Jodie Whittaker has said Ncuti Gatwa will be “magical” on Doctor Who and will reach audiences that she has not been able to.
The 40-year-old British actress has played the 13th incarnation of The Doctor since 2017, after she took over the role from Peter Capaldi.
Speaking ahead of her final feature length special – The Power Of The Doctor – airing next week, Whittaker said: “This family grows and it will be bigger than us and it will go on, and Ncuti will be extraordinary and he will bring an audience that we haven’t reached and his performance will be so magical.
“Now we get to sit back and enjoy it as the fans that we can be now, knowing that whatever is to come we were once a part of that.”
Sex Education star Gatwa, 30, was announced as the 14th Doctor in May and will take over from Whittaker later this month.
Asked to share some advice for her successor, Whittaker said: “It’s yours for the taking, there’s no advice you can give.
“I’m certainly not giving that phenomenal actor any advice, he doesn’t need it from me.
“Just, it’s yours to own and you’ve earned it.”
Whittaker also spoke candidly about how emotional she became while making and watching her final Doctor Who episode, saying: “I just knew those moments, but I guess the wonderful thing is you can’t spoiler the end because we knew I was regenerating so I really only started crying over something I knew was about to happen.
“I’m not even slightly embarrassed about crying about it, it’s been the most special time and I got to do it side-by-side with friends and friends for life.”
Mandip Gill – who has played the role of The Doctor’s companion since 2017 – also spoke about the tearful experience of filming the final episode.
She said: “There wasn’t an awful lot of acting going on.
“I don’t really cry… But there were real tears, it was just beautiful.
“Even when I was watching it, I was like ‘that’s not acting, that’s actually just me crying’.
“But it really was really emotional, really beautiful, and it was just written so well.
“I wouldn’t have wanted it to end any other way… I’m just so grateful that, like [Jodie] says, we’ve started together and we’ve ended together.”
The final episode, airing on BBC One on October 23, will see Whittaker’s Doctor fight for her existence against some of her deadliest enemies – The Master, the Daleks and the Cybermen.
This will be the first time the three classic adversaries of the Doctor all feature in a single storyline since the show returned to BBC One in 2005.
The Time Lord will face further issues, including deciphering who is attacking a speeding bullet train on the edges of a distant galaxy and why seismologists are going missing from 21st century Earth.
She will also be left wondering who is defacing some of history’s most famous paintings, and why a Dalek is trying to make contact with her after all these years.
In May, Heartstopper actress Yasmin Finney was announced as a new Doctor Who cast member, and she will play a character called Rose who is set to be the Doctor’s new companion.
She will make her debut in scenes that are due to air in 2023 to coincide with the show’s 60th anniversary.
David Tennant, the 10th Time Lord, will also return to the show alongside Catherine Tate, who played his companion Donna Noble, for the celebrations.
Showrunner Chris Chibnall is set to leave the programme to be replaced by Russell T Davies, who was behind the 2005 revival of the show.
The Power Of The Doctor will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Sunday October 23.