BBC is tossing Ncuti Gatwa the keys to the TARDIS.
Gatwa (whose first name is pronounced Shoo-tee) has landed Doctor Who‘s iconic role of the Doctor, making him the successor to Jodie Whittaker and the series’ 14th lead overall.
The show confirmed the news on Twitter Sunday, writing: “The future is here! Ncuti Gatwa is the Doctor.”
The Rwandan-born Scottish actor will be the first Black actor to play the role full-time.
“There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling,” Gatwa said in a statement. “A mix of deeply honored, 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 endeavor my upmost to do the same… Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart, but I am giving it all to this show.”
“The future is here and it’s Ncuti!” showrunner Russell T Davies added. “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… 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!”
Gatwa currently portrays Eric Effiong on Netflix’s British teen dramedy Sex Education. His other TV credits include Stonemouth, Bob Servant and the upcoming Masters of the Air. He is also set to star in next year’s Barbie film, a romantic comedy based on the Mattel toys.
Doctor Who initially ran from 1963 to 1989 on BBC One, with the lead role filled during those seasons by William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. The show was then relaunched in 2005 and, in its current form, has starred Christopher Eccleston (Season 1), David Tennant (Seasons 2-4), Matt Smith (Seasons 5-7), Peter Capaldi (Seasons 8-10) and Whittaker (Seasons 11-13), who made history as the series’ first female Doctor.
Whittaker confirmed in July 2021 that she’d be stepping down as the Doctor after filling the role for three seasons; though Season 13 finished airing in December 2021, Whittaker returned to play the Doctor in a trio of feature-length specials that have aired throughout 2022. The first two specials aired in January and April, while a premiere date for the third has yet to be announced. Showrunner Chris Chibnall also announced that his tenure would end when Whittaker’s did, and Russell T Davies — who originally served as Doctor Who showrunner when the show was revived in 2005 — will take back the baton for Season 14.
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