It was announced over the weekend that Ncuti Gatwa is the new Doctor Who. The announcement was made by the BBC that Gatwa will take over the role from current incumbent Jodie Whittaker for the new series, once again under the stewardship of Russel T. Davies. Davies originally brought Doctor Who back to TV screens after over a decade’s absence.
Gatwa also becomes the first permanent Doctor of color. Previous to now the only non-white Doctor on screen has been played by Jo Martin. Martin very briefly played the Fugitive Doctor back in 2020 for ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’. Gatwa though will be the main star and I’m sure showrunner Davies hopes he will be in the role for a long time to come.
Gatwa is also one of the youngest actors to play the Doctor. Matt Smith was the youngest yet at 26/27, and Gatwa comes in joint second youngest with Peter Davison at 29. Russel T Davies left Doctor Who at the same time as David Tennant the 10th Doctor, who was then replaced by Matt Smith.
“There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling,” Gatwa says in a press release. “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.”
Davies adds, “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. 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!”
Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer says, “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.”
BAFTA briefly got to speak to Gatwa.
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) May 8, 2022
Ncuti Gatwa is Rwandan-Scottish, and despite not having the same strong accent as I do, the young actor grew up in Scotland predominantly learning his trade. Gatwa previously starred in Sex Education for which he was critically acclaimed.
As for what Gatwa will bring to the role? I haven’t seen the young actor in enough projects to make comment. I think for me, more important than the new Doctor this time around is the new Showrunner.
When Davies left I loved what Stephen Moffat did as showrunner, to begin with. However, I became less impressed as time went on into the 12th Doctor played by Peter Capaldi. Then Chris Chibnall took over the show with Whitaker as his new Doctor. I never had any issues with Whittaker’s Doctor. However, I did have issues with the stories being told by Chibnall. I will have another pass at the show once Davies is back in charge, if for nothing else just to see what Gatwa does in the role. However, I hope the quality of writing improves this time around, as I genuinely enjoyed the previous Davies era.
What do you think of the news that that Ncuti Gatwa is the new Doctor Who? Thoughts below as always.