Doctor Who’s Ncuti Gatwa on why show reminds us ‘there is always hope’
Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa embarks on his first adventure as the 15th Doctor on Christmas Day and he has one festive mission – to spread hope.
The 30-year-old Sex Education star will make history as the first queer Black actor to take over the TARDIS in the British sci-fi series’ wide-spanning 60-year history. Following the return of showrunner Russell T Davies, Gatwa will star opposite Millie Gibson as companion Ruby Sunday in the upcoming season, which premieres in 2024.
Meanwhile the series – which has already aired its first two 60th anniversary specials starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate – has continued made its progressive stance clear, championing LGBTQ+ characters and starring a diverse range of actors.
Reflecting on Davies’ approach to storytelling, Gatwa said: “He’s dealing with such existential crises and huge issues channelled in a really artistic, creative sci-fi way.”
You may like to watch
He continued: “Hope is certainly something he has put into these scripts. I was speaking to him the other day – not as actor to producer or Doctor to showrunner, just as Ncuti to Russell. We were talking about the world. I was like, ‘I just think it’s just not in a good place is it, and I don’t think it is going to get better, Russell. It seems like the human race is kind of useless!’
“All of us. White, Black, whoever. We’re all kind of useless on this planet – we keep chopping down trees, you’ve got bloody Suella chatting rubbish. How are we gonna get better?’.”
Gatwa went on: “And [Davies] said ‘Ncuti, you can’t not have hope. You have to have hope in life. And you have to have hope in the fact that we are useless, but we’re also full of amazingness and wonder. Hope is what saves us’.”
The actor then pointed to his full name, Mizero Ncuti Gatwa, explaining that Mizero means ‘hope’.
“So I must remember to have hope. Because what else is there? And this show always reminds me of that. There’s always hope at the end of each episode,” Gatwa concluded.
It’s not the first time Gatwa has spoken about the power of having a Black man as the face of a British TV institution.
In October 2022, during the launch of Doctor Who’s partnership with Disney+, Gatwa said: “[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.”
Meanwhile, in a recent interview with GQ magazine, Gatwa explained that he “never thought that I’d be chosen to front something that is basically the heart of the BBC,” as a Black man.
“And then I did, and I thought ‘Wow… Oh s**t…. Oh sh**! What have I done?!’. And then once the shock of it all left my system, it was a no-brainer,” he concluded.
Doctor Who returns on Saturday, 9 December, with “The Giggle” on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. It will stream globally on Disney+.
MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.