We at last have the final official rating for The Halloween Apocalypse! Plus there’s the +7 update for Village of the Angels, and the overnights for Survivors of the Flux
If it’s Monday, it must be a viewing figures update! But for the first time during Doctor Who: Flux, we have the official final figures for an episode. The +28 metric, introduced in 2014, is the measure officially used to define an episode’s performance. While overnights are interesting, and +7s informative, it’s the +28s that arguably matter more than anything else. Though, of course, we already know the BBC have recommissioned Doctor Who beyond 2023. So even the +28s are more of fannish interest than genuine importance to the show.
Still, after 28 days, we can say Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse has been seen by 6.39m viewers. That’s 1.96m viewers catching up on Flux’s opening in the month since, a 44.2% increase on the original overnights. That total’s down 0.21m (3.2%) on previous episode Revolution of the Daleks, an encouraging start given the general greater popularity of the holiday specials. It also represents a 0.8m drop (9.3%) from last year’s series opener Spyfall Part One.
Halloween Apocalypse was a Top Ten hit, reflecting Doctor Who premieres’ consistently strong performance
In terms of chart position, it means that The Halloween Apocalypse ended up at #7 for the week. For comparison, the average final chart position for a series premiere since 2005 is #6. In fact, Rose, the episode that launched a legacy that sees Doctor Who still on television sixteen years later, was also at #7 in the weekly chart (though back then the +7s were the official finals). There’s probably no greater illustration that despite television audiences shrinking nationwide, Doctor Who has succeeded in maintaining its position.
The Halloween Apocalypse also beat every episode of EastEnders and Coronation Street for the week. In fact the only shows finishing above Doctor Who in the chart are both episodes of Strictly Come Dancing (10.64m and 8.76m), Great British Bake Off (9.57m), Shetland (7.56m), The Long Call (6.74m), and Showtrial (6.72m). This also means Doctor Who was the #4 drama for the week, and the BBC’s #5 show in the chart.
It’s a very promising start for Doctor Who: Flux. In terms of the unique serial format, it’s too early to say for sure, but it certainly looks like it hasn’t made much difference one way or another. Time shifting after 28 days added 30.7% to the first chapter’s overnights, compared to the 30.6% average for Series Twelve. Of course, there are probably some fans who have waited until this week or even next week so they can binge all six chapters. But unfortunately we’ll never know how many, or how few, of them there are. The official measurements stop here.
Village of the Angels also posted strong time-shifting, adding 32% to its audience
Moving on to last week, we also have the +7 results for the fourth chapter of Doctor Who: Flux. After seven days Village of the Angels has been seen by 4.55m viewers, up 1.1m (31.9%) on last week’s overnights. That’s down 0.12m (2.5%) on previous episode Once, Upon Time. That suggests that if Chapter Three’s rather dense and twisted storytelling had put viewers off, the strong word of mouth about Village, combined with that cliffhanger, more than offset it. Indeed, +7 time-shifting for Village of the Angels was the strongest for Flux so far, and considerably better than Once, Upon Time’s 24.2%.
It also means Village of the Angels is currently at #22 in the weekly chart. That’s not a bad result at all, and consistent with Doctor Who’s typical chart position at this point in a series since 2015. It will be particularly interesting to see how this chapter winds up in the +28 numbers. Not only may it continue to benefit from strong time-shifting on its own merits, but by then anyone watching all six chapters together will be showing up in the +28s.
Survivors of the Flux’s initial overnights are here too, revealing an 11% week on week rise…
Finally, we have the initial overnights for last night’s fresh chapter. Survivors of the Flux was watched by 3.82m viewers. That’s up (yes, up) 0.37m (10.6%) on Village of the Angels. It was also higher than the 3.76m for the week before that and Once, Upon Time. Last night’s episode presumably benefited from that same strong response to the Weeping Angels’ return that drove that episode’s time-shifting. While many viewers will also have wanted to see the resolution to last week’s astonishing cliffhanger live. It also made it the fifth most watched program of the day, again beating everything ITV had to offer.
Problems hitting the set of I’m a Celebrity may also give Survivors of the Flux a boost in the weekly chart.
The troubled production of this year’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! will have helped that. In a classic example of it being an ill wind that blows no good, a severe storm reportedly wrecked much of the equipment for the making of the show, with the celebrities evacuated to a hotel. This meant that ITV showed a clip show instead, robbing the channel of one of its regular biggest hits.
I’m a Celeb is going to miss at least a couple of live shows, with some even speculating the entire series may need to be abandoned. With seven editions of the popular show on a week, it traditionally has a huge knock on effect on everything else in the chart during its run. But we may well see the last two episodes of Flux settle higher up the chart than Blogtor Who predicted last week. Think of it as 2021’s version of the ITV strike of 1979…
Next week, we’ll have the final numbers for War of the Sontarans, and a +7 update for Survivors of the Flux. And our very first glimpse at the overall performance of Flux when we can add finale The Vanquishers to our overnights spreadsheet.
Doctor Who: Flux concludes this Sunday at 6.20pm on BBC One, and on BBC America and AMC+ in the US, with Chapter Six: The Vanquishers
In the final epic chapter in the story of the Flux, all hope is lost. The forces of darkness are in control. But when the monsters have won, who can you count upon to save the universe?