Ncuti Gatwa is due to take Doctor Who’s helm as Doctor 15 in 2023. We at Scifipulse thought we’d run through five things we’d like to see from Gatwa’s Time Lord. Grab your fez and bow tie and come join us!
A big Zygon Inversion style speech
Peter Capaldi blew the world and the universe away with the 12th Doctor’s epic anti-war speech in the Zygon Inversion. I’d like to see Gatwa do something similar. Let’s see 15 verbally eviscerate Oswald Mosley or Hans Asperger or even turn his anger on humanity itself. From what I know of the Eric Effiong actor’s style and of RTD’s writing. It’s highly possible that 15 will be an optimistic figure like the 10th Doctor was. This reviewer would still like to see Gatwa cut loose on the Doctor’s enemies in the same way that the 9th and 12th Doctors did. For a Black actor to deliver an address in like vein to Capaldi’s Zygon Inversion monologue. Would be phenomenally powerful.
A Genesis of the Daleks type impossible choice
Tom Baker‘s iconic Genesis scene saw the Doctor almost become the very thing he hates most; as he is given the choice to wipe out the Daleks at their inception but chooses not to. What’s great about this story is the way that future writing for the show has built on it; with 4’s choice indirectly leading to the Time War. I believe that 15 should face a similar test. Giving Gatwa the chance to really show what he can do with this role. Matt Smith and Jodie Whittaker faced similar dilemmas in The Beast Below and The Haunting of Villa Diodati respectively. This is a keystone of Doctor Who; choosing mercy over destruction.
Situations where the Doctor is out of his depth
Midnight by Russell T Davies is possibly the single greatest Doctor Who episode. Significantly, the Doctor’s methods turn completely against him and he almost dies. RTD’s Doctors were not grandiose gods like Steven Moffat‘s iterations of the character. They could make mistakes and the entire universe did not revolve around them. What I’m saying is that 15 should in my opinion be competent and heroic but not all powerful; and his adventures should challenge him to save the day by being smart and kind. Perchance we could see the “Anyone can be a hero” theme from Davies’ first era return.
A regeneration similar to the 5th, 8th and 9th Doctors
Some fans have expressed distaste for the 12th Doctor’s regeneration speech. Indeed, Peter Capaldi delivered it superbly, but there are those who felt the speech itself was self indulgent. By contrast, the 9th Doctor’s (Christopher Eccleston) final words before changing were brilliant because they were so simple. And capped off his character arc perfectly. Similarly, the 8th Doctor (Paul McGann) accepted death with a mixture of courage and trepidation. Peter Davison‘s 5th Doctor’s swan song was arguably the best regeneration of all time. As 5 sacrifices his life to save Peri (Nicola Bryant). While this would depend on 15’s character arc and how he was written. I’d still like to see a more back to basics regeneration for Gatwa.
Different enemies to the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Master
There is a feeling in the Doctor Who fandom that the Daleks, the Master and the Cybermen are over-used. Notably, photos of a character named Roger ap Gwilliam, played by Aneurin Barnard, have been leaked online. It would be interesting for 15’s main enemy to be a corrupt human politician (which the UK has no shortage of). Davies’ Doctor Who was always focused on real life and real people. So we possibly won’t see more alien foes in the series proper, unlike the David Tennant led 2023 specials. Having said that, images of slug like creatures from Doctor Who’s set have also been posted online. It might work if 15’s era strikes a balance between RTD era monstrous entities and Moffat era uncanny valley humanoids.
What do you want to see in 15’s era? Do you agree with my suggestions? Please leave a comment and remember, bring me knitting.
Check out our Doctor Who 60th anniversary news and rumours article here
Check out our 5 Big Finish villains we’d like to see in the show article here