The synopsis for each of the first three episodes of Doctor Who spin-off Class have been revealed by the BBC. The BBC Three series, created by Patrick Ness, is one of the most anticipated shows of the year for Whovians. It follows a group of teenagers at Coal Hill Academy – a familiar place for the Whoniverse. Unable to depend on The Doctor to save them from the alien forces at work, they find themselves given the responsibility to guard against the darkness.
It’s a promising premise, with the trailers and cast all giving us a taste of what to expect. Now, though, we’ve got a flavour of what exactly is in store, with the synopses from the first three episodes released by the Beeb.
If you want to go in knowing as little as possible – which we’d highly recommend – click here to skip down the page to watch the trailer (again), or head this way for our guide to what else is coming soon to BBC Three this week to help count down the days until Saturday 22nd September, when both episodes will be released online at 10am in a double-bill.
Photo: BBC / Todd Antony
Still here? Here are the three synopses, which include information on some of the show’s alien threats:
Episode 1: For Tonight We Might Die
It’s a new term at Coal Hill Academy, and students are preparing for their Autumn Prom. But when the school comes under attack from the monstrous Shadow Kin, four alienated students must form an unlikely alliance to defeat them.
Charlie, April, Ram and Tanya, assisted by their physics teacher Miss Quill, are now charged with a great responsibility by the mysterious alien known as The Doctor: to guard against the creatures of nightmare, who want nothing more than to find a way through to Earth and take it for their own.
And this incursion is only the beginning…
Episode 2: The Coach With The Dragon Tattoo
Following the tragic events at the Prom, a devastated Ram isolates himself from the other three as he struggles with his new reality. Desperate to hold himself together on the football pitch, when he thinks he witnesses someone getting skinned alive he’s convinced he’s cracking up.
But when Tanya, Charlie and April are all confronted with the same thing: a horrific, monstrous, skin-peeling dragon, they know that they’re under attack. The gang must pull together to fight against the monster, and try to keep Coal Hill safe.
Episode 3: Nightvisiting
London is infiltrated by an eerie alien with the ability to morph into the shape of lost loved ones.
Tanya (Vivian Oparah) has an unexpected visitor come to her window in the dead of night – and she’s not the only one, as Ram and Miss Quill face their own startling visitors.
Confronted with these emotional encounters, the team must overcome the persuasion of this strange new threat, and battle through the streets to stop Tanya from being lost forever.
First trailer for BBC Three’s Class lands
8th October 2016
Photo: BBC / Simon Ridgeway
“Do you know the feeling of dread? Just beyond what you can see? Just beyond what you know?”
That’s the sound of the worst kind of dread mankind can face – the dread of being a teenager. Oh, and of facing off against alien threats to save the world.
That’s the world of BBC Three’s new Doctor Who spin-off, Class, which premieres on BBC Three on Saturday 22nd October. The show, which takes place at the familiar location of Coal Hill Academy, sees students preparing for the Autumn Prom at the start of a new term. But when the school comes under attack, four alienated students must form an unlikely alliance to defeat them. And this incursion is only the beginning.
Charlie (Greg Austin), April (Sophie Hopkins), Ram (Fady Elsayed) and Tanya (Vivian Oparah), assisted by their physics teacher, Miss Quill (Katherine Kelly), are charged with a great responsibility by the Doctor – who appears in Episode 1 – to guard against the creatures of nightmare that want nothing more than to find a way through to Earth and take it for their own.
Buffy references. Peter Capaldi. What looks like the return of Pyroviles. Class is shaping up to be, well, class. The show kicks off with two episodes back-to-back on 22nd October. For more on getting tickets to the premiere before then, read on below the trailer.
BBC Three confirms Class October premiere details
23rd September 2016
BBC Three has confirmed that Doctor Who spin-off Class will start on Saturday 22nd October – and that tickets are now available for its premiere two days before.
The show, which takes place at the familiar location of Coal Hill Academy, sees students preparing for the Autumn Prom at the start of a new term. But when the school comes under attack, four alienated students must form an unlikely alliance to defeat them. And this incursion is only the beginning. Charlie (Greg Austin), April (Sophie Hopkins), Ram (Fady Elsayed) and Tanya (Vivian Oparah), assisted by their physics teacher Miss Quill (Katherine Kelly), are charged with a great responsibility by the Doctor to guard against the creatures of nightmare that want nothing more than to find a way through to Earth and take it for their own.
Peter Capaldi will appear as the Doctor in Episode 1 of the series, For Tonight We Might Die, with the first two episodes being released back-to-back on Saturday 22nd October.
