By Ginger Adams Otis
Scottish actor Ncuti Gatwa has been tapped as the latest Doctor in “Doctor Who,” the BBC’s long-running science-fiction series.
Mr. Gatwa, best known for his role in Netflix’s “Sex Education,” will replace Jodie Whittaker as the extraterrestrial Time Lord in the popular time-traveling show.
“The future is here. Ncuti Gatwa Is the Doctor!” the British Broadcasting Corp. wrote on Twitter Sunday, just hours before the start of the British Academy Television Awards shows in London.
“There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling. A mix of deeply honored, beyond excited and of course, a little bit scared,” Mr. Gatwa said in a statement. “Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart, but I am giving it all to this show.”
Mr. Gatwa, 29 years old, is the first black actor to play the lead role of Doctor full-time. Ms. Whittaker, who took over the role in 2018, was the first woman to play the character.
Charlotte Moore, chief content officer for the BBC, said Mr. Gatwa’s dynamism will bring new energy to the show, which has been in production since its debut BBC broadcast in 1963.
“He’s a striking and fearless young actor whose talent and energy will set the world alight and take ‘Doctor Who’ on extraordinary adventures,” she said in a statement.
The Doctor in “Doctor Who” appears human and explores the universe in a time-traveling spaceship called the TARDIS.
The change of actors for the lead role is written into the script and sometimes prior versions of the Doctor meet themselves on screen. Mr. Gatwa will be the 14th Doctor to appear on “Doctor Who.”
Write to Ginger Adams Otis at Ginger.AdamsOtis@wsj.com