Doctor Who and change go together like peanut butter and jelly. The show’s ability to survive and thrive over nearly six decades is because of its rotating cast for both the Doctor and their traveling companions. The latest incarnation of the Doctor broke ground with Jodie Whittaker as the first woman to step into the iconic role. And, with her impending departure, fans knew it would be only a matter of time before we got big news. Who will be the Fourteenth Doctor on Doctor Who? Now we know… and it is glorious news indeed. Rwandan-Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa of Sex Education fame will step into Doctor Who’s beloved TARDIS as the next Doctor.
Gatwa is the first Black man (and the youngest actor) to take on the show’s lead role in a full-time capacity. Recently, Doctor Who did introduce an incarnation of the Doctor (known as Fugitive Doctor), played by the lovely Jo Martin. (Her reveal certainly meant a lot to me.) And many fans wondered if the show would go back to its default of having a white male actor lead the way. But this announcement shows that Doctor Who is continuing to evolve in a bold and brilliant way. The Doctor is, in fact, an alien who presents as human. So they can be whatever they choose. And, it’s thrilling to see that face starting to reflect the show’s diverse global fanbase.
The news came on Mother’s Day in the USA as Ncuti Gatwa and returning showrunner Russell T Davies hit the BAFTA TV Awards red carpet. He spoke briefly about becoming the next Doctor, saying he’d known since February. Ncuti Gatwa jokes around and reveals that the Fourteenth Doctor news was hard to hold in. Why? Because, in his words, he’s terrible at keeping a secret.
As a fan of Doctor Who and Sex Education, Gatwa is such a great choice for the role. He can deliver the high-octane energy, tinge of sadness, chaotic weirdness, gripping gravitas, and wild whimsicalness that our beloved Time Lord possesses. And Gatwa seems like just a general delight in general. His excitement about giving all of his single heart to this role. He’s stylish with a flair and we hope this shows up in his Doctor.
We will get our first glimpse of Ncuti Gatwa as the Fourteenth Doctor sometime in October when Thirteen’s swan song airs. There’s a lot to look forward to: new Doctor, iconic costume, companion(s), and adventures. And I cannot wait to see Ncuti Gatwa at the helm of it all.