Doctor Who has been around...forever. Just forever. Okay, so maybe it's only been around for 50 years, but that's a hell of a long time for any one TV series to continue to be made.
With the modern incarnation of Doctor Who, the Doctors have become younger (until Peter Capaldi's current run as the Twelfth Doctor) and so has the audience, with millennial** viewers in both the U.K. and U.S. forming a loyal and devoted army of Nu-Whovians.
Today, the BBC announced that it is developing a young adult spin-off of Doctor Who, titled Class. The series will be written by lauded YA author Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking trilogy, A Monster Calls) and set in modern day London, with most of the action revolving around Coal Hill School.
Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat shared his excitement in the announcement:
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. This is growing up in modern Britain – but with monsters!
As for Ness himself, he is, predictably, over the moon to work on a show that shaped much of his childhood:
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.
It makes total sense to launch a spin-off as a YA series. Doctor Who has seen a few spinoffs over the years. Torchwood was darker, less PG-rated, and far more adult. The Sarah Jane Adventures skewed toward an older fanbase who still loved lead actress Elisabeth Sladen from her run as a companion during classic Doctor Who. Why not a YA series that brings a younger demographic into the world of the Doctor? Most of them are avid Whovians already.
Production begins next spring and the series will premiere before the end of 2016.