Ncuti Gatwa: Embracing the Alien as the New Doctor Who

In a highly anticipated return to BBC One’s Christmas Day lineup, Doctor Who unveils its new Time Lord, Ncuti Gatwa, in a special episode titled “The Church on Ruby Road.” As the 15th Doctor, Gatwa steps into the iconic role with both excitement and anxiety, marking a significant moment in the show’s history.

A Journey of Anxiety and Anticipation

Weight of Expectation

Taking over from David Tennant’s 14th Doctor, Gatwa has been preparing for this role throughout the year, filming his first series. The actor candidly shares the daunting nature of inheriting a character with a rich history, expressing, “It’s daunting taking on a role with a lot of history, which is where my anxiety has come from. Because you want to do a good job, because the show lives in people’s hearts.”

The Complex Role

Gatwa acknowledges the constant anxiety, attributing it to his deep care for the show. Playing the Doctor is not only prestigious but also complex and challenging. Despite the pressure, he emphasizes his love for the series and his determination to do justice to the beloved character.

A Fresh Approach to the Time Lord

Dancing Through Time and Space

In the Christmas special, Gatwa introduces a new dimension to the Doctor, seen dancing on a nightclub dancefloor with euphoria and excitement. This lively and energetic portrayal reflects the actor’s commitment to infusing energy and fun into the character.

Symbolic Casting

As the first black actor to take on the lead role, Gatwa recognizes the symbolic significance of his casting. He sees it as a reflection of the changing cultural landscape, stating, “I think it means that we’re here, and we’re not going anywhere. Doctor Who is a show that kind of reflects where Britain is at, in a way, because it’s so quintessentially British.”

Personal Connection

Born in Rwanda and raised in Scotland, Gatwa draws parallels between his own sense of displacement and the Doctor’s alien identity. He shares, “At many times in my life, I have felt like an alien… it’s always a joy to get a character like that in which you’re able to draw on elements of your own life, your own upbringing, and deliver them through the character.”

Looking Ahead to 2024

Series Spoilers Under Wraps

While Gatwa remains tight-lipped about the specifics of the upcoming series, he expresses joy and triumph in playing the iconic role. He shares his love for the experience, setting the stage for fans to eagerly anticipate what the new Doctor will bring to the Tardis.

As “The Church on Ruby Road” airs on Christmas Day, Ncuti Gatwa’s portrayal of the Doctor marks a new era for the beloved sci-fi series. With a mix of anxiety, passion, and a fresh perspective, Gatwa’s Doctor promises to leave an indelible mark on the show’s legacy.


Q1: When will Ncuti Gatwa’s first full series as the Doctor be broadcast?

A1: Ncuti Gatwa’s first full series is scheduled to be broadcast in 2024. Stay tuned for more updates on the Doctor’s adventures.

Q2: What can fans expect from Ncuti Gatwa’s portrayal of the Doctor?

A2: Gatwa brings a fresh and energetic approach to the Time Lord, infusing the character with passion and a sense of fun. Expect a dynamic and lively portrayal.

Q3: Is there any information on the storyline of the upcoming series?

A3: Gatwa remains tight-lipped about specific details, avoiding spoilers. Fans will need to watch the series to discover the exciting adventures that await the Doctor.

Q4: How does Ncuti Gatwa feel about the symbolic significance of being the first black actor to play the Doctor?

A4: Gatwa acknowledges the symbolism, stating that it reflects the presence and contribution of diverse voices in British culture. He emphasizes the idea that representation matters.

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