BBC America said it acquired five new specials from science-fiction action drama Doctor Who, including the four hour-long adventures with David Tennant that are his last as the show's titular Time Lord.
These specials, which straddle series four and five, are the first of the Russell T Davies-produced version of the long running British series to have their U.S. first run on BBCA. Sci Fi Channel has had first window on the series. In the next series, Matt Smith replaces Tennant as the Doctor.
The first of the 2009 specials, Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead, premieres in July.
As a London red bus takes a detour to an alien world it forces the Doctor (Tennant) to work with the extraordinary Lady Christina (Michelle Ryan, of Bionic Woman). But the mysterious planet holds terrifying secrets hidden in the sand and time is running out as the deadly Swarm gets closer.
Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars is the second special and, along with the two additional untitled specials, will premiere later in 2009 and early 2010. The four specials were directed by Euros Lyn, who also directed the upcoming on BBC America special Torchwood: Children of Earth.
The 2008 Christmas special (a U.K. tradition), The Next Doctor, features David Morrissey (Viva Blackpool) and Dervla Kirwan (Ballykissangel) and will air Saturday, June 27.
"The outstanding quality of the Doctor Who scripts from Russell T Davies and the on-screen dynamic that David Tennant brings to the role are a magic combination for our viewers," BBC Worldwide America president Garth Ancier said in a release. "Russell's spin-off series Torchwood is already our highest rated show on the channel and I know the fans will follow these new specials with equal passion and support."
BBC America will leverage Doctor Who across multiple platforms, including Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead on Blu-ray DVD, shortly after the U.S. broadcast premiere.