March 16, 2017

Traveling Through Space, Time, and Teen Angst – BBC AMERICA’s New Doctor Who Spin-Off

New York, NY – Set in London, BBC AMERICA’s new coming-of-age series, Class, follows four ordinary Coal Hill Academy students from opposite ends of the cafeteria’s social landscape, who find themselves drawn together in the most extraordinary of circumstances. The students must form an unlikely alliance to battle, in secret, against alien threats which have broken through the walls of space and time…all while desperately riding the emotional rollercoaster that is high school. The eight-part Doctor Who spin-off comes from award-winning YA writer, Class creator and executive producer, Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls), and is executive produced by the team behind Doctor WhoSteven Moffat and Brian MinchinClass premieres Saturday, April 15 at 10:10/9:10c, following the season premiere of Doctor Who on BBC AMERICA.

Like most teenagers, these four students are facing their own worst fears, navigating a life of developing friendships, budding romance, parents, school work, sex, sorrow…not to mention, possibly the end of existence. Coal Hill School has been a part of the Doctor Who universe since the very beginning…but that has come at a price. Time traveling over the years has caused the very walls of space and time to become thin. 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.

Charlie (Greg Austin), April (Sophie Hopkins), Ram (Fady Elsayed) and Tanya (Vivian Oparah) – under the watchful eye of their Physics teacher Miss Quill (Katherine Kelly) – are now charged with a great responsibility by the mysterious alien known as The Doctor (Peter Capaldi): protect Coal Hill and guard against the creatures of nightmare that want nothing more than to find a way through to Earth and take it for their own. And don’t forget to finish your homework.


It’s a new term at Coal Hill Academy, and students are preparing for their Fall Prom. But when the school comes under the attack of deadly monsters – the monstrous Shadow Kin, four 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’: guard against the creatures of nightmare that want nothing more than to find a way through to Earth and take it for their own. And this incursion is only the beginning…

Isolating himself from Charlie, April and Tanya – a devastated Ram struggles with his new reality following the tragic events at prom. Desperately trying to hold himself together on the soccer field, 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 monstrous, skin-peeling Dragon, they know they’re under attack. The gang must pull together to fight against the monster, and try to keep Coal Hill safe.

When London is infiltrated by an eerie alien with the ability to morph into the shape of lost loved-ones, Tanya has an unexpected visitor come to her window in the dead of night. And she’s not the only one with an astonishing guest – Ram and Miss Quill are horrified when they face startling appearances. Confronted with these emotional encounters, the team must overcome the persuasion of this strange new threat, and battle through the streets to stop Tanya from being lost forever.

April starts to feel greater effects of sharing her heart with Corakinus: his attempts to sever the attachment have only made it stronger. Manifesting traits of the Shadow Kin leader, April confronts her estranged father with Shadow Kin force when he makes a startling appearance. Frightened by this extraordinary newfound power, April seeks comfort in Ram, and vows to reclaim her heart as her own.

Meanwhile, something strange is happening to the others – London is slowly being infested with unusual, sinister flower petals.

Battling through the Shadow Kin realm, April knows that there is no going back: she must defeat Corakinus. On Earth, the invasion of the petals is rapidly snowballing. Confronted with the threat of the planet’s extinction, new headmistress Dorothea attempts to force Charlie into making a transformational decision. But Miss Quill has other ideas for him. As Charlie, Matteusz and Tanya try to stop the petals from annihilating humanity, April must fight the terrifying force of Corakinus, light-years away from home.

The whole gang are thrown into detention by Miss Quill. Locked in her classroom, they are terrified when an explosion propels them out of space and time – trapped, claustrophobic, and floating in blackness with no way of escape. But a mysterious asteroid fragment may be their key to freedom; it forces the gang to confess their deepest, darkest secrets to one another. As ugly truths come out, fractures start to appear in the group of friends. And then they make a chilling discovery. They’re not alone. There’s somebody in there with them.

With the gang trapped in detention and out of the way, Miss Quill accepts Dorothea’s astonishing offer: to help remove the Arn from her head, and to reclaim her freedom. Alongside Ballon, an imprisoned shape-shifter, Miss Quill travels in a metaphysical engine and is taken to impossible, extraordinary and dangerous worlds, collecting materials in preparation for her life-changing procedure. After an emotional encounter with her surgeon and a nearly-fatal operation, Miss Quill must find a way to return to Earth: transformed and ready for war.

The gang has splintered – they are alienated and alone, unable to recover from the truths they faced in detention. Miss Quill is in hibernation, but she’s a ticking time bomb – ready for revenge when she wakes.

