Indira Varma joins Doctor Who as the Duchess
James R | On 27, May 2023
Indira Varma is crossing galaxies as she joins the new series of Doctor Who.
First entering the world of Doctor Who as Suzie Costello in Russell T Davies’ spin-off series Torchwood, Indira now steps aboard the TARDIS in her new mysterious role as the Duchess.
From her recent roles in Obsession and Obi-Wan to playing Ellaria Sand on Game of Thrones, Varma needs no introduction to TV or genre fans.
Speaking of joining Doctor Who, Indira Varma says: “I’m thrilled to be in Doctor Who and particularly excited to be crossing cosmic paths with Ncuti, as the Doctor, and look forward to creating interplanetary mischief with him. I loved playing Suzie Costello for Russell T Davies in Torchwood so am thrilled to be entering this world again.”
Davies adds: “I’m overjoyed to be reunited with Indira after our Torchwood days, and this part is truly spectacular! A whole new audience will be hiding behind the settee when the Duchess unleashes her terror.”
Doctor Who returns in November 2023 with three special episodes with David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor to coincide with the 60th anniversary. Ncuti Gatwa’s first episode as the Fifteenth Doctor will then air over the festive period.
Also appearing in Gatwa’s first season of Doctor Who will be Anita Dobson and Michelle Greenidge, plus Millie Gibson as new sidekick Ruby Sunday, not to mention Jonathan Groff in a mysterious key role.
Jonathan Groff joins Doctor Who in “key role”
6th May 2023
Jonathan Groff has joined the cast of Doctor Who in a mysterious “key role”.
The long-running sci-fi series celebrates its 60th anniversary this year with a string of specials that mark the return of David Tennant. But following those, a new season will see Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa take over the TARDIS as the new Doctor.
He’ll be joined by Anita Dobson and Michelle Greenidge, plus Millie Gibson as new sidekick Ruby Sunday. Now, they’ve got some star-studded company in the form of Jonathan Groff.
Jonathan shot to fame when he landed the role of Jessie in musical comedy drama Glee. He has since starred as Eric in Knock at the Cabin, played Holden Ford in Netflix’s Mindhunter and played the new Agent Smith in The Matrix Resurrections, not to mention voicing Kristoff in Disney’s Frozen films. He has also made his mark on Broadway as King George III in Hamilton.
The latter two may hold the key to his “mysterious and exciting guest role” in Doctor Who, with showrunner Russell T Davies returning to the series with big ambitions for the future – and one thing that Doctor Who has never tried before is a musical adventure. Doctor Who “hits another high note” is how the Beeb announced Groff’s casting.
Groff says: “I am so thrilled to jump into the extraordinary mind of Russell T Davies and watch the incredible Ncuti Gatwa soar in this iconic role!”
Davies adds: “This is an incredible coup, and a great honour, to get such a huge star striding on to our set. So strap on your space boots, this is going to be a blast!”
Anita Dobson, Michelle Greenidge join Doctor Who cast
21st January 2023
New year, new Doctor – well, almost, as Doctor Who prepares to bring back David Tennant in the TARDIS for its 60th anniversary specials. But they pave the way for the new Doctor in the shape of Ncuti Gatwa, who will then take over the TARDIS for the new full season. And now, he’s got even more company lined up to join him.
Anita Dobson and Michelle Greenidge are the latest additions to the show’s cast, although their character details are currently being kept a mystery. What we do know, however, is that the Sex Education star will be stepping into the blue police box alongside Millie Gibson – best known for her role as Coronation Street’s Kelly Neelan – as Ruby Sunday.
The news follows our first proper glimpse of the Doctor’s new style, with Gatwa’s Doctor sporting a brown patterned suit with brown trousers and an orange top.
First look: Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson as the Doctor and Ruby Sunday
17th December 2022
With the Thworps of Jodie Whittaker’s turn in the TARDIS still ringing in our ears, Doctor Who is already gearing up for the next Time Lord to take over the blue police box – and now, we’ve got a first official look at what Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor will look like.
The Sex Education star was announced earlier this year as the new Doctor set to step into the TARDIS, taking over from Jodie Whittaker’s groundbreaking turn as the Thirteenth Time Lord. Millie Gibson, best known for her role as Coronation Street’s Kelly Neelan, will be alongside him as Ruby Sunday.
Before they step into the TARDIS, Russell T Davies, the new (and returning) showrunner who has taken over from Chris Chibnall, is bringing back David Tennant (the Tenth Doctor) as the Fourteenth Doctor for three specials in November 2023, which will mark the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who. Then, Gatwa and Gibson will begin their run proper.
