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Exciting times as Doctor Who series 'regenerates'

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DAVID TENNANT'S popular tenure of the Tardis may have ended but the BBC last night said it remains "hugely committed" to the Doctor Who brand.

The Scottish star's final outing as the Time Lord attracted more than 10 million viewers on New Year's Day.

But it also marked the end of an era for the popular sci-fi series, as writer Russell T Davies joined Tennant in severing their links with Doctor Who.

The pair have been integral to the show's recent success and have been widely hailed for reviving a sleeping giant.

Matt Smith, a 27-year-old Englishman, has taken over as the 11th Doctor.

Tennant's final appearance on New Year's Day was the show's third most viewed installment, but BBC chiefs yesterday predicted an even brighter future for the Doctor.

Julian Payne, head of communications at BBC Vision, told the Western Mail it was a "fantastically exciting" time for fans.

"Doctor Who has regeneration at its very core, and it's what provides the show with its longevity," he said.

"We view it as a very exciting opportunity for the show. We remain hugely committed to the brand of Doctor Who in all its forms, and we have a wonderful new team in place who are very excited about taking the show on new adventures."

The show's festive special was the highest-rated programme in its prime-time slot.

The End of Time saw The Doctor battle against his nemesis The Master, who possessed every human on the planet.

Super-fan and podcaster Peter Bell, from Cardiff, said the show was a fitting farewell to the show's leading men.

"I must admit I was a bit disappointed and it was all a bit self-conscious," the 28-year-old said.

"There was lots of wrapping up loose ends, and it was as much Russell T Davies saying goodbye as it was David Tennant. But it had some great moments and it was the right time to change."

Mr Bell talked down claims that the show's popularity may suffer with a new Doctor.

"The story will be continued and it keeps things fresh," he said.

"It's weathered such changes in the past so I don't think we'll have too many problems.

"Russell T Davies has left a fantastic legacy - Doctor Who was dead and buried when he started and nobody was interested in it.

"He's made an international hit, and big stars out of David Tennant, Billie Piper and Freema Agyeman. He can definitely sleep soundly."

Caleb Woodbridge, 24, a clerical assistant from Cardiff who runs his own blog about the smash TV show, added: "Change is a part of Doctor Who and the reason it's lasted so long is its ability to reinvent itself.

"I think new writer Steven Moffat has a big challenge following such a successful and popular Doctor - but he's an excellent choice and if anyone can fill Russell T Davies' shoes, then he's the man to do it.

"It's a challenge for Matt Smith too, but judging by his appearance, it does seem that he's got the energy and quirkiness.

"Nothing lasts forever and Doctor Who has been phenomenally successful, but even if it were to drop a couple of million viewers, it would still be the pick of most TV dramas."

Mr Payne added: "We can absolutely assure fans of the show that the investment in the new series, in terms of the money and talent that has gone into it, is unparalleled.

"Rather than seeing the regeneration as a negative thing, I think it's quite the opposite and we fully expect Matt to deliver.

"There are many years of exciting viewing still to come, though we're enormously grateful for the work Julie Gardner, David Tennant and Russell T Davies have brought to the series." To watch a preview of the new series of Doctor Who, visit

GRAPHIC: NEW MAN: Matt Smith has become the 11th Dr Who, taking over from David Tennant

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  • APA 6th ed.: Evans, Gareth (2010-01-04). Exciting times as Doctor Who series 'regenerates'. The Western Mail p. 13.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Evans, Gareth. "Exciting times as Doctor Who series 'regenerates'." The Western Mail [add city] 2010-01-04, 13. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Evans, Gareth. "Exciting times as Doctor Who series 'regenerates'." The Western Mail, edition, sec., 2010-01-04
  • Turabian: Evans, Gareth. "Exciting times as Doctor Who series 'regenerates'." The Western Mail, 2010-01-04, section, 13 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Exciting times as Doctor Who series 'regenerates' | url= | work=The Western Mail | pages=13 | date=2010-01-04 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Exciting times as Doctor Who series 'regenerates' | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 July 2024}}</ref>