Doctor Who Season 14 Trailer Introduces Ncuti Gatwa as the Most Fun and Confident Version of the Time Lord Since the Reboot Began

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The Doctor is back in every sense of the word.

During Doctor Who's classic run, the Doctor often approached new adventures with child-like curiosity. But the 2005 reboot offered a darker, more depressed Doctor who had become worn down by the Time War and the companions he couldn't save.

Not anymore. Disney+ has just released a new trailer for Doctor Who Season 14, and it suggests that Ncuti Gatwa's Doctor will be a larger-than-life character who approaches life with confidence and a sense of fun.

A New Doctor Takes Control - Doctor Who

The Christmas special already introduced the newer, more lighthearted version of the Doctor, including him and Ruby Sunday singing a show tune to distract some evil goblins that wanted to eat Ruby's new foster sister.

It was campy as hell, but that was what Doctor Who needed. Season 14 will pick up where the special left off and combine humor and fun with more serious undertones.

Ruby's World Expands - Doctor Who

The Doctor makes a bold promise that he may be unable to keep: he tells his latest companion's mother that he'll keep her daughter safe.

This promise could make or break him. The 14th Doctor is off relaxing and healing from the trauma of traveling the universe with human companions, so the last thing the 15th Doctor needs is more grief and guilt.

But this Doctor appears to have the self-confidence his previous incarnation lacked, so he should be able to handle whatever evil is thrown his way.

Ruby's Character Arc Is a Throwback to the Past

Ruby will discover her purpose while traveling with the Doctor; in one trailer clip, she boldly declares that she knows she's meant to save the world.

In some ways, this is a throwback to the past. 2005's Rose Tyler was bored with life while working a minimum-wage job before she stepped foot in the TARDIS. 

Traveling with the Doctor helped give her the taste of all life had to offer that she had been missing, so much so that she could no longer relate to her mother or her boyfriend.

Similarly, Ruby lives with her adoptive mother and is eager for adventure. But unlike Rose, she's motivated by a personal mystery. She doesn't know who her birth parents are or why she was left on the church's doorstep as a newborn.

This is already a compelling character arc, and Ruby's discovery of her purpose will only add to it!

Motorcycle Adventure - Doctor Who

The 15th Doctor and Ruby Will Experience Historical Events

Although Doctor Who involves time travel, modern episodes don't always focus on the historical aspect. (Back in 1963, the show was intended to educate children about history and science, and the Doctor consistently interacted with actual historical figures for the first few seasons.)

That will change now that Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa is at the helm.

The Doctor and Ruby will travel to Abbey Road to meet the Beatles and to the Regency era of Britain. Ruby will participate in the type of ball usually reserved for upper-class debutantes.

Facing the End of the World - Doctor Who

These historical pieces will allow the characters to get into costume and have some fun!

The Regency era episode might be similar to Torchwood Season 1 Episode 9.

In that story, Captain Jack's insistence on openly dancing with his namesake during a time when being openly gay could get you killed might have changed the course of history. Similarly, Ruby and the Doctor might change something by participating in this ball.

They will throw the timeline off when they visit the prehistoric era. A clip in the trailer depicts Ruby turning into an alien resembling a butterfly after accidentally stepping on one during her visit.

Ruby Says Goodbye To Her Family - Doctor Who

Depending on how it's done, that campiness could be great or tip over into silliness. The original Doctor Who series often had campy overtones, so stories like these may help bring the series back to its roots as it approaches its 60th anniversary.

The Doctor and Ruby Must Stop The Earth From Being Destroyed

The Doctor and Ruby will also jump into the far future, where their attempt to save the Earth may break the space-time continuum.

Messing with historical events can be dangerous, as Rose Tyler learned during Doctor Who Season 1 Episode 7 when she tried to stop her father from dying in an accident when she was a child.

The resulting paradox generated the Reapers, who tried to stitch the wound in time by destroying everything in their path.

The Doctor Keeps His Promise - Doctor Who

Certain events are fixed points in time, which means they can't be changed and will happen no matter what. Hopefully, the destruction of the Earth isn't one of them.

The Doctor has always had a fondness for Earth and a deep connection to it, so he'd do anything to save it. But if saving Earth means destroying the universe, that's not a trade-off he can make.

In most cases, the Doctor understands the limits of his power and refrains from changing the timeline in irreversible ways, but his desire to save the Earth might prove to be his undoing. 

The trailer video features a potentially bent-out-of-shape timeline, as the Doctor looks like something out of a video game in one scene and has a hologram of David Tennant's 14th Doctor hovering over his shoulder.

A Hologram of the 14th Doctor -  Doctor Who

But is this the result of messing with what was supposed to be a fixed point, or does the Doctor have to save the Earth to get the timeline straightened out?

Time had gone wonky before this regeneration, which allowed the Doctor to split into two versions of himself at once rather than the new regeneration completely replacing the previous one. Could the 14th Doctor hologram be a result of whatever went wrong?

It would be heartbreaking if the 14th Doctor had to give up his newfound peaceful life with Donna and Rose Noble and allow himself to die completely to set the timeline to rights.

We're in uncharted territory now that the once-in-a-lifetime bigeneration has happened, and there's no telling what might be possible or what ill effects have been caused by having two Doctors in the same timeline.

Belle of the Ball - Doctor Who

Yasmin Finney is slated to appear again as Rose Noble during Doctor Who Season 14, and that might have something to do with the mess the bigeneration left behind.

What do you think, Doctor Who fanatics? Are you looking forward to the beginning of the Gatwa era now that the trailer's come out?

Hit the big, blue SHOW COMMENTS button and let us know.

Doctor Who Season 14 will stream on Disney+. The season premiere will drop on May 10, 2024.

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on X.

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