David Tennant delivers verdict on Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor Who era after ‘creeping onto set’
David Tennant has delivered his verdict on Ncuti Gatwa’s upcoming Doctor Who era, as the Scottish actor prepares to reprise the role of The Doctor himself in the show’s 60th anniversary specials this month.
Former companion Donna Noble (played Catherine Tate) will return opposite Tennant’s Doctor later this month before Gatwa takes over as the 15th Doctor in time for the festive special, alongside new companion Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson).
The trio of 60th anniversary special episodes – titled “The Star Beast”, “Wild Blue Yonder” and “The Giggle” – star a host of LGBTQ+ talent including trans star Yasmin Finney as Donna’s daughter Rose, Neil Patrick Harris as classic Who antagonist the Toymaker, and national treasure Miriam Margolyes as the adorably villainous Beep the Meep.
And there are plenty more queer guest stars in Gatwa’s upcoming episodes, which are set to feature musical theatre icon Jonathan Groff, Drag Race legend Jinkx Monsoon and rising trans screen stars Mary Malone and Pete MacHale.
As LGBTQ+ fans gear up for this new era of Doctor Who – helmed by returning showrunner and Queer as Folk creator Russell T Davies – Tennant shared his joy at the Sex Education star’s take on the gender-bending, space-and-time travelling alien.
In a wide-ranging interview with SFX magazine, the Good Omens actor offered his observations of Gatwa. “I have managed to admire, from afar, a little bit of Ncuti,” Tennant said, according to GamesRadar.
“I’ve been sneaky. I’ve been sniffing around the studios today, and I may have crept on set at one point. God, he’s good casting. It’s very exciting to think about what’s gonna happen to the show when he takes over.”
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Tennant’s sentiment was echoed by Davies after Gatwa’s casting was announced in 2022, when the screenwriter spoke about the audition that landed Gatwa the coveted Time Lord role.
“I’d watched him onscreen, and thought I had the measure of him,” Davies said at the time, “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.”
If predications are anything to go by, Finney is another star who will be sharing some onscreen time with Gatwa, who came out publicly as queer earlier this year. The 19-year-old star reflected on working with him in an interview with the Evening Standard.
“Two Black, queer, magic actors on screen together?” Finney said. “It was bound to happen, the universe was bound to connect the lines. We’re intertwined, and I think we complement each other so well. We see how privileged we are.”
Doctor Who returns on Saturday, 25 November with “The Star Beast” on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK. It will release on Disney+ globally.
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