Friday, 23 September 2016

Highlights From Class Facebook Live Q&A

This evening, the cast and producer of Doctor Who spinoff Class took part in a live Q&A stream on Facebook. The video is available to watch here, but if you haven't got time to watch it all, here are some highlights.

Firstly, Patrick Ness summed the show up as follows:
Being able to look at the Doctor Who universe from a different perspective. The Doctor’s come to this world and he’s done things in this world, in this school, so what effect does this have on the people he leaves behind?

Class is funny and moving and exciting and scary and sexy and it’s true, I hope, to what teenagers feel their life is like.

Meet the Cast

(L-R) Greg Austin, Sophie Hopkins, Vivian Oparah and Fayd Elsayed

Greg Austin (Charlie)
A bit of a weird one. A bit awkward socially. His character wouldn’t normally deal with these other characters, they wouldn’t normally be friends. But in the circumstances they’re thrown together.

Summed up in three words: Quirky, inept and leader.

Fayd Elsayed (Ram)
He’s a caring, loving, cheeky kind of hockey young man. He has a heart of gold that he gets to explore.

Summed up in three words: Caring, passionate and driven.

Sophie Hopkins (April)
She’s got a big heart and she’s got her feet firmly on the ground. She’s got the potential to kick butt. She’s a good egg and she’s selfless.

Summed up in three words: Wise, strong and kick-ass.

Vivian Oparah (Tanya)
She 14 and she got moved into sixth form because she’s got the brains and she’s got the attitude. She’s a bit weary because she’s been moved up, all she really wants to do is make friends. 

Oparah couldn't sum her character up, as she didn't want to give too much away.

Katherine Kelly (Miss Quill)
She’s lots of fun to play, she gets some cracking lines. She should be badass, but she should still be believable that she’s a teacher at a normal school. To the naked eye she’s just a bit of a cool teacher. You shouldn’t think anything different of her.

Patrick Ness added, 'She is a teacher you’d never ever want to have. She’s smarter than you and she’ll let you know it. She’s strict in her rules and sharp tongued and may have an evil streak… may.'

Q&A

What makes Class different from Doctor Who or it’s spinoffs? 

Derek: Class is the first YA Doctor Who spin-off, it’s a brand new take. It’s very much in the Doctor Who universe, we have awesome monsters and big concepts and we go to wonderful places. But at it’s heart, it’s the story of our gang. Every aspects of their lives we investigate with and that makes it unique, because we see these people in their real lives dealing with the most insane things every single week and still trying to go to the prom and still trying to have relationships and pass their A levels while the most bonkers things happen to them that change their lives forever.

It’s incredibly heartfelt, it’s incredibly urgent, it’s incredibly real and I think it will feel like a very unique but very grounded part of the Doctor Who universe.


What was it like when Peter Capaldi was on set?

Greg: Peter was incredible to work with. We didn’t really notice him, he just kind of crept on. Watching him take the script from the page and transform it into something real is just beautiful to watch. He’s a madman in the best possible sense, he’s a genius.

Sophie: 'The energy was electric. It was like getting a masterclass.'

Vivian: He was really helping towards us and he was so encouraging, it was really nice.

What is it about the show that you think will grasp the people’s attention?

Greg: When we watched a little trailer at the rap party, we thought ‘This isn’t like anything we’ve ever seen before.’ It’s crazy what came out of it… seeing it just blew our minds. It has the heart of Doctor Who but its own thing. You can really feel that Doctor Who inspiration come through.

Can you tell us one truth and two lies about the show?

Vivian: Miss Quill is one of our moms. We all go to prison. Jordan Renzo plays Tanya’s boyfriend.

How dark, tonally, is Class?

Fayd: I’d say it’s very dark. There’s elements of everything. Funny moment,s very emotional moments, there’s bits of everything. It’s dark, but in a beautiful way. 

Vivian: It’s not fake dark.

Sophie: On the first day, there was so much blood we felt sick. It’s something that the Doctor Who world hasn’t really seen before, in terms of how raw it is and how gritty.

How important is it to you that young people of the LGBT community and of different races are represented in Class?

Derek: The answer is vital. Fiction is all about young people being affirmed to be who they want to be, to grow up confident who they are, that they can achieve anything they want. And that’s the heart of what we do, by showing it in a real way - not in a cuddly way.

Vivian: I personally think that minority representation is important. When you’re young, you’re always looking ‘is there someone like me?’ 
It’s good to see yourself and think that I can get into those places.

Fayd: There will be a group of people that will be able to relate to each of our characters personally.

Finally, Fayd expressed his excitement about the show and being part of the Whoniverse:
I’m so excited to share this with the Whoniverse. I know they’re really excited to get new Doctor Who, but genuinely, Class has it’s own tone and its own style, and I feel that everyone who watches Doctor Who - or even if you haven’t watched Doctor Who - you will love Class, because it’s so special.

To view the whole live feed, click here.