It was a big Saturday night for SF/fantasy drama on BBC1. Doctor Who came to the end of its sixth series, with "The Wedding Of River Song" attracting 6.1m viewers (28.3% of the audience)—its best overnight performance since "Let's Kill Hitler" (6.2m). This figure will obviously rise once consolidated figures (repeats, iPlayer viewings) are taken into consideration for the week.
Who's big finale was a great lead-in for the Series 4 premiere of Merlin, "The Darkest Hour", which inherited 5.23m of The Doctor's audience (although that was down 400,000 on Series 3's premiere last year). While the swords and sorcery series isn't expected to beat X Factor in a head-to-head (the ITV singing contest managed 9.66m for the first of the Judge's Houses rounds), it provided a surprisingly robust alternative last year. It makes sense the BBC have once again scheduled the young wizard to coincide with X Factor's live rounds till Christmas. The BBC will be happy if Merlin manages to consistently take a 5-6m bite out of ITV1's audience every Saturday.