Earlier this year BBC America confirmed that the long-running “Doctor Who” series would be getting its own spinoff event called “Class,” and while the exact details of the show have been kept quiet, the network did release the first official photo of the cast this morning.
When the show was announced earlier this year, the President of BBC America (Sarah Barnett) talked about the series saying, “We’re excited about a fresh twist on the Doctor Who universe, an unconventional take on the crime drama that keeps you guessing at every turn.’
We do know that “Class” will be an eight-part series, co-produced by BBC AMERICA. Patrick Ness, best known for his award-winning book A Monster Calls, will be making his screenwriting debut on the new series.
The show itself will be set in a school in contemporary London, it is executive produced by Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin, the team behind Doctor Who. It was also announced this year that Moffat would be leaving his long-standing post as show-runner on the “Doctor Who” series, at the same time it’s also unclear how many more episodes Peter Capaldi will remain as the current “Doctor” on the show. The series also lost Jenna Coleman as the Companion, so a lot of changes are coming to the series over the next year or two.
“I’m astounded and thrilled to be entering the Doctor Who universe, which is as vast as time and space itself,” said Ness this year. “I can’t wait for people to meet the heroes of Class, to meet the all-new villains and aliens, to remember that the horrors of the darkest corners of existence are just about on par with having to pass your exams,” he joked.
Starring in the series will be “Happy Valley” lead Katherine Kelly as a teacher in Coal Hill School. Greg Austin (Mr Selfridge), Fady Elsayed (Silent Witness), Sophie Hopkins (Dark Matters) and Vivian Oparah will join her in the show.
In a statement BBC America teased that the characters have “hidden secrets and desires,” adding, “They are facing their own worst fears, navigating a life of friends, parents, school work, sex, sorrow — and possibly the end of existence.”
Steven Moffat explained, “There’s nothing more exciting than meeting stars that nobody’s heard of yet. We had the read through of the first few episodes last week, and there was a whole row of them.” Moffat added, “Coal Hill School has been part of Doctor Who since the very first shoot in 1963, but this new show is anything but history. Class is dark and sexy and right now. I’ve always wondered if there could be a British Buffy — it’s taken the brilliant Patrick Ness to figure out how to make it happen.”
Produced by BBC Cymru Wales and filmed in Cardiff, Class will premiere in 2016.