Diverse Cast
Class stars Greg Austin, Fady Elsayed, Sophie Hopkins, and Vivian Oparah as students in Coal Hill Academy. The diverse cast features actors from different ethnicities as well as an openly LGBT lead character. As well as a diverse cast, each of the characters seem to come from very different backgrounds but are united by their individual experiences with things that go bump in the night.
During the eight-episode season, the students, lead by their stern teacher Miss Quill, fight otherworldly beasts that Patrick Ness has had a lot of fun creating. “We’ve got some really great, really creepy monsters, and we’ve also got a few unexpected things.” And for anyone wondering if we’d see any Zygons or any other classic Who monsters, Ness had this to say, “If you had a chance to make brand new Doctor Who monsters, wouldn’t you just run with it?” We can’t wait to see what new creatures the YA novelist has dreamt up.
Some Who Surprises
Fans of Doctor Who will be pleasantly surprised when the first season airs on BBC America in early 2017 (or Oct 22 in the UK and Australia). The first episode looks to feature Peter Capaldi as The Doctor in a possibly prominent role. But, the panelists were keeping quiet about any further details past that. Will we be seeing more of the Twelfth Doctor in Class? We can only hope. Ness is reluctant to go for any kind of gratuitous cameo situation, saying “I think cameo appearances are like penises — if you put it in a scene it’s all anyone is going to look at.” So if there is anyone in Doctor Who crossing over into Class, their story will have to be earned.
While comparisons can be made between the show and Doctor Who, Class is very much its own beast. Stylistically, the show looks to have a bit more in common with the sci-fi and Arrowverse shows on The CW than with the traditional Doctor Who look. This new direction will be a fascinating exploration of both what it’s like growing up, living through the difficulties of being a teen, but through the lens of a Harry Potter sci-fi world.
“The Who Universe is so huge,” says Ness, “and there’s so many possibilities, it’s literally infinite — it’s all of time and space — and to have a corner that you can take a look at through the eyes of these four [characters]… what a pleasure, what an opportunity.”
A More Mature Outlook
Class looks phenomenal and will be a great way for Who fans to graduate to some more mature and relatable storylines. Check out the teaser trailer below and count down the minutes until this show finally premieres on BBC America in 2017.