Doctor Who: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Ncuti Gatwa

Our current Doctor went from a burger van outside Dundee, to all of time and space in the TARDIS!

Doctor Who Third Doctor Fifteenth Doctor
BBC Studios

Ahead of his long-awaited first season of Doctor Who, what do we know about Ncuti Gatwa? Obviously, he shot to fame as Eric Effiong in Netflix's Sex Education, before playing a small role in the biggest movie of 2023.

Also in 2023, he made his debut as the Doctor in The Giggle's canon-bending bi-generation, before battling the Toymaker in his y-fronts. Gatwa's rise to stardom has been incredible to watch, especially when looking back at his early life.

As Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi observed back in 2022 when Gatwa was announced as the Fifteenth Doctor:

"What a great story – a little boy whose family escaped from the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and at age two, finds refuge in Scotland, where he grows up to become Doctor Who."

What's fascinating is that, even from his childhood, Gatwa was following in the footsteps of his predecessors like David Tennant and Peter Capaldi, and even starred opposite some past and future Doctor Who luminaries.

Was the universe trying to bind Ncuti Gatwa and Doctor Who together? It certainly feels that way when you learn a bit more about him.

10. His First TV Role Was With An Ood And A Sontaran

Doctor Who Third Doctor Fifteenth Doctor
BBC Studios

In the first episode of the second series of BBC Scotland sitcom Bob Servant, Bob pioneers a new "Meat Attack" burger, which is bought by a young Ncuti Gatwa.

Gatwa's first TV role as a future victim of serious food poisoning is particularly interesting because of who he appeared onscreen with.

He was served his burger by Bob's loyal employee Frank, played by Jonathan Watson. Watson would go on to don the armour and potato heads of several Sontarans in Doctor Who Series 13 – including Commander Skaak, who really wanted to ride a horse.

Doctor Who Flux Series 13 Sontaran Commander Skaak
BBC Studios

Bob Servant himself was played by Brian Cox, who had previously voiced the Ood Elder in The End of Time. A year prior to Gatwa's episode of Bob Servant, Cox had also played Doctor Who co-creator Sydney Newman in the biopic An Adventure in Space and Time.

These connections got even more wibbly-wobbly when, in 2023, Gatwa was edited into An Adventure in Space and Time in place of Matt Smith, to commemorate Doctor Who's 60th anniversary.

So there you have it – Doctor Who's past and future convening around a burger van just outside Dundee!

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Citizen of the Universe, Film Programmer, Writer, Podcaster, Doctor Who fan and a gentleman to boot. As passionate about Chinese social-realist epics as I am about dumb popcorn movies.