In unofficial overnight ratings provided to Doctor Who News, Jodie Whittaker was a rousing success. With 8.2 millions viewers in the United Kingdom, the 13th Doctor gathered 40% of the British viewing public to the BBC last night. In relation to the other incarnations of The Doctor, Whittaker’s debut episode, “The Woman Who Fell to Earth,” was behind only David Tenant’s premiere in “The Christmas Invasion” in 2006 and the first episode of the revived Who in 2005, “Rose,” with Christopher Eccelston as The Doctor. In fact, this first episode of Series 11 had the highest overnight rating for a “regular” Who episode in a decade.
These figures are expected to grow in the following days as more data is gathered and watchers who recorded the episode to watch later are counted. No numbers from the airings on BBC America were available at press time.
Reaction to Whittaker’s debut as the mad person in a box was overwhelmingly positive. Questions percolated for months around her selection to play the iconic character as well as the direction new showrunner Chris Chibnall would take the beloved, long-running series. Critics, while not gushing over the premiere as many fans did, generally enjoyed the show’s new direction and the new take on the character Whittaker brings.
The series premiere of Doctor Who is available for free on BBC America.