Lost without one another, the gang must reunite when the Shadow Kin return to Earth, raging a ruthless, unrelenting war. Resolute to take April’s heart and the Cabinet of Souls, Corakinus threatens to kill all their loved ones until he has what he desires. Our heroes must fight the Shadow Kin one last time to protect the Earth, and one another, from obliteration.

CHARLIE (Greg Austin)
Charlie might seem a little odd – he’s reserved, posh and doesn’t really ‘fit in’ at Coal Hill. Cultural references, sarcasm, jokes – in fact normal teenage life just goes completely over his head. But you can forgive him for that when you realize he’s not a normal teenager at all…Charlie is an alien Prince from the beautiful planet Rhodia, and the very last of his kind. Forced to flee his planet when Rhodia is invaded and obliterated by the monstrous Shadow Kin, Charlie has ended up at Coal Hill utterly alone – with only his enemy Miss Quill for company. Bewildered by his new life, Charlie finds a sense of belonging only in his Polish boyfriend Matteusz, who is also a stranger to London, and moves in with Charlie and Miss Quill when his own parents throw him out after discovering he’s gay. Charlie has only one thing left to remind him of Rhodia and the Royal Family that he’s lost – something so powerful that it could be truly devastating.

APRIL (Sophie Hopkins)
April is kind, compassionate and dependable. She might not be the coolest girl in school but she would certainly be the best friend you could have. The teachers love her – but she’s a lone ranger and her classmates think she’s a try-hard. Always looking on the bright side of things, April might seem like she’s just “nice”, but deep down she’s a real fighter, battling a difficult home life and a tragic past. Her big heart might be her greatest strength – but also proves to be a terrible weakness.

RAM (Fady Elsayed)
Ram has it all – he’s popular, handsome, a talented soccer player and is dating the Queen Bee of the school. Coming from a Sikh family, Ram has a strong faith and sense of purpose to do good in the world. He’s the Coal Hill heartthrob and he knows it – if only his dad would get off his back once in a while and let him enjoy it. But underneath this perfect front Ram is harboring some demons. At first Ram’s very reluctant to ruin his street cred by hanging out with the ‘geeks’ in Miss Quill’s class, and desperate to keep secret the fact he’s getting extra help in Physics from Tanya. But once he’s thrown into the heart of the incredible dangers at Coal Hill Academy, he realizes he’s not as tough as he thought, and starts opening up to his new friends.

TANYA (Vivian Oparah)
Tanya is always ahead of the game – so ahead that she’s skipped three school years at Coal Hill. She might be younger than the rest of the gang, but she’s much wiser than her years. A Physics genius with sharp-eyed perception, Tanya is always the first to pick up on things and she can read people like a book. Although she’s clever, Tanya finds it difficult to fit in with the older students who don’t always understand her; secretly, all she wants is to have a group of friends to call her own, but this doesn’t come easy under the watchful eye of her strict mother. And under that razor-sharp wit is a deep grief as Tanya tries to come to terms with the tragic loss of her father.

MISS QUILL (Katherine Kelly)
Severe, sharp and hard as nails – Miss Quill isn’t someone you’d want to cross. She’s witty, cutting, even a bit cruel at times – and she doesn’t like being the Physics teacher at Coal Hill. The students might think she’s unreasonable, but Miss Quill is in torment. Once the leading terrorist for the Quill Resistance back on the planet Rhodia, Miss Quill spent her life fighting for freedom against The Rhodian people, only to be imprisoned and subjected to a cruel Rhodian punishment. Forced to have an alien creature (the Arn) live inside her brain and telepathically link her to Charlie as his servant, Miss Quill has now been exiled to London along with him and is sworn to protect her arch-enemy. Dragged into combatting the threats that menace Coal Hill alongside Charlie and his new friends, Miss Quill struggles to adjust to her enslavement. Deeply bereaved by the loss of her people, she is concealing a real loneliness

MATTEUSZ (Jordan Renzo)
Matteusz might be an outsider (having grown up in Poland), but he certainly knows more about fitting in than Charlie. Witty, sarcastic, and with firm moral beliefs, Matteusz is a rock of support for Charlie, who in turn is a comfort to him. But it’s not an easy ride for the handsome couple, and Matteusz’ deeply religious parents struggle to come to terms with his sexuality. Victim to their prejudice, Matteusz must overcome the difficulties that life throws at him, and keep fighting for the love that he believes in. As their lives are endangered by alien invasion, Matteusz comes to realize that he and Charlie are not as similar as he thought.

Class is a BBC Studios Wales production, co-produced with BBC AMERICA and BBC Worldwide.