Ncuti Gatwa in Netflix's 'Sex Education.'

Ncuti Gatwa in Netflix's 'Sex Education.'

The casting of a new Doctor in British sci-fi series ‘Doctor Who’ has been a much-anticipated event, especially since the show’s relaunch and rejuvenation in 2005. The BBC has now announced the 14th actor (not counting one or two variations) to play the main character: ‘Sex Education’ star Ncuti Gatwa.

Born in Rwanda and raised in Scotland, Gatwa feels like an excellent choice to play the Doctor – he can be impish and vibrant (after all, he is a 29-year-old playing a teenager on ‘Education’) but has also shown a real depth and ability to dig into emotion.

Gatwa will be just the latest actor to play the central role, an alien Time Lord with two hearts and a boundless sense of adventure. Flying around time and space in a ship called the TARDIS – which stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space – the character often helps humans out with threats – at least, when not getting into trouble.

Russell T. Davies, the prolific TV writer and producer who brought ‘Doctor Who’ back to screens in 2005, is returning to oversee the show once more.

“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,” says Gatwa in an official statement.

“I will endeavour 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,” he continues. “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.”

Davies took to Instagram to debut a picture posing with Gatwa at the BAFTA TV Awards on Sunday evening.

‘Doctor Who’, which started in 1963 in the UK is one of the world’s longest-running TV series (though it did take a break between 1989 and 2005).

Since its relaunch 17 years ago, it has become a pop cultural sensation, and spawned several spin-offs. Actors filling the role of the Doctor in the current incarnation have included Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, and, currently, Jodie Whittaker, best known – before her stint on ‘Who’, at least – for TV’s ‘Broadchurch’.

Whittaker is leaving the role this year after one more special episode later in 2022, and current show-runner Chris Chibnall is departing alongside her. Gatwa’s run on the show will start next year.

“The future is here and it’s Ncuti! Sometimes talent walks through the door and it’s so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars,” says Davies. “Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds. It’s an honour to work with him, and a hoot, I can’t wait to get started. I’m sure you’re dying to know more, but we’re rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie’s epic finale yet to come. But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!”

‘Doctor Who’ airs on BBC America but has yet to announce a date for the next episode.

Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor

Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor on BBC America's 'Doctor Who.'