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Actor Ncuti Gatwa will play The Doctor in the series Doctor who, The BBC announced Sunday in a historic casting call that marks the first time a person of color has been cast to star in the show’s central role full-time.
Gatwa, 29, best known for his work on the Netflix series sex educationis also among the youngest doctors so far.
“There are no words to describe how I’m feeling. A mixture of deeply honored as well as excited and of course a little scared,” Gatwa said in a press release. “Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart, but I’m giving my all for this show.”
Gatwa was born in Rwanda and grew up in Scotland. He began his professional acting career eight years ago after graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, one of the best performing arts schools in the world.
In the hot Netflix series sex educationGatwa plays the vibrant Eric Effiong, a gay high school student.
As a gay black teenager who is best friends with the show’s main character, Eric’s role could have been a trap of clichés like the “gay sidekick” or “black best friend” for a straight white male lead.
Instead, Eric de Gatwa stands out from the cast with a fully realized personality and inner life. The actor was twice nominated for Best Male Comedy Performance at the British Film and Television Awards.
He becomes the 14th actor to be cast in the iconic role, following the departure of Jodie Whittaker, who was the first woman to play the role when she was cast in 2017.
In 2020, a black person played a variation of the Doctor role for the first time when Jo Martin was cast as the Runaway Doctor.
the new season of Doctor who it is also marked by the return of showrunner Russell T Davies, who helped revive the show in 2005 after a 15-year hiatus. Davies stepped down from the showrunner role in 2009.
“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,” Davies said. “Ncuti dazzled us, grabbed the Doctor and had the TARDIS keys in seconds.”