At the beginning of this month, the brand-new season of Doctor Who premiered, and with it came the 13th Doctor in the form of Jodie Whittaker. Okay, yes, she technically premiered during last year’s Christmas special, but this is the first time we’ve seen her in the show proper, so it makes quite a bit of a difference.
Whittaker marked a very important milestone for the series — it’s the first time the series has had a female doctor (though there is a hint that she’d regenerated as a female in the past, but that’s neither here nor there) — and as such, many have been wonder what it’d do for its ratings. As it turns out, it’s doing quite well for its ratings, as reported by Variety.
The October 7 opening episode reached 10.9 million viewers across all devices, making this a series best. For comparison, Christopher Eccleston’s debut back in 2005 was viewed by 10.8 million viewers, and that was the grand re-introduction of the series after nearly two decades of it being put on ice. This new figure means that Doctor Who also had the top drama launch of the year in the U.K.
“It’s incredibly exciting to see the audience responding to Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor in such huge numbers,” said Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content.
But, of course, something like this was expected. Whenever big changes like this are made, more casual audiences tend to check in just out of sheer curiosity. The weeks to come will be the true test of how audiences really respond to the latest regeneration.
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