Early in the afternoon Pacific Time, the BBC’s official Doctor Who teased that a “BIG” and “MASSIVE” bit of Doctor Who news would becoming soon, possibly within the next little bit. The news kept not coming and not coming and fans (myself included) began speculating wildly. Could they be announcing a new companion already? Might the rumors of some sort of Tennant-Tate return adventures on audio be true? Have they finally found all 93 missing episodes from the Classic Series! As the afternoon wore on, the wait became unbearable, until finally, at a little after 3:00pm on the west coast, we got our answer:
The BBC has announced a new YA spinoff series, entitled Class, will be coming to BBC Three. Consisting of eight 45-minute episodes, the show is supposed to take place at the school where Clara Oswald works. The press release says this:
Incredible dangers are breaking through the walls of time and space, and with darkness coming, London is unprotected. With all the action, heart and adrenaline 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.
The series will be written by Patrick Ness, an acclaimed young adult author, and will be executive produced by him and Doctor Who prime executive producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin. Moffat was quoted as saying: “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!”
This is a weird announcement, for a number of reasons. Most notably, it’s the first new Doctor Who spinoff in close to a decade, and the first at all in about five years after Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures ended, but I’m sitting here feeling mostly like “huh. Okay.” Why am I not excited? Besides just not being a YA person nor knowing who Ness is, it seems like a tenuous connection to Who. It takes place at the school where the Doctor’s granddaughter went and first companions taught, it popped up a couple other times in the ’80s, and then Clara taught there. As far as we know, there won’t be any returning characters from the main series. So, our main character is the building?
Moffat is no stranger to classroom series, having created the series Press Gang about young people writing a newspaper for other young people, and the series Chalk about teachers, both in the ’90s. His father was a school teacher and headmaster as well.
Class will film in Wales in the Spring of 2016 and will air sometime next year.
Are any of you excited for it? Try to make me excited by osmosis in the comments below.
Kyle Anderson is the Weekend Editor, a film and TV critic, and the resident Whovian for Nerdist.com. Follow him on Twitter!