The Radio Times logo

Doctor Who spin-off Class “will get a late night slot” when it airs on BBC1 next year

Sources suggest that the occasionally violent content will see the Young Adult drama given a time slot ”long after the watershed”

Published: Tuesday, 6th December 2016 at 11:54 am

BBC3’s Doctor Who spin-off Class is destined for a late night showing on BBC1 when it makes its terrestrial TV debut sometime next year.


Senior BBC sources have said that the drama written by Young Adult author Patrick Ness will probably air after the 10pm news at 10:45pm in a weekday slot, although final details have not yet been confirmed by the Corporation.

The eight-part series launched online on BBC3 on 22nd October and was made available in weekly instalments, with the promise of a subsequent BBC1 broadcast. understands that one possibility that was considered was airing it each Friday after the online release but that this was eventually shelved by BBC1 management. It has not yet been decided in which month it will broadcast next year.

Sources have also suggested that the Corporation has been slightly disappointed by the drama’s reception.

Class failed to make it into the list of Top 50 on-demand programmes for the four weeks ending 13th November. According to figures released by ratings body Barb at the end of last month, the first two episodes have been accessed by fewer than 185,688 viewers.

And while it attracted some favourable reviews, the general feeling within the BBC is that it has failed to generate huge interest among Doctor Who’s enormous and committed fan base.

This is understood to have been a factor in the BBC’s current thinking over the timing of the terrestrial broadcast. However, another major reason is the content itself, which has been described internally as “heavily post-watershed", with one source confirming that it will "air long after the 9pm watershed".

In episode one, the girlfriend of Ram (Fadi Elsayed) is violently murdered, with her blood shown spattering over his face.

The drama is centred around the Coal Hill Academy School, the modern-day incarnation of the educational establishment which featured in the first episode of Doctor Who and which has been a location in a number of subsequent stories.

Peter Capaldi’s Doctor appeared in episode one of Class to explain to the drama’s lead protagonists their important role in protecting Earth due to a tear in the universe centred around the school.

The main characters included Ram, April (Sophie Hopkins), Tanya (Vivian Oparah) Charlie (Greg Austin) and alien teacher Miss Quill (Katherine Kelly).


Class is due to air on BBC America in April.


Sponsored content