Katherine Kelly will be reunited with her young Mr Selfridge co-star Greg Austin for Doctor Who spin-off Class, BBC3’s drama about Coal Hill School from Young Adult author Patrick Ness…
Kelly will play a teacher at the school, which has been the centre of a number of Doctor Who episodes down the years, while (l-r) Vivian Oparah, Greg Austin, Sophie Hopkins and Fady Elsayed will play the four sixth-form pupils who make up the central cast.
Kelly’s character is described rather enigmatically as a “powerful new presence at the school”, while we’re told of the teenagers that “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 was where the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan was a pupil in the very first adventure An Unearthly Child, and where his fellow traveling companions Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton taught. The Seventh Doctor battled the Daleks there, recently departed companion Clara Oswald and her boyfriend Danny Pink were also teachers and in series eight the Twelfth Doctor turned up to take on the deadly Skovox Blitzer.
But apparently all that time travelling action has taken its toll on Coal Hill and “has caused the very walls of space and time to become thin”.
Not good, presumably?
“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.”
Nope. Not good at all.
Patrick Ness said of the new cast: “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, Doctor Who and Class exec producer, said: “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.”
Filming on Class starts today, Monday 4th April.