Ncuti Gatwa of Sex Education is the new Doctor Who

Doctor Who is a long-running sci-fi series on The BBC. I thought it had only been around for 13 seasons — a respectable run on its own — but it turns out what I thought was the beginning of the series in 2005 was actually a revival. By 2005, the show already had 26 seasons and three movies under its belt since it premiered in 1963.

Boiling it down to the simplest form: the series follows the adventures of a time-traveling alien who explores the universe in a spaceship and takes various human incarnations over the years. Thirteen actors — 12 men and most recently, one woman — have led the series since it’s been airing and they’ve just announced the latest actor to take up the mantle. Ncuti Gatwa will be the next Doctor and the and the first Black actor to lead the show.

Ncuti Gatwa is embarking on an exciting journey as Jodie Whittaker’s successor in “Doctor Who.”

The Rwanda-born, Scotland-raised Gatwa, 29, will be the first Black actor to helm the quintessential British sci-fi show, but he won’t be the first Black Doctor: Jo Martin has played “Fugitive Doctor” in several episodes.

BBC announced the “Sex Education” star’s new position as the fourteenth doctor on Sunday.

“There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling. A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared,” Gatwa said in a statement. “This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care. I will endeavour my upmost to do the same.”

He added, “And so as much as it’s daunting, I’m aware I’m joining a really supportive family.”

“Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show,” said Gatwa, a reference to Doctor Who’s two hearts…

Prior to Whittaker and Gatwa, 13 leads had been white men…

In 2020, Martin became the series’ first Black doctor. Her incarnation of The Doctor, a shape-shifting, time-traveling alien, appeared in a January episode of the show but wasn’t meant to replace Whittaker’s.

Martin’s character appeared alongside Whittaker’s as a previously unseen past incarnation of The Doctor, just like John Hurt’s version (dubbed “The War Doctor”) appeared with Tennant (the 10th Doctor) and Smith (the 11th Doctor) in 2013.

Her character is first introduced as Ruth Clayton, an Earth civilian whom The Doctor shows up to protect from an alien fugitive. But after her memory is reinstated, she reveals herself to Whittaker as a past version of The Doctor.

[From USA Today]

This is pretty exciting news! As the article notes, there was a Black actress who played a version of the Doctor (time travel makes this possible), but she made a guest appearance instead of appearing as a new lead. So Ncuti is the first Black lead actor of this long-running series. He was born in Rwanda and his family moved to Scotland when he was young to escape the genocide. And he’s a classically trained actor. Also, Ncuti’s name is pronounced “shoo-tee,” though from the spelling and his photos I thought it was pronounced “cutie.” This is a great career accomplishment for a young actor — to join a beloved and prolific series in a lead role. Ncuti is only 29 and aside from his role on Sex Education, he hasn’t been in much. Though it seems he does have a role in the Margot Robbie Barbie movie that’s coming out next year, so he’s getting some variety in his roles already.

Photos credit:, Instar, Netflix and via Instagram

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38 Responses to “Ncuti Gatwa of Sex Education is the new Doctor Who”

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  1. Merricat says:

    This makes me so happy! What a great choice.

  2. Danbury says:

    I’m so excited he’s going to be the next Doctor – I loved Jodi Whittaker too, even if the writing for her series wasn’t great. Online the chatter has been hilarious, mostly supportive but also some morons complaining … It’s amazing how people get so upset that a time travelling alien with two hearts who can reincarnate into new forms isn’t a white man — because HISTORY. Honestly, just when I think people can’t get stupider. Anyway congrats Ncuti!!

  3. dina says:

    Also, Ncuti’s name is pronounced “shoo-tee,” though from the spelling and his photos I thought it was pronounced “cutie.”

    HAHAHAH love the commentary on this site

  4. Teatimeiscoming says:

    His portrayal of Eric is the best part of Sex Education!

  5. Mary says:

    Ncuti in SE, is a highlight of the show. He brings so much heart and emotional intelligence to the role and his smile is electric. So happy for him.

  6. Bookie says:

    Sex Education is a great show if you haven’t seen it already.
    I think I’ve watched the entire Netflix/HBO Max/Hulu/ catalog since the pandemic started.

  7. goofpuff says:

    I never really watched Dr Who much before. I might start now!

    • StellainNH says:

      If you start watching Doctor Who, start with the ninth doctor. Christopher Eccleston is one of my favorites. Each Doctor brings a different perspective. You also see the progression of CGI effects and how they improve over the years.

