Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa has said the hateful comments the sci-fi show has received after casting a black man is “fascinating” to him.

The Sex Education and Barbie star, 31, is the first black person to undertake the role and his first full series as the Time Lord will debut in May.

Speaking to Attitude magazine for its 30th anniversary issue about the “hate” the show has received, he said: “The hate? It is kind of fascinating to me because there’s so much energy they’re putting into it … I think they need to go find a hobby is one thing.

Ncuti Gatwa for Attitude (Melanie Lehmann/PA)

“But another thing is that we do see a shift happening in casting, in positions of power and in the status quo.

“I mean, not a fast shift, things could tip over the other way a little bit quicker, but you see people kind of malfunctioning because things are changing.”

Speaking about the appeal of the BBC show, Gatwa added: “The Doctor is constantly fighting for every life, even his villains.

“He shows mercy and compassion to all because he understands that there’s a need for everything, and that we need each other.

“It’s really nice to have a show like Doctor Who running after all these years in this era that we are in now.”

Gatwa also spoke about the current state of politics and said politicians openly attack vulnerable people, which makes that behaviour seem okay.

“Everything trickles down from the top, and when you see politicians openly attacking marginalised communities, when you see our politicians openly attacking trans people, it makes it OK for everyone else,” he said.

“It is scary to see that we’ve got to a point where it is fine to attack vulnerable people because that’s essentially what’s happening.

“People who are the most vulnerable, the most disenfranchised, most disconnected from everyone else, are being told that they are the threats.

“It’s sick because it’s a hiding away of your own ineptitude.

Doctor Who premiere – London
Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson arrive for the premiere of Doctor Who (Ian West/PA)

“You’re going to put the blame on immigrants, black and brown people, trans people, queer people, to hide the fact that you are not doing anything for people?

“It’s easier to just create discord amongst people. It’s divide and conquer, isn’t it?”

The actor also discussed his experience with internalised homophobia, which he said came to the forefront due to fame.

“I didn’t really realise I had any internalised homophobia until I came into the public eye”, he said.

“I always thought that I was the most free-spirited person.

Barbie European premiere and photocall – London
Ncuti Gatwa arrives for the European premiere of Barbie (Ian West/PA)

“No-one could tell me what to do. I do whatever I want.

“Until I came into the public eye (and) I was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know’. It is an ever-evolving journey.

“What I can do is try each day to tackle that and become more proud of who I am, fully. But it’s a long old slog.”

Doctor Who will return in the form of a double bill on Saturday May 11, beginning with episode Space Babies, which follows the Doctor and his companion Ruby Sunday, played by Millie Gibson, as they have their first adventure inside the Tardis together.

The Attitude May/June issue is out now.