“Incredible dangers are breaking through the walls of time and space, and with darkness coming, London is unprotected. With all the action, heart and adrenalin of the best YA fiction (Buffy, Hunger Games), this is Coal Hill School and Doctor Who like you’ve never seen it before.”
The official Class synopsis is rather cliched, however you can’t help but feel some sort of excitement for the new spin off, especially in a year without any Doctor Who. It will be interesting to see what sort of direction writer Patrick Ness takes the show, that’s apparently being aimed at “young adults”. I think from that, it’s quite hard to work out what the tone of the show will be. It will be aimed at a more mature audience than the Sarah Jane Adventures, but will it be closer to Torchwood? Young adult is vague, that could range from anything between mid teens to late twenties in my opinion. Will there be swearing? It would be strange if there was, especially if the Doctor was present. It’s set in a school with pupils heading the cast, so will that put some people off, or will they be characters who can appeal to an audience of all ages? There are a lot of questions about the feel of the series that I’m sure we’ll find out the answer to in the build up to episode one being aired. Patrick Ness is writing all eight episodes, but how much of a say will Steven Moffat have in what goes on within the spinoff? Personally I hope he has none. It’s nothing against Moffat, but by the time Class has aired, he’ll be well underway filming his final series as the main show’s runner. So anything that could link Class to Doctor Who will only probably affect the show after Moffat has gone. If anyone collaborates with Ness, I hope it’s Chris Chibnall. When we had the Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood running alongside Doctor Who, it was good to see a lot of details intertwine, and that was down to Russell T. Davies having a prominent role in each show. It worked well so I hope Chibnall takes a similar interest in Class.
The cast is one of the main reasons I’m looking forward to it. I think Doctor Who would do well to get an actress like Katherine Kelly for an episode, a Coronation Street icon who’s recently appeared in Happy Valley and The Night Manager. So for her to be a lead actress for the entire series is a massive coup. I hope it leads to her appearing in Doctor Who at some point, I think her character could be similar to Donna Noble in some aspects so it’d be interesting to see her dynamic with the twelfth Doctor. It’s an early sign the BBC are actually taking the show seriously and that’s good as it would be enjoyable to have another spin off run alongside the main show for numerous seasons. I can’t say I know much about the four younger actors/actresses who are playing the pupils but it’s an excellent opportunity for them to showcase their talents. It’s been rumoured one of them will play an alien who’s disguised as a human. This would be a very similar concept to Luke in the Sarah Jane Adventures so I will be curious to see how close the similarities are. I hope they aren’t identical as it would have the feel of a repeat and be slightly boring.
The setting of Coal Hill is about the only link with the show. The school has featured throughout the show’s history, including the very first episode in 1963. As it was the school Clara taught at, there could be some ripples from her absence. Could Katherine Kelly’s character be her replacement in a teaching role? The synopsis for the show says “Incredible dangers are breaking through”. This sounds like the school is a significant point in space, similar to the rift in Torchwood, so I’d like to get some explanation perhaps as to why the Docotr repeatedly finds himself in the vicinity.
I’m excited about Class, probably more excited than I would be if there was a series of Doctor Who this year, but nevertheless I’m looking forward to it. I hope the fact it’s being broadcast online doesn’t put a lot of people off because it’s clear the BBC are keen to make it succeed. The setting, the cast and the concept are all intriguing so I hope Patrick Ness and hopefully Chris Chibnall do a good job of ensuring the show is around for longer than one series.