BBC America's "Class" is a spin-off of the long-running British show, "Doctor Who," which revolves around the beloved character of the Doctor, a Time Lord. Running on BBC last year, "Class" is in the middle of its American run. The show comes from YA author Patrick Ness, and is described by BBC America as "Four Coal Hill School students who have hidden secrets and desires, navigate a life of friends, parents, school work, sex, sorrow - and possibly the end of existence."

Those four students are Charlie (Greg Austin) who also happens to be an alien prince, Ram (Fady Elsayed) April (Sophie Hopkins), and Tanya (Vivian Oparah) who are given the job of handling anything that comes through a tear in the universe (which happens to be located at the school), with the help of Miss Quill (Katherine Kelly) and Matteusz (Jordan Renzo).

Fans don't need to understand 'Doctor Who'

The show has been marketed as a successor of "Doctor Who," to take the mantle when the Doctor takes his final adventure. The current Doctor had a cameo in the pilot, but doesn't actually play a large role in the show itself. He acts as more of a mentor type that hands over the role of protecting people to them. People don't have to have knowledge of "Doctor Who" in order to understand "Class," and despite its marketing to a young adult audience, the show is more grown up in feeling. The show contains a similar campiness and humor that fans love about "Doctor Who," but with an edgier and darker tone. It's not afraid to go to dark places like losing a leg or murdering several characters (including a main character's girlfriend) in the first episode.

The dark situations with aliens pull the humanity of the group forward in the same way that "Buffy" used vampires as a metaphor for life.

"Class" is highly character-oriented, focusing each episode on a different character, and a new bad guy of the week. With its quick wit and metaphoric style, "Class" has been described as what can fill that "Buffy" shaped hole in fans' hearts.

In the same style as the vampire show, the characters are the main focus, with the aliens as a means to get the characters to deal with their grief, struggles, and life.

Episode 3 featured Matteusz (Jordan Renzo) going to Charlie (Greg Austin) after his parents kicked him out of the house for their relationship, while Tanya (Vivian Oparah) dealt with the grief of losing her father when an alien presence uses him and every other dead person to contact people.

There is plenty to enjoy for longtime fans of "Doctor Who" through the school of Coal Hill, which goes back to the original run of the show. Much like "Buffy," "Once Upon a Time," or "The Vampire Diaries," the school is on a tear in time and space which is what leads to the alien presence escaping to Earth. The most recent connection is through the character of Clara Oswald, the former companion of the current Doctor.

Episodes coming up

Tonight's episode, "Co-Owner of a Lonely Heart," focuses on April (Sophie Hopkins) as she begins to feel the side effects of sharing a heart with Shadow Kin leader, Corakinus. The Shadow Kin are the ones that destroyed Charlie (Greg Austin) and Miss Quill's (Katherine Kelly) people, leaving them as the last of their kind.

When April starts to exhibit traits of Corakinus, she decides to confront her estranged father.

The second part of the episode will air next Saturday, May 13. The episode, "Brave-ish Heart" will continue April's journey as she battles through the Shadow Kin realm with only one goal: kill Corakinus. Meanwhile, "on Earth, the invasion of the petals is rapidly snowballing."

Are you watching "Class" on BBC America?