Doctor Who: Ncuti Gatwa Is the New Doctor

The new Doctor is here! Please welcome Sex Education's Ncuti Gatwa to the TARDIS

Doctor Who Ncuti Gatwa
Photo: BBC

Call off the bets! The new Doctor is here. After months of speculation and tabloid exclusives from anonymous ‘inside sources’, the BBC has officially revealed that Ncuti Gatwa will take over from Jodie Whittaker in the role of the Doctor. The news didn’t arrive mid-tennis match or football game, or even in a special featuring a live hook-up with One Direction, but in this elegant Tweet:

Whittaker’s final episode in the TARDIS will be this autumn’s Doctor Who BBC centenary special, after which the console will be handed over to Gatwa, a Bafta-winning 29-year-old stage and screen actor celebrated for the role of Eric Effiong in Netflix’s Sex Education. See him discuss that part in this Netflix interview.

In 2020, Gatwa won the Best Actor Award at the Scottish Baftas, and was nominated for Best Male Performance in a comedy programme at this year’s awards, which take place tonight, May 8th. Gatwa’s first episode as the Doctor will air in 2023, when Doctor Who will celebrate its 60th anniversary. He’ll also appear in Greta Gerwig’s 2023 Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie in the lead role.

In the official announcement, returning showrunner Russell T Davies said further details on Gatwa’s Doctor are being rationed for now “with the wonderful Jodie’s epic finale yet to come,” but he promises “2023 will be spectacular”.

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“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.”

Gatwa, who confessed to coming close to quitting acting before winning the Sex Education role, said this about joining Doctor Who.

“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 upmost 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.”

That’s all you can ask, isn’t it? Join us in offering a very warm welcome to Ncuti Gatwa, our next Doctor!

Doctor Who continues this autumn on BBC One and BBC America with Jodie Whittaker’s final episode in the role.