'Class' Star Sophie Hopkins Says She's Ready To Be 'The British Buffy' For Doctor Who Fans

It's been tagged 'the British Buffy'.

Saturday sees the BBC Three debut of ‘Class’, the highly-anticipated ‘Doctor Who’ spin-off.

The drama, created and written by Patrick Ness, is set in Coal Hill Academy, a fictional school we’ve seen regularly ever since the beginning of ‘Doctor Who’.

Six students must deal with everyday dramas of being a sixth-former - friendships, love, growing up - as well as the small task set them by Peter Capaldi’s Doctor in the first episode.

<strong>Sophie Hopkins plays April, one of the students in BBC drama 'Class'</strong>
Sophie Hopkins plays April, one of the students in BBC drama 'Class'

Ahead of her debut as April, one of the show’s new stars Sophie Hopkins sat down with HuffPostUK, to discuss her new role, and what she hopes the famously protective Whovians will have to say…

Tell us what you can about April.
”She’s one of the sixth-form students at Coal Hill Academy. She’s strong-willed, fairly wise, she makes heartfelt decisions. She’s the sole carer for her mother, who was left paraplegic by an accident involving them both when April was younger.

“So she’s had to grow up quickly, and she’s a natural mother hen figure. She has the world on her shoulders, and that’s before she’s commissioned by the Doctor to save it.”

So we get to meet the Doctor in this show, then?
”Yes. We see him in the first episode - ‘The Prom’ - when he explains odd incidents that have been occurring, and outlines the task ahead.

“Working with Peter Capaldi was like a masterclass for all of us. He’s so enigmatic but lovely. We didn’t go back to our trailers, we just wanted to watch him work.”

<strong>Peter Capaldi's Doctor has a task for the students of Coal Hill Academy</strong>
Peter Capaldi's Doctor has a task for the students of Coal Hill Academy

The show’s been tagged “the British Buffy”. Does it live up to that?
”I’m a massive Buffy fan, so that’s big praise. It is comparable in that it shares the same dark tone, and shares a sensitivity. It also has a wit, and teenage drama. But I should say, it’s not trying to be ‘Buffy’. ‘Class’ has four heroes - April, Ram, Charlie and Tanya - all with their own skills and powers - and they share the burden, unlike Buffy on her own.”

‘Doctor Who’ fans are notoriously protective of the enterprise - are you feeling robust?
”The Whovians are a lovely bunch. We met about 4,000 fans at Comic Con in New York. People were running up to us, saying how excited they were for the new show.

“I know there’ll be skeptics, those ‘Who’ fans who won’t accept anything except the original, but I’m ready. I want to hear what they have to say and, fingers cross, bring them something they like.”

‘Class’ debuts on BBC Three on Saturday 22 October.



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