Patrick Ness Writing New Doctor Who Spinoff Series Called Class

Posted on October 3, 2015

Patrick Ness, award-winning author of A Monster Calls will be the creator and sole writer of a new Doctor Who spinoff called Class. The show will be set at the Coal Hill school. Ness announced the project on Twitter.

Coal Hill is the school where companion Clara Oswald teaches. The school was also featured last season in "The Caretaker." Ness will work with showrunner Stephen Moffat to tie the show into the larger Doctor Who universe. The show is aimed at a younger, teenage audience. The show will have eight episodes which will begin filming in spring, 2016. It will air on the BBC3 at the end of January, and presumably on BBC America as well.

Naturally, he's not allowed to divulge any details about the casting or plotline of the show, but Ness has been tweeting a few details in response to the deluge of tweets from Doctor Who fans. Ness said, "I'm going to is what I always do: work my damnedest to make it something I love, that feels true, that has real people facing real stuff...Plus, laughs, a banjo choir and a bit with a dog." A dog, eh? Well, we all know what that means: K-9 is getting an upgrade and a new mission. We feel sure he's joking about the banjo choir.

The BBC says "Incredible dangers are breaking through the walls of time and space, and with darkness coming, London is unprotected." It's unclear what characters from the Doctor Who universe will be included in the show, but no doubt some facts will leak out when production starts. In the meantime, Ness will be on tour in the U.S. to promote his book The Rest of Us Just Live Here. He has also written the screenplay for the film version of A Monster Calls which stars Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver and Felicity Jones. The film hits theaters in October, 2016.

Ness is an American who has lived in Great Britain: he holds dual citizenship. He is a two time winner of the Carnegie Medal for children’s literature whose work includes the Chaos Walking trilogy. This isn't his first venture in the world of Doctor Who. He wrote a short story for the 50th anniversary celebration book called 12 Doctors, 12 Stories. His story featured the fifth Doctor, played by Peter Davison, and was called "Tip of the tongue."

Ness is extremely excited about his new gig. He talked with The Guardian about writing both YA and adult books and the perspective he will bring to the new show. He said "I put the same everything into my YA books that I do into my adult books; the same emotional investment, the same time, the same ambitions, the same darknesses. That’s how I responded to the stories I want to tell in Class. I could feel them roiling and twisting and turning, and just thought, 'Great, let’s see where it goes.'"

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