BBC Announce New DOCTOR WHO Spin-Off

Written by Paul Mount Friday, 02 October 2015

TV News

The BBC has announced the commissioning of a brand new ‘spin-off’ from Doctor Who due to enter production in spring 2016 for transmission on BBC3 (possibly in its proposed online-only incarnation) later in the year. The new series, executive produced by current Who showrunner Steven Moffat and executive producer Brian Minchin, is called Class and will be written by acclaimed ‘young adult’ author Patrick Ness. The series is set in and around Coal Hill School, which long-time fans will remember as where the series began back in 1963 and which, more recently, has reappeared as the school where the Doctor’s current ‘companion’ Clara Oswald works.

The new series is described by the BBC as a YA series set in contemporary London. Incredible dangers are breaking through the walls of time and space and with darkness coming, London is unprotected. With all the action, heart and adrenalin of the best YA fiction (Buffy, Hunger Games) this is Coal Hill School and Doctor Who like you’ve never seen it before.”

Moffat says, “No one has documented the dark and exhilarating world of the teenager like Patrick Ness, and now we're bringing his brilliant storytelling into Doctor Who. This is growing up in modern Britain - but with monsters!” Ness is clearly enthusiastic about the new project. “I'm astounded and thrilled to be entering the Doctor Who universe, which is as vast as time and space itself,” he says.  “There's so much room there for all kinds of amazing stories, and to work with Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin to find a place to tell one of my own has been an absolute joy. I can't wait for people to meet the heroes of Class, to meet the all-new villains and aliens, to remember that the horrors of the darkest corners of existence are just about on par with having to pass your A-Levels."

Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three, adds, “We’re excited to give Patrick Ness this opportunity to work with us at BBC Three and the Doctor Who family. Patrick understands young audiences and I’m delighted he will use his incredible skills as a storyteller to delight audiences on BBC Three. BBC Three will always innovate and offer opportunities for brilliant new talent."

The series will consist of 8 forty-five minute episodes filmed in and around South Wales and it seems likely that the show will keep the Doctor Who production team largely in place if the rumoured gap year in production of the parent series comes to pass. Class will be the third full-blooded Doctor Who spin-off since the series returned in 2005, following in the footsteps of Torchwood (2006 – 2011) and The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007 – 2011).


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