Doctor Who fans were indifferent when BBC Three announced the launch of Class, a spin-off set at Coal Hill School, in 2016. The BBC had spent a week teasing a “big announcement”. This led to fans speculating what that announcement would be. After one season and eight episodes, the show was cancelled, leaving fans of the series wondering why. In this article, we’ll explore the untold story of why Class was cancelled, based on insider sources and publicly available information.
According to multiple sources, one of the main reasons for Class’s cancellation was creative issues. While the show had a talented cast and crew, including writer Patrick Ness and producer Brian Minchin, it struggled to find its own identity and tone. Some episodes felt too much like Doctor Who, while others were too dark or confusing for the target audience of young adults. Moreover, the show had to balance the demands of being a standalone series and a tie-in to the Doctor Who universe, which created additional challenges for the writers and producers.
Ratings and Audience
Another factor that contributed to Class’s cancellation was poor ratings and audience reception. While the show had a decent start, with over 1 million viewers for the pilot episode, the ratings declined steadily throughout the season. Some critics and fans criticized the show for its lack of originality, poor pacing, and uneven characterization. Moreover, the show aired on BBC Three, a digital channel that was only available online, which limited its potential audience compared to Doctor Who, which airs on BBC One.
Budget and Funding
A less well-known factor that may have contributed to Class’s cancellation was budget and funding issues. According to some reports, the show had a relatively high budget for a digital series, due to its ambitious visual effects and production values. However, it did not receive enough funding or support from BBC Three and BBC Worldwide, which may have limited its creative and promotional potential. Moreover, the show faced competition from other BBC Three shows, such as Thirteen and Clique, which may have received more resources and attention from the BBC.
Lack of Established Characters
One aspect that may have hindered Class’s success was the lack of established characters. Unlike Doctor Who, which has a long history and a beloved cast of recurring characters, Class had to introduce a mostly new cast and set of characters. While some fans appreciated the fresh perspective and diversity of the new cast, others found it difficult to connect with them or care about their fates. Moreover, the show had to balance the development of the new characters with the inclusion of characters from Doctor Who, such as Clara, or the characters from The Sarah Jane Adventures. This may have made the show feel disjointed or confusing to some viewers, especially those who were scrolling iPlayer.
Legacy and Future
Despite its cancellation, Class has left a lasting legacy and potential future for Doctor Who fans. The show introduced new characters, monsters, and themes to the Whoniverse, such as the Shadow Kin and the Cabinet of Souls. Moreover, it explored timely and relevant issues, such as mental health, sexuality, and diversity, which resonated with many fans. While there are currently no plans for a second season or a revival of Class, some fans and insiders have speculated that the show may return in some form, either as a novel, a comic, or a Big Finish audio drama.
The cancellation of Class was due to a combination of creative issues, poor ratings and audience reception, and budget and funding issues. While the show had some flaws and challenges, it also had many strengths and potentials that deserve recognition and appreciation. Whether or not Class will ever return, it has already left its mark on the Whoniverse and its fans.