Patrick Ness Turned Down Doctor Who to Write Class

Patrick Ness, writer of the upcoming BBC3 show, Class, has revealed that the spin-off only came about because he turned down the chance to write for Doctor Who!

Ness is best known as author of numerous Young Adult novels, including The Rest of Us Just Live Here, More Than This, and A Monster Calls (the latter of which has been adapted for screen, due for release in cinemas later this year), and at the Young Adult Literature Con in London, he said:

“At first they asked me to write an episode of Doctor Who, and I said it’s a brilliant show, but I’ve just spent so much time doing work for other people, and I really want to do something of my own… And they said, ‘Well, we have this idea for setting a spin-off in a school’ – and it was like, ‘Ding’!”

Personally, I think this sounds insane, but I do understand his reasoning. I’d never turn down Doctor Who, but the chance to play in that sandbox while also basically being in charge of an eight-part TV show in itself is too good to miss. It does appear that Ness has written every episode of Class – and there are rumours that one important character, let’s say, might appear in the spin-off – so his initial rejection was a smart move.

Still, I thought Class would be his springboard into Doctor Who, not the other way around (sort of. Ish).

Check out Patrick’s Twitter feed, and you’ll see he’s having a great time.

Class is filming in Cardiff now, and stars Katherine Kelly, Greg Austin, Sophie Hopkins, Vivian Oparah, and Fady Elsayed. It’ll screen on BBC3, BBCOne, and BBC America later this year, probably in that order but we won’t know for a while yet…