Rwandan-Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa has been cast as the fourteenth Doctor in Doctor Who. Gatwa is the second actor of color to take on the iconic role, following Jo Martin, who played an unknown incarnation of the Doctor in the twelfth season. He will succeed actress Jodie Whittaker, who was the first woman to take on the role, as the series lead.
It’s certainly a relief for Gatwa that the news is finally out there, as he has known since February. Most audiences will recognize him for his role as Eric in Netflix‘s Sex Education, opposite Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson. It was also recently announced that he will be a part of Greta Gerwig‘s Barbie film with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. Gatwa will likely take on the role some time next year, as Whittaker is set to finish out her stint as the Doctor with three special episodes this year.
This move should excite Doctor Who fans, as Gatwa is also a massive fan himself. He did confirm that he would embody the role in his own unique way, and didn’t specify any actor in particular when asked if he has a favorite. His massive talent was a primary factor in his casting, and his “blazing” audition, even though it was the final one, assured the casting directors they had found their next Doctor.
The actor spoke about his casting in a recent red carpet interview with the BBC in London. Here’s what he had to say about taking on such an iconic role:
“I’ve known [about having the role] since February of this year, so it’s been tricky trying to keep this under wraps because I’ve got a very big mouth. But I’ve done it, we did it, and it feels really amazing. It’s a true honor. This role is an institution – it’s so iconic and it means so much to a lot of people, including myself. It makes everyone feel seen as well and they can enjoy it. I feel very grateful as well to have the baton handed over and I’m going to try to do my best.
Gatwa will become the fourteenth Doctor, following in the footsteps of Whittaker in another encouraging move toward diversity and inclusion. As the actor pointed out himself, this character is so important to so many people, and hopefully having an actor of color in the role will help more audiences see themselves on screen. Previous Doctors have included Peter Capaldi (The Suicide Squad), Matt Smith (Morbius), David Tennant (Good Omens), Christopher Eccleston (Thor: The Dark World), and Paul McGann (Luther).
Check out the announcement of Gatwa‘s casting from the official series’ Twitter account below: