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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 March, 2005, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
New Doctor Who series confirmed
Christopher Eccleston as Doctor Who
The new Doctor Who had an average of 9.9 million viewers
The BBC has commissioned a second series of the new Doctor Who after the debut episode proved a ratings success on Saturday night.

The BBC has confirmed a second 13-part series as well as a Christmas special.

Writer Russell T Davies said: "It's fantastic news. It's been a tense and jittery time because the production team has been working on plans."

The production team said it was not known if Christopher Eccleston would return in the BBC Wales-made programme.

Flagship show

Eccleston and Billie Piper's first episode as the Doctor and Rose saw ratings as high as 10 million.

"We could all have ended up unemployed. But now we can put all those plans into action and get going," said Mr Davies.

"It's particularly good for BBC Wales. This is a major flagship show for the region, and their staff and crews are the best you could find. It's a tribute to them that Doctor Who is returning."

Mr Eccleston's and Ms Piper's contracts have options to appear in more series of the show.

BBC head of drama commissioning Jane Tranter told The Guardian she was happy to commission more episodes of the show after its debut success.

"In all honesty I had got myself into a proverbial steel jacket as far as Doctor Who was concerned. I told myself I'd be completely and utterly thrilled if it got 6.5 million, but there was a little voice inside whispering '4.5 million'," she said.


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