(WARNING: Contains Spoilers for Class .)
In a blow for #DoctorWho fans everywhere, the spin-off series Class — following a not-so-normal group of students dealing with various creatures emerging from time distortions around Coal Hill School — has been cancelled. The series as a whole is no great loss. Though the premise had potential, major storylines often felt rushed and disjointed. But the fact that the series cliffhanger — which seemed to promise a future reveal of secrets behind the mysterious, iconic Weeping Angels — will now never be resolved, has left many #Whovians devastated.
For some fans, Class was a disappointment right from the start, as when news of a new Doctor Who spin-off was first announced, they hoped for a series focused on the popular "Paternoster Gang" — the Silurian detective Madame Vastra, her wife, Jenny, and Strax, a dimwitted but lovable Sontaran. Even so, most eventually warmed to Class's premise.
The show started strong, with a cameo appearance from Twelfth Doctor #PeterCapaldi enhancing the gang's first battle with the evil Shadowkin, but things soon began to go downhill. While the series core story involving the ongoing fight with the Shadowkin is decent, this was broken up between more generic monster-of-the-week stories, and it was during these episodes that class truly suffered. They rarely had anything new to bring to the table, and where they did attempt something original, the idea was rarely used to its full potential.
One of the series' biggest mistakes was underutilizing what was probably its greatest asset: the character of Miss Quill, played by former Coronation Street star Katherine Kelly. Miss Quill, a former alien warlord turned high school teacher, and reluctant guardian of the Rhodian Prince, Charlie, was a character unlike any seen in the Whoniverse before — a true antihero. The show teased us with all too fleeting moments of this brilliant character, often keeping her sidelined in pointless B-plots until one or all of the kids inevitably need her to rescue them. And when we did get an episode focusing on Quill, it was jumbled and confusing, with too much left unexplained.
The treatment of this character would have been Class' greatest crime if not for the aforementioned cliff hanger.
Arrival Of The Angels
Around the halfway point of the series, we were introduced to Dorothea Ames, Coal Hill's new headmistress. It soon becomes obvious that there is more to Ames than meets the eye, as she is already aware of Charlie and Miss Quill's alien heritage. She reveals that she is working for a group called the Governors, who are preparing for something called "The Arrival." At no point is it hinted that there are any larger forces at play. The Governors seem to be the top of the chain.
In the season (now series) finale, Ames comes before a man, assumed to be one of the Governors, after failing to prevent Charlie from using the Cabinet Of Souls against the Shadowkin. For her failure, Ames is executed by a Weeping Angel. The man then apologizes, going on to assure the Weeping Angel that the Arrival will still go on as planned. But what is the Arrival? Do The Governors even exist, or were the Angels pulling the strings the whole time?
A Hole In The Whoniverse
Now that Class has been cancelled, we may never know the answer to these questions — unless a future Doctor Who crossover comes to wrap things up — but I wouldn't be holding my breath for that to happen any time soon. It is far too late to incorporate the story into the upcoming Series 10, and even if it weren't, what was potentially to be the Weeping Angels' biggest story is too important to just shoehorn in somewhere.
The burden will likely be placed on new showrunner Chris Chibnall, who already has enough to worry about with choosing a new Doctor, let alone dealing with the loose ends left by a cancelled spin-off. Yet, deal with it he may well be expected to do. The Weeping Angels are probably the most iconic villains introduced in the new series, and fans will not simply accept that a story involving them will never be resolved.
So, thanks, #Class. You could have been a great spin off, but you squandered your potential. Now, you'll most likely be remembered for the massive headache you caused for everyone else in the Whoniverse.