Some thoughts on the way the BBC handled Class

It’s no secret the Doctor Who spin-off hardly broke ratings records, when it premiered on the IPlayer a few months ago.
It’s recent terrestrial broadcast didn’t fair much better either, pulling in just 0.94 million when it aired on BBC One earlier this week.

Even though it did manage to build a fanbase. A second series looks unlikely. Members of the cast have even been retweeting a petition for a new series.

I thought I’d take this opportunity to look at the way the BBC handled the show.

From announcement to broadcast, the BBC have handled the show rather poorly.
I mean, logistically speaking. Who in their right mind launches a spin-off show, that doesn’t feature pre-existing characters (in a lead role), when the main show has been off the air for a year?

Yes, I know Star Trek did shows set in the same universe.
As did CSI, but those were different. Those were expansions on already familiar concepts. If you call a show CSI:Miami, there’s instant brand recognition, same with Star Trek.

With the upcoming Star Trek:Discovery, we already basically know what to expect. We can guess the key ingredients.

Just what is Class to the average channel hopper?

When Torchwood launched in 2006, Doctor Who was at its height of popularity. It featured a recognisable character from Doctor Who. There was brand familiarity.

What the BBC have essentially done, is give a Friends spin-off, to a character that never appeared in Friends. Mental.

 

Meet the cast of Doctor Who spin-off, Class

The wait is over, we finally have our first look at the cast of Class.

Class takes place in the same universe as Doctor Who and, is set in contemporary London at Coal Hill School. The eight-part series starts filming in a few weeks.

On the first day of term, BBC Three today announce the stars of the Doctor Who spin-off series Class – exciting young new talents Greg Austin, Fady Elsayed, Sophie Hopkins and Vivian Oparah. They will be joined by Katherine Kelly, as she takes the role of a teacher and powerful new presence at Coal Hill School.

  
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.

Class creator Patrick Ness, says:

“We searched far and wide for this amazing cast, fantastic actors who understand what we’re aiming for with this show. 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.”

Steven Moffat, Class and Doctor Who Executive Producer, says:

“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. 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.”

Class is a YA series set in contemporary London. It is scary, funny, and as painful and sharp as youth. It will also shine a light on a whole new corner of the Whoniverse.

Damian Kavanagh, Controller, BBC Three, adds:

“I can’t wait for Class to arrive on BBC Three. BBC Three will always back best young British talent.”

BBC Three announced the cast in a 360 video.