top of page

Why Ncuti Gatwa is a brilliant casting choice for the new Doctor Who

Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa brings flair and flirtation to the show, and he has so much to offer as the first Black doctor.

Making his debut as the two-hearted Time Lord in 2023, news of Ncuti Gatwa’s casting as the iconic British character was met with huge amounts of praise on social media this weekend.

29-year-old Gatwa, born in Rwanda, will be the 14th Doctor, and an exciting addition to the line-up of stars who have carried the mantel before, from Christopher Eccclestone, to David Tennant, to Jodie Whittaker.

Gatwa is known for his on-screen wit, camp costumes and frank discussions about sexuality in Netflix hit Sex Education. He has never spoken publicly about his own sexuality, but has championed LGBTQ+ issues through his character Eric Effiong.

So, why is he the perfect choice for the next Doctor?

He will breathe new life into the show

Doctor Who’s New Year special reportedly suffered the worst ever ratings, for a show that’s become a British institution.

However, Gatwa has a devoted young viewership, and a huge social media following. Twitter went wild for the casting announcement, and people who are less keen on the show are adamant they will watch it now Gatwa is aboard the TARDIS.

His 2.6 million Instagram followers are eager to see the star take on this more family-friendly role, as well as reprising his character in the next season of Sex Education.

Ncuti Gatwa is popular with viewers and industry big shots alike, having won the Bafta Scotland Award for Best Actor, and also been nominated for the Best Male Comedy Performance Bafta.

He is bringing much needed representation to this show

Rwandan-Scottish Gatwa is the first person of colour to jump into this role and he follows the first woman to play the Doctor. From James Bond to Doctor Who, there has been a massive outcry for greater diversity in British media, and it looks like this is the first step for this to truly come to fruition.

He has phenomenal comic timing

Sex Education has been a game-changing show for the young British acting scene- much like Skins was in the 2000s – bringing stars like Asa Butterfield and Emma Mackey to similar notoriety as Nicholas Hoult and Dev Patel.

But, by far the funniest character on the show, Ncuti Gatwa plays Nigerian-born Eric, who is dealing with coming out, falling in love, and understanding his heritage, all while making us all laugh uncontrollably.

Gatwa delivers lines with a wit and charm that is so refreshing, and he brings lightness to serious issues of gender and sexuality. His iconic “wash your hands, you detty pig” line took over the internet for weeks, and his camp, crazy and courageous character work is as exciting as it is endearing.

Russell T Davies is as obsessed as we are (and it seems the feeling is mutual)

Showrunner Russel T Davies has been so enthusiastic in the comments of the Instagram post Gatwa used to share the news, and posted a glowing selfie of the two of them on the Bafta red carpet.

He told the BBC that Gatwa had impressed him in the audition. “It was our last audition. It was our very last one,” the writer and producer shared.

“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.”

Gatwa also shared gushy comments of his own: “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.”

Russel T Davies has always been eager to champion diverse talent (Alamy/PA)

“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.”

Well, it looks like Davies has a place in Gatwa’s singular heart, and this could be the start of an exciting new partnership in British TV.


South Wales Mag-250x250.jpg
bottom of page