Doctor Who bosses considered non-binary actor before Ncuti Gatwa cast

Fans can’t wait to see what Ncuti brings to the table as the Time Lord (Picture: BBC)

The bosses of Doctor Who considered casting a non-binary actor as the next Doctor before Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa bagged the coveted role.

On Christmas Day, the BBC dropped a new trailer teasing the exciting storylines that are going to unfold in the beloved sci-fi series when it airs in November this year, including David Tennant’s return as the Time Lord and Ncuti’s debut.

The teaser also revealed the arrival of Heartstopper’s Yasmin Finney, the comeback of Catherine Tate as Donna Noble and a very foreboding entrance by It’s A Sin’s Neil Patrick Harris.

At the end of the trailer, Ncuti’s Doctor appears, exclaiming: ‘Someone tell me what the hell is going on here.’

Looking back on the casting process to find their Fifteenth Doctor, returning showrunner Russell T Davies and executive producer Phil Collinson revealed they saw a variety of different contenders.

Speaking to Doctor Who Magazine (via, Russell said: ‘As ever, we turned to Andy Pryor [casting director] and said, ‘Bring us the best in the land.’ We saw all backgrounds, all genders.’

Ncuti Gatwa and Russell T Davies

Ncuti and Russell seem like a match made in heaven (Picture: Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Phil added: ‘We saw men, we saw women, we saw one non-binary actor.’

However, Russell added that the candidates did have one thing in common – their age bracket.

‘I think, as a rule, we were looking for younger – most of the people we saw were under 30 – but not as a definite rule, and kind of new talent,’ he stated.

Following the news that he’d been cast as the Fifteenth Doctor, Barbie star Ncuti expressed how excited he was to take on the mantle.

Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson in Doctor Who

Coronation Street star Millie Gibson will be starring as the Doctor’s companion alongside Ncuti (Picture: BBC/Bad Wolf)

‘There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling. A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared,’ the 30-year-old said at the time.

‘This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care. I will endeavour my upmost to do the same.’

He continued: ‘Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true. His writing is dynamic, exciting, incredibly intelligent and fizzing with danger.

‘An actor’s metaphorical playground. The entire team have been so welcoming and truly give their hearts to the show.

‘And so as much as it’s daunting, I’m aware I’m joining a really supportive family. Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show.’

Doctor Who will return to the BBC in November 2023.


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