Rwandan-Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa has been revealed as the next star of long-running British sci-fi series Doctor Who, becoming the show’s first black lead.
First airing on BBC One in 1963, Doctor Who follows the adventures of a Time Lord known only as The Doctor, who explores the universe in a time-travelling spaceship called the TARDIS.
Gatwa landed the part after appearing in Netflix’s critically acclaimed series Sex Education, for which he was nominated for a Bafta for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme.
The Doctor has been played by 13 other actors over the years, including Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Matt Smith and David Tennant. Gatwa will take over from Jodi Whittaker, the first woman to play the part.
The show was revived by writer Russell T Davies (It’s a Sin, Years & Years) in 2005, having originally aired from 1963 to 1989.
Gatwa 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 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 has 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, head writer and executive producer of Doctor Who, added: “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!”