Class: Secret Diary of a Rhodian Prince cover art crop

Class – Secret Diary of a Rhodian Prince audio review

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The Doctor Who spin-off returns with a diarized tale which threads its way through the show… and beyond.  

Class, the 2016 Doctor Who teen spin-off from Patrick Ness came and went like a summer cloud on television. While we enjoyed it, it’s fair to say that the show didn’t reach its full potential. Arguably, primarily to poor scheduling and a lack of promotion didn’t help.

However, the show did gather a fanbase and has since enjoyed four volumes of audio adventures thanks to Big Finish. They wrapped up in 2020, but now Class is back with another special release written by composer Blair Mowat.

Class: Secret Diary of a Rhodian Prince cover art

Rather than a straight forward adventure, Secret Diary of a Rhodian Prince gives us Charlie’s perspective on events. In fact, it begins before the series, chronicling Charlie and Quill’s first few weeks on Earth. Dropped off in Shoreditch, at a house apparently owned by the Doctor, the pair have some time to acclimatise before school begins. That school, of course, is Coal Hill with its links right back to Doctor Who‘s first story.

There’s an understandable thread of survivor’s guilt as the tale begins, coupled with one of dislocation. Charlie is starting a new life on an alien planet, with a former enemy as his protector – it’s understandably scary but he comes to enjoy the anonymity his new life provides. There’s plenty of mirth mined from observations of human behaviour too; from the hipster takeover of Shoreditch to our obsession with toileting, Charlie’s diary entries had us chuckling.

However, the real joy of the story is the progression of the relationship between Charlie (Greg Austin) and Matteusz (Jordan Renzo). From their meet-cute in a lift to a coffee-fueled first date, the story really sells the notion of these two outsiders who come together and fall in love.

Looking to the future

Threading through the series traumatic events, including nods to those twelve audio adventures, Secret Diary brings us to the series finale and Charlie’s fateful decision. Excitingly, that’s not where it ends. While Big Finish originally only had permission to tell stories within the televised run, that’s apparently no longer the case. We won’t spoil any surprises here, but Secret Diary does an excellent job of whetting the appetite for future instalments set after that angelic cliff-hanger. Perhaps there’s scope for more interaction with the Whoniverse… although we’ve already had a Dalek!

Secret Diary of a Rhodian Prince is a fun listen, with two charming performances at its heart. It’s enough to prompt a rewatch – and luckily the whole series is still on iPlayer.

Four Stars

Class – Secret Diary of a Rhodian Prince is now available from Big Finish.