Readers of this site will know how much of a fan of Doctor Who I am. This being due to the fact that I post a review here every time a new episode airs. I began posting weekly episode reviews at the start of season 8 and I think, due to the quality of the show that some of my best writing has come out of these episode reviews. Well it seems there will soon be some more Doctor Who related content to cover when BBC launch a new spinoff called Class. BBC have released a few spinoffs of the flagship sci-fi show over the years. They have targeted every demographic but one so far, Torchwood was a more adult version of Doctor Who focussing on one of the edgier characters to feature in the main show. Sarah Jane Adventures was based around a former companion of The Doctor and was aimed at a very young audience as it was broadcast on CBBC. The new spinoff in question is set to be aimed at the Young Adult audience so as to cover all bases.
BBC are cleverly capitalising on the current trend of highly successful Young Adult franchises. At the moment, perhaps second only to superheroes, the YA genre is huge in Hollywood. The Hunger Games franchise is about to reach its conclusion after a series of insanely popular movies based on an equally adored series of books. As well as The Maze Runner series based on the books by James Dashner which have captured the imagination of people young and old. John Green’s books have also received film adaptations, with more on the way no doubt.
Patrick Ness writes sci-fi novels focussed at a Young Adult audience one of his novels, A Monster Calls is currently being adapted into a movie. As is the trend with these sorts of things it will probably blow up so BBC are smart to target him to write the script for this young adult Doctor Who spinoff. In his official statement as showrunner Moffat had this to say about the selection: “No one has documented the dark and exhilarating world of the teenager like Patrick Ness” Moffat continued: “and now we’re bringing his brilliant story-telling into Doctor Who. This is growing up in modern Britain- but with monsters!” Ness is a safe pair of hands not just due to his popularity but also because he is simply a fantastic writer. I have read his novel The Knife of Never Letting Go and he writes a very compelling story.
The story will focus on Coal Hill secondary school which is a key part of the Doctor Who mythos. Coal Hill was the school that The Doctor’s granddaughter, Susan was shown at in the very first episode back in 1963. It also happens to be the school Clara Oswald teaches at. Jenna Coleman is leaving the main show after this season to pursue other projects so she definitely won’t be appearing in a spinoff show, however we could see appearances from characters that attend the school who we have encountered in the past. According to ScreenRant BBC will begin filming 8 episodes, which are 45 minutes each, in 2016. It will apparently be televised on BBC 3 though due to the channel’s fate being uncertain this could change.