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Katherine Kelly stars in Doctor Who spin-off Class

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Katherine Kelly stars in Doctor Who spin-off Class

Katherine Kelly is starring in 'Doctor Who' spin-off series 'Class'.

The former 'Coronation Street' actress has been announced as one of the main stars of the show along with exciting young new talents Greg Austin, Fady Elsayed, Sophie Hopkins and Vivian Oparah.

The new BBC Three drama is set in Coal Hill school which has a long history with the sci-fi series and was most recently featured in several episodes as the school at which the Doctor's companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) taught at in Shoreditch, east London.

The programme - which is aimed at young adults - has been penned by 'A Monster Calls' author Patrick Ness and will consist of eight episodes, each lasting 45 minutes.

Katherine - who was most recently seen in 'The Night Manager' and 'Happy Valley' - will play a new teacher at Coal Hill School who becomes a powerful presence and Ness admits he was thrilled to get her for the part.

The writer said: "We searched far and wide for this amazing cast, fantastic actors who understand what we're aiming for with this show. And how lucky we are to get Katherine Kelly! She's been stunning in 'Happy Valley', 'The Night Manager' and 'Mr Selfridge', just wait until you see her here."

Greg, Fady, Sophie and Vivian will all play sixth form students with each of them having hidden secrets and desires and they must all deal with their own worst fears, navigating a life of friends, parents, school work, sex, sorrow - and possibly the end of existence.

It is also believed that Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi will making an appearance in the series.

The plot of the drama focuses on the frequent visits by the Doctor to Coal Hill School which have made the walls of space and time become thin and now something from another world to bring war and fear to Earth.

The school was the setting of 'An Unearthly Child', the very first episode of 'Doctor Who' which was first broadcast in November 1963.

In that episode, science teacher Ian Chesterton and history teacher Barbara Wright discover that one of their students, Susan Foreman, is a time traveller who has been attending the school as her grandfather, the First Doctor (William Hartnell), makes repairs on their TARDIS time machine.

Current 'Doctor Who' showrunner Steven Moffat is acting as executive producer on 'Class' and has compared it to 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'.

He said: "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 Buffy - it's taken the brilliant Patrick Ness to figure out how to make it happen."

'Class' will premiere on BBC Three later this year.