Ncuti Gatwa says race will be ‘addressed’ in a ‘really interesting way’ in new Doctor Who series

Ncuti Gatwa has said that race will be “addressed” in a “really interesting way” in the new series of Doctor Who.

Fans got a first look at the Sex Education actor embodying the fifteenth version of The Doctor in last year’s anniversary special “The Giggle“, before his first full episode aired on Christmas Day. Gatwa will soon be returning to screens for his first full-length season when the sci-fi series returns next month.

Gatwa rightly noted to Attitude Magazine that Jo Martin’s stint as the time-travelling Fugitive Doctor in 2020 marked the first time a Black actor played the titular character. Nonetheless, he did acknowledge that playing the Fifteenth Time Lord will be “the first time the Doctor’s been Black for this long”, adding that the issues surrounding “race does make an appearance”.

He told the outlet: “We have to address those elements of the character now, because Earth unfortunately is still quite a funny little place. And so, yeah, we will be addressing those things,” he continued.

“Russell [T Davies] has such a knack of being able to bring in these elements of our humanity through this sci-fi lens in a really interesting way.”

Gatwa also spoke about the homophobic, racist backlash to his casting as an unapolagetically Black queer man playing the Doctor, explaining: “The hate? It is kind of fascinating to me, because there’s so much energy they’re putting into it. You are so angry over something so inconsequential that you can’t be an interesting person.”

He continued: “But another thing is that we do see a shift happening in casting, in positions of power and in the status quo.”I mean, not a fast shift. Things could tip over the other way a little bit quicker, but you see people kind of malfunctioning because things are changing.”

From the get-go, Gatwa’s 15th Doctor has established his character as part of the LGBTQ+ community as a genderfluid, queer Time Lord. Fans got their first hint at their LGBTQ+ identity when The Doctor regales Ruby with a story about having a “hot summer” with Harry Houdini.

We can’t wait to see what’s in store for Gatwa’s upcoming storyline as The Doctor.

Doctor Who returns for its 14th series on 11 May at midnight on BBC One in the UK and Disney+ elsewhere.

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