The actor who will play the fourteenth incarnation of the Doctor on the BBC series Doctor Who has been revealed.
On Sunday, BBC announced that Ncuti Gatwa will portray the titular role in the show’s 60th anniversary season, making him the first black actor to lead the long-running sci-fi series. Cast in February, Gatwa will replace outgoing star Jodie Whittaker, whose Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate in the third and final Doctor Who 2022 specials in October.
Ncuti Gatwa on being cast as the new Doctor Who star
Accompanied by returning Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies, Gatwa made his first public comments about his casting on last weekend’s BAFTA red carpet.
“It’s been emotional,” Gatwa said of what it has been like for him after landing the iconic role. “I was just saying, I woke up crying, and then I started dancing… I’m glad that it’s finally out and I don’t have to keep it a secret anymore because I’m terrible at that.”
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) May 8, 2022
“There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling,” Gatwa said in a separate press release. “A mix of deeply honored, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared. This role and show mean so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care. I will endeavor my upmost to do the same.”
Gatwa added: “Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true. His writing is dynamic, exciting, incredibly intelligent and fizzing with danger. An actor’s metaphorical playground. The entire team have been so welcoming and truly give their hearts to the show. And so as much as it’s daunting, I’m aware I’m joining a really supportive family. Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show.”
Russell T Davis and BBC on casting Ncuti Gatwa
In the same press release, Davis called Gatwa the future. “The future is here and it’s Ncuti!” said Davis. “Sometimes talent walks through the door and it’s so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars. Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds. It’s an honor to work with him, and a hoot, I can’t wait to get started. I’m sure you’re dying to know more, but we’re rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie’s epic finale yet to come. But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!”
Meanwhile, Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer, had this to say about the new Doctor Who star: “Ncuti has an incredible dynamism, he’s a striking and fearless young actor whose talent and energy will set the world alight and take Doctor Who on extraordinary adventures under Russell T Davies’ new era.”
Ncuti Gatwa’s acting credits
The Rwandan-Scottish actor is best known for his role as Eric Effiong on the Netflix comedy-drama series Sex Education, which earned him a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor in Television and three BAFTA Television Award nominations for Best Male Comedy Performance.
On the movie front, Gatwa appeared in the 2021 romantic drama The Last Letter from Your Lover and in comedies A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2016) and Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans (2019). Gatwa is also part of the cast of the upcoming live-action Barbie movie, starring Emma Mackey, Margot Robbie, and Ryan Gosling.