Doctor Who spinoff Class back in session, with some cast changes

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Television

Big Finish is going back to Coal Hill Academy for six new full cast audio adventures, based on the television series created by Patrick Ness, in arrangement with BBC Studios.  

Class is back in session! Due for release in April 2020, the Doctor Who spinoff series returns for two new volumes, each available for pre-order now as a limited edition box set or download from Big Finish Productions.

Alongside series regulars Greg Austin (Charlie Smith), Fady Elsayed (Ram Singh) and Sophie Hopkins (April MacLean), two new faces are joining the cast: Dervla Kirwan, familiar to many as the star of TV series Ballykissangel and Goodnight Sweetheart, takes over from Katherine Kelly in the role of witty alien exile Miss Quill. (Kirwan also appeared in the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas TV special, “The Next Doctor,” playing the ruthless Miss Hartigan.) Joanna McGibbon steps into the shoes of Vivian Oparah as student prodigy Tanya Adeola.  

The six new stories included in the forthcoming Class box sets are:  

Volume Three:

  • “The Soers’ Ditch” by Carl Rowens 
  • “Catfish” by Kate Thorman 
  • “Sweet Nothings” by Michael Dennis 

Volume Four:

  • “Mock” by Alfie Shaw 
  • “The Creeper” by Lizzie Hopley 
  • “The Queen of Rhodia” by Blair Mowat 

“When we first announced we were reviving Class on audio, I think the response took everyone by surprise, and it became clear to everyone there was an appetite for more adventures with these characters,” said producer and director Scott Handcock. “And now we have even more! As before, they’re set within the television series, tackling urban legends, intergalactic romances, mock exams and an abandoned Shoreditch house on Halloween! 

“Greg, Sophie, Fady and Jordan return as Charlie, April, Ram and Matteusz respectively, with a couple of new cast members lending their vocals to familiar characters. Although we were unable to secure the talents of Vivian Oparah and Katherine Kelly, I’m thrilled to welcome Joanna McGibbon as Tanya Adeola and Dervla Kirwan as Miss Quill into the Class family. They’re both such brilliant actors and really capture the unique attitudes of their characters.” 

Coal Hill School (later Academy) was introduced in the first television episode of Doctor Who, “An Unearthly Child,” in 1963, and has had numerous appearances ever since including the 50th anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor.”

Class, a spin-off series created by young adult author Patrick Ness, consisted of eight episodes that were produced for BBC Three in 2016. But Coal Hill Academy still has more secrets hidden in its walls… The series returned as an audio drama in 2018, with six audio adventures made in arrangement with BBC Studios.

Big Finish has been producing Doctor Who audios since 1999, starring Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, David Tennant and John Hurt.


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Jayson Peters
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