After much speculation, the BBC officially confirmed that Ncuti Gatwa will play Doctor Who‘s Fourteenth Doctor.
Best known for portraying Eric Effiong in Netflix’s hit series Sex Education, the Rwanda-born, Scotland-raised actor will take the mantle from Jodie Whittaker, who made history as the first woman to appear in the role when she was cast in 2017. He will also become the first full-time Black lead actor in the franchise’s history.
The future is here! Ncuti Gatwa is the Doctor. ❤️❤️➕🟦 #DoctorWho
— Doctor Who (@bbcdoctorwho) May 8, 2022
“This role and show means 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,” Gatwa said in a statement to the BBC. “I will endeavor my upmost to do the same.”
The Doctor, a humanoid Time Lord who can travel throughout space and time using the TARDIS, takes on a different form in near-death situations in a process called regeneration. This serves as a plot device to pass the baton between lead actors and was originally introduced to smooth out the transition between actors after the First Doctor, William Hartnell, left the series.
The show’s original run spanned from 1963-1989 and was revived in 2005. Since then, the Doctor has been played by the likes of David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi.
Ncuti Gatwa is so good on SEX EDUCATION, a lightning rod of charm and comedic timing. A star from the moment he popped on screen. He’s going to be phenomenal as the next Doctor. #DoctorWho pic.twitter.com/IiM1qjd8UC
— Robert Daniels (@812filmreviews) May 8, 2022
According to showrunner Russell T Davies, Gatwa impressed him with a “blazing” audition.
“It was our very last audition,” he says. “We thought we had someone, and then in he came and stole it. I’m properly, properly thrilled. It’s going to be a blazing future.”
Gatwa adds that the prospect of working with Davies 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. 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.”
The Fourteenth Doctor will make his debut in 2023.