David Tennant has announced that he 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 BBC confirmed that the actor will complete the filming of four special episodes to be screened this year and in early 2010 as well as 2009's Christmas special.
Tennant, who is the 10th incarnation of the immortal time-traveller, has starred in three series and three Christmas specials.
He has drawn praise for his reprisal of the role after Christopher Eccleston left in 2005.
He said: "I've had the most brilliant, bewildering and life changing time working on Doctor Who. I have loved every day of it.
"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.
"This is all a long way off, of course. I'm not quitting, I'm back in Cardiff in January to film four special episodes which will take Doctor Who all the way through 2009.
He added: "I feel 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 10th Doctor."