Doctor Who, 806 - Samuel Anderson, Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi
Doctor Who, 806 "The Caretaker" - Danny Pink (Samuel Anderson), Clara (Jenna Coleman) and The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) ©2014 BBC Worldwide

The BBC today announced yet another spin-off from Doctor Who. This one is called Class from young adult book author Patrick Ness.

Patrick Ness
Class (2016 tv) author Patrick Ness

The press release implies the new series is set at Coal Hill School, which we originally saw in the first Doctor Who story “Unearthly Child“. The school has been revisited by Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor in “Remembrance of the Daleks” and more recently with Jemma Coleman’s character Clara Oswald teaching at the school.

The new series is set in current day London with ‘incredible dangers’ breaking through the walls of time and space. The BBC compares it with Buffy and Hunger Games!

This is a eight part series of the same length as the current Doctor Who episodes, 45 minutes (also like many a US drama hour length series after you remove ads). It is intended for BBC 3 in the UK and could potentially end up on BBC America. The series will film in and around Wales (and we assume a little bit in London?) from spring 2016 and be on air later that year.

Steven Moffat
Doctor Who show runner, Sherlock Co-writer and executive producer and now Class (2016 tv) executive producer Steven Moffat ©2015 PBS, photo by Rahoul Ghose

Steven Moffat, who serves as executive producer, 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.”

US born, but London based, Patrick Ness has already written the screenplay of upcoming movie A Monster Calls. This stars Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver and Felicity Jones. Filming has already completed and a release set in USA for October 14th 2016.

Class will be Patrick Ness’s first television series. He says, “I’m astounded and thrilled to be entering the Doctor Who universe, which is as vast as time and space itself. I can’t wait for people to meet the heroes of Class and the all-new villains and aliens.”

Personally I rather the BBC and producers put more energy and thought into making better, and more, episodes of Doctor Who. But then I have not got a channel which is about to go off air, to internet only, that I want to promote with something new but tied to something which already has a strong fan base!