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…

  • Dr. Moo

    Patrick Ness is without a doubt one of the finest writers in the world today so it’s no surprise that when he turned down an offer to write Doctor Who they weren’t prepared to let him get away. Further proof that Moffat & Co are always out to get hold of the very best and will fight for them if necessary. Looking forward to Class, can’t wait to see it!

    • Edward Delingford

      Agreed. Anybody familiar with the world of YA fiction will know of Patrick Ness and what an exalted place he holds in it. A huge feather in the BBC’s cap to get him connected to the world of Who. I suspect that the mother ship show might want to beg him to do an episode at a future date if Class ends up being a critical success. In the meantime, trust that all of the positive comments about Class so far eventuate into something worthy of all of that talent.