The Good Doctor

Ncuti Gatwa says the Doctor is like “many a gay man”

With Ncuti Gatwa taking on the iconic mantle of the Doctor in the upcoming series of Doctor Who, fans hoped they might see the queerest incarnation of the Time Lord yet. According to Gatwa himself, that wish is coming true.

In a new interview with The Guardian, Gatwa reflected on the show’s themes of chosen family. “It’s part of the reason Doctor Who has such a huge connection to LGBT people,” he said. “We choose our families. And the Doctor is a lonely wanderer, looking for their next adventure … I know many a gay man, MANY a gay man, I could describe that way!” 

“I think that’s a beautiful, beautiful theme Doctor Who has, because chosen family can be more meaningful, more supportive,” he continued. “That really can be the case, and it’s a theme that absolutely runs through the show.”

Gatwa will next appear as the Doctor in this year’s Christmas special, “The Church on Ruby Road,” which will see the Doctor encounter Ruby Sunday, a woman raised in foster care, played by Millie Gibson.

Doctor Who and Christmas have been synonymous since the series’ first Christmas special, “The Christmas Invasion,” aired in 2005. Sci-fi and the holiday season may seem like an odd match, but Gatwa says there’s more in common there than meets the eye.

Doctor Who, Christmas … They’re both institutions that revolve around family, and coming together. They just go hand in hand,” he said. “I mean, it’s Christmas Day, you get to sit down with your family, watch Doctor Who and go on an adventure. An adventure through time and space with a crazy man in a box!”

But as far as the character of the Doctor, Gatwa thinks he may be something of a Grinch.

“He probably has quite a funny relationship with Christmas,” Gatwa said. “It isn’t joyous for everyone, and the Doctor is … quite lonely. I think the Doctor has a loneliness, a sorrow, a sadness that they try to fill with chaos and mischief. So I think they have quite a love/hate relationship with it.”

Doctor Who recently drew attention from transphobes for the inclusion of a new trans character, Rose Noble Temple, played by Yasmin Finney of Heartstopper fame. She’ll appear again in the new series as Gatwa’s companion, so buckle up for the queerest series of Doctor Who yet.

“Doctor Who: The Church on Ruby Road” airs on BBC One and Disney+ on December 25. Check out the trailer below.

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