“The Doctor Who family is growing, and it’s fantastic to be able to welcome the young new cast of Class in to the Whoniverse,” says Capaldi.
The new young adult show was created by Patrick Ness, charting a course that navigates extra-terrestrial threats through the equally perilous galaxy of teenage hormones, exams and detention. Joining the cast as series regulars are Jordan Renzo (Chosen, Troubled), Pooky Quesnel (The A Word, Accused), Nigel Betts (Boy Meets Girl, Doctor Who). The first two episodes also feature Ben Peel (The Fall, Vampire Academy), Anna Shaffer (Harry Potter, Hollyoaks), Paul Marc Davies (Doctor Who, Torchwood), and Shannon Murray (The Totally Senseless Gameshow).
“At last, we can tell you a little more about Class!” comments Ness. “Though there are still many, many secrets to come. Many. Like, a lot. But of COURSE, the Doctor is in episode one! That’s how these things are done. Truly, though, I can’t wait for everyone to see the show; we’ve worked so hard and I’m so proud of it. Soon, soon…”
Ness is joined behind the camera by Director Ed Bazalgette (Poldark, Doctor Who), Producer Derek Ritchie, and Executive Producers Patrick Ness, Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin.
Can’t wait until 22nd October? Episode 1 will have a world premiere on Thursday 20th October at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, the home of Coal Hill Academy, with doors opening at 6pm. Tickets are limited and are now available via the BBC Shows and Tours website www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours. Drawn at random, successful applicants will be allowed a maximum of one pair of tickets each.
Once you’ve done that, catch up with a live-stream Q&A with the cast here:
Doctor Who spin-off Class will air on BBC Three in October
25th August 2016
Doctor Who spin-off Class will air on BBC Three in October, creator Patrick Ness has revealed.
The online TV channel’s teen drama, set in contemporary London, takes place in Coal Hill School, part of the Doctor Who universe since its very first episode. But all that time-travelling has worn down the walls of space and time and something is pressing in on the other side, waiting to kill everyone.
BBC Three has previously promised the show will be “scary, funny, and as painful and sharp as youth” and that it will “shine a light on a whole new corner of the Whoniverse”.
Now, Ness has been spilling some more details about what to expect – and not just the October start date.
Speaking to Empire Magazine, he reveals that the show will feature teenagers confronting otherworldly creatures – a premise that has already won it comparisons to Buffy, which Ness says is a touchpoint for the show.
“Adults watch that, because it’s a great show, but the POV and the agency are all teenage, and that’s what we want to do with Class,” he explains. “It needs to be from the point of view of the sixth-formers – but that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a ‘young show’.”
The heroes, meanwhile, will be ordinary children, rather than the special people picked to go travelling with The Doctor.
“We’re not telling stories of the ‘chosen ones’,” Ness explains. “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 British Buffy? BBC Three unveils cast for Doctor Who spin-off Class
4th April 2016
BBC Three has unveiled the cast for its Doctor Who spin-off, Class.
The online TV channel’s teen drama was first announced last year, with Young Adult writer Patrick Ness in the showrunner seat. Now, in an exclusive video for BBC Three’s YouTube channel, Ness has introduced us to the people going back to Coal Hill School for a brand new story.
Greg Austin, Fady Elsayed, Sophie Hopkins and Vivian Oparah lead the cast as four students with their own fair share of hidden secrets and fears, navigating a life of friends, parents, school work, sex, sorrow – and possibly the end of existence.
“BBC Three will always back best young British talent,” comments Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three.
“We searched far and wide for this amazing cast, fantastic actors who understand what we’re aiming for with this show,” adds Ness. “And how lucky we are to get Katherine Kelly! She’s been stunning in Happy Valley, The Night Manager and Mr Selfridge, just wait until you see her here.”
Kelly, who will be reunited with her Mr. Selfridge co-star Austin, will play the role of a teacher at the school.
Set in contemporary London, Class promises to be scary, funny, and as painful and sharp as youth. It will also “shine a light on a whole new corner of the Whoniverse”.
Steven Moffat, Class and Doctor Who Executive Producer, says the show will be like a British Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
“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. 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,” he comments.
“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.”
What if your planet was massacred and you were the sole survivor?, reads the show’s official synopsis. 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…?
Coal Hill School has been a part of the Doctor Who Universe since the very beginning, but that has come at a price, adds BBC Three. 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.
Filming on Class begins today, with Poldark and Doctor Who veteran Ed Bazalgette directing, Derek Ritchie producing, and Ness and Brian Minchin joining Moffat as exec producers. The programme will premiere on BBC Three later this year.
For more on what’s coming soon to BBC Three, click here.
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