Doctor Who: Matt Smith Praises Ncuti Gatwa; Davies Talks "False Tales"

With current Doctor Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall preparing to end their runs with this fall's "Centenary Special," fans of the BBC's Doctor Who learned over the weekend that Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa would be joining incoming & returning showrunner Russell T. Davies for Series 14 in 2023 (maybe earlier?). And to say that reactions have been coming in would be an understatement, and now we've heard from the Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith. Following that, Davies had a confession to make. He's been engaging in a serious "misinformation campaign" to keep Ncuti's identity a secret for some time, and now he's owning up. Here's a look:

doctor who
Image: Netflix/BBC

Matt Smith's a Fan of Ncuti & "Sex Education": "I think he's going to be brilliant. I think he's going to be truly brilliant. I think it's an inspired piece of casting, and along with Russell, who's such a great leader of that show," Smith shared at a Paris Fan Festival event when told the news. "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."

Davies Planted Some "Rumors"… Just Not THAT Rumor: "None of you even guessed. He's [Ncuti Gatwa] so brilliant and so popular, he wasn't even guessed, so I'm feeling a little bit victorious here. There's been a few false stories and false tales and we placed a few posts ourselves, a couple of misleading things, and we're very pleased that that kind of worked," Davies explained to the press at the BAFTAs over the weekend. But that James Corden rumor? Nope. "We didn't plant that one, so that caught me frankly," Davies clarified.

"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. This role and show mean 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 utmost to do the same. Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true," Ncuti said. "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."

Davies added, "The future is here and it's Ncuti! Sometimes talent walks through the door and it's so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars. Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds. It's an honour to work with him, and a hoot, I can't wait to get started. I'm sure you're dying to know more, but we're rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie's epic finale yet to come. But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!" BBC CCO Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer agreed, also adding, "Ncuti has an incredible dynamism, he's a striking and fearless young actor whose talent and energy will set the world alight and take Doctor Who on extraordinary adventures under Russell T Davies' new era."

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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