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By now, most Whovians know that our beloved Doctor Who is getting a spinoff, Class, set at the fictional Coal Hill School that’s been featured on the series off and on since the beginning of the show. Now, we also know that a certain time traveler is likely to make an appearance.
A report from Radio Times says that it’s “understood” that 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi will show up for the spinoff at some point during the eight episode run of Class. The regular cast for the show is currently being finalized, and filming is scheduled to begin in a little over a month.
In case you aren’t up on your Who history, the Coal Hill School was the setting of the very first Doctor Who episode in November 1963, titled “An Unearthly Child.” During the episode, a science teacher and history teacher find out that one of their students is a time traveler, who’s been going to the school as her grandfather (the First Doctor) fixes the TARDIS.
The school showed up again on the series almost 25 years later for the story “Remembrance of the Daleks,” which started Doctor Who’s twenty-fifth anniversary season. This episode, though featuring the Seventh Doctor, takes place in 1963 after the events of the first Coal Hill School episode. The Doctor returns to the location to finish some business that was left behind in his speedy departure from the area after that adventure in the early 1960s. Daleks soon set up at the school to locate a Time Lord artifact. Most recently, during the 50th anniversary special “The Day of the Doctor,” it was revealed that the 11th Doctor’s companion Clara is a teacher at Coal Hill. During that companion’s time on the series, the school showed up more than it had in the past 50 years.
Of course, Class will not be the first time that Doctor Who has gotten a spinoff. In 2006, the series Torchwood started after the 2005 revival of Doctor Who. It focused on adventures of a small team of alien hunters who work at the Cardiff location of the Torchwood Institute, which deals with extraterrestrial threats. Another spinoff, The Sarah Jane Adventures began the next year, and dealt with investigative journalist and former Doctor Who companion Sarah Jane Smith solving alien based mysteries with a group of teenagers. Both shows aired through 2011.
With the history that the Coal Hill School has had with Doctor Who, especially lately, it makes complete sense that Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor would easily be able to be worked into a story on Class. Could be appear to talk to Clara’s former students about her disappearance? Or, will his visit start for some other reason? We’ll have to wait and see.