Doctor Who - Ncuit Gatwa as The Fifteenth Doctor costume reveal

Ncuti Gatwa speaks on his emotionally vulnerable role in Doctor Who

Posted Filed under

In an interview with Rolling Stone UK magazine, Ncuti Gatwa revealed a few details about his depiction of the Doctor and his future plans for Doctor Who.

“My Doctor is emotionally vulnerable. He hides it with humour, but he’s lonely. I can’t say much more than that; I don’t want to spoil anything. But he’s also energetic! The poor cameramen struggled to keep up.”

Gatwa can relate to the Doctor, who is a survivor of the destruction of the home planet of the Time Lords, Gallifrey. As a child, he and his family fled Rwanda, escaping the genocide against the Tutsi minority. They settled in Scotland.

“This person survived a genocide. This person fits in everywhere and nowhere. I am the Doctor. The Doctor is me. I decided that I had to get this role.”

Gatwa’s Doctor will also be a fashion-conscious.

“The day Russell invited me to meet everybody, they asked me what sort of costume I wanted. I showed them this Ralph Lauren collection that was in partnership with Historically Black Colleges in America. I love those pieces, they’re so preppy and so Black. But then they asked what else, because they’d been thinking about lots of outfits, almost a different one each week. Which is new! I love it. The Doctor has travelled all of time and space; they’re going to have a sick wardrobe.”

Rolling Stone UK was the first to publish this new photo of Gatwa’s fashionable Doctor, taken by unit stills photographer James Pardon, during the 2023 Doctor Who festive special filming at the Golden Cross Pub in Cardiff on 9 February, 2023.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by James Pardon (@jamespardonphoto)

Part of the Doctor’s new wardrobe is a 1960s look, with Gatwa sporting a blue striped suit and an Afro.

Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa in 60s gear

“Originally, we weren’t going to have the Afro, but [my makeup artist] Bella convinced me and I’m very glad she did. It’s such a shot into the bloodstream. It’s a statement — the Doctor is f***ing Black.”

Gatwa is determined to embody the spirit Doctor no matter what negativity he may encounter.

“I’m the first Black man to play this character. The British press can be very mean. I just have to focus on the job and stay true to what the Doctor is: a mad scientist alien who has adventures and cares about everyone.”

Gatwa revealed to Rolling Stone UK that Tenth and Fourteenth Doctor actor David Tennant set up a group chat where some of the previous Doctor actors stay in contact with one another, and that they’ve all offered Gatwa support and advice on dealing with the press.

Speaking of his longing to return to theatre work, Gatwa revealed his commitment to star in at least two series of Doctor Who and plans to complete filming of the 2025 Doctor Who series some time in 2024. He also refers to the 2025 series as “season two” and not Series 15.

“I’m planning on getting back to [the theatre] next year, after I finish season two of Doctor Who.”

Doctor Who will return in November 2023 with three 60th anniversary specials starring David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor and Catherine Tate as companion Donna Noble. In the following festive period, Ncuti Gatwa will star in his first full Doctor Who episode as the Fifteenth Doctor. A new Doctor Who series starring Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson will debut in 2024.