      • Riley says:

        Yes, and definitely don’t let the terrible CGI from the first episode (Rose) scare you off! I honestly almost walked away because they were so laughable, but they do get better and the story and characters more than make up for it.

      • Danbury says:

        I really liked Eccleston too!! I was sad his stint was so short

      • likethedirection says:

        Nine is my favorite too!! I’ll admit I stopped watching some time during the Matt Smith years but maybe it’s time to start up again.

  8. Cel2495 says:

    So exciting! He is handsome too with great skin! I def will watch, I like Doctor Who.

    • Margot says:

      Ncuti is gorgeous and his skin is so beautiful. I see a cosmetics deal in the future for him (if he hasn’t got one already).

  9. msmontclair says:

    I’m so pumped! Love him.

  10. Lucía says:

    All you Whovians are in for quite the treat. Ncuti is AWESOME. And those of you who haven’t watched Sex Ed yet, please do!!!!

  11. Noki says:

    As an African i would have pronouned it as NKuti so i wonder if this is a case of him trying to make it easier for Westerners to prounounce it.

  12. MellyMel says:

    Love him! He plays my favorite character on Sex Education and I’m so happy for him. Never actually watched DW, but I will now.

  13. TIFFANY says:

    Fine BBC America, I will watch Doctor Who now.

  14. RIley says:

    I was in a brewery the other night keeping my boyfriend company (he works there) when I heard “something something DOCTOR WHO something…” and I immediately perked up and bored this poor man sitting at the bar with a 10 minute monologue about Doctor Who. He made an excuse to leave as soon as was politely possible. 😛

    So yes, I love Doctor Who and am insanely excited for the newest Doctor! Though I will really miss Jodie, I think she did amazing with what she had to work with.

    • Liz Version 700 says:

      Same Jodi was great (in spite of only fair writing) but I am very excited about this new guy! I also bore people with Doctor Who rants lol. This is going to be fantastic!

  15. Digital Unicorn says:

    Am soo pleased for him – congrats. Also another scotsman in the role (he was raised in Scotland).

    I remember a lot of the ‘fanboys’ crying when Jodi was announced as the new Dr. This is why I dislike some of the sci fi fandoms, they can be very hateful places.

  16. AnneL says:

    I love him in Sex Ed (great show) and though I am not a fan of Doctor Who, I’m so pleased for him! He and Simone Ashley are getting traction! I hope Asa Butterfield and the others from that show can get some other roles, too. I remember the actor who plays Eric on Sex Ed was in “Emma” with Anya Taylor-Joy. Terrific cast all around.

  17. HoofRat says:

    I haven’t watched Doctor Who since the Tom Baker/Peter Davison Days (yes, I’m older than dirt), but this might lure me back.

  18. JFerber says:

    Fine looking man, beautiful smile. I’ve never seen him before, but I’d like to see him in the role.

  19. DeluxeDuckling says:

    Love this casting!! 💙

    My rant about Dr. Who show-runners:

    OG Russel T Davis left Dr Who for a while to do serious stuff – I’m so glad he’s coming back to the show ✨ when Moffat was in charge the show got really sexist, and when he was criticized for being a misogynist – he proceeded to cast a Black lesbian companion – who was then treated horribly by The Doctor for Moffat’s outgrowing season (Dr Who is supposed to protect the companions as much as possible because they remind the doctor to be humane – but Moffat just wanted to run around with assorted white girls)
    Chris Chibnall took over the series and did a great job with Jodie Whittaker (his seasons were much more introspective and grief/family oriented than the bombastic egoism of Moffat).
    Now we get Davis back, who is a great balance of drama and humour (remember the farting aliens taking over Welsh Government? good times).

    Btw – check out Tom and Lorenzo for more BAFTA red carpet pics of our new doctor! Love the fashion

    • Penguin says:

      I’m sorry but Chris Chibnall is the single worse thing to ever happen to that show. He singlehandedly ruined Jodie Whitaker’s run as The Doctor, it’s almost as if he hates the series. Couldn’t be more pleased that Russel T Davies is back on, thank goodness.

  20. Bobbie says:

    He is very sweet and endearing in Sex Ed. The main reason I watched was the best freind relationship his character had with the lead.

  21. Ohcomeon says:

    Fantastic choice. Fantastic actor.

  22. Jay says:

    Might have to come back to doctor who! I loved the reboot (Tennant was my absolute fave) and barely made it through Matt Smith’s run before checking out completely. Hmmmm…

  23. JFerber says:

    The selfie in his shorts is very cute.

  24. one of the marys says:

    That lilac suit my god