“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 released by the BBC. “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. Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true. His writing is dynamic, exciting, incredibly intelligent and fizzing with danger. An actor’s metaphorical playground.”
Gatwa — best known to audiences for his role as Eric Effiong in the Netflix comedy series, and is also set to appear in Warner Bros. and Greta Gerwig’s upcoming Barbie movie with Margot Robbie — will take over the role from outgoing lead Jodie Whittaker, who’s final Doctor Who story is set to air in late 2022 as part of the 100th anniversary of the BBC. Gatwa will presumably, as per with usual tradition, make his debut as the Doctor at the climax of that episode during the 13th Doctor’s regeneration, before making is full debut as the Doctor in 2023 under new, returning showrunner Russel T. Davies.
“The future is here and it’s Ncuti! 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,” Davis said in a statement. “Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds. It’s an honour to work with him, and a hoot, I can’t wait to get started.”
Doctor Who is set to return to BBC One and BBC America later this year.
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Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.