Class Pays Tribute to Former Doctor Who Companion

Paying tribute to a former companion, Class, the upcoming Doctor Who spin-off, has dedicated a building in the brand new Coal Hill Academy to them. That’s right, not even fictional schools are safe from Tory meddling, the old comprehensive is now an academy.

Housed within the newly anointed academy is the ‘Barbara Wright Building’ in tribute to the First Doctor’s travelling companion played by Jacqueline Hill from 1963 to 1965 – as seen here in an on set tweet.

Now is it too much to ask for a William Russell cameo? Perhaps Ian can dedicate the new building to Barbara while uttering something ominous about times to come? How cool would that be?

Perhaps, as all academies are state-funded, we’re going to see some government meddling in the alien threats or even a shadowy private company operating as an ‘academy trust’ are quietly using the school for its nefarious deeds.

That’s not to mention the increased powers gifted to headmasters under operating guidelines of an academy – whether all this decreased accountability means we’ll be getting another Mr. Finch from School Reunion or The Demon Headmaster remains to be seen – but it does go someway to explain why Katherine Kelly’s character was described as a ‘powerful’ teacher.

Created by YA author Patrick Ness, the latest Doctor Who spin-off began filming in Cardiff earlier this month. The series stars Greg Austin, Fady Elsayed, Sophie Hopkins and Vivian Oparah as four Sixth Formers, with Katherine Kelly playing the aforementioned teacher at Coal Hill School and Doctor Who actor Nigel Betts reprising the role of Mr Armitage.

Set in contemporary London, the eight-part series follows four students with “hidden secrets and desires” and has been described by executive producer Steven Moffat as “dark and sexy and right now”.

Class will premiere later this year on BBC Three in the UK and on BBC America in the US.

  • bar

    Liking your angle on this Andrew! I wasn’t keen before, but if they’re going to play a few political cards too I might be drawn in. Still unsure how much a small group of London kids with model looks can relate to normal young adults elsewhere, but hey, it worked for Buffy. I know in School Reunion the ‘hero’ wasn’t the usual skinny good looks sort, so maybe a bit of realism might creep in.
    As to Barbara, I hope the show is a fitting tribute to Jacqueline Hill, and that William Russell will take part and be proud to do so. If he does, I won’t responsible for my tear-ducts’ behaviour.
    We wouldn’t be here without them.

  • Dr. Moo


    • FrancoPabloDiablo


      • Dr. Moo

        “If you only had your shoes on you could’ve lent her hers.”
        “See that scanner up there? That is what I call a scanner up there.”
        “I rather fancy that’s settled that little bit of a solution.”
        “You’ll end up as a pair of burnt cinders flying around in Spain.”

        • FrancoPabloDiablo

          My god, I love Hartnell and his fluffs! Of course they weren’t intentional (and didn’t happen nearly as often as some would have you believe) but I like to look at it as if they are just part of his Doctor’s quirks. And let us face it, he alone gets singled out but the other regulars and guest actors had their moments too. Nobody mentions or criticizes them though. TV of that time meant fluffs often had to stay in the finished product. At least Hartnell had what would eventually take his life as an excuse! I bow down to Hartnell. I so wonder what he would think of the show now (and it’s spin-offs) if he were here today. He loved the attention from the kids when he played the part in the sixties so I can only imagine that he would be left speechless to know that kids of the 21st century still hold him in equal measure (my daughter included).

          Sorry, bit of a rant there!

          • Dr. Moo

            Rant all you like! I love me some First Doctor. I like the little laugh he does; it’s on the same level as Tom Baker’s smile.

          • bar

            I’m fairly sure that in that amazing soliloquy at the end of The Massacre, he ‘fluffs’ Chesterton’s name ON PURPOSE, it being, by then, a running gag. He famously got everything else in that speech spot on. I think he took the difficutly he had and made it a character trait. As Michael Caine would say, ‘use the difficulty.’

            I was watching Planet of Giants the other day, and saw that little finger-twiddling movement he does as he fusses over the console, and thought ‘that’s very Capaldi.’!! Peter C’s mimicry shows his genuine homage to the First. Brilliance at both ends of the show’s current timeline.

  • Tidgy’s Dad

    If he were available and well enough, i think the production team missed a trick in not having William Russell appearing in a cameo in series 8.
    Really, really hope he gets asked to do this, just a brief appearance would be heaven.
    I’m a Hartnell fan and am also certain all the getting Chesterton’s name wrong stuff was a running gag, like Mr Werp etc. Met him once when i was four years old (Hartnell, not Werp) and he was charming and delighted to be recognized). I completely dried and froze for the only time in my life!