The RadioTimes reported on a story that caused quite the conversation within the Doctor Who community, and even though the story is new there are very few hard details about it, the fact that it is in development makes it worthy of discussion, and that is there will be a spin-off series from Doctor Who on BBC3 and will simply be called Class and it will be set around Coal Hill secondary school. Among the hot button topics are, who will be starring in this new series, and whether or not the Doctor himself might actually put in an appearance. None of these details are known because it is “too soon to say.” Nevertheless, we know we’re looking at a show aimed at a young adult audience, and we’ve met some of the pupils and staff of Coal Hill before so we can certainly make a few educated guesses about some of the characters and actors who might appear – not to mention naming one or two of those on our wish list…
Ellis George as Courtney Woods? If anyone has the experience to be the Doctor’s representative on Earth (or at least in Shoreditch) surely it’s “disruptive influence” Courtney. She’s already travelled in the TARDIS and took fighting monsters and walking on the surface of the moon in her stride. Meanwhile, her inquiring mind and brilliantly blunt approach to social interaction kind of remind us of someone we know… Back in series eight, the Doctor told Courtney “I may have a vacancy but not right now.” Suddenly, several seem to have opened up…
Abigail Eames as Maebh Arden? Any of the group of Coal Hill pupils Danny and Clara took on a nature ramble through the Forest of the Night could potentially turn up in Class but there is one candidate in particular who would make a lot of sense. Every gang of paranormal warriors needs a sensitive, psychically-attuned type and that’s where Maebh Arden would come in. She’s the schoolgirl who takes medication to quell the voices in her head – voices that the Doctor realises are only too real and are trying to communicate an important message. Whether or not young actress Abigail Eames returns to play Maebh, the character or someone like her would definitely work as part of the monster-fighting Class of 2016.
Harley Bird as Ruby? Another member of the Forest troupe, Ruby was the little girl whose precociousness, you might argue, bordered on annoying. But looking back she certainly had the kind of inquisitive nature and eye for unusual details that would come in handy when “incredible dangers are breaking through the walls of space and time”. Ruby was the one who first questioned why the trees in the forest had no rings and she also asked “if they’re good why are we chopping them down?”. And when UNIT turned up to help out with the situation, what was Ruby’s reaction? “This is so cool.” See? Born to fight monsters. Meanwhile, actress Harley Bird (none other than the voice of Peppa Pig) is now going on 14, pretty much spot on for the role of a senior secondary school pupil.
Edward Harrison as Adrian? Any Doctor Who fans missing Matt Smith would welcome the return of Edward Harrison as Clara’s fellow teacher Adrian. When Doctor Who episode The Caretaker first aired, many viewers noticed the similarities – floppy hair, strong chin, tendency to gesticulate wildly and make up words like “non-finishedness” – and even Peter Capaldi’s Doctor noted a resemblance to “a certain dashing young time traveller”. There’s no reason to think that Adrian is not still working at Coal Hill so let’s get “the handsome one with the bow-tie” back.
William Russell as Ian Chesterton? Ian Chesterton was a teacher at Coal Hill back at the very, very beginning of Doctor Who and, according to the sign outside the gates, is now the school’s Head of Governors. Fans really want to see a return for the Doctor’s original companion and he’d certainly be on hand with some advice for the kids of Class about fighting aliens, as well as getting their homework done…
If Ian Chesterton is a regular in Class, I would definitely be prepared to watch it. William Russell could easily pull off the mentor role.
— Jake George Potts (@ShakeyJake25) October 1, 2015
@bbcdoctorwho PLEASE include Ian Chesterton. William Russell is still alive. It’s not too late yet
— Rachel (@ravenvvings) October 2, 2015
Now aged 90, William Russell has nevertheless shown he’s still game for Who-related cameos, having recently turned up as a car park attendant in An Adventure in Space and Time, the BBC drama about the making of the show.
Peter Capaldi as the Doctor?
There’s been no official suggestion so far that Peter Capaldi will be involved but, seriously, what’s a Doctor Who spin-off without the occasional appearance by the Time Lord himself, if only to give a few words of advice (or maybe fix the school boiler). Both David Tennant and Matt Smith turned up in episodes of CBBC show The Sarah Jane Adventures and Coal Hill School no doubt holds a fond place in the Doctor’s hearts. He’s bound to come back for old times’ sake, right?
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald? While we know Jenna Coleman is leaving Doctor Who, that doesn’t necessarily mean Clara’s going to chuck in her day job as a teacher at Coal Hill. Nevertheless, Class creator Patrick Ness says she definitely won’t be appearing in the series, which only adds to our worries about exactly what Clara’s exit story might be…
So, going to bed, but: 1. Not the casting director, sorry. 2. Yes, it will definitely air in America. 3. No, no Clara. 4. That’s it for now. — Patrick Ness (@Patrick_Ness) October 1, 2015