Ncuti Gatwa has opened up about the “huge connection” between Doctor Who and the LGBTQIA+ community. 

On 25 December, fans will be treated to the show’s highly anticipated Christmas special, The Church on Ruby Road – which will be the first adventure for Gatwa’s iteration of the time lord. 

The new episode will also introduce the Doctor’s new companion, Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson), a young woman who grew up in foster care.

“Long ago, on Christmas Eve, a baby was abandoned in the snow. Today, Ruby Sunday meets the Doctor, stolen babies, goblins and perhaps the secret of her birth,” the mysterious synopsis reads.

With the premiere of The Church on Ruby Road right around the corner, Gatwa opened up to The Guardian about why Doctor Who and the holidays go hand in hand. 

“I think… family. Doctor Who, Christmas… They’re both institutions that revolve around family and coming together. They just go hand in hand,” he explained to the news outlet. 

“I mean, it’s Christmas Day, you get to sit down with your family, watch Doctor Who and go on an adventure. An adventure through time and space with a crazy man in a box.” 

Elsewhere in his interview, the Sex Education star opened up about the Doctor’s complicated relationship with Christmas and family. 


“It isn’t joyous for everyone, and the Doctor is… quite lonely. I think the Doctor has a loneliness, a sorrow, a sadness that they try to fill with chaos and mischief,” he explained. 

“So I think they have quite a love/hate relationship with it,” he said. 

While Doctor Who deals with themes of loneliness and isolation, it also explores the idea of finding your own family – which Gatwa says is the reason behind the show’s large LGBTQIA+ fanbase. 

“We choose our families. And the Doctor is a lonely wanderer, looking for their next adventure… I know many a gay man, MANY a gay man, I could describe that way,” he explained. 

“I think that’s a beautiful, beautiful theme Doctor Who has, because chosen family can be more meaningful, more supportive. That really can be the case, and it’s a theme that absolutely runs through the show.” 

Fortunately, fans won’t have to wait too long for Gatwa and Gibson’s Doctor Who adventure, with The Church on Ruby Road set to air on 25 December at 5:55 pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. 

Check out a clip from the forthcoming special here or below.