A number of the Doctor’s past companions are alive and well in modern-day London, any of whom could make a surprise appearance – or become regular characters – on the BBC’s new spinoff, Class.
- Ian Chesterton taught at Coal Hill School, the series’ setting, in the 1960s. In ‘Day of the Doctor,’ his name appeared under “Chairman of the Governors” on the school’s sign. I don’t know what sort of role that is, but I’d love to see William Russell turn up to play it. He’s 90 years old, so we probably shouldn’t expect much, but he did turn in a charming performance in ‘An Adventure in Space and Time.’
- Dodo Chaplet left the Doctor in 1965. While Jackie Lane left acting to become an agent (representing Tom Baker and Janet Fielding, among others) she might still be persuaded to appear briefly, perhaps as some student’s grandmother.
- Polly Wright returned home in 1966 with Ben Jackson, whom she married in the minds of many fans. While Michael Craze passed away in 1998, Anneke Wills appeared recently in both ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ and ‘The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot,’ and could easily crop up as a teacher or grandmother.
- Victoria Waterfield stayed behind with the Harris family in 1968. Deborah Watling appeared in ‘The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot’ and might be convinced to appear here too.
- Jo Grant is alive and kicking all over the world. Katy Manning, busy as ever, appeared on the Sarah Jane Adventures in 2010; it would be a treat to have her back as a regular. While Jo’s passel of children and grandchildren have for the most part been unconventionally educated, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that one or two might finish up at Coal Hill School.
- Sergeant Benton and Captain Yates, though retired, could easily turn up anywhere UNIT might be called.
- Tegan Jovanka left the Doctor in 1984. Janet Fielding has reprised her role for Big Finish. A flight attendant in her youth, Tegan is capable of anything, leaving the field wide open for her return.
- Ace McShane’s fate is a mystery, in canon anyway: she went off the air with her Doctor in 1989 and never returned to television. While researching the Doctor’s other past companions, Sarah Jane came across a “Dorothy something” heading up a charity known as A Charitable Earth, or ACE. Sophie Aldred remains active, and as with Tegan, with Ace anything is possible.
- Martha Jones and Mickey Smith, freelance alien hunters, could turn up anywhere.
- Wilfred Mott too is likely to appear anywhere there’s a chance of a glimpse of the Doctor.
- Courtney Woods, a current student at Coal Hill School, could play a major role. Ellis George’s internet presence offers no hints.
Any of these would help persuade me to watch the show – if not on the air (wrong country) then maybe later, on DVD as we did with Sarah Jane. Jo’s and the Brig’s appearances were powerful draws there. I look forward to what Class has to offer.