As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 3 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 14 May 2012

The End of Time - Appreciation IndexBookmark and Share

Sunday, 3 January 2010 - Reported by Marcus
David Tennant's swansong scored an Appreciation Index figure of 89 on BBC One on Friday.

The Appreciation Index, or AI, is a measure of how much the audience enjoyed the programme. A figure of 89 is incredibly high, especially for a programme with such a large audience. The show scored well on all indicators, with viewers marking it as a high-quality programme which they made a special effort to watch. It scored highest with the female audience and with those aged 35-55.

The End of Time - Part Two is the highest scoring of the five specials. Only the last two episodes of Series Four have scored higher on their first transmission.

Earlier in the day, the repeat of The End of Time - Part One, with its lower audience of 2 million, scored an AI figure of 90.

FILTER: - Specials - Ratings - UK - Series 4/30 Specials

The End of Time - Part 2 ratingsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 2 January 2010 - Reported by Marcus
End of Time 210.4 million people watched the final part of The End of Time on BBC One yesterday, according to unofficial overnight figures.

The programme got a 35.5% share of the total television audience and was the second most watched programme of the day. EastEnders once more took the top place with 11.6 million, the programme benefiting from the Doctor Who inheritance. The later showing of Coronation Street on ITV1 had 9.8 million viewers while its earlier placing got 8.6 million, with Doctor Who beating the soap in the period they were head to head. Doctor Who peaked with 10.87 million watching between 7:45 and 7:50pm.

The rating makes the Tenth Doctor's regeneration the most watched regeration in the series' history.

Doctor Who was also available on BBC HD where a further 389,000 watched the episode.

On BBC Three Doctor Who Confidential had 1.1 million watching with and additional 76,000 on BBC HD, one of the highest ratings for the series and the second highest multi-channel programme for the day.

2 million viewers watched the lunchtime BBC One repeat of The End of Time Part One, where the programme comfortably won its timeslot.

BBC News has published a report on the overnight ratings for the episode, also covering some of the critical and audience reaction to Tennant's departure.

FILTER: - Specials - Ratings - UK - Series 4/30 Specials

Press ReactionBookmark and Share

Saturday, 2 January 2010 - Reported by Marcus
The passing of the Tenth Doctor is covered extensively in Saturday's papers. Beware reviews do contain spoilers of the episodes.

The Times has a minute by minute description of the story which it says is a great entrance and a great exit and has a look forward to the Moffat years while The Mail has a big photo feature on the episode. The Guardian describes the outgoing production team as masters. The Sun claims there was a huge electricity surge in the UK as the population switched on their kettles as the episode finished although The National Grid's website appears to contradict this. The paper's reviewer hated the episode calling it an embarrassing spectacle of overacting.

The Herald thought the story was funny and sad, scary and uplifting, threatening and comforting while The Telegraph felt that David Tennant said farewell to the series in thrilling yet emotional style.

Online, Den of Geek says the episode was an 80 minute exercise in just how much David Tennant is going to be missed and Airlock Alpha says the real heart of the episode was the interaction between Bernard Cribbins and Tennant, with both actors able to turn even the smallest piece of dialogue into something spectacular. SFX gives the episode five stars calling it a great finale with very clever writing, and incredibly sad yet resonant final words.

Matt Smith's local paper The Northampton Chronicle says the new Doctor will make the town proud.

The episode commentary, the last with Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner, is now on the BBC website.

For more press items in the last few days see GallifreyBase's Media Summary.

FILTER: - Specials - Series 4/30 Specials - Press

Tennant on BreakfastBookmark and Share

Thursday, 31 December 2009 - Reported by Marcus
BBC News have uploaded this morning's interview with David Tennant. The item contains two clips from The End of Time Part Two, which contain spoilers from Part One.

Tennant later appeared on a BBC Radio 5 Live phono-in, which is available on the BBC iPlayer.

BBC News have also published an article on regenerations past and present.

David Tennant has also talked to MTV about his 'Doctor Who' Mementoes.

FILTER: - Specials - David Tennant - Series 4/30 Specials

End of Time - Appreciation IndexBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 29 December 2009 - Reported by Marcus
The End of Time Part One received an AI figure of 87.

The Appreciation Index, or AI, figure is a measure of how much the audience liked a programme. A score over 85 is considered excellent. Doctor Who had the highest score of the day on BBC One or BBC Two. The only programme to score higher on the main five channels was the film Gladiator on ITV1, which scored 89 with a much lower audience.

FILTER: - Specials - Ratings - UK - Series 4/30 Specials

End of Time Part One Ratings UpdateBookmark and Share

Monday, 28 December 2009 - Reported by Marcus
The Sunday night, BBC Three repeat of The End of Time Part One was watched by 590,000 viewers according to unofficial overnight figures. The programme was the 11th most watched multi channel programme for the day and had a share of 2.7%.

With figures available for the whole week, the Christmas day showing remains as the third most watched programme. Final figures will include those who record the programme and watch it within one week, and it is possible the programme will move into second place once these are released next week. The Appreciation Index figure should be available Tuesday.

FILTER: - Specials - Ratings - UK - Series 4/30 Specials

The End of Time - RatingsBookmark and Share

Saturday, 26 December 2009 - Reported by Marcus
End of Time 110.0 million people watched the first part of The End of Time on BBC One yesterday, according to unofficial overnight figures.

Doctor Who was the third most-watched programme of the day, behind soap opera EastEnders and sitcom The Royle Family, and achieved a 42.2% share of the total television audience.

