The 65 minute special, in which the Doctor did not regenerate, leaving David Tennant in the titular role, was watched by an average of 9.4m (45.9%) from 6.40pm.
The show's popularity has continued to grow since it was revived by BBC One in 2005. Last year's finale drew 8m, when John Simm made a guest appearance as The Master, and in 2006 the final instalment attracted 7.7m (43%). Last Christmas the show enjoyed its best ratings since 1979, drawing a peak of almost 14m for its festive special, which guest starred Kylie Minogue.
This year's finale, 'Journey's End', is the last series close to be made by Russell T. Davies, who has overseen the show's comeback. The audience peaked in the final 15 minutes with a massive 9.8m (47%).
BBC Three also benefited from Saturday's show, with 1.3m watching Doctor Who Confidential straight afterwards.
No other channel could compete with BBC One in the Who slot, though BBC Two managed to hold 2m (11%) for the closing stages of Wimbledon. Coverage, shown between 5.35pm and 8pm, included the men's doubles final.
ITV1 aired Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Kindergarten Cop from 5.45pm to 7.45pm, drawing 2.1m (11.5%), while C4's Dispatches was seen by 1.1m (5.4%). Five attracted 974,000 (4.8%) with an NCIS repeat.
BBC One continued to top the ratings later on with new series Last Choir Standing, a reality show searching for the UK's best choir. The opening episode averaged 4.6m (22.8%) between 7.45pm and 8.45pm.
The first in a new National Lottery quiz show format, This Time Tomorrow, followed with 5.2m (25.3%) until 9.35pm, then Casualty interested 5.5m (27.8%) until 10.25pm.
Over on ITV1, You've Been Framed! drew 4.2m (21.3%) from 7.45pm to 8.15pm, then the second episode of Denise Van Outen karaoke competition Who Dares Sings! was watched by 3.9m (19.3%) until 9.15pm. The following Foyle's War repeat, which lasted two hours, drew 2.8m (15.3%).
ITV1 was more successful earlier when coverage of qualifying for the British Grand Prix brought in a strong daytime audience of 1.9m (21.6%).
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