Ncuti Gatwa shares advice received from former Doctor Who stars

‘Barbie’ star will soon take up the Time Lord role full-time

Nicole Vassell
Tuesday 23 April 2024 08:10 BST
Moment Ncuti Gatwa makes Doctor Who debut in shock regeneration twist

Ncuti Gatwa has shared some insight into the advice that former Doctor Who stars imparted as he steps into the Time Lord’s shoes.

The Sex Education and Barbie actor will soon begin his first full season as the 15th Doctor in the long-running BBC sci-fi series.

After his debut on the show late last year, Gatwa, 31, will spearhead new episodes from 11 May.

In a new interview, the actor recalled the words of reassurance he’s received from the other stars who’ve been in his position.

“They’ve all been absolute angels,” Gatwa told EW, adding that it feels like he’s been inducted into an unofficial “Whovian family”.

“It’s a very small, very exclusive club, and it’s just nice to know that other people have gone through that experience as well,” he continued. “That solidarity from the other Doctors has been really nice.”

Gatwa noted that while the advice he’s received from his predecessors has varied, all have mentioned the importance of enjoying the experience.

“The main thing that everyone has told me is: emember to have fun,” he explained.

Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor (BBC Studios/Bad Wolf/James Pardon)

“Remember that even on the most tiring days, this job is one that not many people get to do. You’ll never do a job like this again in your life, and you’ll never get to creatively go to the places that you get to go to on the show. So, soak it all in.”

In one of the special episodes commemorating Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary last year, David Tennant briefly returned to the show. Tennant, who previously starring as the franchise’s 10th Doctor, succeeded Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor to portray the 14th incarnation of the character.

In a shocking twist – spoilers, bewareTennant’s Doctor “bi-generated”, which meant a transformation into Gatwa’s 15th Doctor without the destruction and full disappearance of the 14th Doctor.

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Now, both Doctors are co-existing in the same world – so a Tennant return is very much on the cards.

Speaking about Gatwa’s introduction in December, Tennant recalled: “He just walked on and started. It was so nice, the sort of joy of this.”

In February, Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor, also commented on Gatwa’s introduction as the next Time Lord.

“I always keep my eye on Doctor Who. I think [Gatwa is] great, he’s totally made for it,” Smith told the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme.

“I dropped him a line and said ‘well done’,” the Crown star added.

Smith previously praised the decision to cast Gatwa as the 14th Time Lord, telling Variety in 2022: “I think it’s the most sensational bit of casting. What an actor – he’s brilliant in Sex Education.

Elsewhere, Gatwa recently spoke out on his struggle to feel fairly acknowledged for his achievements as a Black man in a world where “white mediocrity” is celebrated.

New Doctor Who episodes will air on BBC One from Saturday 11 May.

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