Although the raw figure is down on the previous two years, it still makes The End of Time, Part One one of the highest-rating episodes of the series since it returned in 2005. An additional 340,000 viewers watched the programme on the BBC HD channel. If HD figures are added to the BBC One figures then both Doctor Who and The Royle Family got 10.4 million watching.

The day was a triumph for the BBC, with BBC One taking nine of the top ten Christmas Day spots.

On the digital channels Doctor Who Confidential had 0.58 million watching and was the fourth highest multi channel programme of the day.

Final figures, which will include those who record and watch the programme within one week, will be released by BARB in January.

FILTER: - Specials - Ratings - UK - Series 4/30 Specials

Odds on a Who ChristmasBookmark and Share

Friday, 18 December 2009 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Every year there is speculation on which show will top the British TV ratings on Christmas Day. Fans and media commentators also speculate how well Doctor Who will fare against other festive programmes.

This year, the odds given by online betting company Skybet place Doctor Who as coming in second place at 6/4, with the top spot expected to be Eastenders with its usual 'explosive' Christmas storyline, at 4/6. Third place is given to the other perennial soap Coronation Street, at 12/1.

Most popular programme of the year (so far!) has been the ITV juggernaut The X-Factor, which saw a peak of some 19m+ viewers tune in to the final last weekend. In terms of average ratings for the entire programme, the final Britain's Got Talent, also on ITV1, in May, is currently the top-rated show of 2009.

Doctor Who's success on Christmas Day for previous years:
2005: The Christmas Invasion, 9.84m(2); Eastenders, 10.60m(1)
2006: The Runaway Bride, 9.35m(4); Eastenders, 9.40m/11.56m(3/2); The Vicar of Dibley, 12.39m(1)
2007: Voyage of the Damned, 13.31m(2); Eastenders, 14.38m(1)
2008: The Next Doctor, 13.10m(2); Wallace and Gromit, 16.15m(1)

Tune in for The End of Time part one on Christmas Day, BBC1/HD, 6:00pm!

FILTER: - Specials - Ratings - Series 4/30 Specials - Betting/Odds

The End of Time PartiesBookmark and Share

Thursday, 10 December 2009 - Reported by Chuck Foster
David Tennant's Doctor Who finale, The End of Time Part Two, will be celebrated by two free pub events, both running from 3pm to 10:30pm on New Year's Day. One takes place in London in Farringdon, with the other taking place in Manchester at The Lass O'Gowrie pub on Charles Street.

Says Doctor Who fan and Lass O'Gowrie publican Gareth Kavanagh: "We'll be using all our big screens and pub system to create a fantastic atmosphere befitting the end of an era. It's free to attend - however, it's first come, first served. Under-16s are fine to stay until 9.30pm but they must be accompanied by an adult." For more details contact Gareth at

The London event is organised by Jeremy Bentham, who has arranged parties for the premiere of all four series of 21st Century Doctor Who to date; for more details on where the party will take place, contact him at

FILTER: - Specials - Special Events - Series 4/30 Specials

UK listings magazinesBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 9 December 2009 - Reported by Anthony Weight
The previously-reported cover feature of the Christmas double issue of the Radio Times is by no means the only exposure Doctor Who is receiving from British TV listings magazines this Christmas. Most prominently, two other such publications have also produced Doctor Who-themed covers for their festive specials. TV & Satellite Week has a cover based around "The End of Time", while Total TV Guide's cover shows Father Christmas hand-painting TARDIS toys. The TV Times also features Doctor Who on its cover in a less prominent role, with an inset image of a Dalek promoting their own "Win a Dalek" competition.

Inside, the Radio Times is filled with Doctor Who-related material and previews. There is an in-depth interview with David Tennant, where the actor speaks about his thoughts on moving on to the next phase of his career. "Doctor Who has meant so much to me," he tells the magazine. "It's great to sign off with a flourish." Both parts of "The End of Time" are highlighted in the "Today's Choices" preview section for their respective days, with part one "Pick of the Day" for Christmas Day, described by the magazine's TV editor Alison Graham as a "thoughtful story." In the radio listings section, David Tennant's turns as interviewee (on Sunday 27th December's "Desert Island Discs") and interviewer (of Russell T Davies, on Tuesday 29th December's "Who on Who?") are also picked out as highlights of their respective days.

Both TV & Satellite Week and Total TV Guide also speak to Tennant about how he feels to be giving up the role of the Doctor. "Being a celebrity doesn't sit easily with me," he tells the former. "It's part of the job, but if that died down it would be OK." In Total TV Guide, he says of his successor Matt Smith that "I think he'll be good for the role because he has an unusual look. He could be either 18 or 40. I hope that doesn't offend him!" Both magazines make "The End of Time" their Christmas Day highlight, with TV & Satellite Week saying that "there's no doubt this year's two-part story will top all previous offerings," while Total TV Guide calls it "a fitting farewell for David Tennant's incarnation of the Time Lord." Both magazines also speak to Catherine Tate about her own Christmas special; she tells TV & Satellite Week of her appearance in "The End of Time" that: "It was sad, but I was delighted to be in the episodes. David is a brilliant actor and has brought everything he could to the role."

You can keep track of all major Doctor Who-related programmes on British TV and radio this Christmas with our broadcast summary.

FILTER: - Specials - Russell T Davies - Magazines - Series 4/30 Specials - Press - Radio Times