Ncuti Gatwa is expected to first appear as the new Time Lord in Doctor Who‘s Christmas Day episode, but the Sex Education and Barbie star may have just dropped a major spoiler for either that or Russell T Davies’ upcoming season 14/season 1.
Talking to The Sun (via SFFGazette.com) at the GQ Men of the Year Awards this past week, the actor confirmed that his Fifteenth Doctor will somehow share the screen with the late William Hartnell’s First Doctor.
“It has been a crazy year,” he started. “I shouldn’t say this but there was a scene that I somehow shot with the first ever Doctor, William Hartnell. We ended up in the same scene together…and to see that history and now a Black man is the Doctor is just very wild.”
We can’t imagine Davies, BBC, or Disney+ will be too pleased with Gatwa revealing plans for this surprise cameo, but the response online from fans has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s unclear whether archival footage will be used or if special effects are going to bring Hartnell’s Doctor back to life. There’s always a chance, of course, that A.I. will somehow factor into the “cameo.”
Since Hartnell passed away in 1975, the First Doctor has appeared in Doctor Who on a few different occasions. However, he’s always been played by new actors; Richard Hurndall portrayed him in 1983’s 20th-anniversary special “The Five Doctors,” with David Bradley taking over the role for Mark Gatiss’s film An Adventure in Space and Time as well as Peter Capaldi-era stories, “The Doctor Falls” and ‘”Twice Upon a Time.”
At the same event, Gatwa also shared what fans can expect from his version of this iconic time-traveller. “My Doctor is emotionally vulnerable. He hides it with humour, but he’s lonely,” the actor teases. “But he’s also energetic! The poor cameramen struggled to keep up.”
Davies’ return to Doctor Who sent Whovians across the world into a frenzy of excitement, and while this marks his first time serving as the series’ showrunner in over a decade, he has plans to stick around for the foreseeable future. Recently, the writer revealed that he’s already planning season 3 and will later tackle a fourth batch of episodes.
As noted, Doctor Who returns in November 2023 with three special episodes with Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor to coincide with the 60th anniversary. Ncuti Gatwa’s first appearance as the Fifteenth Doctor is also expected to air over the festive period. Season 1 doesn’t have a confirmed premiere date but is expected to premiere in early 2024.
We recently spoke to Doctor Who and Torchwood star John Barrowman, hearing from him about Gatwa’s Doctor and whether he could one day return as Captain Jack Harkness. Check that out in the player below.