The BBC has named Ncuti Gatwa as Doctor Who ’s Fourteenth Doctor. Gatwa will take over the role in 2023, replacing Jodie Whittaker as the current Doctor.
“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,” Gatwa said in a statement to the BBC. “I will endeavour my upmost to do the same.”
The Scottish actor previously played Eric Effiong in Netflix’s comedy series Sex Education , and will also star alongside Margot Robbie in the upcoming Barbie movie. Gatwa will be the first Black man to play the Doctor, a role that has been passed around to different actors since Doctor Who ’s debut in 1963. He is the second Black actor to portray a doctor, following Jo Martin , who played “Fugitive Doctor” Ruth Clayton in a 2020 episode.
In line with the series’ tradition, Whittaker will appear in one last episode that will introduce Gatwa as the Fourteenth Doctor. This episode is expected to premiere at the end of this year to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the BBC.
The Doctor, a humanoid Time Lord who can travel throughout space and time using the TARDIS, takes on a different form in near-death situations in a process called regeneration. This serves as a plot device to pass the baton between lead actors and was originally introduced to smooth out the transition between actors after the First Doctor, William Hartnell, left the show.