Earlier this year, Whovians were disappointed that season 10 of Doctor Who would not be releasing until April 2017. But now, Whovians have a new series to look forward to, ending the dry spell of over 11 months after the last season. Class, the latest spin-off, is centred around the Whovian universe but takes us deeper into the horrors of time travel. The spin-off series will premiere on BBC Three on October 22.
Doctor Who, the British sci-fi series about the time travelling Doctor (or Time Lord) debuted in 1963 and has had nine seasons until 2015. The Time Lord travels the universe in his TARDIS, thinking up ingenious ways to fight and prevent monsters, Daleks, Cybermen and others from taking over or destroying the world.
Every once in a while, the Time Lord takes on a new body and personality. Currently, the Twelfth Doctor is portrayed by Peter Capaldi. Doctor Who already has three other spin-off series—Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, K-9—which ended in 2011. Class will have eight episodes in its first season.
Here's a quick lowdown on what the series will be about:
Class is set in Coal Hill Academy
Previous Doctor Who seasons had multiple references to the Coal Hill school, but this series will focus entirely on the Academy, four students and a few school staff. Mr Armitage, who appeared often in season 8, played by Nigel Betts, will also feature here. Katherine Kelly (from Coronation Street) plays a physics teacher, Miss Quill. Peter Capaldi (the Twelfth Doctor) makes a guest appearance, as he does in the trailer. The protagonists are played by newcomers Greg Austin, Sophie Hopkins, Fady Elsayed and Vivian Oparah.
The Doctor leaves London in “their hands”
While not much is revealed about the plot, the story reportedly goes thus: in modern-day London, all kinds of dangerous monsters and aliens are ripping through the walls of space and time. Already busy trying to save the rest of the universe across timelines, the Doctor says in the teaser that he can't be there to handle London all the time. “Sometimes you have to take survival upon yourselves,” he says. He leaves it to the young, utterly terrified students from Coal Hill to fix things.
Class seems young, vibrant and fresh
If there's one big difference between the Doctor Who series and Class, it is the age of its protagonists. While it doesn't seem to be like a coming-of-age story, it does have a lot of elements that concern young adults: sex, trying to find the reason for existence, discovering oneself, even dealing with overprotective parents. They have fancy gadgets, drive cars, and equate the tear in space-time to Hellmouth from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
The team behind Class
Patrick Ness, who has written books in the young adult and sci-fi genres, is the creator and writer of Class. Steven Moffat, the venerable creator of Sherlock and showrunner of Doctor Who, is an executive producer of the show. Last year, he announced that he wouldn't be working on Doctor Who after season 10 because of his Sherlock commitments, but rest assured that Class would still involve him.