Matt Smith Praises Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor Who Casting

From one Doctor to another, Matt Smith has nothing but kind things to say about the next actor to star as the titular time lord in Doctor Who. Previously, Smith starred in the long-running sci-fi series as the Eleventh Doctor and has since been succeeded by Peter Capaldi and Jodie Whittaker. This year, Whittaker will end her run as the Thirteenth Doctor as it has also been announced that Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa had been cast as the Fourteenth Doctor.

Per Variety, Smith was recently at San Diego Comic-Con to help promote his upcoming HBO series House of the Dragon. The actor has not forgotten his time in the Doctor Who franchise, however, and spoke about the latest casting news. Smith explained how much he loves the casting based on Gatwa’s performance in Sex Education, calling the move “sensational.” Smith also expressed how excited he is to see Gatwa’s episodes under the creative direction of returning showrunner Russell T Davies.

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“I think it’s the most sensational bit of casting. What an actor — he’s brilliant in Sex Education. I think he’s got something ‘other’ that that part really needs. I think [showrunner] Russell [T Davies] has such a sense of the show as well, and I’m really, really excited to see where ‘Doctor Who’ is going. I love Doctor Who, it’s forever in my heart.”

Since his time on Doctor Who, Smith has achieved further acclaim with his Emmy-nominated role on The CRown. Smith has also appeared in movies like Charlie Says, His House, Last Night in Soho, and Morbius. The actor will next star in one of the lead roles of House of the Dragon, a Game of Thrones spinoff series coming to HBO and HBO Max in August.

Ncuti Gatwa Becames the 14th Doctor at the Last Minute

BBC

Ncuti Gatwa just so happened to be the final audition seen by returning showrunner Russell T Davies for the new Doctor Who. By then, the show’s creatives had someone entirely different in mind and probably figured there’d be no changes heading into the very last audition. They did not expect for Gatwa to impress them as much as he did when he read for the Fourteenth Doctor, and it became clear right away for Davies that they just found what they were looking for.

“It was the most blazing audition,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “It was our last audition. It was our very last one. We thought we had someone and then in he came and stole it.”

On how it felt to get the role, Gatwa added, “It feels amazing, it feels really amazing. It’s a true honor, this role is an institution, and is so iconic, and it means a lot to so many people including myself, and so it means everyone feels seen as well, so that everyone can enjoy it. So I feel very grateful to have had the baton handed over and I’m going to try to do my best.”