Time Lords don’t get old; they just get syndicated. Now, further adding to the longevity of the cult-favorite science fiction series Doctor Who, a new spinoff will further add to the indelible imprint left by the show in the five decades since its premiere. Class, which will air on BBC Three in 2016, will purportedly have many of the hallmarks of established Doctor Who continuity, but it will also have the overt goal of attracting a new generation of fans into the kitschy, quirky fold of “Whovians.”
According to E! Online, noted young adult genre author Patrick Ness has been tapped to write for the series, which is presently slated for eight episodes. In a statement re-published by E!, Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat expressed enthusiasm regarding the addition of Ness to the creative team.
“No one has documented the dark and exhilarating world of the teenager like Patrick Ness, and now we’re bringing his brilliant storytelling into ‘Doctor Who,'” said Moffat. “This is growing up in modern Britain — but with monsters!”
CNet noted that the setting for the Doctor Who spinoff will be the same school where The Doctor’s companion, Clara Oswald, teaches. Although the setting is familiar, Patrick Ness pledges new developments and surprises for the Doctor Who faithful, telling fans that the fabled Coal Hill School will be the stomping grounds for a host of new characters.
“I’m astounded and thrilled to be entering the Doctor Who universe, which is as vast as time and space itself,” Ness said in a statement quoted by The Mirror. “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.”
Radio Times drafted a detailed history of the fictional Coal Hill Secondary School and its importance to the Doctor Who mythos, dating back to the first appearance of the TARDIS time machine on school grounds back in the programs black-and-white days. Since then, the school has been the scene of a slew of fantastic adventures, including epic battles with the likes of Skovox Blitzer and the human-hating Daleks.
It is difficult to predict whether or not Class will garner the kind of critical acclaim and fan approval that the original series has enjoyed over the course of its run. Indeed, Doctor Who has earned awards for the performances of individual actors and actresses as well as for the show’s writing and overall production and presentation. Over the course of recent years, fueled in part as the result of an explosion in appreciation for so-called “geek culture,” Doctor Who has found crossover appeal through references on popular shows like The Big Bang Theory. The show has also cashed in on merchandising by producing games, toys, and other products related to the series.
Series 9 of Doctor Who premiered in August, according to The Verge. This season marks Peter Capaldi’s second series as the show’s Twelfth Doctor. As recently discussed by Inquisitr, the forthcoming eleventh episode of this season will be the show’s “most experimental” show ever. In an interview with BBC, Doctor Who director Rachel Talalay described the aforementioned episode as “complicated and different,” but presumably she means that in a decidedly complimentary way.
As noted by CNet, Class isn’t the first Doctor Who spinoff in the half-century long history of the program. The Sarah Jane Adventures ran from 2007 to 2011 and Doctor Who’s robotic dog K-9 was the focus of standalone shows in 1981 and again in 2009. But if Patrick Ness can harness his success as an author and channel it into the quirky world of British television, Class is one Doctor Who spinoff that might well stand the test of time.
[Images from BBC via YouTube; Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images; Oli Scarff/Getty Images]