The BBC's new series of Doctor Who has proved to be a ratings success among British audiences.
Saturday night saw around 8.4 million viewers settle into their sofas to catch up with David Tennant and new sidekick Catherine Tate.
Although previous instalments of the Time Lord's adventures had been screened at around 19:00 BST, the first show in the new run was shown at 18:15.
Queer as Folk's Russell T Davies – now at the helm of his fourth Dr Who series – had criticised the new slot, but was proved wrong when Saturday night's episode grabbed a 39.4 per cent audience share and scooped the top spot in the evening's ratings battle.
"This is a great start for the new series of Doctor Who," remarked a BBC spokesperson.
Pointing out that comedienne Tate had successfully reprised her 2006 Christmas special role as Donna Noble, the representative continued: "The show kicked off a fantastic night of family entertainment on BBC1, which pulled in big audiences across the evening."
Other ratings winners this weekend included the BBC's Casualty, which pulled in 7.1 million viewers, and Andrew Lloyd Webber's new talent show I'd Do Anything, which had 6.8 million fans putting on the kettle and snuggling up on the sofa.
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