BBC says new ‘Doctor Who’ spin-off is NOT suitable for kids to watch

The storylines in BBC Three’s Class will apparently contain some “mature themes,” viewers have been warned.

Set in contemporary London at Coal Hill Academy, the eight-part YA sci-fi series will premiere on BBC Three online and air on BBC One in October.

Peter Capaldi is rumoured to be guest starring in the first episode of the new Doctor Who spin-off, which “centres on four students as they face their own fears and navigate a life of friends, parents, school work, sex, sorrow – and possibly the end of existence.”

The BBC has now advised parents that Class “will feature more mature themes than Doctor Who,” asking them to “note it is not suitable viewing for younger audiences.”

Class cast

Class creator Patrick Ness has since clarified: “Class is a YA show. Suitable for all the same audiences that read YA on up. End of story.”

The show’s cast is led Greg Austin, Fady Elsayed, Sophie Hopkins and Vivian Oparah as four Sixth Formers, with Katherine Kelly (Coronation Street) playing the role of teacher Miss Quill.

Class will be shown in the US on BBC America later this year.

The new season of Doctor Who is currently filming in Cardiff and is set to begin on BBC One in April 2017.

Here’s everything we know so far about Doctor Who Season 10.

Are you looking forward to seeing the Doctor in Class? Let us know below…

  • Mat Greenfield

    Not sure I really buy that. Back in my day shows like Byker Grove and Grange Hill tackled some pretty mature themes but were still suitable for kids. It’s good for children to be exposed to some of the realities of growing up (aliens stuff notwithstanding) so they can talk to their parents and be prepared for it. It’s probably a case of Auntie trying to cover its arse when the Whitehouse-spawn start moaning to Ofcom, but if it deals with mature topics in an intelligent way (which the YA genre, and Patrick Ness in particular, does very well) then there’s no reason children shouldn’t watch it.

    • dalek1099dw

      Yeh lots of kids who are Doctor Who fans will watch it.I watched Torchwood when I was in Primary School.

    • Secular1Humanist

      It’s a little complicated. While kids see more on TV, film and in music videos these days, content creators are also more cautious about the nature of its content.
      Take the film E.T as an example. In the original version it was rated ‘U’ viewable for all. But it had words like “shit” and “penis breath” in. then in 2002 the raised the certification because of those two words, or they edited those two words out.
      Plus in CLASS, one of the teens is going to be gay and have a boyfriend. I personally see nothing out of the ordinary with that. But some parents are fussy and will be “offended” by it.

      • Mat Greenfield

        True, which is why I think the BBC has put this statement out. But they’ve hired a YA fiction author to helm the series and put the Doctor in the first episode, which will draw in a younger audience. They’re marketing it at kids, but probably have to say that it’s not kid-friendly so it has some defence when pearl-clutching parents get offended.

      • Paul K. Sulkowski

        Take the film E.T as an example. In the original version it was rated ‘U’ viewable for all. But it had words like “shit” and “penis breath”

        I don’t remember those words in E.T. I saw it in the theaters. We ARE taking about the Steven Spielberg movie, right?

        • SMC

          Yeah, those words are there; and your forgetting about that shows just how “urgent” it was to change the rating to “protect” young viewers. Bah.

      • GraceAlexander

        Although Dr. Who had cross species lesbians and Captain Jack, and apparently that’s fine, LOL! (I think the precious clutching of pearls over gay characters being “unsuitable” for children is so ridiculous.)

        Love your handle, Secular.

        And OMG in the ET book they hold the little sister down and smear vaporub on her vulva, so…. *shrugs* penis breath in comparison is rather tame.

    • Dr. Moo

      Ultimately it comes down to people’s personal choice. The BBC have made the right call by releasing this statement, now that it’s out there parents can make the call on whether to let younger viewers watch it or not.
      (I’m not a parent yet but if I were one then I’d watch the show alone first and make the call based on that.)

      Not that it matters – In a world where iPlayer exists, I doubt much can be done to stop anyone watching it if they really want to.

  • Gabriel Sermon


  • Caroline Warboys

    Will never be as good as Torchwood!!

    • Dr. Moo

      Torchwood finished five years ago. Class isn’t Torchwood. Get over it!

      • Knil

        She didn’t say Class is Torchwood. She said it will never be as good. Which is probably true. We are entitled to our own opinions.

    • Fed up with psychopaths.

      Torchwood was shit.

      • SMC

        Well, I didn’t care much for it, but some people did.

      • Dr. Moo

        Series four was, but series three was one of the best things I’ve ever seen. The first two seasons are a mixed bag where everything’s either really good or really bad. Overall I’d say it just about breaks even.

        • MurrayFutterman

          Series three is the best series, but that’s not really saying much. It’s an inferior Quatermass rip-off, and the whole “aliens using kids as bongs” storyline is crass, dumb and unnecessarily tasteless.

    • SMC

      Why not? Time has passed since Torchwood, and this is a different approach. I’m for waiting and seeing, and hoping it’s not just as good, but better.

  • Narsisar Lestrange

    im so excited for this i need a who fix so badly

  • Edward WinterRose

    I’m fine with it. Here in the united states, anything made for kids is dumbed down and made so sanitary inoffensive you could brush your teeth and probably douche with it afterward with no ill effects. Remembering some of the more interesting adult concepts they constantly peppered The Sarah Jane Adventures with, I felt cheated of interesting, intelligent or mature TV for american kids. So essentially, if Class is meant to NOT be for kids in the UK, then I’m taking that as “meant for actual people”, or at least, ‘YA Fiction fans, which usually isn’t really meant for kids wither.’ (LOOKING AT YOU, ‘THE MAGICIANS’.)

