While many names were being spoken about before it was finally revealed who would be playing the new Doctor in Doctor Who, Ncuti Gatwa's felt like it came as a bolt of the blue.


Many fans have since wondered how the BBC managed to keep the casting so tightly under wraps - and someone else who has wondered that, it seems - Gatwa himself.

Speaking with British Vogue, Gatwa has revealed that when he went for the audition, he thought there was "no way" he would get it, adding: "'It’s a British institution and there’s no way they’ll cast a Black man.’ So, I just had fun."

However, he also revealed that once he was cast, he struggled to keep the casting a secret, saying: "I felt numb. And keeping it a secret until the announcement was very difficult. I’d often get a little tipsy in Soho House, make a new best friend in the bathroom, tell them and run off. Thankfully, it never got out."

Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor and Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday in Doctor Who.
Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor and Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday in Doctor Who. BBC/Bad Wolf

The news was made public when Gatwa was filming Barbie alongside Ryan Gosling, and he revealed that Gosling came "bounding" up to his trailer, saying: "'Doctor Who is the coolest show in the world man! I’m the biggest fan'."

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Gatwa also spoke with the publication about his costume as the Fifteenth Doctor, which has already been announced to be new in each episode.

Gatwa said: "Months after getting the role, I went to see the producers and get the scripts, and they asked me my thoughts on the show’s costumes. I was talking about Ralph Lauren’s collaboration with Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, two historically Black colleges, which is really preppy.

"They were like, ‘Cool, but it’s quite traditional.’ I guess I was thinking about catering to the audience that already watches Doctor Who, but they’re like, ‘Let’s push it forward.’ They’re really keen on progress, and it doesn’t always feel like that in the landscape of British television."

The next batch of Doctor Who episodes will be three 60th anniversary specials starring David Tennant, with Gatwa taking over for season 14 next year. During that season, he will be joined by Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday, while classic companion Mel, as played by Bonnie Langford, will also make an appearance.

Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer with episodes of the classic series also available on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.

For more, check out our dedicated Sci-Fi page or our full TV Guide and Streaming Guide.

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