Ncuti Gatwa poses for photographers upon arrival for the British Academy Television Awards in London, on June 6, 2021. Photo: AP file
entertainment

New ‘Doctor Who’ star is ‘Sex Education’ actor Ncuti Gatwa

61 Comments

Ncuti Gatwa will take the mantle from Jodie Whittaker on “Doctor Who,” the BBC announced Sunday, ending speculation over the iconic Time Lord's next regeneration.

"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," returning showrunner Russell T Davies said in the broadcaster's release. “Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds.”

Gatwa, whose first name is pronounced 'SHOO-tee, currently stars in Netflix’s high school comedy-drama “Sex Education” as the effervescent Eric Effiong, who is openly gay but from a highly religious family.

The Rwanda-born, Scotland-raised Gatwa, 29, will be the first Black actor to helm the quintessential British sci-fi show, but he won’t be the first Black Doctor — Jo Martin has played “Fugitive Doctor” in several episodes.

Whittaker became the 13th Doctor — and the first woman to play the central galaxy-hopping, extraterrestrial Time Lord who regenerates into new bodies — in 2017, when she took over from Peter Capaldi. Her last episode of “Doctor Who” is expected to air later this year.

The original run of “Doctor Who” spanned 1963 to 1989. Since the show was revived in 2005, the Doctor has been played by Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith, in addition to Capaldi and Whittaker. Other stars, like Karen Gillan and Billie Piper, have made their names on the show as the Doctor's “companion.”

“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 endeavor my utmost to do the same,” the release quoted Gatwa — who described his emotions as “a mix of deeply honored, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared” — as saying.

In addition to seeing the start of Gatwa's tenure, next year also marks Davies' return to “Doctor Who” after more than a decade's absence.

“Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true,” Gatwa said.

The writer and producer ran the reboot until 2009, and has worked on shows like “A Very English Scandal” and “It's A Sin” in the interim. He promises a “spectacular” 2023.

“Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show," Gatwa added.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

61 Comments
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At this point do any real fans watch anymore?. The BBC needs to be put out to pasture.

7 ( +22 / -15 )

As expected with the BBC, a politically correct casting.

14 ( +28 / -14 )

Having watched the show since the first episode I was disappointed when it was ended in 1989 and delighted with the reboot for some years but it has just become a woke political correct propaganda diatribe. I felt sorry for Jodi Whittaker, a good actress whose other performances I enjoyed though she wasn’t right for Doctor Who but she wasn’t given a chance either with the dire scripts they lumbered her with.

Sad to say after all these decades I very much doubt that I shall be watching.

15 ( +23 / -8 )

This is a weird choice that doesn't bode well for the next series

7 ( +20 / -13 )

Dr Who has always been a series where the producers try and experiment with new things, it is part of its "tradiction". Sometimes very good things are the result, other times the opposite, I think it is worth seeing how the series go before making a judgment.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Dr Who?

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

I'm out

5 ( +17 / -12 )

For me, it's all about the writing. On and off for some time, but overall, pretty disappointing.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Now what's next, a transgender James Bond ?..

0 ( +16 / -16 )

Now what's next, a transgender James Bond ?..

Trans immigrant of color Bond ;)

5 ( +15 / -10 )

umbrellaToday  07:41 am JST

As expected with the BBC, a politically correct casting.

If the original Dr. Who series didn't go off the air in 1989, this wouldn't be a woke/PC issue at all. Didn't Dr. Who morph into 'new' bodies and forms thruout the original show? However, like most (if not all) reboots, I haven't bothered with this show and have no desire too.

SkepticalToday  09:23 am JST

For me, it's all about the writing. On and off for some time, but overall, pretty disappointing.

So many franchises I grew up have gotten so 'foo-bar'. They've strayed from the original intent and just ain't fun anymore.

TokyoLivingToday  09:30 am JST

Now what's next, a transgender James Bond ?..

The opening credits for 'Goldeneye' (1995) showed several (Russian?) beauties smashing Communist hammer-and-sickle statues with sledgehammers. And M was now a woman who criticized Bond for being a 'pig'. I don't remember much else of it, to be honest. The humor is gone, the thrill is gone.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Oh, boy....here we go again....

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Count me out, too.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Yes, I'm sure acting talents were the only consideration here.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

Sigh

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Loved the original black and whites (DVD)

Showrunner Russell T Davies aided and abetted by the BBC took a wonderful rickety, hide behind the sofa cover your eyes we will exterminate extravaganza into a diversity, equality, inclusion woke workspace.

