Doctor Who Christmas special sees 15th Doctor meet his companion

The Christmas special will air on Boxing Day.

The Christmas special will air on Boxing Day. Photo: Disney+

The trailer for the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special has been released, making way for the 15th Doctor.

The Church on Ruby Road, screening on Boxing Day, will see Ncuti Gatwa step into the role after he made his debut in a special episode to mark 60 years of the series.

The Christmas episode will introduce the Doctor’s companion, Ruby Sunday, played by Millie Gibson.

According to the BBC, Doctor Who fans can expect to see the Doctor’s life collide with Ruby Sunday and the two face off with “mythical and mysterious goblins”.

“Little is known about Ruby Sunday as she was abandoned on Christmas Eve as a baby,” the BBC said.

“Now living with her mum, Carla, and grandmother, Cherry, her world is about to be turned upside when she encounters the Doctor and the two set off on their first adventure together …”

To celebrate the upcoming episode, the London Eye turned blue earlier this month to mark the world premiere of The Church on Ruby Road.

The new faces in Doctor Who

It was announced in 2022 that Gatwa would be the new incarnation of the doctor.

There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling,” Gatwa said after he landed the role.

“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.”

Born in Rwanda, Gatwa’s family escaped the Rwandan genocide and settled in Scotland. He is the first black protagonist in Doctor Who, and the first person born outside of the UK to take on the role.

He will also be the first openly queer actor to play the role, as Gatwa publicly came out in 2023.

After much speculation about his sexuality, Gatwa essentially came out in an interview with Elle UK, recalling a moment at Manchester Pride when he saw a woman who looked like his aunt.

“We were holding hands, and she said to me, ‘I don’t really know why I’m here. I’m just here.’ I told her, ‘Honey, you don’t need to know. You absolutely. Do not. Need. To. Know. You’re here. Be proud of who you are,” he said.

He said that until that moment at the Pride event, he had “never met another queer Rwandan person before”.

Acclaimed actors

Gatwa’s big break came when he landed the role of Eric Effiong in Sex Education.

For his role in the critically-acclaimed Netflix comedy, Gatwa was nominated for and won several awards.

He also starred as one of the many Kens in Greta Gerwig’s box office hit, Barbie, in 2023.

Gibson, aged 19, also has an impressive resume.

She is best known for her regular role on the British soap, Coronation Street, for which she won an award for Best Young Performer at the British Soap Awards in 2022.

Speaking to Square Mile about the upcoming season of Doctor Who, which will come out in 2024, Gibson said she believes it will resonate with a younger audience.

“I think Gen Z will like it. I think it’s going with the times, coming of age. Especially with the cast that they’ve gotten this series; people are going to be blown away,” she said.

Australians will be able to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special on Disney+ on December 26.

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