Doctor Who spins off Class, a new show for young adults

BBC Three has today announced plans for a brand new Doctor Who spin-off series. Class is billed as a young adult-style series that's eyeing an early 2016 shoot, with A Monster Calls author Patrick Ness on track to pen all 8 of the 45-minute episodes ordered by the Beeb.

"Class is a YA series set in contemporary London," reads the official synopsis. "Incredible dangers are breaking through the walls of time and space, and with darkness coming, London is unprotected. With all the action, heart and adrenalin 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."

Aside from that last reference to Doctor Who, it's not yet clear how exactly the show will connect to the flagship series, but perhaps, like previous spin-offs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, it will simply take place within the same world. One clear difference is the school setting, which looks poised to follow a younger bunch of characters, as Ness suggests in an accompanying statement:

"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."

Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffatt, who's set to executive produce all episodes, also exhibited his excitement at Ness bringing his signature style of chills to the show. “No one has documented the dark and exhilarating world of the teenager like Patrick Ness," he said, "and now we're bringing his brilliant story-telling into Doctor Who. This is growing up in modern Britain - but with monsters!”

Class is gearing up to shoot in Wales next spring, followed by its premiere sometime in 2016.