Home Doctor Who 2024 - Season 1 Doctor Who Viewing Figures: Premiere Finals, Dot and Bubble +7s & Rogue...

Doctor Who Viewing Figures: Premiere Finals, Dot and Bubble +7s & Rogue Overnights

The Devil's Chord,Shirley Ballas, The Doctor (NCUTI GATWA), Ruby Sunday (MILLIE GIBSON) & Johannes Radebe,BBC STUDIOS,James Pardon

Doctor Who’s season premiere is a Top 10 hit, while Dot and Bubble rules Saturday but struggles against the Britain’s Got Talent machine

It’s now been a month since Doctor Who returned to our screens. It’s also the start of the season finale this week. Doesn’t it just feel wrong for those two to be so close together? But Blogtor digresses… it’s at this point we start to get the actual official viewing figures for this year’s episodes. Everything up until now has mattered primarily as pointers towards what this numbers might be. So from here on out, it’s going to get a bit busy in this column. This week we have the +28 viewing figures for the two episode premiere, Space Babies and The Devil’s Chord. We also have the +7 result for preppy dystopian tale Dot and Bubble. Finally, we have the initial overnight rating for last weekend’s Rogue, guest starring Jonathan Groff.


The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) explore BabyStation Beta in Space Babies,BBC STUDIOS AND BAD WOLF,Photo by James Pardon Doctor Who. The stand in the space station corridor, clinical and white but with children's drawings lower on the wall, as they look around them, curious.
The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) explore BabyStation Beta in Space Babies,BBC STUDIOS AND BAD WOLF,Photo by James Pardon

Far from losing viewers, in the final results The Devil’s Chord actually finishes three places above Space Babies in the weekly chart

Let’s start with the two episodes of the premiere night. Space Babies and The Devil’s Chord have finished their run, as least as far as recorded viewing figures go, in what appears to be a virtual tie. BARB are yet to officially release the +28 viewing figures, but we can make an informed estimate based on the time-shifting so far. Space Babies was seen by approximately 4.39m viewers while The Devils’ Chord has a final viewing figure of approximately 4.44m. This would swap their positions, thanks to stronger timeshifts for the the second episode in the last three weeks. It was able to add about half a million more viewers to its total (13%), compared to around 400k (9%) for Space Babies.

But these were strong catch-up viewing numbers for both episodes, as reflected in their move up the chart. Space Babies had been #10 in the weekly chart based on the +7s but in the final results moves up one place to #9. Meanwhile, The Devil’s Chord, which had been #12, moved up an impressive six places to #6 for the week.

It’s worth noting, by the way, that elsewhere showrunner Russell T Davies has been citing a 5.6m figure for Space Babies. That’s actually a reasonable number for him to quote. But it refers to the episode’s overall reach. That’s including the repeat showings on BBC Three and BBC 2 and all the recordings of those watched within 28 days. In truth, it’s probably the most important number being used in internal BBC discussions rights now. However, Blogtor Who doesn’t usually have access to the numbers for the repeats. Therefore we haven’t used it here either to keep our numbers comparable from week to week.


Lindy (CALLIE COOKE) risks more than chapping in the office today in Dot and Bubble BBC Studios/Bad Wolf,Photo by James Pardon

Dot and Bubble battled against an entire week of live Britain’s Got Talent shows, but still topped Saturday night TV

Less successful in chart terms so far is Dot and Bubble. The episode generated a lot of commentary and discussion with its final storytelling swerve, but is currently at #24 in the weekly chart. Dot and Bubble has a +7 viewing figure of 3.38m viewers. That includes 1.1m (48%) extra people watching it in the week following transmission, on top of the original 2.12m overnight and 0.16m pre-transmission streams.

That’s down 0.68m (16.7%) for the series high of previous episode 73 Yards. However, it’s chart position is partly to do with the Doctor Who’s greatest chart nemesis: week long live competitive reality shows. In recent years that archenemy has taken the form of Ant and Dec led juggernaut I’m a Celebrity. The move to summer means going to head to Britain’s Got Talent final week, with its six live episodes dominating the weekly chart.

There’s a flip side to that, though. We can probably expect Dot and Bubble to climb several places up the chart in the final results. Partly because so much of its competition encourages watching live, and partly because the strong audience reaction so far might yet translate into a large time-shift number. Doctor Who was actually #1 for the day in the +28s, with BGT having finished the night before. That shows again that it was one of the stronger performers in a pretty quiet television weekend.



Rogue has the largest pre-transmission audience of the season so far as fans get used, for better or worse, to the midnight drop

Last and, for now, least important is the initial overnight result for last weekend’s Regency story of love and loss. And cosplaying killer owls. Rogue was seen by an initial audience of 2.32m. This includes an overnight rating of 2.11m and a pre-transmission viewing figure of 0.21m. That’s the largest pre-transmission audience since the midnight drop was introduced. Though whether that’s because people were particularly eager to see the Bridgerton/Who mash-up or had just been spoiled once too often this year is hard to say.

Regardless, it means that Rogue is up on previous episode Dot and Bubble by the tiniest of margins: 36k (1.6%). It will be interesting to see in the coming weeks which ultimately finishes ahead of the other. With no Britain’s Got Talent, we can certainly expect Rogue to start significantly higher up the chart.

Time will tell. And next week brings not just Rogue’s +7, but also the +28 final rating for Steven Moffat’s triumphant return, Boom. Plus, of course, we’ll also have the overnight viewing figures for the first part of the epic season finale. Because The Legend of Ruby Sunday is only days from being revealed…



The Doctor confronts the Susan Twist in The Legend of Ruby Sunday (c) BBC Studios/Bad Wolf

Doctor Who continues at midnight Friday night BST with The Legend of Ruby Sunday on iPlayer in the UK, and on Disney+ everywhere else except Ireland


    • Viewing figures are collated by BARB, the UK’s official independent body for collating viewing figures for TV and streaming. Overnights and +7s are generally publicly available, though +28s are typically only available to BARB subscribers.


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