Doctor Who is getting yet another spin-off.
BBC Three has given the green-light to Class, an eight episode Doctor Who spin-off which is being described as a YA series with “all the action, heart and adrenalin” of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The Hunger Games, TVWise has learned.
Noted YA novelist Patrick Ness is attached to write the series, which is set in the Coal Hill School in contemporary London. Incredible dangers are breaking through the walls of time and space, and with darkness coming, London is unprotected.
“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”, said Doctor Who Showrunner Steven Moffatt. “This is growing up in modern Britain – but with monsters!”
TVWise understands that the project has been in the works for more than a year, with rumours circulating over the past several months that the corporation was looking for a new Who spin-off which would serve as the flagship drama for an online BBC Three, just as House Of Cards served the same function for Netflix. It is hoped that this commission will underpin BBC Three’s ambitions for original drama as it prepares for its impending move online.
Class was commissioned by the BBC’s Controller of Drama Commissioning Poly Hill and BBC Three Controller Damian Kavanagh and is being produced by BBC Cymru Wales in association with BBC Worldwide. In additional to penning the scripts, Patrick Ness will also serve as an executive producer alongside Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin. Filming is expected to commence in and around Wales next spring for a 2016 premiere.
“We’re excited to give Patrick Ness this opportunity to work with us at BBC Three and the Doctor Who family”, said Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three. “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.”
“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”, said Patrick Ness. “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.”