As many as 9.8 million viewers tuned in to Doctor Who on Saturday evening as the extended-length episode brought the curtain down on the era of Bad Wolf, the Time War and Rose Tyler.

With a cast of thousands (of Daleks) Doctor Who maintained a steady viewership of around 9.4 million until the final stage sof the episode as a further 400,000 viewers tuned in to witness the departure of Rose Tyler, an alternate Doctor and Donna Noble.

No doubt spurred on by the strong - but incorrect - suspicion that the Doctor would regenerate, despite press photographs of the actor appearing opposite Cybermen shooting a Christmas special earlier this year.

Speaking to the BBC, Russell T Davies revealed that the keeping of plot details was a vital aspect to storytelling.

"We have got some very big names in both episodes and you obviously have to book these names in advance. It's vital to keep the audience guessing. I think that is why our ratings are doing so well.

"I am fed up with soap operas and dramas releasing all their plot details in advance in the tabloids. It takes the excitement out of watching. That is why reality TV does better in the ratings. People have no idea what is going to happen next."

And you've got to hand it him - he's certainly kept us all guessing over the past 4 years.