The final “Doctor Who” episode starring David Tennant airs Saturday on BBC America, but British audiences already had a chance to see Tennant’s Doctor morph into the new Doctor played by Matt Smith, and they turned out big time.
BBC says 10.4 million viewers tuned in to the New Year’s Day broadcast, and even saw a 400,000 viewer boost around the time that Tennant’s character regenerated. It was by far the highest-rated program on BBC in that timeslot, beating out “Coronation Street” on ITV1, which had a strong 8.6 million viewers.
It, however, couldn’t beat EastEnders, which won the day with 11.6 million viewers.
The regeneration of The Doctor was different than in previous versions of the show (including the regeneration of Christopher Eccleston’s character in 2005 into Tennant’s incarnation). The slower process is one that some critics say provide depth to the regeneration process, especially since each Doctor made history in his own way.
The new season of “Doctor Who” starring Smith has created both excitement and trepidation among fandom. Russell T. Davies, who is the main person responsible for reviving “Doctor Who” with partner Julie Gardner, has stepped down, and writer Steven Moffat has taken over. Some of the villains that were featured in a preview clip made available by the BBC (but geolocked for Britain only) include vampire-like creatures and Daleks.
It also seems to feature the return of Alex Kingston as River Song, a character that first showed up in a popular Moffat episode “Silence in the Library.”
The Tennant finale will air on BBC America Saturday beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Airlock Alpha will host a special live broadcast of its online Alpha Waves Radio Sunday at 5 p.m. ET that will allow fans to call in and share their praise, criticism, questions and thoughts about not only the final two episodes featuring Tennant, but the actor’s run over the last few years. That show, and other Alpha Waves podcasts, can be found at AlphaWavesRadio.com.