Rwanda-Born Ncuti Gatwa Chosen as 14th Doctor Who

Rwanda-Born Ncuti Gatwa Chosen as 14th Doctor Who

Whovians of the world, rejoice! There’s a new Doctor in the house—number 14 to be exact.

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 The BBC announced yesterday that Ncuti Gatwa, the 29-year-old Sex Education star will be replacing Jodie Whittaker as the acclaimed Doctor Who series enters its sixtieth year.

Gatwa, who was born in Rwanda and raised in Scotland, is understandably thrilled at the news. In a press release, he was quoted as saying “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.

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“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 utmost to do the same. Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show.

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Showrunner Russell T. Davies was equally exuberant, commenting that . “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.”

Since 2017, Whittaker had been the first woman to play Doctor Who, a role she described as “the best job” she ever had. Gatwa, the first Black actor in the leading role, came to prominence as Eric Effiong in the Sex Education series about a fictionalized adventures of students patronizing an underground sex-therapy clinic. He won a Scottish BAFTA Best Actor award for that performance.

It’s a sure bet that audiences will accept a Black actor as the fourteenth Doctor Who just as they accepted the first woman as the thirteenth. Testifying to the magnetic legacy of the iconic sci-fi series over the past sixty years, Zoe Williams wrote in The Guardian: “In the moment the Doctor regenerates, the audience regenerates too: keeps its memory, transfers its passion wholesale. Sometimes I think Doctor Who has a regenerative effect on the whole of society, even the bits that don’t watch it.”

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