Tonight's broadcast of Last of the Time Lords, the third season finale of Doctor Who on BBC1, was telecast at 51 minutes long -- the longest episode of the series since its 2005 revival -- and brought with it some of its own headline news items, including major cast developments. Though much of this information will likely be in the mainstream press within the next day or two, we've protected the most important Doctor Who related updates below in the spoiler tags; click on it for details.
Confirming the essence of a story first reported several weeks ago in the Sun, Freema Agyeman left Doctor Who as a series regular at the end of this episode, choosing to remain behind with her family in present-day England. Agyeman's most recent denial in "Radio Times" stated that she was notsacked from the series, contrary to the Sun report; however, as Outpost Gallifrey and other sites have reported, the news did not deny that Agyeman was leaving as a series regular (nor that she was not remaining by her own choice). The end of "Last of the Time Lords" suggests that we will see Martha again, as she gives her mobile phone to the Doctor (David Tennant), likely as a guest star next series; press reports from the Mirror this past week indicate that the fourth series of Doctor Who will see a new companion next year, with Martha making an occasional appearance. (At the time of the Mirror report, "Last of the Time Lords" had not yet aired, and while the article mentions she "won't be in every episode next year, but will appear in the occasional episode for both Doctor Who and Torchwood," it is likely that this was a bit of obfuscation of the as-yet-unannounced departure.)
UPDATE: Russell T Davies has promised on tonight's Confidential that there will be news soon (a possible press release early next week) about Freema's future with the programme, likely as a guest character or recurring (like John Barrowman this series).
John Barrowman also departs from Doctor Who again, as Captain Jack Harkness returns to his base of operations in Cardiff for the second series of "Torchwood" to be aired later this year.
John Simm will (obviously, from the story) not be returning as the Master in subsequent episodes; however, the theft of his ring by a woman (perhaps Lucy Saxon but possibly someone else entirely) indicates that the Master will perhaps be back in next year's episodes.
Meanwhile, the upcoming 2007 Christmas special will be entitled Voyage of the Damned and has something to do with the voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic, judging from the name of the vessel on the life ring found within the TARDIS in the close of today's episode (not to mention, the ship's hull through the walls of the console room!) There is no word as yet as to who will join David Tennant for the episode, although there has been much media speculation about singer Kylie Minogue (we're not sure yet if these are real or simply press hype.)