    • Kyle Hubner

      the magicians WAS NOT CHILD SAFE. lets see pedophilia and rape drug references just to name a few definitely not kid friendly

      • Dusty Ayres

        In a sense, neither was Star Wars: The Clone Wars or Star Wars: Rebels.

    • Jenna McCoy

      Showing Pretty Woman on ABC Family anyone?

  • Dr. Moo

    I bet they still will anyway.

    • JackOfDiamonds99

      True, I have vivid memories of an 8 year old me being traumatized by Torchwood.

      • Dr. Moo

        I think if people see the words “Doctor Who Spinoff” they just assume it’ll be family friendly even if it isn’t. That’s why the BBC have done 100% the right thing by releasing that statement.

  • Dr. Moo

    Looking forward to this show. Can’t wait to see it, all signs point towards it being a great show!

  • ladyljd

    This is all a big yawn for me. Doctor Who has dealt with life and death issues almost every year. Adding sexuality doesn’t make the themes of any show more “mature”. The whole idea makes my eyes roll. I’ll watch any episode Capaldi is part of then I’ll go back to waiting for the real show to return.

    • SMC

      For me, Capaldi et al have in fact *made* the show “real” in ways that adults can enjoy as adults, not as their childhood selves, and that was a delight for me. I agree that issues don’t come much bigger than the ones dealt with in New Who, which is what I’m most familiar with (although I’ve been watching, on and off, for decades). I’ll happily give Class a chance, but I wouldn’t miss CapDoc’s S10 (and beyond, if it so happens) for anything.

  • SpideyFanNo215

    yeah, homosexuals. I won’t be exposing my children to such disgusting, unnatural nonsense

    • Secular1Humanist

      The only thing “unnatural” here is bigotry. Homosexuality occurs throughout nature in many different species, as well as homo sapiens. Bigotry, however, is confined to just one.
      That said, Doctor Who, like most sci-fi has long been progressive, enlightened, and forward looking, and LGBT friendly. So clearly you’re watching the wrong show. You’d probably be better suited for Songs Of Praise, or the Alex Jones channel.

      • Paul K. Sulkowski

        What concerns me is if LGBT platform will push out other themes which don’t involve sex of any variation. There is more to defending the universe than LGBT rights (despite what they want you to think).

        • SMC

          It’s always a gamble, that issues that are still controversial will overwhelm the story-telling impulse and run away with a story. Back in the heyday of the AIDS epidemic as we first knew it, no story with a person with AIDS in it could avoid being a story *about* AIDS and its effects, whatever else the author actually wanted to address. Frankly, I don’t think teens discovering their personal sexuality and acting on it is that controversial any more, so LGBT issues aren’t likely to be that overwhelming in Class. I could be wrong, of course, but if the writers are vigilant and firm about it, this area of experience *could* become just part of the on-going events of the story — which would be a very cool accomplishment, actually. Good luck to ’em, says I.

          • Dr. Moo

            All too often these issues fail to be part of the story and instead simply become the story. You sometimes get the impression that the writer is using the script as a soapbox from which to get all preachy and it can overwhelm the story. A lot of the backlash that you get against these issues being presented comes not from the issues being present but from the way they’re presented, if you see what I’m getting at. It should just be part of the story rather than define what the story is.
            Luckily this is one area where Doctor Who has excelled since the revival and if Ness’s track record is anything to go by then Class is in safe hands in this department. Look no further than the zero fanfare way he announced that at least one of the main characters is homosexual to see the proof.

          • SMC

            That’s encouraging; but the “soapbox” problem isn’t always just about how an issue is handled, especially in stories aimed at young people (older people tend to jump in as “protectors” of the helpless and innocent young, as if a story were a contagious disease that a kid could “catch” a social issue from). It’s no further back than the ’70’s, and in the usually pretty relaxed genre of SF, that I got heavy backlash from socially conservative readers for *just raising the issue* of homosexuality (and some others) — as if not including this behavior in a fictional world meant that the issue itself would melt away and disappear in the real world. It was a weird experience, because on the other hand I was getting appreciation and encouragement from more liberal readers (and some way more “radical” than I was myself).

            YA books are still being yanked off school library shelves by parents furious at the idea of their kids (who are busy sexting each other on their phones) being “exposed” to plain old vanilla, hetero sex among teen-aged characters (usually, in the US, a problem in small cities/towns and rural areas rather than coastal cities). And that’s so even though even network TV will occasionally run programs that are “challenging” in this way.

            For that matter, look at the uproar over the Master/Missy transformation last year! And that was fictional regeneration, not trans surgery; and Sense8, for example, just wouldn’t be shown on network tv even now, would it? I’m glad Class will be taking some chances here, but I wouldn’t go round expecting smooth sailing for them in that respect, no matter how lightly they tread.

      • Deltaexio

        I don’t consider homosexuality “disgusting” or “unnatural” (for I am gay), but I do roll my eyes when I see gay characters in fiction. And while I find gay kissing and sex scenes quite pleasing, I just know that those scenes are making a lot of straight people uncomfortable (straight progressive people as well).

    • Dr. Moo

      Are you being serious or sarcastic?

  • Mr Showbiz

    I’m prepared to give it a chance. It may never be Torchwood but then again this it’s own thing.

  • Deltaexio

    I’m going to guess this is going to be a very ‘diverse’ show. But I predict there will be very little diversity of ideas. Everyone will be incredibly progressive.

    Hey, I might be wrong. But I doubt it.

  • Adric71

    Cannot wait!

  • dvorak88

    I don’t think this is surprising at all. It’s a BBC Three show so it’s not going to be appropriate for kids. I expect it’ll still get complaints about being “too violent” or “too scary” from parents who let their kids watch it anyway, like Jekyll and Hyde did.

  • Rob

    I thought it was meant to be a kids show?