John Hurt has been unveiled as an incarnation of The Doctor as the latest series of Doctor Who reached its climax.
Viewers saw the actor - famed for his roles in movies such as Alien and the TV drama The Naked Civil Servant - make his debut at the conclusion of the BBC1 show.
In a convoluted plot viewers saw the Doctor's sidekick Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) enter his "timeline" where she saw his other guises, or regenerations, as they headed through various points in history.
But as she spotted one figure she did not recognise, the present Doctor, played by Matt Smith, ushered her away.
And as 73-year-old Hurt turned round, the words "introducing John Hurt as The Doctor" flashed on-screen.
Hurt had already let the cat out of the bag earlier that he played a pivotal role, when speaking at an event he said he played "part of The Doctor" in a "kind of trinity" with other actors.
He is also expected to appear in a 50th anniversary special later this year after viewers were told the plot was "to be continued".