Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate into Gatwa's version later this year.

After months of rumors and speculation, the BBC announced today that Jodie Whittaker will be replaced on Doctor Who by BAFTA-nominated Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa. Whittaker's departure from the Time Lord role was announced last July; her final appearance will air later this year. The 29-year-old Gatwa was cast by showrunner Russell T. Davies, who successfully relaunched the time travel show in 2005 and has now returned to oversee the post-Whittaker era. Gatwa recently joined the cast of the upcoming Barbie film, which stars Margot Robbie.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 13: Ncuti Gatwa attends the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on March 13, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Ncuti Gatwa
| Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

"The future is here and it's Ncuti!" Russell T. Davies said in a statement. "Sometimes talent walks through the door and it's so bright and bold and brilliant, I just stand back in awe and thank my lucky stars. Ncuti dazzled us, seized hold of the Doctor and owned those TARDIS keys in seconds. It's an honor to work with him, and a hoot, I can't wait to get started. I'm sure you're dying to know more, but we're rationing ourselves for now, with the wonderful Jodie's epic finale yet to come. But I promise you, 2023 will be spectacular!"

"There aren't quite the words to describe how I'm feeling," said Gatwa. "A mix of deeply honored, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared. 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. Russell T. Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true. His writing is dynamic, exciting, incredibly intelligent and fizzing with danger. An actor's metaphorical playground. The entire team have been so welcoming and truly give their hearts to the show. And so as much as it's daunting, I'm aware I'm joining a really supportive family. Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show."

Last year, Whittaker spoke with EW about shooting the scene in which her Thirteenth Doctor regenerates into the the new version.

"It was singularly the most emotional day on set I think I've ever had," she said. "It's a really bizarre feeling, because it's the best time I've ever had on a job, and I made the decision to leave it, so it's a really strange thing to do to yourself. It feels like you're giving yourself stitches — like, 'Why have you done it?' But… it felt right. It was a wonderfully-celebratory-slash-grief-ridden day that I could spend with the family that I'd made. I suppose the best thing about it is that the episodes are still on. So until they're off, I don't have to really get my head around the fact that it's not my part!"

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