It’s official: A new Doctor is stepping inside the TARDIS.
BBC recently announced that Ncuti Gatwa, best known for portraying the role of Eric Effiong in Netflix’s Sex Education, is set to replace Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor in the upcoming season of long-running sci-fi show, Doctor Who.
“There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling,” Gatwa said in a statement. “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.”
Gatwa is the first Black male actor who will play the titular role in the franchise’s almost 60-year history. Aside from Gatwa, British actress Jo Martin previously played her version of the Doctor in several episodes of Whittaker’s stint as the Time Lord.
“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,” showrunner Russell T. Davies said.
He added: “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!”
For his part, the 29-year-old Scottish actor said that the veteran Doctor Who showrunner "is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true."
He added: "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."
Whittaker, the first female actress to play the lead role, first appeared in the show in 2017 following Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor. Whittaker, whose tenure as The Doctor lasted for three seasons, is expected to depart the show and regenerate into the next incarnation of the Time Lord after the 2022 specials.
Previously, the sci-fi show saw David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Capaldi leave the show after three seasons while Christopher Eccleston, who played the 11th Doctor during the show’s reboot in 2005, only appeared in the maiden season.
With more than 800 episodes spanning five decades and 13 regenerations, BBC’s science fiction program is indisputably the real ‘OG’ of time travel shows. The iconic British series lasted from 1963 to 1989 and had undergone a much-needed reboot in 2005.
Doctor Who follows the story of an eccentric Time Lord only known as The Doctor. The two-hearted alien fights monsters, solves mysteries and travels through time and space with his companions on board the Time And Relative Dimension In Space or simply, the TARDIS.