It's been a while since Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood…
But now, just as rumours hit of a reduced run for Doctor Who in 2016, we get the news of a new spinoff series, Class, for BBC3, written by young adult novelist Patrick Ness set in modern-day London, and Coal Hill School, the school where Clara works as a teacher – and of course, where Ian and Barbara also worked, back in 1961. And also has a future President Of The United States among their classmates…
Steven Moffat has also had two inspired runs on other shows set in and around schools, the seminal and award winning five series of Press Gang that began his career, and the much maligned two series sitcom Chalk… Patrick will have them both to live up to!
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 the Vampire Slayer, The Hunger Games), this is Coal Hill School and Doctor Who like you've never seen them before.
Steven Moffat says, "No one has documented the dark and exhilarating world of the teenager like Patrick Ness, and now we're bringing his brilliant story-telling into Doctor Who. This is growing up in modern Britain – but with monsters!"
On his first television series, writer Patrick Ness says, "I'm astounded and thrilled to be entering the Doctor Who universe, which is as vast as time and space itself. 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 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."
Polly Hill, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning, adds, "I am thrilled that Patrick Ness is writing his first drama series for BBC Three. The combination of Patrick and Steven Moffat, is an exciting partnership that has created a brilliant Doctor Who spin off for our BBC Three audience."
Class is executive produced by Steven Moffatt, Patrick Ness and Brian Minchin. It was commissioned by Damian Kavanagh, Controller BBC Three and Polly Hill, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning.
An 8 x 45 minute series produced by BBC Cymru Wales in association with BBC Worldwide for BBC Three.
The series will film in and around Wales from Spring, 2016 and be on air next year.