For some, the biggest appeal will be Class’s penchant for sneaky Easter Eggs linking it back to parent series Doctor Who, so over the coming weeks we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for any subtle callbacks among the adventures of Ram, Tanya, April, Quill and Charlie as they battle monsters in the hallways of Coal Hill Academy.
For now, let’s start from the beginning…
Class’ first episode was pretty full-on when it came to Doctor Who involvement, with Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor (and the Tardis) actually turning up towards the end of the episode and saving the day, before being drawn to a mysterious name on a board…
Yes, as shown in the episode a “roll of honour” on the wall of Coal Hill included sort-of deceased Who companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), who previously taught at the school. But did you spot the other familiar names?
Right above Clara’s name you can find her ex-boyfriend (and Coal Hill Maths teacher) Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson), while towards the left the Doctor’s own granddaughter Susan Foreman (who was a Coal Hill student in Doctor Who’s first ever episode An Unearthly Child back in 1963) can be spotted.
It’s like a big textual reunion – and we wouldn’t be surprised if there were a couple of other Who references among these names that fans will uncover as the weeks go on.
The Wright stuff
Speaking of An Unearthly Child, another character from that episode also gets a namecheck in the new series – though perhaps not one you would have spotted.
Back in the 1963 Doctor Who story, two teachers called Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton (Jacqueline Hill and William Russell with Susan Foreman actress Carole Ann Ford, above) joined the Doctor as companions, remaining with the Time Lord for various adventures before returning to their own time in 1965’s The Chase.
Since then the pair have been mentioned sporadically in the series, including a nod in 2013 anniversary special The Day of the Doctor which saw them credited as Coal Hill School governers.
In Class, though, only one (as of yet) gets the Easter Egg treatment, as RadioTimes.com discovered on the new series’ main school set as we stood in…The Barbara Wright building. Here’s hoping Ian gets his own building soon.
Miracle of the Hudson
And if you thought we were done with classic Who moments in the opening episode you’re dead wrong, because as we’ve noted elsewhere another figure from the original series made a reappearance – Tom Baker’s costume designer Laura June Hudson, who played the old lady Tanya (Vivian Oparah) runs into in a shop.
Fingers crossed for more such crossovers in episodes to come.
Thank Who for the music
If you enjoyed the return of the Doctor to our TV screens (or, you know, computers – Class is on BBC3 online), then you probably also noticed the inclusion of two popular pieces of music by longtime Who composer Murray Gold.
While Class’ music is mostly composed by Blair Mowat (except the theme tune), the opening episode saw returns for both Gold’s original “Doctor” theme for the Ninth and Tenth Doctors (above) AND a punkier guitar version of Peter Capaldi’s theme A Good Man? (below)
Sure they’re not exactly subtle references when they’re playing over the actual Doctor, but hey, we like to keep you informed.
Have you met Miss Jones?
This is a bit of an obscure one, but bear with us. While not revealed in the opening two episodes, lead character Tanya’s (above) surname is Adeola, as can be seen in the official Class tie-in novels (currently viewable on Google Books).
The significance? Well, Adeola was the name of a character played by Freema Agyeman before she was cast as Tenth Doctor companion Martha Jones, with the actress’ performance in 2006 episode Army of Ghosts so impressing the programme-makers that they brought her back for the bigger role (with Adeola later revealed as a cousin of Martha).
Freema Agyeman as Adeola
Coincidence? Well, maybe – but the name’s uncommon enough to make us think it’s an intended callback to a little sliver of Doctor Who history.
That’s what we have so far for Class/Doctor Who Easter Eggs, but we’re sure there’ll be plenty more to see over the coming weeks (if we haven’t already missed some), so we’ll be updating this list as and when we spot more connections.
And of course, if you spot any we didn’t please let us know and we can add them to the list. Classrooms are a place to work together, after all.
Class is currently airing on BBC America