Ncuti Gatwa's Doctor Who costumes

Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor Who costumes breathe new life into the franchise

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In an interview with British Vogue magazine, Ncuti Gatwa described the supportive process of choosing his Doctor Who costumes with showrunner Russell T Davies and the producers.

“Months after getting the role, I went to see the producers and get the scripts, and they asked me my thoughts on the show’s costumes. I was talking about Ralph Lauren’s collaboration with Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, two historically Black colleges, which is really preppy. They were like, ‘Cool, but it’s quite traditional.’ I guess I was thinking about catering to the audience that already watches Doctor Who, but they’re like, ‘Let’s push it forward.’ They’re really keen on progress, and it doesn’t always feel like that in the landscape of British television.”

Costume designer Pam Downe collaborated with Gatwa to give the Fifteenth Doctor his fresh new look.

Gatwa also spoke to Vogue about his audition for the role of the Doctor in London, February 2022.

“I was just like, ‘There’s no way I’ll get this,’” he told the Vogue interviewer with a sly smile. “‘It’s a British institution and there’s no way they’ll cast a Black man.’ So, I just had fun.”

When his approach paid off and he landed the part, it left him in shock.

“I felt numb. And keeping it a secret until the announcement was very difficult. I’d often get a little tipsy in Soho House, make a new best friend in the bathroom, tell them and run off. Thankfully, it never got out.”

When he was announced as the next Doctor, Gatwa was “really surprised” by the fan reaction.

“I was geared up for a lot of hate. But the response was so positive, and that was overwhelming.”

The July 2023 pride special of British Vogue is available on newsstands now.

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.