William Hartnell & Ncuti Gatwa

Ncuti Gatwa reveals Doctor Who scenes with First and Fifteenth Doctors

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At GQ’s Men of the Year party, Ncuti Gatwa revealed that he somehow shares scenes with William Hartnell’s First Doctor.

“It has been a crazy year, an absolutely crazy, crazy year.”

I shouldn’t say this, but there was a scene that I somehow shot with the first Doctor, William Hartnell. We ended up in the same scene together and to see that history, and now a black man as the Doctor…,” he said to a swell of thunderous applause. “I’m very very, very grateful”.


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Just where and when the First and the Fifteenth Doctors will meet remains a mystery. The 60th anniversary special, the 2023 Christmas special The Church on Ruby Road and Gatawa’s 2024 Series have all completed principal photography.

David Bradley (as William Hartnell) & Matt Smith (as Matt Smith)

Another possibility is that Ncuti Gatwa was referring to David Bradley’s portrayal of William Hartnell in a memorable scene at the close of An Adventure in Space and Time, a 2013 special docudrama about the early years of Doctor Who created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the programme.

If the special were to be updated for the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, a heartbroken William Hartnell, about to film his regeneration scene after essentially being written out of the show due to his health problems, would look across the TARDIS console to see Ncuti Gatwa’s upcoming Doctor silently nodding to him in respect. The original scene was filmed with Matt Smith’s then-current Eleventh Doctor standing across the console.

Doctor Who will return on 25 November 2023 with The Star Beast, the first of three Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials starring David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor and Catherine Tate as companion Donna Noble — followed by Wild Blue Yonder on 2 December and The Giggle on 9 December.

Ncuti Gatwa will star in his first full Doctor Who episode as the Fifteenth Doctor in the Doctor Who Christmas special The Church on Ruby Road alongside Millie Gibson as companion Ruby Sunday on 25 December.

A new 8-episode Doctor Who series starring Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson will debut in Spring of 2024 followed by the 2024 festive special later in the year.