Doctor Who: Ncuti Gatwa Confirms the Tennant Villain He Wants to Face in Series 14

In addition to classic villains, new Doctor Ncuti Gatwa calls out a surprising David Tennant-era baddie for his upcoming Doctor Who run.

Ncuti Gatwa BBC official portrait
Photo: BBC

This Doctor Who article contains spoilers for The Power of the Doctor.

Ncuti Gatwa has a David Tennant problem. The Sex Education star had been announced as the next Doctor, following Jodie Whittaker‘s tenure as the Time Lord’s 13th iteration. But when Whittaker’s iteration finished regenerating at the end of the special “The Power of the Doctor,” it wasn’t Gatwa’s face we saw, but that of Tennant, who played the Tenth Doctor. Of course, this twist just sets up a mystery that will end with Gatwa properly taking on the role down the line. But even when he does jump into the TARDIS for series 14, he’s not quite ready to quit Tennant altogether.

In an new video from the BBC, Gatwa discusses the villains he’d like to fight as the Doctor. Unsurprisingly, he picks the Weeping Angels, perhaps the most-notable bad guys of the NuWho era. First introduced in the Tennant episode “Blink,” the Weeping Angels have gone on to face Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor, Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor, and Whittaker’s 13th Doctor. An alien race who “steals time” from their victims, the Weeping Angels stand frozen in stone when looked at but move incredibly fast when blocked from view. Whoever they touch gets hurled back in time, forced to live out their days in the past. “They are just genuinely terrifying,” Gatwa enthused.

But the real surprise came with his second choice. “I would love to battle the Beast,” Gatwa revealed, referring to the demonic entity that Tennant’s Doctor met in the series 2 episodes “The Impossible Planet” and “The Satan Pit.” The two-parter from 2006 saw the Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler land on a planet orbiting a black hole. As he and Rose help researchers investigate the bowels of the planet, they find themselves encountering a Satanic creature called the Beast. It’s that resemblance to Satan that most intrigues Gatwa, who calls the Beast “the ultimate villain.” Although the Tenth Doctor remained fairly skeptical that the Beast was indeed the Devil, Gatwa seems convinced. “I don’t see how you get more evil than that,” he stated.

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If Gatwa’s Doctor does get to fight the Beast, it will be the first time the monster appeared since 2006, which honestly makes him an unlikely choice for returning villain. However, the Beast wouldn’t be the first Who antagonist to return after a long absence. While the Daleks, the Cybermen, and even the Master returned to menace the Doctor fairly quickly after the series was relaunched in 2005, others took a while to show up. The Sontarans stayed off the board until the series 4 episode “The Sontaran Stratagem,” ending a 23-year absence, while the Ice Warriors didn’t return until series 7’s “Cold War,” a 29-year gap between appearances. Clearly, delays don’t matter when dealing with a hero who can cross space and time.

While Doctor Who has never been one to let a good bad guy die (or even a bad bad guy, in the case of the Slitheen), Gatwa’s Doctor first has to deal with Tennant himself. Maybe he can get some pointers from that version before finally taking over as the new Doctor.

Doctor Who will return with a three-part 60th anniversary special in November 2023.