Ncuti Gatwa says it feels ‘really powerful’ to star in Doctor Who as a Rwandan immigrant

Ncuti Gatwa will join the show as the 15th Doctor. (Getty)

Ncuti Gatwa, set to join Doctor Who as the 15th Doctor in 2023, has spoken about what the show means for “marginalised people”.

Gatwa joins the show as the first permanent non-white Doctor, and many have already hailed the casting decision after his stand out performance in hit Netflix show Sex Education.

The new Russell T Davies-led era of Doctor Who began its roll out on Monday (25 October) with a brand new logo and a major distribution deal with Disney+.

During an event celebrating the partnership between the Disney and BBC, Gatwa reflected on what it meant to represent such a culturally iconic British role.

“My mouth gets paralysed by the concept of playing this role,” he began.

“[The role] is so deep in British culture and the fabric of Britishness that as a Rwandan immigrant to the country, it just feels really powerful.

“[Doctor Who] matters for people of colour, for marginalised people who really gravitate towards the show because it’s about friendship and it’s about adventure and its about union and unity.

“And also the Doctor is able to turn into anything or anyone, so the possibilities are endless. So the fact that that mission is going out to lots of people, that the possibilities are endless, is extremely cool.”
After his role was announced earlier this year, fans caught their first look at him as the Doctor in the teaser trailer for the upcoming season at the end of Jodie Whittaker’s finale.

Ncuti Gatwa's first look as the Doctor. (BBC Studios)

Ncuti Gatwa’s first look as the Doctor. (BBC Studios)

Doctor Who has a long legacy of have diverse and representative characters and plots. The latest season saw a burgeoning romance between the Doctor and her companion Yaz.

Alongside the new launch, Ncuti Gatwa also did his first official Q&A as the 15th Doctor and revealed his dream trip on the TARDIS.

“I would take my trades to Africa. To Nigeria. I would love for the Doctor to meet the Orisha which were a set of gods in Nigerian mythology. And I think he would have a lovely old time there.”

Although viewers know what to expect for the 60th anniversary, with David Tennant returning as the Doctor and Catherine Tate as companion Donna Noble, Ncuti Gatwa’s run is still shrouded in mystery.

“There are some extraordinary storylines for this season,” he teased.

“I’m going to be very very busy.”

Doctor Who will return in November 2023.