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Doctor Who casts first Black actor to take lead role

Ncuti Gatwa of Sex Education will become the 14th Doctor.

Ncuti Gatwa will regenerate as the 14th Doctor when Jodie Whittaker, who served as the 13th Doctor for 32 episodes, stands down as the 13th Doctor. On Sunday afternoon, the Doctor Who website announced the news.

Gatwa is the BBC show’s first Black guy to play The Doctor on a regular basis. Only one other Black actor has ever performed the character in the franchise’s nearly 60-year history: Jo Martin starred as a fugitive version of The Doctor who appeared in many episodes during Whittaker’s tenure.

Gatwa is most recognized for his portrayal as Eric, one of the series’ stars, on Netflix’s Sex Education, for which he just got a Scottish BAFTA. He’s also played Demetrius in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at London’s Globe Theater, and he’ll play an unknown character in Greta Gerwig’s next Barbie film.

“This job and show represent so much to so many people around the world, including myself, and each of my very brilliant predecessors has handled that one-of-a-kind duty and privilege with the utmost care,” Gatwa said. “I will do my best to do the same.”

“Sometimes brilliance walks through the door and it’s so bright and bold and dazzling, I simply step back in wonder and thank my fortunate stars,” the award-winning actor said of Gatwa’s casting. Ncuti blinded us, grabbed The Doctor, and had the TARDIS keys in seconds.”

Fans will not see Gatwa’s version of The Doctor until the 2023 season, with Whittaker still having to say farewell to the character in her own conclusion.

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