Coal Hill School was introduced as a location in the very first episode of Doctor Who in 1963.

Coal Hill School was introduced as a location in the very first episode of Doctor Who in 1963.

Through the decades, the writers of Doctor Who have taken great delight in stitching together canonical elements from years past to create new stories. Now BBC Three has announced a new YA series, set in contemporary London, that builds on this idea to fuse the imagination of acclaimed young adult writer Patrick Ness with the Doctor Who universe. It’s going to be called Class, and it’s set in contemporary London. BBC Three has commissioned eight episodes, forty-five minutes in length, for the first series of the show.

Incredible dangers are breaking through the walls of time and space, and with darkness coming, London is unprotected.

That’s the pitch line. 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!”

As if secondary school wasn’t horrifying enough on its own.

It is Patrick Ness’ 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. 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.”

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, so this wasn’t something pitched by the Doctor Who production team – it was orders from above. This should lay to rest any fears that Doctor Who is somehow doing poorly enough in the ratings that they’re thinking of shutting down production, or any of that other sensationalist rubbish you may have been reading on other news sites. If Doctor Who was doing badly, a spinoff would absolutely not be happening, especially not one where the entire deal was envisioned and rolled out by upper management at the BBC.

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. There is no word yet as to who else from the Doctor Who universe might be joining the cast, but wouldn’t it be delicious if Clara Oswald were somehow a part of it? It would make sense from a story standpoint, though at this time there is no indication whatever that Jenna Coleman’s character is even a part of the new program.


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