Katherine Kelly heads cast of Class, a Doctor Who spin-off described as the 'British Buffy'

(Image credit: BBC/Ray Burmiston)

She's played a homeless barmaid, an Edwardian socialite, a detective and a high-ranking Permanent Secretary; next stop for Katherine Kelly is playing a teacher with a 'powerful presence' at the famous Coal Hill School in a Doctor Who spin-off series, Class.

Filming on the new BBC3/BBC America co-production begins this week, but there's no word yet on when Class will premiere.

Katherine will play a teacher at Coal Hill, an institution that has been part of the Doctor Who universe since the iconic sci-fi show's creation in 1963. The key students will be played by Greg Austin, Fady Elsayed, Sophie Hopkins and Vivian Oparah.

The BBC said that, like all sixth formers, these four Coal Hill School students have hidden secrets and desires. They are facing their own worst fears, navigating a life of friends, parents, school work, sex, sorrow - and possibly the end of existence.

Doctor Who 'recreator' Steven Moffat said compared the show to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

He said: "There’s nothing more exciting than meeting stars that nobody’s heard of yet. We had the read-through of the first few episodes last week, and there was a whole row of them...

"Coal Hill School has been part of ‘Doctor Who’ since the very first shoot in 1963, but this new show is anything but history. ‘Class’ is dark and sexy and right now. I’ve always wondered if there could be a British ‘Buff’ — it’s taken the brilliant Patrick Ness to figure out how to make it happen.”

It's a departure into the realm of the supernatural for Katherine Kelly, who remains best known for Coronation Street and Mr Selfridge, but had a significant role in recent hit BBC1 thriller The Night Manager.


Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.