The series Class
, which premiered tonight on BBC America, is a spinoff of the UK cult hit, Doctor Who
. The show, which was created by Patrick Ness, takes place at Coal Hill School (now Coal Hill Academy), where Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) was an English teacher during season eight and nine of the original series. The series focuses on five sixth formers (high schoolers), and their Physics teacher, Miss Quill (Katherine Kelly).
There's April, (Sophie Hopkins), the kind but unpopular girl, Tanya, (Vivian Oparah), who is so smart she skipped a couple years of school, Ram (Fady Elsayed), the popular jock, and Matteusz (Jordan Renzo), a homosexual student.
Then new student Charlie (Greg Austin) arrives, along with new teacher Miss Quill. Charlie is actually a prince from the planet Rhodia, and Quill is his protector.
In the premiere episode, a race known as the Shadow Kin arrive at the school looking for Charlie, and will kill anyone who gets in their way.
Being a big fan of Doctor Who
, I wasn't sure what to expect. I've enjoyed previous spinoffs, but they haven't measured up to the original (although Torchwood
at times came close). The series is geared towards a teen/young adult audience. The show focuses on the lives of teenagers, though it does include some violence and gore not previously seen in the original. In that respect, I would say it falls somewhere between Doctor Who
, which could get very dark.
The script itself was pretty good for a pilot. The characters do seem fairly stereotypical, but regardless, they're interesting, though we don't get to learn a lot about them in just one episode, as there's a lot of action there as well. The story with the Shadow Kin I enjoyed; I could easily see the monster being on the original series, and the effects were decent. I also liked the way the story played out with April and the Rhodians. In Doctor Who
we are used to seeing a character with two hearts; it's interesting that here, in comparison, there are two characters sharing one heart.
The characters interactions were great. I especially so far like relationship between Charlie and Miss Quill. It's an interesting dynamic that could play out in fun ways. The fact that Miss Quill can't fire a weapon I also find an interesting twist. I'm also curious to see how the potential friendship between Tanya and Ram may develop.
I was very happy with The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) making an appearance, as it helps to tie the series together, and he does explain why creatures are going to be attracted to the school. I always love Capaldi as The Doctor, but I will say that his arrival was a bit "deus ex machina" as he saved the day. But still, The Doctor showed up, and my favorite one at that, so I can't complain too much.
Some of the parts of the episode I particularly liked was with Charlie lying about the Cabinet of Souls being empty to not only the Shadow Kin, but also Quill. Another was The Doctor seeing Clara's name on the wall. I also really liked when The Doctor explained to Miss Quill that she would look after the teens as her punishment for killing the student.
Over all, I think Class
has the potential to become a fantastic and popular series, though it is more for a different demographic, so only time will tell if the masses agree and make it so. Adults, however, should not shy away just because it focuses on high school students, as they should enjoy it as well. Some of the younger viewers, however, may not watch it because of the violence and gore. All in all, however, to me, Class
is a fun spinoff that I look forward to seeing more of.