The Doctor Who fandom was rocked off its axis this weekend as the BBC dropped the shock news that Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa has been cast as the next Doctor. The 29-year-old actor, who is set to take over the TARDIS from Jodie Whittaker, was quickly embraced by lovers of the long-running sci-fi series. And it seems he’s already popular with his predecessors, too.
To date, two of the previous actors to portray the Time Lord have given Gatwa their blessing. First of all, Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith was attending Paris Fan Festival when the news broke and he told the crowd during a Q&A that he couldn’t be more excited for Doctor No. 14.
“I think he’s going to be brilliant,” said Smith. “I think he’s going to be truly brilliant… I don’t know if you’ve seen him in Sex Education, there’s a warmth and wit and a real depth to his talent that I think… honestly, I think it’s an inspired bit of casting and I’m really, really excited for the show.”
Meanwhile, Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy likewise revealed he was “delighted” to welcome Gatwa into the Doctor Who family, especially as he’s “another Scot.” In fact, Gatwa is the fourth Scottish-born performer to inhabit the role of the Doctor, following McCoy, David Tennant, and Peter Capaldi.
Tennant himself doesn’t have social media, so we haven’t had any comment from him yet. However, his wife Georgia Tennant has revealed her own hilarious reaction. Georgia, who played the Doctor’s daughter Jenny back in 2008, simply tweeted, “Hello Dad.”
Gatwa, on his part, has likewise praised those who have wielded the sonic screwdriver before him. “This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself,” the star said in a statement, “and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care. I will endeavor my upmost to do the same.”
Doctor Who is set to return sometime this fall Jodie Whittaker’s final episode. Tradition dictates that Gatwa will likely appear for a cameo in that special ahead of the Fourteenth Doctor’s era officially starting in 2023, the series’ 60th anniversary.