For decades, for over half a century in fact, the ever-regenerating hero of Doctor Who was a white man. Five years ago, that finally changed. Jodie Whittaker became the 13th incarnation of the one known only as “The Doctor,” making her the first woman to assume the role. The actress announced she was stepping down from the role, but her replacement won’t be another white man, or another woman for that matter.
Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa, who was born in Rwanda, is best known for starring in Netflix’s sitcom Sex Education.
He told BBC News: “It feels really amazing. It’s a true honour. This role is an institution and it’s so iconic.”
Speaking on the red carpet before Sunday’s Bafta TV Awards, where he is nominated for Sex Education, Gatwa said the role of the Doctor “means a lot to so many people, including myself”.
He added: “I feel very grateful to have had the baton handed over and I’m going to try to do my best.”
Gatwa will make his debut as the Time Lord in 2023.
Showrunner Russell T Davies said Gatwa had impressed him in a “blazing” audition.
“It was our last audition. It was our very last one,” the writer and producer said. “We thought we had someone, and then in he came and stole it.
“I’m properly, properly thrilled. It’s going to be a blazing future.”
The Queer As Folk and It’s A Sin creator, who is returning to Doctor Who after departing in 2009, posted a selfie with Gatwa on the Baftas red carpet.
The actor is nominated for the Bafta for best male performance in a comedy programme for the third year in a row for playing Eric in Sex Education.
As well as being nominated, he presented the Bafta for best scripted comedy at Sunday’s ceremony, and received a loud round of applause as he walked on stage.
He has already won a Scottish Bafta and a Rose d’Or Award for Sex Education.
The future is here! Ncuti Gatwa is the Doctor. ?????? #DoctorWho
— Doctor Who (@bbcdoctorwho) May 8, 2022
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) May 8, 2022