When I first heard about Class, the newest Doctor Who spin-off adventure, I was sceptical, primarily because I thought it would be a rip off of the Sarah Jane Adventures. For one, it is set in a school, Coal Hill School to be exact. An institution that featured in the first episode ‘An Unearthly Child’ in 1963, and has been in and out of the series ever since (lately having been the school Clara Oswald taught in). The fact that the show will focus on a group of students fighting aliens with an alien boy in their midst is also reminiscent of The Sarah Jane Adventures. However, as the show focuses on sixth formers (and with the actors considerably older than that as well) we can already guess that Class might be slightly more controversial than The Sarah Jane Adventures. Overall one could see it as a mix between The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood. As a lot of us have probably outgrown Doctor Who, Class brings something new to the Who Universe, something a bit darker for an audience in their late teens, early twenties.
The head writer on this project isn’t the Moffat monster, but Patrick Ness, who is already an experienced writer with successful novels such as The Rest of Us Just Live Here, More Than This and the Chaos Walking trilogy. And we can see that Ness is already pushing for difference, as he once said, “One way to change the world is to act as if it has already changed,” and hopefully we will see Class as being a diverse, innovative program which truly reflects modern society.
So what can we hope for from Class? Hopefully some intriguing new Doctor Who monsters, a cameo or two and Peter Capaldi confirmed to feature in the first episode, some great character dynamics and more innovative story lines. Even if you are still sceptical about Class, it’s always good to try out new things: you never know, it might become a favourite.
The first two episodes will air on October 22nd on BBC Three online, moving to BBC One after.