When Ncuti Gatwa was announced as the next actor to play Doctor Who, fans across the science fiction world were delighted and shocked, as he hadn’t been one of the main names that had been floating around for months of speculation in advance. But it wasn’t just the fans of the BBC’s flagship show about adventures in space and time that were surprised at the news, his co-star in Sex Education, Asa Butterfield had no idea about his new job either.
Although there was a gap between his February audition and the announcement in May, apparently Ncuti had kept the secret extremely well during this time, as Asa Butterfield explained to Capital radio.
“He hadn’t told me, I saw it in the news and was like ‘Excuse me!?’ and had to text him,” said the Sex Education actor, who stars as Otis Milburn in the Netflix show, the best friend of Eric Effiong, the character played by Ncuti Gatwa.
Added Butterfield: “It’s huge, it’s so incredible and he’s going to do such a good job.”
Ncuti Gatwa will take over full time as the Fifteenth Doctor around the festive season of 2023, so fans will have to wait for a year until they get to see much of him in the iconic role which we know he will play opposite Millie Gibson, his companion, Ruby Sunday.
It is expected the full season 14 will play out in 2024.
Before season 14, fans will be treated to a three-episode event in November 2023 with David Tennant starring as the Fourteenth Doctor alongside Donna Noble (played by Catherine Tate) as they battle a mysterious enemy played by Neil Patrick Harris.
Russell T Davies has taken over as showrunner for Doctor Who and the BBC has signed a new deal with Disney that will see the show internationally streamed on Disney+ from next year. It isn’t yet known how the deal might change the show (if at all) although some have speculated that it will see in an increase in the per-episode budget of the series and there could perhaps be new spin-offs coming soon.