While past new Doctor announcements were treated with a bit more pomp, the BBC did take some time at the BAFTAs yesterday to announce the person stepping into our favorite Time Lord’s shoes after Jodie Whittaker departs: Ncuti Gatwa.
Gatwa is best known for the role of Eric Effiong on Netflix’s Sex Education (pictured above), a role that has won him a BAFTA and plenty of accolades. (The character also has a distinctly Doctor-esque wardrobe, which makes a fan wonder what sort of outfit he’ll be getting…) He’s not quite the youngest actor to take on the role at twenty-nine—that still goes to Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor—but he’s still quite a bit younger than most of his predecessors, which speaks to his marked talent.
Upcoming (and also former) showrunner Russell T Davies had this to say about Gatwa’s casting:
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. I’m sure you’re dying to know more, but we’re rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie’s epic finale yet to come. But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!
And Gatwa had this to say about taking on the role:
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 utmost to do the same.
The actor also made mention that he’s incredibly excited to be working with Davies’ scripts, and appreciates how welcoming the Doctor Who team has been. Gatwa will begin filming his first episodes as the Doctor very soon, so hopefully we’ll get more information, particularly on that costume reveal! The current Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, will take her final bow sometime in the coming fall.