Viewing figures for Rogue and Legend of Ruby Sunday help illustrate the season’s solid, consistent performance

 

The UK viewing figures for Rogue have been updated for its +7 results, while the initial overnights for The Legend of Ruby Sunday are here too. Sadly, the +28 number for Boom hasn’t reached us yet, but the figures we do have make interesting reading. The 2024 season may well be Doctor Who’s most consistent season yet, without the slow week on week decline we’ve come to expect over the past 20 years.

In its first week, Rogue was seen by 3.52m in the UK. That’s up 1.41m (66.8%) from its initial overnight. It’s also up 0.14m (4.1%) on the +7 result for previous episode Dot and Bubble. Dot and Bubble was actually a series low but that illustrates that consistency Blogtor mentioned. The +7’s for the season so far have ranged from 3.38m for Dot and Bubble to 4.06m  for 73 Yards. That’s a range of just 0.68m, clustered around an average of 3.74m, with each episode deviating from that number by an average of only 0.25m (6.68%).

Given the challenges of the summer months, both in terms of the weather and live sporting events, it seems Doctor Who retains a strong and loyal core audience. One large enough to keep its spot as one of the BBC’s biggest hitters each weekend.

That’s underlined as well by the weekly chart. Rogue’s initial spot in the chart is at #14. That’s up 10 places from Dot and Bubble, which as we mentioned last week had an entire week of Britain’s Got Talent to contend with. But the dystopian story is the outlier, with the average +7 placement for the season so far is #15 and the median chart position is #13.

 

Rose (YASMIN FINNEY), at UNIT HQ in The Legend of Ruby Sunday BBC STUDIOS 2023,James Pardon

Fans wary of spoilers made the pre-transmission number for Legend of Ruby Sunday the highest this season

That sense of consistency carries through to last weekend’s The Legend of Ruby Sunday, even though we only have the initial overnight. The official overnight, measuring the live audience and all recordings of it watched before 2am, is 2.02m. Added to that are the 297k who streamed the episode on iPlayer between midnight and the BBC One transmission. That means a total of 2.32m viewers watched The Legend of Ruby Sunday last Saturday in the UK. That’s a change of 0.0m (0%) change from Rogue’s equivalent number. Of course, the number won’t be absolutely identical, but any difference, up or down, is too far down the decimal points to show up in our reporting.

That’s the first time there’s been effectively no change in the overnights from one episode to the next since 2010. But it is worth noting that that 297k is the highest pre-transmission number yet. After a slow start that cast doubt on the wisdom of the whole idea, those watching the midnight drop (or catching up the following morning) has doubled since the season’s start. In fact, it’s more than four times the lowest pre-transmission number for 73 Yards. It’s understandable, of course, that people were particularly weary of being spoiled heading into the finale, with big revelations bound to be made.

But the fact that, overall, 73 Yards was also a season high just hits home again that what’s evolving is how and when people choose to watch Doctor Who. The more people watch on iPlayer, the lower the live TV number. But the total across the two has remained largely the same.

The Doctor (NCUTI GATWA) & Mel (BONNIE LANGFORD),in Empire of Death BBC STUDIOS 2023,Sophie Mutevelian Doctor Who. Mel rides her moped, the Doctor holding on behind.
The Doctor (NCUTI GATWA) & Mel (BONNIE LANGFORD),in Empire of Death BBC STUDIOS 2023,Sophie Mutevelian

Next week we will have a complete set of overnights for the season, and (fingers crossed) final results for the first half

Hopefully by next week we’ll be able to report on the final +28 results for both Boom and 73 Yards, alongside the +7 for Legend and the overnights for the finale. Though Blogtor’s instincts tell him that they’ll continue the same picture of solid, consistent, performance. Perhaps we’ll even have some idea how Pyramids of Mars has done on BBC Four, 50 years after the original version first aired!

 

Will Ruby Sunday (MILLIE GIBSON) uncover the secret of her birth? BBC STUDIOS 2023,James Pardon Legend of Ruby Sunday Empire of Death Ruby stands in the Time Window chamber, her hand pressed against the cracked glass.
Will Ruby Sunday (MILLIE GIBSON) uncover the secret of her birth? BBC STUDIOS 2023,James Pardon

Doctor Who’s 2024 season concludes with Empire of Death, dropping at midnight on Friday on iPlayer and screening in cinemas in the UK, and on Disney+ everywhere else except Ireland

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