July 8, 2008

Nearly 10m See Doctor Who Thwart Daleks in Series Finale

Nearly 10m people crept out from behind the sofa to find out whether David Tennant would survive the series finale of Doctor Who.

At its peak, 9.8m people - an impressive 47 per cent of the total TV audience - tuned in to see the Time Lord defeat the Daleks on Saturday night, according to BBC figures.

The average viewing figure of 9.4m is 300,000 more than watched the first episode of the series in April.

The figures for Doctor Who followed days of intense speculation over Tennant's future in the Tardis.

The previous episode had ended on a cliffhanger when the Doctor was shot by a Dalek and apparently started to regenerate.

But with the help of a small army of his companions the Doctor once again thwarted the Daleks and their evil creator Davros to save the universe.

A BBC spokesman said yesterday: "We're absolutely delighted with last night's figures and viewers can now look forward to the Christmas special."

However, Tennant's longer term future as the Time Lord remains uncertain.

He will star in the Doctor Who Christmas special this year and another three specials next year but is not confirmed for the next series in 2010.

The fifth series has been postponed so that the Casanova star can take to the stage to play Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Bookmaker William Hill has taken a rash of bets on David Morrissey to be the next Doctor, leading it to slash the odds to 1- 6.

In spite of the strong figures, the series finale received a mixed reaction from fans on internet forums. On the doctorwhoforum.org.uk website, one viewer described it as a "load of garbage" while others complained the plot was too contrived in order to tie up loose ends. But another user wrote: "Last episodes are always worth it and this one was great viewing from a big finale plot point of view."

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