David Tennant will leave “Doctor Who” after the 2009 specials.

Well it’s official. David Tennant has announced and the BBC has confirmed that he will be leaving the show after the shortened 2009 season:

Outpost Gallifrey: David Tennant Leaves Doctor Who

The Guardian newspaper this evening broke the story prematurely, reporting on their website (in a report subsequently pulled down) that Tennant is “vacating the TARDIS and leaving the BBC’s Doctor Who series at the end of next year. Tennant’s decision brings to an end his popular four-year tenure as the time lord.” The article went on to say that the BBC had confirmed that the actor “would complete the filming of four special episodes to be screened this year and in early 2010, as well as 2009’s Christmas special.”

The BBC Doctor Who website has now posted the full news: “I’ve had the most brilliant, bewildering and life changing time working on Doctor Who. I have loved every day of it,” the actor says. “It would be very easy to cling on to the TARDIS console forever and I fear that if I don’t take a deep breath and make the decision to move on now, then I simply never will. … I’m still the Doctor all next year but when the time finally comes I’ll be honoured to hand on the best job in the world to the next lucky git – whoever that may be.” Tennant added that he “always thought the time to leave would be in conjunction with Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner who have been such a huge part of it all for me. Steven Moffat is the most brilliant and exciting writer, the only possible successor to Russell and it was sorely tempting to be part of his amazing new plans for the show. I will be there, glued to my TV when his stories begin in 2010.” He furthermore says that he feels “very privileged to have been part of this incredible phenomenon, and whilst I’m looking forward to new challenges I know I’ll always be very proud to be the Tenth Doctor.” Says Russell T Davies, “I’ve been lucky and honoured to work with David over the past few years – and it’s not over yet, the Tenth Doctor still has five spectacular hours left! After which, I might drop an anvil on his head. Or maybe a piano. A radioactive piano. But we’re planning the most enormous and spectacular ending, so keep watching!”

I wonder if he’ll follow in Eccleston’s footsteps and show up in some American TV series for a short while. Either way we can start speculating on who the next Who will be come 2010.

BBC’s Newsnight has report on video games raising your IQ.

Now this should be an interesting news report on tonight’s BBC Newsnight:

An investigation into why children’s IQs are rising despite complaints from parents that their kids spend too much time playing video games and surfing the internet. This special report reveals that there’s some evidence to suggest that gaming is part of the reason why 21st century school children are apparently getting smarter.

That’s just a teaser as the show hasn’t aired yet, but it should be interesting to see what they have to say. If nothing else it’s a welcome bit of positive gaming news as opposed to the video-games-will-make-us-all-into-rabid-killers story we usually get.

Alas we don’t get BBC America so if any of you guys get a chance to check it out leave a comment and fill us in on some of the details.

“Doctor Who” and “Sarah Jane Adventures” on Sci Fi in April.

The Sci Fi Wire website confirms that the fourth season of the new Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures will debut on the Sci Fi Channel in April:

SCI FI Channel has acquired the fourth season of Doctor Who and its hit spinoff series The Sarah Jane Adventures from BBC Worldwide America. Both series are slated to premiere on SCI FI in April.

The Sarah Jane Adventures is written and produced by the same creative team behind Doctor Who, including multiple-award-winning writer Russell T. Davies. The series centers on Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), former companion to the Doctor, who investigates offbeat mysteries with her young friends Maria, Luke and Clyde.

The fourth season of Doctor Who, meanwhile, brings back star David Tennant as the 10th Timelord, joined by a new companion, Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), who reprises her role from the previous Christmas special. The Doctor’s previous companion, Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), also makes a triumphant return in the middle of season four.

Considering how reluctant the Sci Fi Channel originally was to consider airing the new Doctor Who series it’s heartening to see the shows hitting American airwaves within a week or two of their U.K. air dates. The BBC hasn’t set a date for the new series on the other side of the pond, but presumably it’ll be debuting one to two weeks ahead of the States so look for it sometime in March.