By: Mel Perez
This new generation of Doctor Who has led to a few spin-offs. First, there was Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures. Now we have Class. Class is set in Coal Hill Academy. Coal Hill goes back to the first episode of Doctor Who. Most recently, in the 8th and 9th seasons, Clara taught English there. This is a location that is familiar to the Doctor and fans.
“I can travel through space. I can travel through time but I can’t always be there when you need me,” the Doctor says in a voiceover during the trailer for Class, “Sometimes you have to take survival upon yourselves.” Who protects the Earth when the Doctor is out adventuring? The obvious answer is UNIT. Class provides an alternate answer. The Doctor has asked four students of Coal Hill Academy to step up and protect their school in his absence from the strange things that pop there. The four students are played by Greg Austin as Charlie, Sophie Hopkins as April, Fady Elsayed as Ram, and Vivian Oparah as Tanya. Katherine Kelly plays Miss Quill, their teacher.
I had the chance to sit down with the four at last year’s New York Comic-Con. When asked what was their favorite thing about the show, Vivian Oparah answered “The honesty of it.” She went on to comment on how grounded the show is in reality and its treatment of young people. Greg Austin continued “There’s a lot of surreal moments that happen around the show but I feel like the accurate representation of how ordinary we are and how honest we are and the experiences we go through as young students is a perfect balance.” For Sophie Hopkins, it was the change and growth the characters experience.
Class was created and written by young adult author Patrick Ness. At NYCC, he said, “If you take a teenager seriously, truthfully, and respect the things they’re going through really interesting stuff comes up”. The first series will contain 8 episodes and premieres on BBC America April 15th after Doctor Who.