Patrick Ness on his new book Release, the future of his Doctor Who spinoff Class, and more

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I hope that Class takes their concerns seriously – not overly seriously, but seriously. I hope it shows them as human beings, as more than one-dimensional human beings – they fight, they squabble, they love and they care and they’re brave and they’re frightened. The same kind of complexity that we always see in adults in drama – and again, that’s something I always wanted to see as a teenager, I felt like I was only seeing one kind of teen on screen.

Class is a real effort to make them fully rounded, and full of contradictions, and making their own choices – driving the action, they make the choices, it’s not a show about a bunch of young people sitting around watching adults make all the choices. They’re the ones that drive the plot forward, and it matters because they’re doing it. So, hopefully, it’s that – it’s paying a teenager the compliment of saying you’re a fully rounded human being.

So, here it is – my Patrick Ness interview! I’m extremely pleased with this piece – felt like the appropriate way to round off my experience with Class. It is, to the best of my knowledge, still the most detailed interview Patrick Ness has given about Class. This took place before the American broadcast, so it’s a little scant on details about his departure, and the cancellation of the show; someday, I’d love to chat to him about it again.

(Of course, on the above, there’s been some rumblings lately that Big Finish might be bringing Class back to our screens. Or, ears, rather. If they do, I’m going to have to pursue some interviews, because I do still rather like the fact that I’m the definitive Class interviewer, and I’d like to maintain that title…)

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Why you should be watching the YA Doctor Who spin-off Class

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When Class was first announced, the potential was obvious: a young adult sci-fi series set in the Doctor Who world, positioning itself as a British Buffy the Vampire Slayer with aliens. Even starting from such a fantastic premise, there was something else to set this show apart – Patrick Ness. Class comes not only from the world of Doctor Who, but from the mind of acclaimed YA writer Patrick Ness, who is genuinely one of the most talented novelists working today.

This talent is obvious throughout the duration of Class, as Ness is able to imbue the show with the best of the YA genre. YA Television is experiencing something of a renaissance at the moment, and Ness is able to keep up with the best of it and then some – Class consistently putting a new spin on what we’ve seen before, finding a fresh take and creating fresh potential. Young Adult, after all, doesn’t mean trite or small – in many respects, this genre is on the bleeding edge of drama, consistently going further and finding ways to be new and interesting in ways the rest of television could only dream of.

While we’re all excited about Doctor Who – wasn’t it wonderful? – let’s not forget about Class!

It was an imperfect show that often frustrated me greatly, but it never failed to make me think, and I’m so glad it exists. It’s absolutely worth your while, so check it out!

I wrote this mainly because the American broadcast of the show was coming up, and I wanted to do pretty much whatever I could to make sure the show continued. I even bought the DVD, and I basically never do that these days. Unfortunately, it didn’t work – there was never any new Class after the TV show ended – but some of the cast shared this article, which was nice.

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