After months of uncertainty, BBC3’s Class has begun dropping all sorts of information about what we can expect from the Doctor Who spin-off, ranging from the presence of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor to the threats our heroes will face – and now the biggest pile of information yet has appeared in the form of episode summaries for the first two instalments of the series.
Appearing in online programme information ahead of the two episodes’ release on BBC3 on Saturday 22nd October, the summaries include details of the alien menaces looming over Coal Hill School, how the Doctor fits in and the fallout of whatever horrors are inflicted on the students (played by Greg Austin, Vivian Oparah, Fady Elsayed and Sophie Hopkins).
First off, here’s the summary for series premiere For Tonight We Might Die, which sees the students at a deadly school prom:
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…
So a few new details here beyond the premise-setting stuff that we already knew – the mysterious monsters previously referred to as “Shadow” and seen in a short trailer are apparently called the Shadow Kin, and as expected they attack the school in the first episode. Oh, and Katherine Kelly’s Miss Quill is a physics teacher, which we probably should have expected based on her blackboard (below).
But it’s the summary for episode two’s The Coach with the Dragon Tattoo that has really intrigued us…
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.
So first off this description shows that Class will have a similarly episodic structure to Doctor Who, with the ScWhoby gang taking on a new creature or alien every week as opposed to having a fully serialised story. So after saving the world from the Shadow Kin in episode one, they’ll now stop this new monster. Easy.
But the summary also teases that we can expect some pretty dark stuff in the previous episode, hinting at “tragic events” still haunting Ram (Fady Elsayed) that are presumably tied in with Shadow Kin attack on the prom. Could Class have already killed off a character in its premiere? Or does something somehow even worse happen to Ram?
Oh, and there’s a SKIN-PEELING DRAGON in it. Clearly, this is not yer da’s Doctor Who spin-off, closer to the darkness of Torchwood than the kid-friendly whimsy of the Sarah-Jane Adventures.
So overall, it’s sounding like Class will be the grown-up, Doctor Who-themed sci-fi that the fans are hoping for. Only a couple of weeks now until we find out for sure…
Class episode 1 and 2 will be available on BBC3 online from Saturday 22nd October