Doctor Who spin-off Class will focus on “brand-new” characters, says creator – but will Peter Capaldi appear?

Novelist Patrick Ness is currently writing the school-set sci-fi series - and apparently we won't be seeing many familiar faces

It’s safe to say that Doctor Who spin-off Class is a bit of a mystery. While we know what it’s about (the students of Doctor Who mainstay Coal Hill School) and who’s writing it (Young Adult author Patrick Ness), we’re still pretty hazy about exactly what will be going on when it airs in 2016.


Luckily, however, has now had a chance to have an exclusive chat with Ness, who has revealed a few choice details about the 8-part series – including the fact that we probably shouldn’t be expecting any Doctor Who characters to pop up in the spin-off. We know, we’re slightly gutted too.

“The main character is someone brand-new,” Ness told “There’s lots and lots and lots of brand new. 

“Because that’s what I want to see. I want to see somebody come up with something new. Lots and lots of brand new.”

Somehow we get the sense they’re going for a “new” feel – which sadly means we probably won’t be seeing the return of Doctor Who’s featured Coal Hill student Courtney, First Doctor companion Ian Chesterton (now on the school’s board of governers) or even Jenna Coleman’s English teacher-cum-Companion Clara Oswald (which would have been tricky after she leaves Doctor Who this year, in fairness).

YA novelist Patrick Ness

But surely there’s one Whoniverse figure who won’t be left out? A certain grumpy Scottish Coal Hill caretaker whose character (as played by David Tennant and Matt Smith) has popped up multiple times in youth-centric spin-offs before? In short, will the Doctor be walking the corridors in Class?

“I can neither yet confirm nor deny,” Ness teased. “But I’m a big Peter Capaldi fan, let’s put it that way.”

“It’s funny – I’m not gonna answer that question. I’ve already started ignoring the sort of baiting, trolling tweets of ‘We’ve heard this!’ and ‘my sources say!’

“And I just laugh, I mean like Wow, because some of the stuff I’ve seen is so wildly wrong. I think ‘Oh, this could be a fun year.’”

For now the secrets of Class will have to remain locked in the mind of Ness, who says he’s got it all planned out even if he hasn’t finished writing the series.

“The way I write books, is….I know the last line of the book, and I already know the last line in the first season of Class,” he said. 

“And I know there are things on the way that I’ve already written, or I can’t wait to write. So I’ve got all the episodes plotted out. I’ve got many many things written – and it’s really exciting!

“I wish I could tell you details, but it’s too early for details.”

That’s OK – the speculation and anticipation for these shows is half the fun, right? Right? Right…

God, it’s going to be a long wait until 2016.


Doctor Who continues on BBC1 this Saturday