Monday, April 04, 2016

Class - Main Cast Confirmed For BBC3 Spin-Off

Six months ago, the BBC announced a Doctor Who spin-off set in Coal Hill, spearheaded by YA writer Patrick Ness, called Class and that it would be airing on BBC3 online and BBC1 respectively. Now today we finally know the main casting for the show and have been given a more intriguing synopsis for the series.

So far it seems that the show will focus on five characters - a teacher played by former Coronation Street/Mr Selfridge actress, Katherine Kelly while the students themselves will be played by Greg Austin (also from Mr Selfridge), Fady Elsayed, Vivian Oparah and Sophie Hopkins. The lack of names released for the characters aside, the press release indicates that Kelly's teacher character has been described as a powerful presence. Also rumoured but not confirmed in the press release is the return of Nigel Betts's principal Mr Armitage from the Doctor Who eighth series episodes Into The Dalek and The Caretaker. Ed Bazelgette is directing the first block of episodes, having previously helmed the ninth series episodes, The Girl Who Died and The Woman Who Lived.

With filming due to begin on the spin-off series this week, the press release certainly had a lot of interesting choice descriptions as to what viewers can expect with Class ....

Like all sixth formers, these four Coal Hill School students have hidden secrets and desires. They are facing their own worst fears, navigating a life of friends, parents, school work, sex, sorrow - and possibly the end of existence.

Coal Hill School has been a part of the Doctor Who Universe since the very beginning, but that has come at a price. All the time travelling over the years has caused the very walls of space and time to become thin. There’s something pressing in on the other side, something waiting for its chance to kill everyone and everything, to bring us all into Shadow.

Fear is coming, tragedy is coming, war is coming. Prepare yourselves, Class is coming.

And there's also this gem ....

“Time has looked at your faces now. And time never forgets…”

What if your planet was massacred and you were the sole survivor?

What if a legendary figure out of space and time found you a place to hide?

But what if the things that want to kill you have tracked you down?

And worst of all, what if you haven't studied for your A-Levels…?

Possibly one of the students is a bit cosmic? Or perhaps Katherine Kelly's teacher?

Further into the release you have both Steven Moffat and Patrick Ness citing Class as a British Buffy The Vampire Slayer and with an older cast for the younger role (all of them are in their twenties, lol), it definitely seems that Ness might not have been kidding when he said this show would tackle some darker material. The tagline itself is telling us that fear, tragedy and war are coming and it'll be interesting to see if anyone from the main show (the Doctor specifically) will appear in the series. Coal Hill still might not have been my choice for a spin-off but I have to admit that after some initial reservations that I'm on board for this show.

Class is currently in production and will air on BBC3 online, BBC1 and BBCAmerica later in 2016. Further casting is to be revealed in due course.

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