Former Doctor Who Showrunner Reveals How the New Doctor Will Engage with Previous Time Lords



  • Ncuti Gatwa, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi’s Doctors would make a hilarious trio, with Gatwa and Smith as mischievous schoolkids and Capaldi as the grumpy teacher.
  • Moffat envisions a lighter, humorous subplot for a
    Doctor Who
    crossover, suggesting the trio could form a boy band amidst their adventures.
  • Gatwa’s inclusion in the series symbolizes a push for inclusivity, challenging fans to embrace the Doctor’s shape-shifting alien nature over rigid traditional portrayals.

Former Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat recently shared his imaginative take on how a crossover episode could unfold with the newest incarnation of the Doctor, played by Ncuti Gatwa. Moffat’s tenure with the show spanned seven years, overseeing the whimsical and sometimes dark adventures of both Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi’s Doctors.

Known for his inventive storytelling, Moffat recently penned the episode “Boom” for season 14, marking his return to the series with Gatwa at the helm. In an interview with Screen Rant, Moffat ventured into speculative territory, discussing how Gatwa’s Doctor might interact with his predecessors, Smith and Capaldi.

According to Moffat, a meeting between these distinct personalities from different eras of the show would yield the right mix of humor and nostalgia.

What would they think? The David and the Matt doctors always got on really well. They just liked each other. I think Capaldi would be grumpy about the other two not being proper doctors like him. I think Matt and Ncuti’s doctors would just have a giggle together and run around and say, “This is cool. You change your clothes all the time. I’m going to do that now!”

Doctor Who Season 15 poster with Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson

Doctor Who

Originally premiered in 1963, Doctor Who is a sci-fi series that follows a powerful being known as a Time Lord, referred to as the Doctor. Using an interdimensional time-traveling ship known as the TARDIS, the Doctor travels time and space with various companions as they solve multiple problems and help avert catastrophe as much as they almost cause it. Though the Doctor is always the same character, they experience regenerations, allowing them to be recast every few seasons as a unique immortal being with new personality traits.

Release Date
March 26, 2005



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He suggested that Gatwa and Smith’s Doctors would share an easy camaraderie, their interactions sprinkled with light-hearted banter and a youthful zest that contrasts sharply with Capaldi’s more stern, authoritative version of the Doctor. Moffat playfully proposed that Capaldi’s Doctor would take on the role of a “grumpy school teacher” amidst the antics of his younger counterparts.

I think that would be funny. That would actually be quite a funny threesome. Ncuti and Matt would be the naughty school kids, and Capaldi would be the grumpy school teacher who’s actually even naughtier than they are, and they’d all play the guitar. They’d start a boy band.

Historically, Doctor Who has celebrated its rich narrative history through crossover specials that bring together different eras, with nearly all actors reprising their roles for such landmark episodes. Although these specials typically carry high stakes, Moffat playfully suggests a lighter subplot, whimsically envisioning the trio forming a “boy band,” a nod to the fun and sometimes eccentric spirit of the show.

While Moffat helmed the eras of Smith and Capaldi, he also acknowledged the contributions of other recent Doctors like Jodie Whittaker, whose inclusion in such a crossover could offer an intriguing mix of leadership styles and periods of the show. Gatwa’s early tenure has already seen him crossover with David Tennant’s Fourteenth Doctor, showcasing Gatwa’s amiable and engaging nature.


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Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor in Doctor Who.
BBC / Disney+

Ncuti Gatwa addressed criticisms over his casting and the series’ push for inclusivity. Speaking in an NPR interview, Gatwa expressed disappointment in how some longtime fans have reacted negatively based on his appearance and race.

“I find it fascinating that it matters so much to these people. You are going to limit yourselves from a show that you claim to love because you don’t like something about someone’s appearance or their race. It’s just really sad for them.”

He found it perplexing that viewers would distance themselves from a beloved series simply because they disagreed with the portrayal of the Doctor’s race, especially given that the character is, in essence, a shape-shifting alien capable of adopting any form.

The character is a shape-shifting alien. It can be anyone. So for it to be – for there to have only been one representation of the character, I think it’s just quite limiting.

Since its debut in 1963, Doctor Who has primarily featured white male actors from the United Kingdom, with Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor marking the first major departure as a female lead, which similarly stirred controversy.



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