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8M watch debut of new 'Doctor Who' star

  |   April 5, 2010 at 10:00 PM
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LONDON, April 5 (UPI) -- About 8 million viewers tuned in to watch the debut of Matt Smith in the title role of British television's "Doctor Who," the BBC said.

Smith is the 11th actor to play the iconic time traveler in the long-running science-fiction series. At 27, he is also the youngest actor to play the part.

His first episode aired Saturday night. Its viewership peaked at 8.4 million and averaged 8 million, the BBC said Monday.

Scottish actor David Tennant, who had played the Doctor since 2006, left the show in January.

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