Doctor Who spin-off TV series Class will feature an gay lead character, it has been confirmed.
Celebrated author Patrick Ness is helming upcoming the BBC spin-off series, which features teenagers at a school set in the Whoniverse.
The show has been described as a British take on Buffy the Vampire Slayer; and Ness revealed this week that like Buffy, one of the main characters will be gay.
After recent events in Orlando, he tweeted: “Been asked if Class will have LGBT representation in it. Will a lead character with a boyfriend who he kisses & sleeps with & loves do?
“We were keeping that secret, but today that secret doesn’t seem very important. #lovewins”
The series stars Mr Selfridge’s Greg Austin, alongside Fady Elsayed, Sophie Hopkins and Vivian Oparah.
Ness added: “Kind of astounded that having a gay lead on Class has been such big news. One day it won’t be, one day soon.
“BECAUSE IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL. One way to change the world is to act as if it’s already changed. That’s how I roll, that’s how Class rolls.
“Class has five leads. There are lots and lots of stories to tell, lots of room for everyone, lots of heartache to spread around democratically.
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“Because I am nothing if not an even-handed stomper of hearts, no?”
He added: “(Except of course it is a big deal, I know; 15-year-old me never got to see himself; that won’t happen again, not on my watch).”
It is certainly not the first show in the Doctor Who universe with LGBT themes.
Torchwood, which aired for four seasons, featured John Barrowman and Gareth Lloyd as fan favourite pairing Captain Jack Harkness and Ianto Jones.
To this day there is a shrine to Lloyd’s character in Cardiff Bay.
In addition, former CBBC spin-off Sarah Jane Adventures was set to feature a plot arc in which the protagonist’s son Luke (Tommy Knight) opened up about his sexuality.
However, the death of the show’s star Elisabeth Sladen in 2011 meant an early end to the series, with the scripts in which Luke came out never making it to air.
Doctor Who itself features a married interspecies lesbian couple on a recurring basis, and has featured a large number of LGBT characters.
Class is set to air this autumn.