If the post-credits cheers were any indication, the “Class” premiere was a hit with its WonderCon audience as the “Doctor Who” spinoff held an official U.S. premiere screening at the pop culture convention in Anaheim on Saturday.
Warning: Fans hoping to avoid any possible details should probably stop reading here. Spoilers ahead.
The audience’s enthusiasm was understandable considering some fans lined up more than two hours before the screening, just to make sure they would have seats at the event. And they came to cheer: The first round of applausewas for the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, after his name flashed during the opening credits.
Created and written by Patrick Ness (who adapted the screenplay for “A Monster Calls” movie from his novel), “Class” follows a group of students (played by Greg Austin, Sophie Hopkins, Vivian Oparah and Fady Elsayed) and a teacher (Katherine Kelly) at London’s Coal Hill School.
The Doctor’s many years of time traveling adventures have left the walls of space and time stretched thin, specifically where Coal Hill is located, and not even his sonic screwdriver can fully mend these rifts. The school is transformed into a mystical entry way for various monsters from different dimensions.
Without getting into specifics, the events and backstories revealed in the first episode of “Class” set up the students as the protectors of the school and consequently, humanity. Viewers will also find out why, out of all teachers at the school, Ms. Quill is the one tasked with overseeing this group of students.
The premise might sound familiar, and even the characters themselves joke about their similarities with a certain Hellmouth”-set television series.
Most of the students seem to be blessed with a particularly dark sense of humor (which probably comes in handy when you realize you are risking your life every day just by going to school).
Even the episode’s title, “For Tonight We Might Die,” ends up serving a comedic purpose.
Overall, this first episode is a bit more horror and a little less sci-fi, compared to the series it sprang from, “Doctor Who,” but the audience didn’t seem to mind. Of course, the room full of “Doctor Who” fans couldn’t help but react to every glimpse of something familiar, especially when the Time Lord himself eventually appeared on-screen.
Previously, Ness revealed that “Class” would feature “a lead character with a boyfriend who he kisses and sleeps with and loves.” While not all of those things happen in the very first episode, the identity of the LGBTQ character is revealed fairly early. And as Ness promised, it’s not made to be a “big deal.”
“Class” is set to premiere April 15 on BBC America.