Ncuti Gatwa is just the next victim of Davis wooden scripts.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The Doctor started to get too stupid and too noisy sometime during the Matt Smith era. Before that, the Christopher Eccleston/David Tennant-led reboot worked like a charm. No amount of tinkering is going to save it now, unless this guy Gatwa works some kind of miracle - and with tired old Russell T Davies at the helm, I reckon the chances of that happening are about 10%.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Next to be case as Queen of England in a BBC series is Meghan Markle.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

No thanks.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

@TokyoLiving

Now what's next, a transgender James Bond ?

You know it is already the case, right ?

Irene Adler ? Moriarty the Patriot ? Rings a bell ?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

BBC loves it’s box ticking. I’m only surprised they didn’t manage to get Alex Scott in there, she normally ticks all of the boxes for the BBC in one go.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

bass4funkToday  11:21 am JST

...here we go again....

You chose that expression quite deliberately, right?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

SeigiToday  01:12 pm JST

Next to be case as Queen of England in a BBC series is Meghan Markle.

I thought they wanted to get Idris Elba.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Can't quite work out whether those offended are upset because he's black or gay. Seems to me that of all the characters in fiction where ethnicity/sexuality really don't matter, it's this one.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Went downhill as Matt Smith as the Doctor and never got better again.

Hard pass!!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Gee. These must be the grumpiest comments I've seen on this site. Quite a contrast to Ncuti Gatwa himself who seems a really happy guy. (And with a number of acting awards.)

Can't quite work out whether those offended are upset because he's black or gay.

Or because they're no longer 8-years old when you're supposed to enjoy Doctor Who the most.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I couldn't get into the last Dr Who it wasn't because of a woman but because of the story line or lack there of... I couldn't even get through the first episode.

If the story line is better this time round it could be good. I will at least try to watch the first episode.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It is irreverent if the subject matter is gender specific or otherwise it is a family orientated fun experience.

Both showrunners Chris Chibnall, Russell T Davies and yes the BBC agenda was to preach diversity, equality, inclusion front center.

Why not just admit it, and be done with it, it is licence player money!!!!!!!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

the BBC agenda was to preach diversity, equality, inclusion front center

Struggling to see what's wrong with that in a children's science-fiction drama.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Hopefully, they will set the series in Rwanda where Mr Gatwa can save the African continent for a change ?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I'm not sure why Japan Today cares. Doctor Who is a very niche program in Japan, and barely registers among Japanese pop culture fans. Yes, you can buy DVD's at Tsutaya and other retail places, but I don't believe it was ever on air on Japanese TV.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

WhiskeyGaloreToday  07:58 pm JST

I'm not sure why Japan Today cares. Doctor Who is a very niche program in Japan, and barely registers among Japanese pop culture fans. Yes, you can buy DVD's at Tsutaya and other retail places, but I don't believe it was ever on air on Japanese TV.

It was on NHK-E around 2005-7. I doubt if the NHK old boys really understood what they'd bought the rights for, I suspect they thought they were getting a hospital drama.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Paustovsky, Children want to run behind the sofa, they want to scream about a fictitious alien motorised trolley pretending to be a Darek or a Cybermen.

The fun factor, the scary unimageable, that both Mum and Dad need to check all the closets and spaces for before a bed time story.

I wish i could revisit Dad and Mum wonderful stories

4 ( +4 / -0 )

PaustovskyToday  07:39 pm JST

"the BBC agenda was to preach diversity, equality, inclusion front center"

Struggling to see what's wrong with that in a children's science-fiction drama.

Certain writers do like to loudly indicate what they're doing, though. It kind of detracts from the science fiction and the drama.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Paustovsky that is Dr Who my friend

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Dr Who can be whatever the viewer wants it to be family friendly first , must be scary, that scream factor but devoid of any reference to a political message.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Whoa it's only a TV series, lighten up folks

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You chose that expression quite deliberately, right?

No, I was saying it as in "Not this crap again" I am always specific in what I was trying to convey.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

An admittedly odd choice in my opinion but I did like the actor in Sex Education, which is so funny and kept my spirits up after I finished the even funnier Derry Girls, so we'll see. David Tennant will forever remain my favorite Doctor though.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

bass4funkToday  10:43 pm JST

You chose that expression quite deliberately, right?

No, I was saying it as in "Not this crap again"

Not because it's a line from the series that sometimes gets used when a new actor takes over, then.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Not because it's a line from the series that sometimes gets used when a new actor takes over, then.

I am aware of that, I am just saying that, but is it really necessary to push the issue? Really? I think not.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

BigYenMay 9  12:34 pm JST

The Doctor started to get too stupid and too noisy sometime during the Matt Smith era. Before that, the Christopher Eccleston/David Tennant-led reboot worked like a charm. No amount of tinkering is going to save it now, unless this guy Gatwa works some kind of miracle - and with tired old Russell T Davies at the helm, I reckon the chances of that happening are about 10%.

