The Star Beast, the first 60th anniversary special, is the most watched episode of Doctor Who in just over five years.
The Fourteenth Doctor’s debut episode, which aired on 25th November 2023, attracted 7.61 million viewers, a statistic that includes those who recorded the special and watched it within a week. The Star Beast had overnight figures of 5.08 million, so that’s a decent rise.
We might expect a similar bump for the second special, Wild Blue Yonder, which had an overnight rating of 4.83 million. We expect it to get at least 6 million.
It’s the highest rated episodes since 2018’s The Tsuranga Conundrum, which was watched by 7.76 million people. Fun fact: both episodes included a trans character.
Doctor Who was the 10th most-watched programme on British TV for the week, behind a full week’s worth of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and that weekend’s instalments of Strictly Come Dancing. Interestingly, its placement in the weekly charts is roughly akin to episodes in 2008, when David Tennant and Catherine Tate were originally travelling in the TARDIS together as the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble respectively.
But what about around the world? It aired on Disney+ on 25th November too, and has been available since then, making it the 61st most-watched item on the streaming service. It’s proved particularly popular in Australia, New Zealand, and Turkey.
The Appreciation Index, a numerical measure of the audience’s enjoyment, for The Star Beast was 84, while Wild Blue Yonder marked 83, so Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary might, so far, be considered a success.
It’ll be interesting to see how many tune in for The Giggle, and then the Fifteenth Doctor’s full debut in The Church on Ruby Road on Christmas Day…