Since it’s revival in 2005, the long-running British sci-fi staple ‘Doctor Who’ has become a worldwide phenomenon. In addition to the incredibly popular show on the BBC, the Doctor’s story has expanded to include comics, radio dramas, shorts, and even cartoons. But the live-action spin-offs ‘Torchwood’ and ‘The Sarah Jane Chronicles’ have built up followings of their own. Later this year, a new series called ‘Class‘ from award-winning writer Patrick Ness will try to do the same when it shows us a new side of the WHOniverse. And now as filming on the show commences, we get to meet the students and teachers of Coal Hill School.

According to a press release from BBC America, up and coming talent Greg Austin, Fady Elsayed, Sophie Hopkins, and Vivian Oparah will star in the upcoming ‘Doctor Who’ spin-off as four Coal Hill students “facing their own worst fears, navigating a life of friends, parents, school work, sex, sorrow – and possibly the end of existence”. On the casting of these young relative newcomers, ‘Class’ and ‘Doctor Who’ executive producer Steven Moffat had the following to say:

“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.”

In addition to these students, the show will also feature veteran actress Katherine Kelly. Known for her roles in ‘The Night Manager’, ‘Happy Valley’, ‘Mr. Selfridge’, and ‘Coronation Street’, Kelly is playing a brand new teacher at the school. Unfortunately, we don’t have much else information about this character (or any of the others really), but we do have this synopsis of the show that gives us a bit of an idea what we can expect from ‘Class’, along with the first cast photos:

Coal Hill School has been a part of the ‘Doctor Who’ universe since the very beginning, but that has come at a price. All the 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.

Fear is coming, tragedy is coming, war is coming. Prepare yourselves, ‘Class’ is coming.

So to sum things up, we’re getting a sci-fi heavy British ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ with bits of ‘Skins’ and some extra timey-wimey elements because it’s set in the world of ‘Doctor Who’. This pretty much sounds like everything we could want in a show right now. Plus, with ‘Doctor Who’ on somewhat of a hiatus right now as the team prepares for Moffat’s final season, it will be cool to see Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor drop in on this old Shoreditch school where he has so many memories with companions from Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright to Danny Pink and Clara Oswald. 

What do you think about ‘Class’? Are you excited for the spin-off? How do you think this cast of mostly unknowns will handle the exploration of this new side of the world of ‘Doctor Who’? Let us know in the comments below.

Despite being a “professional writer”, Ben likes run-on sentences and puns far too much. For more of his attempts at being funny and the occasional insightful thought, follow him on Twitter and Instagram.