The time slot is one of the earliest the series has received since it returned in 2005. Last year only Vampires from Venice was shown so early with most episodes starting around 6.30pm.
The programme will be preceded on BBC One by Don't Scare The Hare a new game show and followed So You Think You Can Dance, in which contestants perform in couples for the first time, hoping to impress judges Nigel Lythgoe, Arlene Phillips, Louise Redknapp and Sisco Gomez. It is the fifth in the series, which last week achieved 3.4 million viewers in its 6.30 timeslot.
ITV1 will be showing March of the Dinosaurs, a Feature-length CGI adventure from the makers of Walking with Dinosaurs, telling the story of an epic migration undertaken by a herd of dinosaurs in the high arctic 70 million years ago.
BBC Two has the 1964 Beatles film, A Hard Day's Night, Channel 4 is showing Come Dine with Me and Channel Five the 1959 film Ben Hur.
|Time||Programme||Nearest ITV1 Programme|
|5:10pm||BBC News||March of the Dinosaurs (5:00-7:00pm)|
|5:25pm||Don't Scare The Hare|
|6:00pm||Doctor Who - The Impossible Astronaut|
|6:45pm||So You Think You Can Dance||Sing if you Can (7:00-8:00pm)|
|8:00pm||The National Lottery: Who Dares Wins||Britain's Got Talent (8:00-9:00pm)|
|8:50pm||Casualty||Piers Morgan's Life Stories (9:00-10:00pm)|
The early start means that Doctor Who Confidential can not follow directly on from the end of Doctor Who; BBC Three's schedule begins from 7:00pm, meaning some 15 minutes between the two - this may impact on Confidential's ratings, as the last time such a gap occured the behind-the-scenes show lost around 40% of its usual audience.
BBCHD have yet to confirm a time-slot for Doctor Who Confidential, with times after A History of Celtic Britain (6:45-7:45pm) still to be announced.