Russell T Davies raves about Ncuti Gatwa’s ‘new but faithful’ Doctor Who: ‘So good!’

Ncuti Gatwa (L) and Russell T Davies (R) as Davies teases new Doctor Who season.

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies has teased an explosive entrance for Ncuti Gatwa’s run as the Doctor in the British sci-fi show.

It was announced Gatwa would step into the shoes of the beloved time and space-travelling alien last year, and he will appear on screens as the fifteenth Doctor at the end of 2023.

The Sex Education star makes history as the first full-time Black Doctor, following in the footsteps of fugitive Doctor Jo Martin, as It’s A Sin‘s Russell T Davies returns to helm the series.

After Radio Times announced Gatwa as the most impactful TV personality in 2022, Davies told the magazine: “Sometimes you know you’ve got a secret. And you hold it close to your chest and let it burn, because secrets are so delicious.

“I’ve got that right now, because my secret is seeing Ncuti with Millie Gibson [new companion] on the rushes of Doctor Who, every single day, and oh my God, this is so good!”

The show is reaching new heights with a global partnership with Disney+, and Davies is ready for Gatwa’s Doctor be the perfect blend of old and new.

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Ncuti Gatwa (L) and Russell T Davies (R) on the day Gatwa was announced as the Doctor. (Getty)
Ncuti Gatwa (L) and Russell T Davies (R) on the day Gatwa was announced as the Doctor. (Getty)

“I can promise you a completely new Doctor, and yet a Doctor utterly faithful to the 60 years that came before. Soon, the secret will be out, and we’ll all be dancing!” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Gatwa himself shared his experiences on set. Given he was initially filming alongside his final season of Netflix’ Sex Education as Eric, he admitted it was a “tough start”.

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“It has been so much fun having full rein to explore and find the character. It truly is the funnest role and the action never stops,” he added.

The BBC’s chief content officer, Charlotte Moore, echoed: “[Gatwa] has an incredible dynamism. He’s a striking and fearless actor whose talent and energy are boundless.

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

“From what I’ve seen so far – no spoilers – he’s going to set the world alight and take Doctor Who on extraordinary adventures when he takes charge of the TARDIS.”

The new era of the series, following on from Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill’s final season, promises more representation than ever before.

The 60th anniversary specials will feature Heartstopper star and trans icon Yasmin Finney, while trans actor Pete MacHale will join Gatwa’s cast as the first trans man cast in the classic British TV show.

Davies continues his legacy of LGBTQ+ inclusivity in the show, with queer characters such as Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie), Yaz (Mandip Gill) and the first trans character 474 (Bethany Black).

Gatwa has also spoken about the importance of representation on screen. “[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,” he said in October.

“[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.”

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Doctor Who will return to screens in November. Seasons one to 13 are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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