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On This Day… The Tenth Doctor Regenerated

The Tenth Doctors (David Tennant) Regeneration Begins (c) BBC
The Tenth Doctors (David Tennant) Regeneration Begins (c) BBC

The End of Time: Part Two

First Broadcast January 1st, 2010 @ 6.40pm (12.27m viewers)

There are some films and episodes of a television show that sometimes we have to limit the number of times we watch it. Often a significant length of time has to pass before we can endure it once again. ‘The End of Time: Part Two’ is one of those.

The departure of David Tennant from Doctor Who had been announced well in advance. We knew who the new guy was going to be. Some bloke called Matt Smith who few had ever heard of incidentally. Over 12 million people tuned in knowing what was going to happen. And yet somehow we were unprepared for the raw emotion that was going to be displayed.

The narrative is great and works well, the Vinvocci providing nice touches of humour and Timothy Dalton being every inch the movie star as Rassilon. Once again there is a retread of the powerful scene between the Doctor and Wilf, this time on a spaceship rather than in a café. There are huge explosions. Planets about to collide with each. It is utter carnage. Then suddenly it goes very quiet. The Doctor has survived…


Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)

Knock, knock, knock, knock

He will knock four times. That’s what we were told. An episode of The Simpsons even referred to it, not knowing what it meant. The reveal is perhaps one of the best things ever shot on Doctor Who. It is utterly flawless. A single tracking shot moves around slowly as the viewer endures the gradual realisation of what it all means. The Doctor and the viewer have both learnt his fate. After a brief moment, railing against the dying of the light, The Doctor sacrifices himself to save one man, Wilfred Mott. Well, it is Bernard Cribbins, who wouldn’t.

A sneaky tease makes us think that possibly the new Doctor would appear from out of the ball on the floor in the cabinet. Fortunately, the Tenth Doctor emerges. But it is time to say goodbye. Some could justifiably argue that the prolonged regeneration is a little over-sentimental. The Tenth Doctor sees all his closest friends just one more time. But of course, this is not just the end of one regeneration. It is the end of a whole era. Not since ‘The War Games’ in 1969 have we seen a total change in the regular cast. Behind the camera to everything was changing. It was fitting therefore that the Russell T Davies era was acknowledged. The characters created all deserved a goodbye.

Memorable Moment 2 (Spoiler Warning)

I DOn’t want to go

We don’t want you to either. Anyone not a blubbering mess by this point is surely made of hardy stuff.

But then we have the Eleventh Doctor now with us. Youthful. Energetic. And wild. New adventures are coming. The Steven Moffat era had begun…

You can find a full list of cast and crew at the official Doctor Who webpage

Also First Aired On This Day…

  • The Daleks’ Master Plan: Volcano
  • Day of the Daleks: Episode One
  • The Face of Evil: Part One
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: Invasion of the Bane
  • Torchwood: Captain Jack Harkness/End of Days



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