Ncuti Gatwa is the Fourteenth Doctor and may well make his first appearance at the end of an epic Doctor Who special.
On Sunday 8th May 2022, Ncuti Gatwa was officially unveiled as the Fourteenth Doctor Who, set to take over from the thirteenth incumbent Jodie Whittaker later in the year. We’d previously written about how the Thirteenth Doctor’s regeneration would be a little different this time, with filming having already wrapped and the hand-over taking place (presumably) outside the TARDIS.
And speaking at the May BAFTAs, new showrunner Russell T Davies revealed that the upcoming BBC centenary special (the last to star Whittaker as the Doctor) would in fact be a movie-length, 90 minute epic. Ncuti Gatwa’s first appearance will presumably occur at the episode’s conclusion.
Speaking of his casting, Ncuti Gatwa said: “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.”
There are, however, a number of unanswered questions from Doctor Who: Flux and its subsequent specials. In Flux, most of the universe was destroyed and it was not put back together again. Moreover, there was the prophecy left behind by Time, promising that the Time Lord’s final end was coming. “Nothing lasts forever,” it said. “No regeneration, no life. Beware the forces that mass against you, and their master.”
We now know that Time was referring to the Doctor’s arch enemy the Master (played by Sacha Dhawan) who, in the latest trailer for the upcoming special, said to the Doctor, “This is the day you die,” before later adding, “Welcome to the end of your existence.”
So what will this mean for Ncuti Gatwa’s debut? Presumably, the Doctor will find a way around the prophecy of Time and stitch the universe back together – unless the production teams decide to destroy everything and start Doctor Who again from scratch(!)
That being said, the programme’s 60th anniversary is fast approaching, and indeed this milestone will mark the beginning of the second Russell T Davies era, so it’s conceivable that some references to the show’s history will be made in the upcoming episodes.
Indeed, we already know that Jodie Whittaker’s last episode / Ncuti Gatwa’s first will see the return of popular companions Tegan and Ace, plus the Daleks and the Cybermen. (And eagle-eyed trailer viewers have already spotted what appears to be a certain companion attacking a Dalek with a baseball bat, referencing the classic 1988 story ‘Remembrance of the Daleks.’)
But until we hear otherwise, we can only speculate. How do you think the regeneration from Whittaker to Ncuti Gatwa will be handled? And which faces from the past would you most like to see in the 60th anniversary year? Let me know in the comments below.
Thirteenth Doctor scarf – order now from the Lovarzi shop!
Shop on Amazon
- All of the Doctor Who regenerations so far
- Doctor Who intros: The best cold openings
- The top 5 most surprising Doctor Who episodes
- All the references in the new Doctor Who title sequence
- Doctor Who: Will the original Davros ever return?