The news broke last week that a Doctor Who spin-off for young adults called Class is in the works at BBC Three. Joining Doctor Who executive producers Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin for the project is author Patrick Ness, whose YA novel The Rest of Us Just Live Here hit shelves this week and who adapted his own novel A Monster Calls to hit the big screen in October 2016.
The plan, Ness says, is to air Class in the fall of 2016, but with nearly a year to go, he’s still pretty tight-lipped.
“I can tell you that it does not involve Clara,” he tells EW after confirming once again that it will be set in Coal Hill School. “I’ve tweeted this, so I don’t think I’m breaking anyone’s confidence.”
Beyond that, Ness isn’t giving away much in terms of specifics, but says he’s excited to bring his YA expertise to the project.
“The idea is to take everything that I love about YA, which is the great breadth of it and the great depth of it and its fearlessness about the emotional stuff and its fearlessness about emotional truth, and the way that it takes teenage characters seriously as complex human beings, and just put that on television in the Doctor Who universe, and that sounded very, very exciting to me,” he says.
His Twitter, he says, has been hit with requests to bring various parts of Doctor Who back, but he’s looking to bring his own flair to Class.
“I want to show the world new stuff,” he says. “I want to have new things that maybe we haven’t seen before. That’s my goal. That’s what I’m aiming for — shock you with something new. Something like the Weeping Angels, which I think are great, are brand new. Steven Moffat invented them a couple seasons ago. There’s not going to be any weeping angels on Class, but I’m just saying that they’re something new to the Doctor Who universe that are just awesome, and I would like to do that.”
Ness says he looked for partners and collaborators for both Class and A Monster Calls that would allow him to learn along the way as well as give him creative input and freedom to create something that reaches beyond just teenagers.
“It’s extremely important for teenagers, and that’s who it should be for first, but the best YA reaches beyond that,” he says. “The best of anything reaches beyond its boundaries.”