Matt Smith calls Ncuti Gatwa a “sensational” choice for Doctor Who

Matt Smith, who led Doctor Who before Jodie Whittaker took over the role in 2017, had some kind words for incoming Doctor Ncuti Gatwa

From one Doctor to another, former Doctor Who star Matt Smith was full of praise for Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa during the world premiere of House of the Dragon.

Gatwa, 29, was announced as the Fourteenth Doctor in May 2022, with the actor telling the BBC at the time that he was “deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared” to undertake the leading role in the widely popular sci-fi series. “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,” he added. “I will endeavour my utmost to do the same.”

Gatwa makes history as the first Black man to portray the role of The Doctor, He will be taking over from Jodie Whittaker, who made history herself after being the first woman to undertake the role in back in 2017. Matt Smith, meanwhile, played The Doctor between 2010 and 2013.

Speaking to Variety, Smith said while he hadn’t met Gatwa in-person yet, the two had spoken via Whatsapp. “I think it’s the most sensational bit of casting. What an actor — he’s brilliant in Sex Education,” he added. “I think he’s got something ‘other’ that that part really needs.”

Behind the scenes, former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies is also set to return to write the TV series’ epic 60th anniversary and Gatwa’s debut series.  “I think Russell has such a sense of the show as well, and I’m really, really excited to see where Doctor Who is going,” Smith said. “I love Doctor Who, it’s forever in my heart.”

If you’re a fan of everything wibbly wobbly time wimey, why not check out our guide to the best time travel movies?