Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Ncuti Gatwa Stars as Doctor Who’s 1st Black Doctor

The Sex Education actor is set to take over as The Fourteenth Doctor.

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Ncuti Gatwa attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 08, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Ncuti Gatwa attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 08, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)
Photo: Tristan Fewings (Getty Images)

Black Doctor Who fans rejoice! It’s taken 59 years, but we finally have a Black Doctor leading the franchise.

According to TVLine, Ncuti Gatwa will take over from Jodie Whittaker to become the series’ Fourteenth Doctor. The actor is most well-known for playing Eric Effiong in Netflix’s Sex Education.

“There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling,” Gatwa said in a statement. “A mix of deeply honored, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared. This role and show mean 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 endeavor my upmost to do the same… Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart, but I am giving it all to this show.”

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For the uninitiated, Doctor Who is a British sci-fi series that features The Doctor–a somewhat immortal hero–who regenerates into a new Doctor every few seasons, resetting the show and bringing in new characters. They travel through time and space in the TARDIS, a spaceship that looks like a blue police box. The series is a British institution that is extremely popular around the world and first premiered in 1963. There have been 13 Doctors played by 12 white men and one white woman. Trust me when I tell you that it is a very big deal to have a Black actor take on such a pivotal role in television history.

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I cannot overstate how important the representation is to have such a big character finally be played by a Black actor. Despite its international appeal, BBC still considers Doctor Who a children’s program, which means kids around the world will watch their favorite hero protect the universe, only this time it will be a Black man saving the day.

“The future is here and it’s Ncuti!” showrunner Russell T. Davies added. “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. Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds… I’m sure you’re dying to know more, but we’re rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie’s epic finale yet to come. But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!”

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Whittaker will go on her final adventure as The Thirteenth Doctor later this year. In its final moments, the special should feature her regenerating into Gatwa, delivering our first look at his Fourteenth Doctor. No official release date has been announced for the next Doctor Who special, but it is expected to premiere sometime in the fall as part of the BBC’s centennial celebration.