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Representation in Television: Doctor Who.

The popular BBC television series Doctor Who has announced its 14th doctor to replace the current doctor Jodie Whittaker in the next series. The next regeneration of the Doctor sees Ncuti Gatwa the first Rwandan-Scottish actor to take the lead role.

Ncuti Gatwa (BBC)

Gatwa is best know for his role in the hit Netflix series Sex Education, who has been announced as the new Time Lord. Doctor Who has been broadcasting since 1963, and has predominantly seen a British white male actor in the starring role.

Gatwa shared how honoured he felt: “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. Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart, but I am giving it all to this show.”

Representation of black actors in UK television, has increased for starring roles in television, but there is still room for improvement.

The director, Russell T Davies, is no stranger to bringing inclusivity into his television series across the BBC. Davies has created successful shows which bring representation to the forefront such as the BBC television series It’s a Sin.

By having Gatwa as the next doctor, it will not only entice more production companies to consider black actors in leading roles, but will allow those from BAME communities to see themselves in mass media.

Previous actors who took on the role usually create their own spin on the character.

Charlotte Moore, the Chief Content Officer at the BBC, highlights that Gatwa will be no exception: ‘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’.

Gatwa is expected to make his debut appearance as the Time Lord in 2023.


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