‘Doctor Who’: Ncuti Gatwa Makes History as Next Lead in BBC Series

Photo by Carlo Paloni/BAFTA/Shutterstock (12610898ad) Ncuti Gatwa British Academy Scotland Awards, Arrivals, Glasgow, Scotland, UK - 20 Nov 2021

Ncuti Gatwa has been cast as the first Black actor to play The Doctor in Doctor Who.

Gatwa, who is best known for his performance in the Netflix series Sex Education, becomes the 14th Time Lord on the popular science fiction series, the BBC announced Sunday.

“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,” Gatwa said in a statement. “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.”

Gatwa, 29, was born in Rwanda and comes from Scotland.

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Showrunner Russell T Davies said the actor wowed show executives in the audition process.

“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,” Davies said. “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.”

Gatwa replaces Jodie Whittaker, who is leaving the series after becoming the first woman to play The Doctor in 2017.

“My heart is so full of love for this show, for the team who make it, for the fans who watch it and for what it has brought to my life,” Whitaker said last July when she announced she was leaving the series.