Doctor Who Legend Tom Baker Had A Dramatic (And Fabulous) Reaction To Ncuti Gatwa's Casting

The Barbie star will take over from David Tennant when Doctor Who's new season launches in 2024.
Tom Baker in 1979
Tom Baker in 1979

Doctor Who legend Tom Baker had a brilliant reaction when he first clapped eyes on the Tardis’ latest occupant, Ncuti Gatwa.

The former Sex Education and Barbie actor will take over as the Fifteenth Doctor in 2024, after David Tennant’s return to the franchise for three special episodes to mark the show’s 50th anniversary.

During a recent interview with Radio Times, Tom was apparently presented with Ncuti’s photo, declaring: “Oh! Is this the next Doctor Who? A handsome young man! Marvellous cheekbones.”

Well, he’s not wrong is he?

“These things are important as you get near to death,” Tom added, somewhat dramatically.

Ncuti Gatwa
Ncuti Gatwa
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Asked if he had any advice for the future Time Lord, though, the screen icon insisted Ncuti is better off working things out for himself.

Knowing anything is a bit dangerous when you play Doctor Who,” the veteran actor claimed.

“It’s better to know nothing. And to be good-natured. The trick is to respond generously to other actors, which halves your task because you don’t have to be driving it all the time.”

During the same interview, Tom made it clear he was in no rush to stage any kind of Doctor Who reunion (“re-Who-nion”?) in the near future.

Tom Baker in 2013
Tom Baker in 2013
WPA Pool via Getty Images

I avoid them, you know,” he admitted. “Not with any malice. A degree of contempt, perhaps. But mildly. Mildly contemptuous.”

He later added: “Fancy being round a table with old Doctor Whos!” he joked. “Though I’d quite like to walk into a restaurant and find 12 of them around the table – I’d enjoy doing that double take, as I desperately tried to remember who they were. I could keep that going for hours.”

Read Tom Baker’s full interview in the new issue of Radio Times, on sale now.


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