The BBC has announced the final viewing figures for Ncuti Gatwa’s first full episode of Doctor Who, the Christmas Day special, The Church on Ruby Road.
Overall, across all platforms in the UK, 7.49 million people watched the special, topping the last two specials, Wild Blue Yonder and The Giggle, which starred David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor. 7.61 million tuned in for The Star Beast, the first of the Doctor Who 60th anniversary episodes, so while the Fifteenth Doctor’s first full story saw a slight drop compared to that, it really is only slight and still a very impressive figure.
Its overnight figure was 4.73 million, which rose to 7.26 million, accounting for those who watched it within a week of broadcast.
Nonetheless, this makes it the least watched 21st Century Doctor Who Christmas special, just falling short of The Return of Doctor Mysterio‘s 8.21 million.
And The Church on Ruby Road had a fantastic 41.4% audience share.
It is a step up from the New Year’s Day special figures — in fact, discounting The Star Beast, the last time Doctor Who reached more than 7 million viewers was on 1st January 2019, as Resolution brought in 7.13 million. Again, apart from the 60th anniversary trilogy, the last episode to get more viewers than The Church on Ruby Road was The Tsuranga Conundrum, broadcast on 4th November 2018, which brought in 7.76 million people. But the 25th December 2023 special had a drop in AI figures — it achieves 82, a drop on The Star Beast, Wild Blue Yonder, and The Giggle‘s 84, 83, and 85 respectively. 82 is still an excellent score, however, matching Jodie Whittaker’s swansong episode, The Power of the Doctor.
Ncuti is doing us proud, basically!
We’ll see more of him — and Millie Gibson as new companion, Ruby Sunday — in May 2024!