The very first episode of Doctor Who back in 1963 had scenes that took place at the Coal Hill School, where we first meet The Doctor’s granddaughter Susan Foreman (Carole Ann Ford) as well as two teachers, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, who would go on to be The Doctor’s first time-traveling companions. The revolving door of companions would be a staple of the Doctor Who series for decades, where it continues to be an important part of the show’s DNA.
The school was revisited for the show’s 25th anniversary in a story called “Remembrance of the Daleks.” Later, in the modern incarnation of the Doctor Who series, companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) became an instructor there.
This important Doctor Who location–now called the Coal Hill Academy–is the starting point for a new Doctor Who spin-off titled Class, and today, BBC America has announced that the show will premiere in Spring 2017 in the United States, several months after the late October U.K. premiere on BBC Three.
Unlike previous Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, which was aimed at the “post-watershed” older audience, and The Sarah Jane Adventures, which targeted much younger viewers, Class is shooting for a teen and young adult audience, complete with a cast of four teenagers played by Greg Austin, Fady Elsayed, Sophie Hopkins, and Vivian Oparah who will balance their ordinary teen lives with more extraordinary situations. The four are joined by their physics teacher Miss Quill, who is played by Katherine Kelly.
As Class begins, it seems that the various visits the Doctor has made to the Coal Hill School has caused the fabric of time to thin, and something is waiting on the other side with intentions to kill everyone and “bring them into the Shadow.”
Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls) is the series creator of Class; Doctor Who’s Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin are also producing. Current Doctor Peter Capaldi is expected to appear in the show’s first episode, titled “For Tonight We Might Die.”