Congratulations to Rwanda’s Ncuti Gatwa: The talented actor has been given the role of the Doctor on the BBC’s classic sci-fi series Doctor Who. Gatwa is the 14th Doctor on the long-running show, and the first black and African-born actor to play the lead character.
Doctor Who has been airing for nearly 60 years in the UK over 39 seasons. On the show, the Doctor regenerates into different people and a new lead role actor takes over. Ncuti Gatwa will replace Jodie Whittaker, who took over the role in 2017.
Speaking of his new role, Ncuti said: “There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling. 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 utmost 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 has been so welcoming and truly given 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 was born in Nyatugenge, Kigali, Rwanda in the early 90’s. His family fled Rwanda in 1994 at the beginning of the genocide. He grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland and when he was 21 he moved to London to pursue a career in acting. As he was born in Rwanda and raised in Scotland, Gatwa takes pride in both sides and views himself as Rwandan Scotsman.
His debut as Doctor Who is set to air in 2023.