Ncuti Gatwa, star of ‘Sex Education’, will be the next ‘Doctor Who’

Ncuti Gatwa will take on the mantle of Jodie Whittaker in “Doctor who“, the BBC announced on Sunday, ending speculation about the iconic Time Lord’s upcoming regeneration.

“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 in the network’s statement. “Ncuti dazzled us, grabbed the Doctor and had the TARDIS keys in seconds.”

Gatwa will make his debut as the 14th Time Lord in 2023, according to BBC News.

Speaking on the BAFTA TV Awards red carpet, Gatwa told BBC News that “it’s really amazing. It’s a real honor. This role is such an institution and it’s so iconic.”

Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards 2022 - Special Access Arrivals
Ncuti Gatwa attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 8, 2022 in London, England.

Images by Tristan Fewings/Getty

Gatwa, whose first name is pronounced ‘SHOO-tee’, currently stars in the Netflix dramedy “Sex Education” as the effervescent Eric Effiong, who is openly gay but from a highly religious family.

Gatwa, born in Rwanda and raised in Scotland, 29, will be the first black actor to direct the quintessential British sci-fi show, but he won’t be the first black doctor – Jo Martin has played “Fugitive Doctor” in multiple episodes.

Whittaker became the 13th Doctor – and the first woman to play the extraterrestrial, galaxy-hopping Time Lord who regenerates into new bodies – in 2017, when she replaced Peter Capaldi. Her latest episode of “Doctor Who” is due to air later this year.

The original “Doctor Who” series ran from 1963 to 1989. Since the show was revived in 2005, the Doctor has been played by Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith, in addition to Capaldi and Whittaker. Other stars, such as Karen Gillan and Billie Piper, have made their names on the show as “companions” of the Doctor.

“This role and show mean so much to so many around the world, myself included, and each of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled this unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care. The release quoted Gatwa – who described his emotions as “a mix of deeply honored as well as excited and of course a little scared” – as saying.

In addition to seeing the start of Gatwa’s tenure, the next year also marks Davies’ return to “Doctor Who” after more than a decade of absence.

“Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true,” said Gatwa.

The writer and producer directed the reboot until 2009 and worked on shows like “A Very English Scandal” and “It’s A Sin” in the interim. It promises a “spectacular” 2023.

“Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart, but I’m giving my all for this show,” Gatwa added.

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