Doctor Who Casts Sex Education Star Ncuti Gatwa As The Fourteenth Doctor

The BBC has today announced that Ncuti Gatwa, known for his charmingly effervescent role as Eric Effiong in Netflix's hit series "Sex Education," has been cast as the Fourteenth Doctor, taking over from current "Doctor Who" star Jodie Whittaker when she passes the torch with her final episode in 2022.

Gatwa's "Doctor Who" debut will coincide with the return of Russell T Davies as showrunner. Davies ushered in the revival of "Doctor Who" and was the head writer and executive producer on seasons 1 through 4 (the Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant eras). In a statement on the official "Doctor Who" website, Gatwa said:

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. 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. The entire team have been so welcoming and truly give their hearts to the show. 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.

Gatwa will be the first Black actor to play a main incarnation of the Doctor, though Jo Martin broke the mold in 2020 when she debuted as the Fugitive Doctor, an incarnation who predates even the First Doctor. While each iteration of the Doctor is fundamentally the same person, they all have their own quirks, personality traits, and clothing styles that make each new regeneration an adventure in its own right. 

Gatwa's charisma, comedy chops, and perfect line delivery in "Sex Education" quickly made Eric a fan favorite character, but there's a lot more to him than just comic relief; the most recent season of the show in particular saw the actor demonstrate his talent for pathos and complex emotional performances. He was clearly a star in the making, and it's very exciting to see him take center stage in such a huge and historic sci-fi franchise.

'Bright and bold and brilliant'

Also accompanying the news of Gatwa's casting as the Fourteenth Doctor was a statement from Russell T Davies, who was effusive in his praise of the young actor:

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. 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. 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!

Gatwa is also set to appear in the upcoming "Barbie" movie from Greta Gerwig, which will star Margot Robbie in the lead role and Ryan Gosling as Ken. "Sex Education" was renewed for season 4 last month, so unless his time-traveling commitments get in the way, we'll hopefully be seeing more of Eric in the future as well. 

Ncuti Gatwa will make his debut as the Fourteenth Doctor in "Doctor Who" season 14, which will premiere some time in 2023.