Speaking of his new role, Ncuti said: “There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling. A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared. 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. I will endeavour my upmost to do the same.
"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."
Meanwhile, returning showrunner Russell T Davies commented: “The future is here and it’s Ncuti! 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.
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"Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds. It’s an honour 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!”
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Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer, said: “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."
Gatwa first teased his casting when he posted an image on his Instagram page on Sunday 8th May 2022 consisting of two heart emojis, a plus-sign emoji and a blue box emoji.
Davies then commented on the post, which Gatwa subsequently pinned to the post, writing: "The future is here."
The post was subsequently shared by the production company Bad Wolf, which will be producing the upcoming episodes from Davies.
An alien with the ability to “regenerate” and change his or her face and personality, the character of the Doctor has been played by a number of actors since 1963 including William Hartnell, Tom Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann and David Tennant, with incumbent star Whittaker picking up the sonic baton from Peter Capaldi’s Doctor in December 2017.
Since then she’s starred in three seasons and a number of specials, with her final episode set to air this autumn as part of the BBC’s centenary special where Gatwa will presumably make his first on-screen appearance.
Alongside showrunner Chris Chibnall, Whittaker announced her departure from the show in summer 2021, kickstarting furious speculation about who could follow the first female Doctor in the flagship BBC show.
Popular choices with fans and on betting websites included It’s A Sin stars Olly Alexander and Lydia West, alongside choices like T’Nia Miller, Fisayo Akinade and Michaela Coel.
Gatwa is a Rwandan-Scottish actor who rose to fame in his fan-favourite role as Eric Effiong in the Netflix teen comedy series Sex Education.
The role has earned him critical acclaim, three BAFTA Award nominations and a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor in Television.
Sex Education is also due to return for a fourth season, with Gatwa reprising his beloved role.
In addition to Sex Education and Doctor Who, Gatwa will appear in director Greta Gerwig's Barbie film opposite Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and his Sex Ed co-stars Emma Mackey and Connor Swindells.
The new Doctor will take over the central role in the long-running BBC sci-fi series alongside former showrunner Russell T Davies, who was in charge of the show from 2005 to 2010 and now takes the helm again ahead of Who’s 60th anniversary celebrations in 2023.
Further details on the new Doctor’s co-stars, costume and other traditional changes (including new designs for the trademark TARDIS interior and the sonic screwdriver) are expected in due course.
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- Doctor Who's Ncuti Gatwa is the perfect Doctor for the perfect time
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