Khaleej Times - City Times

Is the new ‘Doctor Who’

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Ncuti Gatwa will take the mantle from Jodie Whittaker on Doctor Who, the BBC announced Sunday, ending speculatio­n over the iconic Time Lord’s next regenerati­on.

“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,” returning showrunner Russell T Davies said in the broadcaste­r’s release. “Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds.”

Gatwa currently stars in Netflix’s high school comedydram­a Sex Education as the effervesce­nt Eric Effiong.

The Rwanda-born, Scotland-raised Gatwa, 29, will be the first Black actor to helm the quintessen­tial British scifi show, but he won’t be the first Black Doctor — Jo Martin has played Fugitive Doctor in several episodes.

Whittaker became the 13th Doctor — and the first woman to play the central galaxy-hopping, extraterre­strial Time Lord who regenerate­s into new bodies — in 2017, when she took over from Peter Capaldi. Her last episode of Doctor Who is expected to air later this year.

The original run of Doctor Who spanned 1963 to 1989. Since the show was revived in 2005, the Doctor has been played by Christophe­r Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith, in addition to Capaldi and Whittaker. Other stars, like Karen Gillan and Billie Piper, have made their names on the show as the Doctor’s “companion.”

“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 endeavor my utmost to do the same,” the release quoted Gatwa — who described his emotions as “a mix of deeply honored, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared” — as saying.

In addition to seeing the start of Gatwa’s tenure, next year also marks Davies’ return to Doctor Who after more than a decade’s absence.

“Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show,” Gatwa added. AP

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.”

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