Doctor Who’s Ncuti Gatwa knows ‘many a gay man’ who is like the Doctor

Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa has said he knows “many” gay men who are reminiscent of the Doctor and that “chosen family” is the reason LGBTQ+ people connect so much with the show. 

Gatwa will take over as the 15th Doctor during the highly-anticipated Christmas Day episode, which will also see the debut of his new companion Ruby Sunday, played by Millie Gibson. 

‘The Church on Ruby Road’ sees the Doctor come face-to-face with the “mythical and mysterious goblins”, the BBC’s synopsis reads, as his life collides with Ruby’s. Little is known about Ruby’s background, as she was abandoned as a baby and raised in foster care. 

The fact Doctor Who deals with family in a variety of ways is a reason LGBTQ+ fans connect so deeply with the show, Gatwa believes. 

“It’s part of the reason Doctor Who has such a huge connection to LGBT people,” he told The Guardian

“We choose our families. And the Doctor is a lonely wanderer, looking for their next adventure … I know many a gay man, MANY a gay man, I could describe that way!” 

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“I think that’s a beautiful, beautiful theme Doctor Who has, because chosen family can be more meaningful, more supportive. That really can be the case, and it’s a theme that absolutely runs through the show.”

LGBTQ+ viewers have long held a candle for Doctor Who because of its wide variety of inclusion, from John Barrowman’s queer Captain Jack Harkness to crime-fighting lesbian duo Madam Vastra and Jenny and out companion Bill Potts, played by Pearl Mackie.

Ncuti Gatwa in a promotional photo for Doctor Who. He is wearing a brown and black chequered jacket and orange top with a necklace. He is looking off camera. The sky is behind him.
Ncuti Gatwa as the 15th Doctor in Doctor Who. (BBC)

The show has also had a wealth of LGBTQ+ romances for both the main and supporting characters, giving queer viewers much content to dig their teeth into.

“[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 it’s about union and unity,” Gatwa previously said.

“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.”

Alongside Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson ‘The Church on Ruby Road’ will star is Davina McCall as herself, Michelle Greenidge as Ruby’s mum Carla, Angela Wynter as Ruby’s grandmother Cherry and Anita Dobson as Mrs Flood.

Doctor Who episode ‘The Church on Ruby Road’ will air at 5:55pm on Christmas Day on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. It will stream globally on Disney+.

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