October 10, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT

BBC America’s Class may be featuring a familiar face, but showrunner (and YA novelist) Patrick Ness says that it will feature a whole range of aliens and monsters that may have never before been featured in the Doctor Who universe.

“If you had the chance to make up brand new Doctor Who monsters, wouldn’t you run with it?” asked Ness Friday at New York Comic Con, where a new trailer, below, debuted. He went on to explain that he wanted to go all out just in case this would be his only opportunity to play with “the toolbox” of Doctor Who.

Ness added that not having the Doctor (played by Peter Capaldi) around presented the spin-off with additional challenges. “You might face an alien you’ll never learn the name, or motivation, of,” he explained. An experience, Ness said, is “a lot like being a teenager.”

Class is set in Coal Hill Academy in Shoreditch, London. The conic location has been featured many times in Doctor Who, from the first episode to, more recently, when the Doctor’s companion, Clara (Jenna Coleman), taught there. Unfortunately, this has led to the very fabric of space and time thinning while an evil being waits on the other side.

When the show kicks off, students will be preparing for their Autumn Prom, when the school comes under attack and four high schoolers (played by Greg Austin, Fady Elsayed, Sophie Hopkins, and Vivian Oparah) form an alliance. What they don’t know, though, is that this incursion is only the beginning. However, as the trailer below shows, a Time Lord-resembling “caretaker” will be giving them a bit of a hand.

Though the Doctor might not be the only character making a cameo, former Coal Hill teachers —and currently married Cambridge Professors who do not age — Barbra Wright and Ian Chesterton may also make an appearance. “I think you’ll notice a few things you’ll like in the show,” said Ness, before offering a warning about using cameos. “If you put it in a scene, it’s all everyone is going to look at.” 

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