We now have the consolidated viewing figures for last week’s Orphan 55, as well as the overnight numbers for Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror

Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror, the Doctor’s adventure alongside one of the great inventors of the 20th century was seen by 4.04m people. The gives us the dubious honour, as a benchmark, of the first time this era has dropped below 50% of the audience for The Woman Who Fell to Earth. It’s true that all incarnations of the Doctor shed some viewers as they go along. But this is somewhat faster and steeper than might have been expected. Peter Capaldi hit this point with Series 10’s The Lie of the Land, for instance (3.01m vs Deep Breath’s 6.8m).

However, as those numbers hint, this is more of a contrast with last year’s success than genuinely troubling ratings. After all, almost a third of episodes in the Capaldi era had lower initial viewing figures than Tesla, starting with Series 9’s The Witch’s Familiar (3.71m). And five years later the show continues to be an important part of the BBC schedule.

Doctor Who - Orphan 55 - S12E03 - Graham (BRADLEY WALSH) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Ben Blackall
Doctor Who – Orphan 55 – S12E03 – Graham (BRADLEY WALSH) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Ben Blackall

Meanwhile, Orphan 55’s consolidated +7 viewing figure is now also available

Orphan 55 has now been seen by 5.25m viewers, giving a 23.8% audience share. As expected this time-shifting meant it overtook its chief time slot rival Dancing on Ice. The celebrity ice skating show on 5.04m, having attracted just 0.35m on catch-up. It also left Doctor Who the 7th most watched show (rather than episode) on BBC One last week, and the fourth most watched drama. The 1.09m who watched on catch-up is a bit lower than the 1.47m who came late to the party for Spyfall Part Two. But just as both parts of Spyfall were helped by strong and positive audience reaction, Orphan 55 seemed to divide reactions online, giving it weaker word of mouth.

Next week though will bring our first solid indicator for this season of Doctor Who. Because we won’t just have overnights for Fugitive of the Judoon, and +7 numbers for Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror. We’ll also finally have the final official viewing figures for Spyfall Part One.


Doctor Who - Series 12 - Judoon
The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) faces the Judoon in Fugitive of the Judoon – (C) BBC / BBC Studios – Photographer: James Pardon

Doctor Who continues at 7.10pm this Sunday on with Fugitive of the Judoon

Ko Sho Blo! Trigger-happy space police the Judoon are targeting 21st-century Gloucester. The Doctor, Yaz, Ryan and Graham race back to Earth in order to prevent them doing too much damage to the cathedral city. But who are they looking for, and what did they do to incur the wrath of the Judoon?

Starring Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Bradley Walsh (Graham), Mandip Gill (Yaz) and Tosin Cole (Ryan). Fugitive of the Judoon guest stars Neil Stuke (Lee), Jo Martin (Ruth) and Ritu Arya (Gat). Written by Vinay Patel (Demons of the Punjab) and directed by Nida Manzoor (Nikola Telsa’s Night of Terror).



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