BBC has officially announced that Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa has been tapped to take over the mantle of the Fourteenth Doctor from Jodie Whittaker in the forthcoming new installment of Doctor Who, from showrunner Russell T. Davies. This makes him the first-ever Black actor to portray the iconic character in the history of the franchise. His groundbreaking casting comes ahead of Whittaker’s final Doctor Who special, which will make its debut this autumn.
“There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling. A mix of deeply honored, beyond excited and of course, a little bit scared,” Gatwa said in a statement. “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 endeavor my utmost 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.”
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After gaining recognition for his role as Eric in Netflix’s coming-of-age dramedy Sex Education, the Rwandan-Scottish actor was nominated for Best Male Comedy Performance. The upcoming Doctor Who Season 14 series will be Gatwa’s first major TV project as the titular lead. He will also next be seen in Greta Gerwig’s live-action Barbie movie.
“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,” Davies said. “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!”
Doctor Who Season 13 stars Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor, Mandip Gill as Yasmin Khan, and John Bishop as Dan. Before she takes a bow, Whittaker has set three final specials, with the first two already available for viewing. Jodie’s final feature-length special, where the Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate, will transmit in autumn 2022 as part of the BBC’s Centenary celebrations.
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Doctor Who Season 13 was written and executive produced by Chris Chibnall, who is also serving as the showrunner. He is also expected to exit the series along with Whitaker after Season 13 and the three 2022 specials. He will then be succeeded by returning executive producer and showrunner Russell T. Davies.