Doctor Who: Ncuti Gatwa wins over fans with one small detail

Jessica Cullen
Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor in Doctor Who

Only three episodes into his official reign as the Fifteenth Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa has already found a way into Doctor Who fans’ hearts with one small and very personal detail: his accent.

The Sex Education actor and star of Doctor Who Season 14 was born in Rwanda (making him the first actor born outside of the UK to play the Time Lord) and raised in Scotland. As such, his accent is a unique blend, and certainly makes him stand out among the previous iterations of the Doctor.

It’s this detail that has captured the love of fans, particularly with how he pronounces the word “TARDIS”. Compared to other versions of the Time Lord (who have mostly spoken in a ‘received pronunciation’ style), his version of the word emphasizes the “r” sound, putting an unusual and pleasant spin on the ship’s name. (You can hear Gatwa briefly talking about his accent in the below clip.)

As one fan wrote on Reddit: “His Rwandan/Scottish accent is so beautiful to listen to, and for some reason hearing the ‘r’ pronounced in ‘TARDIS’ gives me a little shock and thrill. Ncuti is a gem and I’m so glad he’s The Doctor.”

Others quickly agreed, with comments saying: “I love his accent. There’s something about accents that are a mix of different accents that I love… I’m glad he’s using his natural accent, rather than making it RP or something,” and: “Yeah, it’s always sad to me that David Tennant couldn’t use his natural accent, so it’s nice that Ncuti gets to.”

“100% agree with all of this!” said another. “It caught me off guard when I heard him say it. It’s fresh though. He’s a fresh take on the Doctor and I’m excited to see him blossom in this role. This season is going to be fun!”

“I’ll admit it’s odd to hear the ‘R’ in TARDIS actually pronounced by the Doctor, but it’s absolutely fantastic. His accent is amazing,” said one user.

So far, Gatwa’s Doctor has stood out as one of the most enjoyable elements of the new season. In our ‘Space Babies’ review, we said that he “has a swaggering energy that’s undeniably charming”, with plenty of potential for the upcoming Doctor Who episodes.

For more, check out our guide on the Doctor Who Season 14 release schedule, and find out how to watch Doctor Who Season 14.

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