Entertainment & Arts

Doctor Who spin-off for teens announced

Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman
Image caption The current series of Doctor Who has seen a drop in viewing figures since it launched last month

Doctor Who is to be given a teenage makeover, with a new spin-off series aimed at young adults.

The series, Class, will mark the TV screenwriting debut of author Patrick Ness, best known for his award-winning book A Monster Calls.

As the title suggests, the eight 45-minute episodes will be set in a school in contemporary London.

Ness said he was "thrilled to be entering the Doctor Who universe". The show will air on BBC Three in 2016.

"I'm astounded and thrilled to be entering the Doctor Who universe, which is as vast as time and space itself," said Ness, whose books include the Chaos Walking trilogy.

"There's so much room there for all kinds of amazing stories and to work with Steven Moffat and [producer] 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," he joked.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Patrick Ness recently set up an online campaign to raise funds for Syrian refugees

Doctor Who writer Steven Moffat, who will be an executive producer on the new show, said: "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."

Although set in London, it will be filmed in and around Cardiff, as is much of the main Doctor Who series.

The show follows previous spin-off or companion shows aimed at younger audiences, including Totally Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Totally Doctor Who ran in conjunction with the 2006/2007 series starring David Tennant, on both BBC One and CBBC - and featured key characters.

The Sarah Jane Adventures, which ran from 2007 to 2011, starred the late Elisabeth Sladen as an investigative journalist. The show, which launched on BBC One, ran on CBBC until Sladen's unexpected death.

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