Everyone from It’s A Sin star Olly Alexander to Hugh Grant were linked to the role, but it’s fair to say that Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa, who plays the beloved Eric, wasn’t on many people’s Doctor Who bingo cards (our bad, Ncuti).
Now, following the announcement that the 29-year-old will be the 14th Time Lord, we’re all feeling (a) like idiots for overlooking him and (b) very excited indeed that this young Black star will be taking up residence in the Tardis.
As showrunner Russell T Davis put it so perfectly: “The future is here”.
And it’s not just your average Doctor Who fans who agree...
Ncuti is equally pumped about his new role too, saying: “Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show.
“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.
“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 endeavour my upmost 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.”
Queer As Folk and It’s A Sin writer Russell T Davies, who is returning as the programme’s showrunner after leaving Doctor Who in 2009, promised fans Ncuti would be “spectacular” in the role.
“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 honour to work with him, and a hoot, I can’t wait to get started.”
Neither can we.