Russell T Davies discusses Ncuti Gatwa’s ‘thunderbolt’ Doctor Who audition

Doctor Who‘s Russell T Davies has described Ncuti Gatwa‘s audition to play the Time Lord’s fourteenth incarnation as “thunderbolt”.

Gatwa, best known for his portrayal of the iconic Eric Effiong in Netflix’s Sex Education, has been honoured in the 2022 Time 100 Next list, with Davies writing his tribute.

Davies, who is returning as showrunner for Doctor Who, wrote: “I’d watched him onscreen, and thought I had the measure of him, until he walked into the room for Doctor Who audition. Bang! Thunderbolt.

“And bear in mind, for UK TV, the part of the Doctor is the Crown Jewels, it’s history, it’s tradition.

“He’s conquered the world. Now all of time and space is his.”

Russell T Davies attends the 2019 Attitude Awards

Russell T Davies has praised Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor Who audition (Getty Images/ Joe Maher)

Davies also praised Gatwa’s portrayal of Eric in Sex Education, saing while gay characters are often reduced to a ‘gay best friend’ stereotype, this was not the case for Gatwa’s creation.

“Ncuti Gatwa’s creation of Eric Effiong in Netflix’s Sex Education went soaring around the world. The character of the gay sidekick is meant to stay in the shadows. Not Eric!

“He strutted in, stole the spotlight, and I think a gracious, awestruck cast simply stood back and allowed him the room.

“The man is like a thunderbolt, and he keeps winning new ground.”

Ncuti Gatwa

Ncuti Gatwa at the BAFTA TV Awards. (Getty)

Gatwa responded to Davies’s comments and Times100 nomination via an Instagram post, writing: “Thank you @time for this incredible honour. And thank you @russelltdavies63 .. your words are a constant blessing in my life it seems.”

Davies responded with the comment: “Time. Lord.”


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Trans actress Yasmin Finney also recently joined the cast of the new Doctor Who series, and confirmed that her character will be trans in the show.