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Ncuti Gatwa will make history as he becomes the first Black actor to play the lead role in the Dr. Who franchise. On Sunday, BBC announced that Gatwa would take the helm in the legendary series next year.
Gatwa will be the fourteenth “Doctor” in the sci-fi series’ 60-year history. He will take over for Jodie Whitaker, who became the first female actress to ever play the Doctor.
In a statement published to the show’s website, Gatwa expressed his excitement in taking on the legendary role.
“There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling,” said Gatwa. “A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared.”
“This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself,” he continued. “Each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care. I will endeavour my utmost to do the same.”
Widespread praise as Gatwa announced as first Black Dr. Who
Russell T. Davies, a longtime screenwriter for the series, was quick to sing Gatwa’s praises in the show’s statement.
“Sometimes talent walks through the door and it’s so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars,” Davies wrote.
“Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds,” he went on. “It’s an honour to work with him, and a hoot, I can’t wait to get started.”
Film critics across the globe have also been celebrating the selection. American film critic Robert Daniels tweeted that Gatwa is “a lightning rod of charm and comedic timing.”
“He’s going to be phenomenal as the next doctor,” Daniels wrote.
Ncuti Gatwa, 29, will also be one of the youngest actors to ever take on the role. The Rwandan-Scottish actor is best known for his role as Eric Effiong on the Netflix series Sex Education.