The resurrection or the final damnation of the once-beloved and timeless British sci-fi series Doctor Who is at hand. The show that has been thoroughly debased and mortally wounded by the utter hatred for its premise and characters by Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker has its first chance to crawl out of the pit that it has succumbed to and once again claim its rightful place at the top of the genre. However, with such a momentous chance for redemption also comes a gargantuan possibility for the final nail to be put in the coffin and its final destruction to be delivered. Fans of the show hoped and prayed that through returning Doctor Who legend Russell T. Davies – along with his production company Badwolf, now owned by Sony – and the series’ divorce from the BBC, this redemption may, in fact, be had. The first news to suggest whether their hopes are founded, and the first sign of a possible new direction for the series going forward was announced this morning by the BBC and DoctorWhoTV.
Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa will be picking up the iconic screwdriver and psychic paper and taking the helm of the TARDIS to go out into the universe, helping where he can, and simply wandering as a madman with a box. Fans are somewhat divided on his casting. Many are gladdened that The Doctor is going back to a male actor, as the role was intended to be. However, others are concerned with the feminized nature of Gatwa, worried that he may not be able to bring the gravitas of a millennia-old wanderer nor the sex appeal needed to keep the American female audience invested. Upon the announcement, Gatwa had this to say:
“This role and show means so much to so many around the world, including myself, and each one of my incredibly talented predecessors has handled that unique responsibility and privilege with the utmost care. I will endeavor my utmost to do the same.“
At this point, with Gatwa’s limited filmography, no firm statements can be made on his talent or his qualifications for the role. Fans can only continue to hope and pray that Russell T. Davies can guide this young man into becoming the ancient man with two hearts from Gallifrey described as:
“He’s like fire and ice and rage; he’s like the night and the storm in the heart of the sun. He’s ancient and forever, he burns at the center of time, and can see the turn of the universe. And… he’s wonderful.”
Whether or not the majority of fans are interested in or even like this casting, the universal thing that true fans all believe is that it does not matter who plays The Doctor if they do not retcon the disastrous consequences of “The Timeless Children,” which utterly annihilated all canon, character, or purpose to this once immortal show. Without this retcon, Gatwa’s casting means nothing. Nevertheless, with a retcon, Gatwa may be a positive influence on this show in the end, but only time will tell.