While casting news is all well and good, though, a key part of what makes the Doctor the Doctor is the outfit they wear. The new photos released give us a sense of the Doctor’s new style, with Gatwa’s Doctor sporting a brown patterned suit with brown trousers and an orange top. Gibson’s Ruby, meanwhile, is wearing a patterned white top beneath a denim jacket with a fluffy collar, blue shorts and black tights.
Doctor Who: Millie Gibson to play companion to Ncuti Gatwa
19th November 2022
Millie Gibson has been officially unveiled as the companion to Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor in Doctor Who.
The Sex Education star was announced earlier this year as the new Doctor set to step into the TARDIS, taking over from Jodie Whittaker’s groundbreaking turn as the Thirteenth Time Lord. Millie Gibson will be alongside him as Ruby Sunday. Best known for her role as Coronation Street’s Kelly Neelan, 18-year-old Millie was the recipient of the Best Young Performer Award at The British Soap Awards earlier this year. Millie has also appeared in dramas Butterfly (ITV) and Love, Lies and Records (BBC).
Gibson says: “While still being in total disbelief, I am beyond honoured to be cast as the Doctor’s companion. It is a gift of a role, and a dream come true, and I will do everything to try and fill the boots the fellow companions have travelled in before me. And what better way to do that than being by the fabulous Ncuti Gatwa’s side, I just can’t wait to get started.”
Gatwa adds: “Millie just is the companion. She is full of talent, strength, she has a cheeky sparkle in her eye and is sharp as a razor. From the moment she walked into the room she captured all of our attention with her effervescence and then solidified that attention with the sheer torque of her talent. This adventure is going to be so wild and so fun, I cannot WAIT to sail the universe with Millie!”
Russell T Davies, the new (and returning) showrunner who has taken over from Chris Chibnall, says: “It’s the great honour of my job to find the next generation of talent, and Millie shines like a star already. She’s brilliant, dynamic, clever and a wonderful actor. As a Coronation Street fan, I’ve seen Millie survive chases, guns and sieges, but that’s nothing compared to what lies ahead for Ruby Sunday.”
Gibson’s Ruby will make her debut over the festive season in 2023 when the Fifteenth Doctor takes control of the TARDIS. Before then, David Tennant (the Tenth Doctor) will return to play the Fourteenth Doctor for three specials in November 2023, which will mark the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who. Then, Gatwa and Gibson will step up the blue police box plate.
You can read more about, and see images from, the anniversary specials this way.
First look: Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor in new Doctor Who trailer
24th October 2022
With Jodie Whittaker’s farewell still thworp-ing its way through living rooms, we’ve already got our first look at Ncuti Gatwa as he steps into the TARDIS to become the new Doctor.
Except, well, it’s not quite that simple. Before the Sex Education star can begin to pilot the blue police box, there’s the little matter of David Tennant, whose 10th Doctor is returning as the 14th Doctor for a three-part special that will mark Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary. Airing in November 2023, the special episodes will pave the way for Gatwa’s official solo debut, which will air over the festive season in 2023.
But he will be appearing in the 60th anniversary episodes, with a new teaser for the celebrations including him trying to work out what the heck is going on.
Doctor Who: Ncuti Gatwa confirmed as new Doctor
8th May 2022
Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa has been confirmed as the new Doctor set to take charge of the TARDIS.
A stage and screen veteran, the young actor is best known for his scene-stealing role as Eric Effiong in Netflix’s teen comedy, for which he was awarded Best Actor Award at the Scottish BAFTAs in 2020 as well as numerous nominations, including Best Male Performance in a comedy programme at this year’s BAFTAs. He steps aboard the TARDIS after Jodie Whittaker’s groundbreaking turn as the 13th Time Lord and follows in the footsteps of Jo Martin, who became the first Black Doctor in a guest role as the Fugitive Doctor during the series in 2020.
Ncuti says: “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 utmost to do the same.
Ncuti will arrive alongside Russell T Davies, who takes over as showrunner from also-departing Chris Chibnall. Davies will be returning to the role of head writer after first reviving Doctor Who for the BBC back in 2005.
“Russell T Davies is almost as iconic as the Doctor himself and being able to work with him is a dream come true,” adds Ncuti. “His writing is dynamic, exciting, incredibly intelligent and fizzing with danger. An actor’s metaphorical playground. The entire team has 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.”
Davies comments: “The future is here and it’s Ncuti! 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. 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!”
Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer, says: “Ncuti has an incredible dynamism, he’s a striking and fearless young actor whose talent and energy will set the world alight and take Doctor Who on extraordinary adventures under Russell T Davies’ new era.”
Further details will be announced in due course. In the meantime, Whittaker has one last outing in the TARDIS, which is expected to air this autumn as part of the BBC’s centenary celebrations – you can watch the first teaser for that epic farewell here.