The Doctor may have been zooming through time and space in his TARDIS since 1963, but what about all the regular earthbound folk he encounters along the way? What about all the average citizens living and working in these places that he visits? That’s the question that will be addressed in Class – the brand new spinoff show that debuts on BBC Three and BBC One in October 2016.
Set in the fictional Coal Hill Academy in London, the show centres all of its action on this location that will be very familiar to fans of Doctor Who. The creator of the show has been discussing some of the finer details of the series with Empire Magazine, and here’s what he had to say:
“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!”
There have already been spinoffs of the legendary BBC drama – notably The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood. But those series were about individuals in specialised situations – either as former assistants to The Doctor, or possessing special abilities themselves. Class will focus on average teenagers dealing with bizarre occurrences as and when they arise, right there on school premises. That’s what differentiates it from popular shows with a similar theme, such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
“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?”
The BBC will be hoping that Class is as a big a ratings hit as its parent show, Doctor Who, has been over the years. Audiences will have a little longer to wait before they find out if the show gets a passing grade, however.