Ncuti Gatwa, who has been officially announced as the next Doctor Who, has released a statement on his casting, discussing his love for the show.
Ncuti Gatwa, who has just been announced as the new Doctor in the BBC’s long-running science fiction series Doctor Who, has opened up on his historic casting as the iconic timelord. One of the central tenants of Doctor Who‘s unique identity is the ability to regularly change its leading actor – in the series, the Doctor has the ability to change their physical appearance when close to death and “regenerate” into a new body, which has been an integral part of the show since 1966. The idea was originally developed in order for Doctor Who to continue after William Hartnell became too ill to carry on in the title role, and has since kept the series running for almost six decades. But the concept has also allowed the show itself to frequently “regenerate”, with each new Doctor often bringing a new showrunner, visual style and interpretation of the character, ensuring that Doctor Who constantly remains fresh and diverse.
It was announced in July last year that Jodie Whittaker, who currently plays the thirteenth incarnation of the Doctor, will leave the series in the final of three specials aired across 2022, along with current showrunner Chris Chibnall. It was then later confirmed that former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies would be returning to the BBC after 13 years to helm the program’s 60th anniversary as well as the subsequent 14th series. Whittaker’s successor as the timelord remained a mystery, though, with speculation running rife among the fanbase as to who will play the new Doctor. It was officially revealed earlier today in a surprise announcement by the BBC that Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa will play the 14th Doctor. This marks another historic first for the show as Gatwa will be the first BIPOC actor to play the timelord as a series lead.
Gatwa has also released an incredibly poignant statement on his casting in the role. Disclosed as part of the official announcement on the Doctor Who Website, the actor outlines how he feels “deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared” about portraying the time-travelling hero. Check-out the new Doctor’s first full statement on the role here:
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 being able to work 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.
Gatwa’s claim that “[the] show means so much to so many…including myself” indicates that the actor is a huge Doctor Who fan himself, much like his predecessors David Tennant and Peter Capaldi. The actor also suggests that he is particularly fond of Davies’ first era as Doctor Who‘s showrunner, which ran between 2005 and 2010. His claim that working with the writer “is a dream come true” and that “Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself” implies that Gatwa grew-up watching the first few series of the show’s revival that starred Christopher Eccleston and Tennant as the timelord. Although the “daunting” prospect of being the 14th Doctor has left the actor feeling “a little bit scared“, his excitement and determination to “giving all [his heart] to this show” is palpable.
Along with the historic nature of his casting, as well as the enduring popularity of his character Eric in Sex Education, it will likely be an additional bonus for many fans of the sci-fi series that Gatwa is clearly a huge Doctor Who fan himself. This was certainly a factor that worked well for Tennant’s fan-favorite Tenth Doctor and although it remains unclear precisely when audiences will get their first glimpse of the 14th Doctor in action, Gatwa’s statement and his relationship with Doctor Who will no doubt reassure many devotees that the role is in very safe hands.
More: What Russell T Davies’ Recent Work Reveals About His Doctor Who Return
Source: Doctor Who Website
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