We may not have any word on when Series 10 of Doctor Who will air yet, but we do have some new Who news to report. BBC America announced at The Television Critics Association – whose Winter Press Tour schedule runs from January 5th through the 19th – that the spinoff series Class would be carried on the network in 2016.
The BBC announced back in October that the new 8-episode show would air on BBC Three, but this is the first official announcement that the show would make it across the pond. The show is written by author Patrick Ness, whose YA book trilogy Chaos Walking has received multiple awards, including the 2008 James Tiptree Award, the 2011 Carnegie Medal, as well as all three books being shortlisted for the Carnegie Book Award.
Brian Minchin and Steven Moffat will produce the show, with Moffat 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.”
Class is Ness’ television writing debut, and at the time of the original announcement, he said:
“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.”
Class is set at Coal Hill School, and follows the students there as they face threats of a presumably alien nature. Fans of Doctor Who will recognize the school as both the recent employer of one Clara Oswald, as well as the school that a curious girl with an odd grandfather introduced viewers to in 1963. It’s the third narrative spinoff from Doctor Who, following Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, and like the latter, will be aimed at younger audiences. Shooting is scheduled to begin this spring in and around Cardiff, Wales.
The addition of Class to Moffat’s schedule, as well as the delay of the 4th series of Sherlock has led many to question how long Moffat will continue as showrunner for Doctor Who, based on the workload alone of managing multiple series. The BBC has not yet announced when Series 10 of Doctor Who will air, and rumors of a shorter Series have swirled as well as it being the final season of both Moffat and 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi, while a later production schedule for the year could mean a split-series like Series 7, or a longer gap between Series like the one between Series 6 and 7.