Parents' Guide to


By Edie Nugent, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Teens battle violent aliens in solid Doctor Who spin-off.

Class Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 15+

Wonderfully diverse, would definitely recommend.

I thought it was a great show, one of a kind. Although being a doctor who spin off, i found it completely different because it deals with issues that doctor who doesn't deal with. A show like class is important because of the diversity in the show; main characters are lgbt+, poc, and religious. There's not one straight, white, male main character and i think that's wonderful and definitely important, because even in the 21st century you don't see shows like this. And it teaches girls that you can be smarter than everyone else in the room, and that being nice isn't a weakness. It takes stereotypes and turns them into wonderfully complex characters, and for a teen show has a supporting cast of great (and realistic) parents. There's some potentially upsetting images for sensitive teens, but most over 15's will be fine with it all. Once you get over the slightly awful intro, it's honestly an absolutely fantastic show with some great storylines and brilliant acting.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
age 17+

Not for kids: violent and more sexual content than given in main review

CSM's review for this very disappointing Doctor Who spinoff appears to be based upon the first episode only. The third episode includes a brief but clear sex scene (spooning with thrusting) between two male characters, and a later episode features two intercut sex scenes (no nudity) between a male and female character and a separate scene between two male aliens. Very inappropriate for a show that's been marketed for teens. Though that said in the UK a show like Skins (I'll let you google that one) is considered a kid's show. So what do we know. The gore is also quite a bit worse than let on in the review, especially in the second episode where people are literally turned inside out. Just as with the sex the feeling I got was the show decided to use its licence from being a streaming production (in the UK) to ramp things up - not asking whether or not it should. The concept of an adults-only Doctor Who spinoff is nothing new - Torchwood did quite well for itself for several years - but the problem here is a) the show is marketed as a young adult show and this feeds into the misunderstanding that YA means youth-friendly and b) unlike Torchwood, this is a spinoff no one was really asking for. Steven Moffat is not involved other than producing; the show itself was conceived by YA author Patrick Ness. Reportedly it was based upon a rejected idea for the main series; there's probably a reason why it was rejected. The connection to Doctor Who is minimal - other than the Doctor appearing in the first episode (which is the first time the character has ever appeared in a production where someone utters the S-word), and a minor character who leaves in the second (I won't spoil how), there is no connection to the parent show of any worth. This, coupled with unlikable characters, uneven characterization, and the aforementioned sex and violence, is basically blamed for the show flopping in the UK (it was made for streaming - hence the obligatory sexual content and extra violence and a bit of swearing - and barely made a ripple, and its BBC One broadcast was a late-night burn-off that underperformed). One other thing for those who may be concerned about this topic: one of the lead character is shown smoking, becoming the first character since the Doctor smoked a pipe once 53 years ago to light up. Language includes a few uses of the S-word (including in the Doctor's episode). All I can say is I love Doctor Who, and while I thought Starz ruined it, Torchwood's first three seasons were fantastic. I do not feel everything related to Doctor Who has to be kid-friendly. But this just crossed the line a few too many times, the characters were a turnoff, and the stories were not engaging. I wasn't able to finish the season, the only time I have abandoned anything related to Who (though I subsequently stopped watching the parent series for good in 2017 as well.) All that said, there are people who love this show and there are some positives. Although the sex scenes were unneeded and unnecessary (they are brief but they are still glaring), the diverse cast garnered some praise, and while I felt the acting was variable there were a few standouts, such as the actress who plays April and Miss Quill has become a bit of a cult figure, even though she's basically just a variant of Snape from the Harry Potter films (her motivations, as indicated in the first episode, are even similar). I should also mention that the depiction of a same-sex couple in the show was well done and I had no issue with that - I just feel it's become a cliche that it seems the only way to depict such romances are with sex scenes. Kissing and dialogue should be enough and let the audience fill in the blank. The first episode is passable if you don't mind the swearing and for those who are fans of Who, particularly the events of Series 9 (2015), will want to at least tune in for the Doctor's final scene or two which makes a touching reference to the finale of that season. If they bleeped the one s-word and scaled back the blood the first episode could be seen as a slightly edgier than usual "Doctor-lite" episode of Doctor Who (there is usually one episode per season in which the Doctor appears only briefly). The rest of the series can be safely ignored. Maybe Ness will write a novel based on Class - it might work better in printed narrative. (Edit: after I posted the review, three novels based upon Class were indeed published; as I half-expected, they were better-received than the series itself. Later, a series of audio dramas continuing the series was launched.)

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (7 ):

There's a lot to enjoy about this spin-off of the immensely successful Doctor Who. Featuring an engaging cast, the show doesn't shy away from the realities of being a teen: mainly that it's full of angst for even the most popular of students. And who doesn't love a narrative that pits a modern-day Breakfast Club against monster-of-the-week style aliens? There's some particularly gross violence that ups the stakes of the conflict, but makes for engrossing viewing. The show is grown up enough to appeal to older sci-fi fans but is a bit graphic for younger audiences crossing over from Doctor Who. This show will speak to teens who grew up with the Doctor, even though the quick pace of the plot can make the story feel a bit tangled. It's not a game-changing show, but it's solid binge-watching and a welcome addition to the Doctor's universe.

TV Details

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