We love our Doctor Who around these parts. Well, at least Darryn, Nick and I do, as the rest of these folk clearly wouldn’t know the greatest sci-fi series ever if it showed up right in front of them in blue police box while eating fish fingers and custard and started screaming about bad wolves before launching into a guitar solo on top of a tank. And if you got all those references, then chances are you’ve already heard about and are excited for Class, the upcoming spinoff from the long running BBC sci-fi series.
Unlike the last Doctor Who spinoff, the very mature Torchwood (please bring back Captain Jack Harkness, BBC!), Class will be a bit more youth focused though. It’s actually being billed as the YA entry to the Who-niverse, focusing on a group of high schoolers at the Coal Hill Academy, a fictional London school that has featured numerous times in Doctor Who right from its very first episode in 1963. What makes these teens special is that they all have weird abilities of some sorts, which they’re going to need very shortly to save their world.
And over the weekend in preparation for their New York Comic Con panel, BBC America’s released the first teaser trailer for Class which focuses more on the Doctor himself who will apparently play a big part in the new series’ first episode, even though he won’t be popping up too often after that. Check it below!
Got to say I love how eerie that looks and feels. All the various actors who have played the Doctor have had their various strengths, and for Capaldi its definitely his ability to go a little darker than most. But he’s still an old man, and this is supposed to be about youngsters! Well during the BBC America NYCC panel itself, showrunner Brian Minchkin debuted an extended trailer, which switches up the focus to introducing the young cast and their abilites, with the Doctor taking more a backseat… as he learns about their fascination with certain popular teen dramas. It’s a pretty neat preview, giving us our first proper looks at leads Charlie (Greg Austin), Tanya (Vivian Oparah), April (Sophie Hopkins), and Ram (Fady Elsayed), and if you’re already a fan – or even if you’re not, and this is the gateway drug you need – you should definitely have a look.
Three things: 1) Those rips in space and time sure as hell look just like the ones the Doctor inadvertently created and then had to fix in the show’s fifth season (he actually had to reboot the universe, no biggie). 2) Am I the only one that feels that the tone and cadence of the speech given by Katherine Kelly’s Miss Quill – Coal Hill’s mysterious new physics teacher who shows up just as weird stuff start happening to these kids – at the 1:04 mark, sounds an awful lot just like the all-time classic speech given by Matt Smith’s Doctor in that very same fifth season’s penultimate episode? And 3), that mention of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s Hellmouth is definitely not a coincidence.
Author Patrick Ness (A Monster’s Call, The Knife of Never Letting Go) will be making his screenwriting debut on the series, and he spoke to Empire earlier in the year and revealed that Buffy was a huge influence on Class.
“Adults watch that, because it’s a great show, but the POV and the agency are all teenage, and that’s what we want to do with Class. It needs to be from the point of view of the sixth-formers (aka high-schoolers) – but that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a ‘young show’.”
And just like Buffy‘s Sunnydale High became ground zero for so many supernatural nasties because of the Hellmouth underneath it, so too will the famous school in Doctor Who lead to this new mess.
“Coal Hill has existed in Doctor Who since literally episode one. The Doctor’s granddaughter went there. So we thought, ‘All that time activity at the school, has that caused any problems?’ Well, what do you know, it has!”
But not everything in Class is a Buffy parallel though, as Ness emphasises that “We’re not telling stories of the ‘chosen ones’.”
“It’s happenstance that puts these people [at the centre of things]. What if your timing is just weird and things happen to you? How do you deal with it? I’m interested in real consequences. The Doctor is always exciting, but he never stays. He goes off on the next adventure. What happens to real people?”
Well, we’ll see what happens to these “real people” when Class debuts on BBC in a few weeks on 22 October.
Last Updated: October 10, 2016