The consolidated weekly numbers for The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos and the final +28 Day figure for Kerblam! are now available
After its first week, series finale The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos has been seen by 6.65m people. This is up 230,000 (4%) on previous episode It Takes You Away and up 1.35m (25%) from last year’s finale The Doctor Falls. This is the strongest showing for a finale since 2014’s Death in Heaven. However, it places Series 11’s final episode as ninth out of the eleven series finales so far. And it sits just over a million below the average finale’s 7.66m. It perhaps should be noted that this average is impacted by the still never bettered finales of the Tennant era. For reference The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos performed similarly to Christopher Eccleston’s The Parting of the Ways (6.91m) and Matt Smith’s The Big Bang (6.7m).
Pick it, Click it, and Kerb!am it up past the 8m barrier!
Meanwhile, the final viewing figures for Kerblam! are also out now. Kerblam! finished with a +28 Day rating of 8.06m. Like The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos, this is a rise both on the previous episode and Year-on-Year. It’s a modest 59,000 (1%) up on Demons of the Punjab. But a more significant 1.9m (31%) increase on its Series 10 equivalent, The Pyramid at the End of the World. It also marks the eighth episode in a row (starting with Capaldi swan song Twice Upon a Time) to finish on more than 8m.
Series 11 misses out on the top spot at the very end, but takes the Silver Medal
Looking at where this updated data places the season overall, it dashes hopes that Series 11 would prove to be the highest rated season in Doctor Who history. The time-shifting required for the finale to get the season over the line ultimately proved too much to ask. Instead its average audience of 7.96m per episode leaves it in second place, just behind Series Four’s 8.05m average. This means, nine years on, David Tennant and Catherine Tate’s run of adventures continue to rest easy at the top.
The Silver Medal is not to be sniffed at, of course, and Series 11 can console itself with being the highest rated debut season for a Doctor. It just edges out Eccleston’s almost identical 7.95m, while outpacing Tennant’s 7.72m, Smith’s 7.7m and Capaldi’s 7.26m. The situation is complicated slightly by the new Four Screen measure. Series 11 averaged 256,000 viewers on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. This means direct comparison is difficult. If you remove them completely, it puts Series 11 in joint fifth place with Series 5. Indeed it would still the highest rated season since Series 5. Yet clearly time-shifting on non-television devices has increased over time. So in Doctor Who’s early seasons those viewers would have been watching on television… and included in the existing numbers.
On balance, it’s Blogtor Who’s educated guess that the seasons that suffer chiefly from not having Four Screens included (Series 5-10) are the same ones that Series 11 would beat regardless. While those it only beats due when its Four Screen measure is included (Series 1-3) are the same ones that are highly unlikely to benefit much if their Four Screen number had been recorded.
Next Stop: New Year’s Day
Similarly, but less importantly, the new +28 measure was introduced precisely because time-shifting beyond the end of the first week was only then becoming significant. We’ll never know how many viewers even the ratings giant Series Four had catching up 2-4 weeks after broadcast. But we can comfortably say that Series 11 has been one of the most, if not the most, viewed series of Doctor Who since 2005. In terms of viewing figures, if nothing else, it’s hard – almost pointless – to try and argue that this year’s relaunch of Doctor Who has been anything but a massive success, returning the show to the upper reaches of the chart.
The next test for Doctor Who is the gamble of moving its traditional special to a New Year’s Day. Will this pay off with a ratings hit to ring in 2019? As ever, Blogtor Who will let you know. And, incidentally, a Merry Christmas to all of you at home!
Doctor Who Will Return…
Doctor Who returns with Resolution by Chris Chibnall on BBC One on New Year’s Day at 7pm, and at 8pm EST on BBC America. For further broadcast times in your region, check local listings.
Doctor Who stars Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan), Bradley Walsh (Graham O’Brien) and Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair). Resolution guest stars Charlotte Ritchie (Lin), Nikesh Patel (Mitch) and Daniel Adegboyega (Aaron). The special is directed by Wayne Yip.
As the New Year begins, a terrifying evil is stirring from across the centuries of Earth’s history. As the Doctor, Ryan, Graham and Yaz return home, will they be able to overcome the threat to planet Earth?