The Doctor ex-machina of the Class pilot will be the one and only time he shows up on Season 1 of the dark, teen Doctor Who spin off. Set in Coal Hill Academy, a school with a long standing Who history of alien attacks and unexplained mysteries, Class focuses on four London teens who have nothing in common other than fighting the unknown.

The pilot finds the kids fighting an invasion of the Shadowkin, who are chasing Charlie and Ms. Quill, two aliens hiding on Earth. They were brought here by the Doctor as they were the last of their kind. The Shadowkin had wiped out both their peoples, who were locked in a civil war, back on their home planet. After an all powerful device powered by the souls of Charlie’s people, the Shadowkin begin to relentlessly terrorize Coal Hill Academy to find him.

Everything comes to a head at the autumn prom. Charlie, Ram, Tanya, and April find themselves facing down an army armed with nothing but their minds. Tanya’s genius idea — fight shadows with light — only drives them away when the Doctor swoops in to adjust the output with his sonic screwdriver. Promising to be back, especially since he shares a heart with April, the Shadowkin’s King hops thru a rift back to his own world.

The Doctor has a few tasks to attend to before he takes off — fixing Ram’s leg, deputizing Ms. Quill as the adult to help these teens fight whatever comes thru the rifts, and delivering a typically off-kilter pep talk.

Perhaps it’s off-kilter because he notices a wall of names kept at Coal Hill Academy, of those who disappeared without explanation, almost all related to the cracks in time and space that have formed around the school. On that wall is a very familiar C. Oswald, though to a mindwiped Doctor, it’s only a niggling loose thread, one that he can’t quite figure out how to connect.

Getting pulled away before he can stare too long at Clara’s name, the Doctor quickly disappears with one important reminder.

“These children can handle anything if they can handle exams. Expect media studies.”

The Doctor deputized Ms. Quill and the kids to handle business in Coal Hill, implying he won’t be back — at least this season. Who knows if he’ll get any other clues to his missing memories, but if he does they’ll be on Doctor Who and not Class.

Until then, fans have 5 new charming reasons to keep up with Coal Hill Academy. Just don’t expect the gang to have time or interdiminsional rift travel down pat yet.

Photos via BBC