‘Doctor Who’ Showrunner Russell T. Davies Shares How Ncuti Gatwa Got the 14th Doctor Role
Ncuti Gatwa has made history by becoming the first Black actor to talk on the role of the Doctor full time from the long-running science fiction adventure show Doctor Who. Russell T. Davies, who brought back this current incarnation of the show in 2005, is returning to the franchise and spoke during a red carpet of the BAFTA TV Awards, about choosing Gatwa as his leading man.
“He has talent. It was the most blazing audition. It was our last audition. It was our very last one. We thought we had someone and in he came and stole it,” Davies said. “Genuinely. I watched Sex Education, I loved his work. I didn’t know quite what we were going to get until I was in the room, and meeting Ncuti it’s just going to be a joy. I’m properly, properly, thrilled. It’s going to be a blazing future.”
People always talk about the fact that casting should come down to who is the best person for the job, and it certainly seems like this is the case. Gatwa is an award-winning actor who has been known for his dynamic personality and energy. The representation is, without a doubt, incredible, and I think it can be said that he is very much deserving of this kind of opportunity.
Gatwa said of landing the role, “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.”
Doctor Who has a very uneven history with race, from some problematic narrative choices to just not protecting actors of color from the overwhelming vitriol of the fandom. I am excited to see Gatwa’s run as the Doctor, and it makes me really interested in the show for the first time in a long while. (Also, I think this is the perfect time to bring back Dr. Martha Jones.)
(via CinemaBlend, image: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
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