After months of speculation, Ncuti Gatwa, star of Sex Education, has been announced as the next Doctor in Doctor Who. The 29-year-old will become the 14th Doctor after Jodie Whittaker announced that she would be leaving the role last July.
It must come as a surprise to many as Ncuti was never on any who will be the next Doctor scorecards that I have seen. He will be the fourth Scot to play the Doctor, following in the footsteps of Sylvester McCoy, David Tennant and Peter Capaldi.
No doubt, being Scottish isn’t the first thing people will see about him and having a black Doctor may split the fandom even more than having a woman play the Doctor. The anti-woke mob will be clutching their pearls and rending their garments.
For some having a black actor play Doctor will seem like a natural evolution and something we’ve been expecting for a long time, but in this current climate of culture wars, the fandom will be a hotbed of vitriol.
Speaking of his new role, Ncuti said: “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 upmost to do the same.
“Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself, and working with him is a dream come true. His writing is dynamic, exciting, incredibly intelligent and fizzing with danger. An actor’s metaphorical playground. The entire team have been so welcoming and truly give their hearts to the show. And so, as much as it’s daunting, I’m aware I’m joining a really supportive family. Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart, but I am giving it all to this show.”
Returning showrunner Russell T Davies commented: “The future is here, and it’s Ncuti! Sometimes talent walks through the door, and it’s so bright and bold and brilliant that 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!”
I’m looking forward to seeing what Russell T Davies has in store for us and wish Ncuti the best in his new role. I hope the fandom treats him kindly.