Since Dr. Who was always changing into new bodies, it doesn't make any difference to me if a female Briton or a Black Briton or anybody portrays this character. That's fine, alright, OK.

But we need storylines and plots in episodes that make it all worth the time to even bother watching it in the first place. We need good writers and directors. And that's sadly and sorely lacking now.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Dr Who has always been a series where the producers try and experiment with new things, it is part of its "tradiction". Sometimes very good things are the result, other times the opposite,

It's kind of like every series takes this approach.

The original run of “Doctor Who” spanned 1963 to 1989. Since the show was revived in 2005, the Doctor has been played by Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith, in addition to Capaldi and Whittaker. Other stars, like Karen Gillan and Billie Piper, have made their names on the show as the Doctor's “companion.”

A career almost as long as The Who.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"[Ncuti] Gatwa, whose first name is pronounced 'SHOO-tee..."

And co-starring will be Xź'žqqďšxźjł, whose name is pronounced "Bob"

Seriously...phonetic spelling is nice. We have different letters for different pronunciations for a reason. If you don't like the Latin alphabet, feel free to use another. I spell my name phonetically when using English (latin alphabet), but I can use Hangeul.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Everybody: Why is doctor who portrayed as black and female?

Me: why is doctor who not portrayed as a Dalek, zarbi, voord, or other alien? Why doesn't doctor who speak with an alien accent or at least a non-british one (eh american, Russian, kiwi)?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Always excited to see a new Doctor. What I am worried about is the return of Russell T Davies, the schmaltz king who will oversee the Disneyfication of Doctor Who in the next series.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Umbrella ,just because you are enlightened the progress , minority have made,deal with it

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Nope

0 ( +2 / -2 )

He ticks many of the boxes, shame he isn't in a wheelchair to get the full house.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Seriously...phonetic spelling is nice. We have different letters for different pronunciations for a reason. If

Have you not noticed that we don't always have phonetically spelt words in English? "Know" springs to mind, for example.

And it is not your place to pass judgement on how someone of a completely different heritage and foreign name.

After all, even in England a place called Woolfardisworthy is pronounced "Woolzery".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

At least the new Doctor will be a MAN this time!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Seems to me that of all the characters in fiction where ethnicity/sexuality really don't matter, it's this one.

Tell that to the producers, to whom it obviously does matter. It's all part of their agenda.

Such a waste that a show that can be set anywhere in time or space with anybody playing Dr. confines itself to the America/Europe in the 21st century and whatever the latest trend is in social mores. All written with a tin ear for dialog, no decent story and a lecturing narrative. It's as though the show is run by people who hate science fiction.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Dr Who, is not stand alone, I barely managed two episodes of season four of Star Trek Discovery.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@commanteer, if by "agenda" you mean "having a diverse cast doing stuff" instead of "straight white men doing stuff" then I'm not sure what the problem is. It turns out that in real life women, gay people, and people of different enthnicities also do stuff. Why this is a bad thing in a program aimed at kids, I cannot imagine.

I do, however, agree with you on some of the criticisms of the writing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

painkillerToday  01:00 am JST

Dr Who has always been a series where the producers try and experiment with new things, it is part of its "tradiction". Sometimes very good things are the result, other times the opposite,

It's kind of like every series takes this approach.

The original run of “Doctor Who” spanned 1963 to 1989. Since the show was revived in 2005, the Doctor has been played by Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith, in addition to Capaldi and Whittaker. Other stars, like Karen Gillan and Billie Piper, have made their names on the show as the Doctor's “companion.”

A career almost as long as The Who.

The Who put out their 'final' studio band album 40 years ago this year. Since then it's been practically nothing notable but 'reunion' tours a la Eagles stealing patrons' money. Who are they? It's just Roger and Pete now, a half Who - that's Who. Sad and pathetic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

kurisupisu:

Hopefully, they will set the series in Rwanda where Mr Gatwa can save the African continent for a change ?

Maybe Priti Patel can make a cameo.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Bring back stories that develop over multiple episodes.

And here's my million pound sterling idea: Have a "converted" dalek act as one of the doctor's companions.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

People always get upset when the Doctor changes, as they grow fairly attached. I quite like Gatwa, and I could see him being a pretty good Doctor. I think he has a pretty good charisma that lends itself to the role. Does that make him the youngest Doctor we've had?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Addfwyn. Matt Smith was 26 when he became the Doctor.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Will always have a soft spot for the Doctor, but I haven't watched it since Peter Capaldi took the role. I didn't like that he was the Doctor without any reference to his character in the spinoff (kind of) Torchwood, although I like Capaldi himself. Good luck to the new Doctor. I am sure I will catch it at some point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sex education and Dr Who.

I bet the LGBTQ and LGBT community are anxiously chomping at the bit to watch that.

A doctor with a identify crisis and sex education.

Oh...my !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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