CLASS - Doctor Who Spinoff Coming to BBC
When people talk about spinning off Doctor Who, the conversation usually turns to a former Doctor, like David Tennant and Matt Smith, or even the one Doctor who never had a complete season, Paul McGann. Another option would be the Paternoster Gang, with Madam Vastra leading the victorian way. But Whovian executive producer Steven Moffat is thinking younger, and he's looking to Coal Hill School for his inspiration. Say hello to CLASS, and it's coming next year.
The idea behind CLASS is to capture that young adult demographic, that Doctor Who used to cater to back in the day when it was a Saturday Morning kid's TV show, only a tad more mature. Last year, Jenna Coleman's Clara got a teaching position at Cole Hill and the Doctor spent time there as the Caretaker for a few episodes, which included taking a student to witness a rebirth of the moon, and wandering lost through the streets of London overgrown with a jungle canopy.
I guess the Coal Hill episodes were popular, because the Beeb now wants to have a series of adventures with students from Coal Hill and so CLASS was commissioned by BBC Three head Damian Kavanagh and Head of Drama Poly Hill. The young adult series will take place in modern day London with monsters and situations taken from Whovian universe serving as the driving story arc
“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 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.” - Patrick Ness
To run the show, Moffatt and the BBC have tapped popular young adult author Patrick Ness to run the show, which will start off as a series of eight 45 minute episodes.
“No one has documented the dark and exhilarating world of the teenager like Patrick Ness,” Moffat said in the show's announcing Press Release, “and now we’re bringing his brilliant story-telling into Doctor Who. This is growing up in modern Britain – but with monsters!”
This isn't the first time the BBC has tried to do this either. Back in 2007, the Sarah Jane Adventures premiered, as a half hour young adult adventure series starring when former companion Elisabeth Sladen. The scifi episodic lasted four years and was just starting it's fifth series when Sladen passed away from a cancer that few even knew she was suffering over. Since then, there has been a huge gaping hole in the Who-niverse for the young teen audience.
No word on if the Doctor will return to Coal Hill and give the series a boost, but it is worth noting that Tenth Doctor David Tennant did put in an appearance in a two part episode on the Sara Jane Adventures, so who knows? Class will begin shooting at the Whovian studios in Wales next Spring, with a projected Fall 2016 series premiere on BBC Three, and presumably BBC America later in the year.