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After Doctor Who Reveals The New Doctor Actor, Russell T. Davies Explains How Ncuti Gatwa Landed The Role

Ncuti Gatwa on Sex Education
(Image credit: Netflix)

After months of speculation surrounding the 14th Doctor (and even some rumors involving Hugh Grant), Doctor Who has finally announced the next actor to lead its franchise. Actor Ncuti Gatwa will step into the role following Jodie Whittaker’s exit, and returning showrunner Russell T. Davies sounds absolutely thrilled for the fandom to see him play the part. With this, the producer explained how Gatwa won the role.

Following the official announcement, Russell T. Davies spoke to the media about his incoming Doctor and why Ncuti Gatwa was right for Doctor Who. BBC News talked to Gatwa and Russell T. Davies on the BAFTA TV Awards red carpet, during which the incoming showrunner recalled the circumstances surrounding Gatwa's audition: 

He has talent. It was the most blazing audition. It was our last audition. It was our very last one. We thought we had someone and in he came and stole it. Genuinely. I watched Sex Education, I loved his work. I didn't know quite what we were going to get until I was in the room, and meeting Ncuti it's just going to be a joy. I'm properly, properly, thrilled. It's going to be a blazing future.

He's clearly high on the actor playing The Doctor. As you'd expect, the showrunner wanted to pick the best person for the job with Doctor Who, and Ncuti Gatwa obviously wouldn’t have it if Davies didn’t believe he was the one who would knock it out of the park. It is a bit surprising to hear the team nearly settled on another person ahead of Gatwa’s audition, however, so I’m eager to see what he did that blew the casting team away. (Though I suppose his work on Sex Education is already a strong indicator of his abilities.)

This big announcement comes after previous rumors that Russell T. Davies would bring back David Tennant and other previous Doctors for the 60th anniversary. There’s no word at this time as to whether something like that is happening in some shape or form, as Davies only spoke about his new star. He also shared a bit about Jodie Whittaker’s reaction to the casting:

In my job, it's always a thrill to get to work with new talent. Like the It's A Sin cast. It's what drives me everyday. Doctor Who always has something new to say. We're not giving anything away yet, and Jodie's still The Doctor. We love Jodie. We spoke to her yesterday, she's so happy about this. But we're going to keep quiet. It's all gonna happen in 2023.

Some fans worried an announcement ahead of Jodie Whittaker’s departure might feel disrespectful, though it sounds like Whittaker is excited and Russell T. Davies is going about things the right way for now. At least, if nothing else, the rampant speculation can end, and fans can get ready for a future with Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor. 

Doctor Who doesn’t have a new episode coming until this fall, but anyone with an HBO Max subscription can currently binge their favorite episodes featuring past Doctors. Now might be a great time to check out some of our thoughts on the best episodes of the reboot era as you imagine what great experiences Ncuti Gatwa will give fans during his upcoming stint.

Mick Joest
Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.