The BBC has announced that actor Ncuti Gatwa (Photo ©MTV International) has been cast as the 14th Doctor in the TV show “Doctor Who”. Russell T Davies, who is again the showrunner and is scheduled to start the next season’s production soon, posted on Instagram a photo of him with Gatwa. Unlike what happened with the previous announcements, this one came as a surprise and not in a televised event.
Mizero Ncuti Gatwa, this is his full name, was born on October 15, 1992, in Rwanda but moved to Scotland in 1994 when his family fled the terrible war that devastated the African nation. He studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where he graduated with a BA in Acting in 2013.
As is common for British actors, especially at the beginning of his career, Ncuti Gatwa worked extensively in stage productions and gradually found roles in movies and TV shows. His breakthrough came when he was cast to play one of the protagonists of the TV show “Sex Education”. For that role, he received various awards culminating with the Scottish BAFTA as the Best Actor on Television in 2020.
Russell T Davies stated that he was impressed by Ncuti Gatwa in his audition. Statements showing excitement came from the various parties. Well, Jodie Whittaker’s stories weren’t always very exciting when she played the 13th Doctor, who will regenerate in a special episode scheduled for this fall.
Davies will have to rekindle the fire of passion in many fans, so to speak, and Gatwa could help improve the audience, including young people who got to know him on “Sex Education” and have never watched “Doctor Who” before. Television has changed a lot since the early years of the new series but the shows produced by Davies in recent years were successful, so one can hope.
Thinking about the attempt to bring new fans to “Doctor Who” and bring back some old ones, the announcement of Ncuti Gatwa’s choice had a very low profile, as it came as a surprise on a Sunday afternoon. In 2022, looking at the audience as in the 1990s makes no sense but promotion remains crucial. I assume it will be done in other ways waiting to see the 14th Doctor in action in new stories written by Russell T Davies.
The first negative comments on the alleged politically correct choice arrived quickly but certain complaints seem inevitable. Surely, it will take shortly after the start of the new season for criticisms to begin accusing Russell T Davies of not being what he once was and will argue that all in all Chris Chibnall wasn’t so bad.