So, we now have the official announcement of Class coming to Big Finish, over two sets and with the core cast (plus extras), as many of us have already mentioned. I gave some early thoughts on this a couple of days ago (Back to Class for Big Finish) and my initial thoughts are largely unchanged, but there’s more…
Back in Class
During the recording, most of the younger cast members gave away enough clues on social media to make this a non-surprise, but here are some of them in the official Big Finish picture (left – Vivian Oparah (Tanya Adeola), Fady Elsayed (Ram Singh) and Sophie Hopkins (April MacLean)).
Katherine Kelly also appears, and she managed to make less of a stir during her recordings. It all looks more serious and Ace also takes the foreground.
What do I think of this? I note the two releases are coming out together in August 2018, with CDs limited to 500 copies only. A new marketing approach, let’s see what happens. Is making Class a good thing? The Big Finish news item (CLASS RETURNS!) draws parallels to Torchwood. For me the situation isn’t that similar:
- Torchwood ran a lot longer on TV, building up a fan base
- Torchwood had been off air a while and fans were wanting more
- John Barrowman (and others) were keeping the idea very much alive
- Class was cancelled after one run
- I don’t see such a demand (prior this announcement) for Class
- The cast (Katherine Kelly aside) are in the very early stages of their careers, and don’t (yet) have presence enough to keep interest in the show.
If this all seems rather lukewarm, I did broadly like the show, wished it didn’t need the Doctor to kickstart it, and wasn’t sure about the cliffhanger(s). I did think it had potential, but wasn’t over-surprised it was dropped. For Big Finish, they have an enviable reputation for making a success of nearly everything they touch, and not just their superb Torchwood range, but Blake’s 7, Survivors, The Avengers, The Prisoner and others as well (eg shows early in their run, such as Omega Factor and Star Cops).
If nothing else they get experience of a new set of talented actors, many of home I would expect could readily drop into other Big Finish ranges. Katherine Kelly as a new incarnation of the Meddling Monk? Fady Elsayed in Star Cops? It’s all good. Plus there’s Ace and Coal Hill mysteries. What more do we need?!