File this one under “everyone saw this coming”. The BBC’s underwhelming Class, the young adult orientated Doctor Who spin off, has shuffled off its mortal coil – officially being canned by the organization.
The announcement came via BBC 3’s controller Damian Kavanagh, who told the UK’s Radio Times;
“There was nothing wrong with it… I thought Patrick did a great job, he explored an amazing world. In honesty it didn’t really land for us on BBC3; some shows don’t and I have to make decisions about what we’re going to do from a drama point of view, and what we did after Class was Clique which worked really well for us.”
There were several problems with the execution of Class. Sticking it on on BBC Three was probably the first major issue, in particular given that the BBC didn’t do a solid job of advertising it. If they weren’t going to commit proper advertisement to it, then who was the intended audience? They eventually put the episodes into a late slot on BBC 1 – but the initial reviews didn’t do any favors to the struggling show.
The other big issue is that it felt pretty pointless. I remember watching the first episode and being tremendously bored until Peter Capaldi turned up. Unlike Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures – it just didn’t have any real personality. It wanted to be dark, it wanted to be brooding – really it should have tried being decent instead.
Without Capaldi on screen, the entire thing just felt like a bunch of kids and their incredibly irritating alien adult making vague references to the wider Doctor Who universe. You can’t just slap Doctor Who things into a show and expect it to work. Torchwood tried the same thing many years back – arguably to better results.
It also probably doesn’t help that BBC 3’s budget these days is a fraction of what it once was – after moving online in 2016.
The biggest shock for me is that the BBC didn’t kill it after the final episode aired. It’s not like fans were clamoring for more.
Rest in piece Class.