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The End of Time is a two-part Doctor Who special which will be broadcast during the 2009 Christmas season. For the first time since the revival of the series in 2005, both episodes will have the same overall title, followed by "Part One" and "Part Two". This will be the last story for David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor prior to the character's regeneration into his eleventh incarnation, who will be played by Matt Smith. It will also be the last Doctor Who story written by Russell T Davies, who shepherded the series' return to British television in 2005 and has since served as the series' executive producer and chief writer. Davies will be succeeded as executive producer and showrunner by Steven Moffat.

Bernard Cribbins, who appeared in the story "Voyage of the Damned" and throughout Series 4 as Wilfred Mott, grandfather of Donna Noble, will act as a companion to the Doctor in this two-part story. The special will also feature the return of many other actors to the show, including Catherine Tate, Jacqueline King, John Simm,John Barrowman, Jessica Hynes, Russell Tovey, Elisabeth Sladen, Tommy Knight, Billie Piper, and Camille Coduri.

The first part is scheduled to be broadcast on BBC One on 25 December 2009 in the UK and on 26 December 2009 on BBC America in the USA.


Part One

The Master is reborn on Christmas Eve. Battles rage across the wastelands of London and at the mysterious Immortality Gate. Meanwhile, the Ood warn of a danger that threatens the entire universe.

Part Two

The Master's plans are out of control, the sound of drums grows louder and an ancient trap is closing around the Earth. The Doctor faces the end of his life, as he and Wilf must fight alone and the prophecy warns: "He will knock four times."


Davies described the story as "huge and epic, but also intimate." Davies had been planning the story for some time, indicating that it continued the trend of series finales being progressively more dramatic:

The Christmas specials constitute Davies' last script for Doctor Who and Julie Gardner's last job producing the series. It also is the last episode Tennant is appearing in, having elected to leave with Davies and Gardner to allow Davies' successor Steven Moffat to start with a clean slate. In issue 407 of Doctor Who Magazine, Davies wrote about the night when he finished the script:

When asked about the emotional impact of writing his last Doctor Who script, he said, "I would have thought that when I handed in the last script I might have burst into tears or got drunk or partied with 20 naked men, but when these great moments happen you find that real life just carries on. The emotion goes into the scripts." Tennant and Julie Gardner separately said that they cried when they read the script.

The last three specials of 2009 were foreshadowed in the episode "Planet of the Dead", when the low-level psychic character Carmen gave the Doctor the prophecy:

The prophecy was designed by Davies to be a classical science fiction prophecy which evoked memories of the Ood prophecy to the Doctor and Donna in "Planet of the Ood" and foreshadowed the remaining specials. Tennant explained the prophecy meant that the Doctor's "card [had become] marked" and the three specials would thus be darker—characterising "Planet of the Dead" as the "last time the Doctor gets to have any fun"—and that the subject of the prophecy was not the obvious answer:


The first location filming for this story took place on Saturday, 21 March 2009 at a bookstore in Cardiff. Jessica Hynes was filmed signing a book titled A Journal of Impossible Things, by Verity Newman. Hynes previously played Joan Redfern in the 2007 Doctor Who story "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood", in which the Doctor, transformed into a human with no conscious memory of his past adventures, wrote elements of his life as fiction in his "Journal of Impossible Things" and asserted that his mother's name was Verity. The name "Verity Newman" is derived from Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman and the show's first producer, Verity Lambert." A pocket watch featured prominently in the plot of "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood", and a pocket watch is featured on the cover of Newman's book.

Filming also took place at Tredegar Housemarker in Newportmarker, which had previously been used for the filming of the 2008 Christmas special "The Next Doctor".

John Simm, who played the Master in the 2007 series finale episodes "Utopia", "The Sound of Drums" and "Last of the Time Lords", was spotted on location during the Tredegar House filming. When asked about Simm's appearance, Davies said:

Filming that took place during the Easter Bank Holiday was widely covered by the British press: Catherine Tate filmed several scenes in the episode in Swansea, including one filmed in the Kardomah Café and another depicting her character getting a parking ticket. Other filming locations included Nant Fawr Road in Cyncoed, Cardiff — the previously regular location used for the Noble household — where filming on 12 April showed Cribbins wearing reindeer antlers and boarding a minibus.

Filming took place in the following week on Victoria Road, Penarthmarker, in an area which is regularly used for a location for Sarah Jane Smith's neighbourhood in The Sarah Jane Adventures. Elisabeth Sladen, who plays Sarah Jane Smith, and Tommy Knight, who plays her son Luke, were filmed on location with David Tennant.

On the night of 20–21 April, Cribbins filmed a Christmas scene on Wharton Street in Cardiff's city centre, with a large Christmas tree and brass band.

The science fiction website io9 published a photograph showing Tennant alongside Simm and Timothy Dalton, with Dalton apparently dressed in Time Lord robes. Rumours of Dalton's involvement in the specials had previously appeared in British tabloids. On 26 July 2009, io9 published an interview with David Tennant in which he confirmed Dalton's involvement in the specials.


A teaser trailer was shown at Comic-Con 2009. The opening voiceover is provided by Timothy Dalton:

The mood is very dark. The trailer includes brief shots of, among others, Donna Noble, Wilfred Mott, Sylvia Noble and Ood Sigma. John Simm is shown as the Master with blond hair in a black hood as he, in a voiceover, says, "My name is the Master." The Doctor is shown walking away, grim-faced, from a wall of flames. The tag line at the end of the trailer is "The End of Time", "Christmas 2009".

The 'Next Time' trailer for this story premiered directly after the previous episode, "The Waters of Mars". Several dark images are shown, including an Ood with a square-shaped, exposed brain saying, "Every night, Doctor, we have bad dreams"; another Ood with gleaming red eyes; a blond, hooded Master standing over a construction site and laughing maniacally, his flesh temporarily vanishing to expose his skull; and Wilfred Mott speaking with the Doctor at a restaurant. Over these images, a deep-voiced man explains,

Additional images are shown, one of which being the Master declaring his name. The narration continues near the end of the trailer, with the earlier male voice booming,

Then several unseen Ood help to complete the voice-over by intoning in unison,

The trailer concludes with a shot of the Doctor, horrified, and the story's title is shown in bold silver lettering over a black screen.

An exclusive preview of the specials (consisting of footage from scenes 4 and 5 of the first episode from just after the opening titles) was shown during the 2009 Children in Need telethon on 20 November. It shows the Doctor arriving at the Ood Sphere after some procrastination (including marrying Queen Elizabeth I), being welcomed by Ood Sigma and observing how unnaturally quickly their settlement has been constructed (100 years). Sharing the bad dreams of the Ood elders, the Doctor receives a vision of the Master in his mind and exclaims, "That man is dead!"


  1. Tredegar House, Newport:
  2. Kardomah Café, Swansea:
  3. Nant Fawr Road, Cardiff:
  4. Victoria Road, Penarth:
  5. Wharton Street, Cardiff:

Filming locations

  1. Tredegar House, Newport:
  2. Kardomah Café, Swansea:
  3. Nant Fawr Road, Cardiff:
  4. Victoria Road, Penarth:
  5. Wharton Street, Cardiff:

External links

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