Of all the rich television histories that are floating around out there, Doctor Who might have one of the richest. The series celebrated its 50th anniversary not too long ago, proving the staying power of the Doctor and his adventures through time and space. With a history that long and a fictional universe that’s just teeming with storytelling potential, it’s no wonder new shows keep spinning off from the one inhabited by the good Doctor.
Announced last year, the Doctor Who spinoff Class is set to premiere on BBC Three sometime in 2016. And now, BBC America can confirm it will air the series stateside this year as well, though a firm date in 2016 has yet to be established.
For those who don’t know, Class follows a group of teenagers living in modern London, as monsters and aliens begin “breaking through the walls of time and space.” The show is written and produced by Patrick Ness, author of six critically acclaimed young-adult novels. Ness’ work includes the children’s fantasy novel A Monster Calls, a film adaptation of which is set for release later this year, starring Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver, and Felicity Jones. Ness wrote the screenplay for that adaptation as well.
This isn’t the first spinoff of Doctor Who, of course. Both Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Chronicles followed the adventures of characters introduced in the main show, and word came last year that the Doctor’s robotic dog K-9 might be getting his own movie. Torchwood hasn’t gotten much love lately and The Sarah Jane Chronicles was discontinued after the death of star Elizabeth Sladen, so there is definitely room for a new spinoff on television.
Not much has been revealed about Class beyond its basic premise, though it is known that it will have an eight-episode season and will be targeted toward the young adult audience. Ness claims that the series will have “all-new villains and aliens” for the heroes to face off against, and jokes that the show will help viewers “remember that the horrors of the darkest corners of existence are just about on par with having to pass your exams.” Comparisons have been made between the show and Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Fans will likely be excited to get more glimpses into the Doctor Who universe, especially given the rumors that continue to circulate about season 10 having a shorter-than-expected episode count and the possible departures of both Peter Capaldi and showrunner Stephen Moffat.
Class will air on BBC Three and BBC America sometime in 2016.