Viewing figures for Resolution have been lifted substantially by catch-up, as the +7 numbers are revealed
This year an additional 1.81m viewing make it their New Year’s resolution to catch up with the Doctor’s adventures. This brings the +7 rating for Resolution to 6.96m. This does not include viewers who watched on laptops, tablets or smartphones. Those ‘four-screen’ numbers will not be available until next Monday. Therefore the final viewing figure for the week is likely to be around 7m. All the same, while this is a significant rise from the initial overnight of 5.15m, equally it’s the lowest audience for any Doctor Who special by some margin. The previous lowest, 2015’s The Husbands of River Song, achieved 7.69m – around one and a half million more than Resolution.
However, Resolution may yet add significant numbers before its final result. To get an idea of how strong time-shifting for the New Year’s Day special has been, consider this. It added almost the same number in a week as the series finale has in a month.
The final viewing figures for Series 11 are finally here
More positively, the final consolidated +28 viewing figure for Series 11 finale The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos is available. 7.14m people in the UK have now seen the climax to Jodie Whittaker’s first season. That’s up 1.82m for viewing figures on the night. It’s also up 360,000 (5%) from the previous episode It Takes You Away’s +28 number. And up an impressive 1.54m (28%) from the final rating for 2017’s season finale The Doctor Falls.
It means that Series 11 finished with an average final audience of 8.48m, the highest for Doctor Who since the +28 day measure was introduced. In fact, it was up a tremendous 44% on Series 10’s average of 5.88m.
It also had an average audience share of 33.9%, the highest since Matt Smith’s first series in 2010. So clearly its success cannot be put down purely to the new timeslot. This is up 6.7 points from the previous season, a 25% year on year increase. Its average chart position was #8 – the highest ever in Doctor Who’s 55-year history – and it was consistently the first or second most highly rated drama series (ie, once soap operas and reality TV are set aside) of the week.
Only the Appreciation Index (AI), the measure of how much audiences enjoyed the episodes is down slightly on the previous series. At 81, Series 11’s average is technically the lowest Doctor Who has had since its 2005 revival. However, it’s comparable to the 82 given by viewers to Series 1 and Series 9. And also to the 83 given to Series 8 and Series 10.
Where can Doctor Who Series 12 go from here? There will be another schedule move, this time from an October-to-December broadcast to “early” in the year. So it’s hard to yet predict what will be supporting Doctor Who in the TV listings around it. Or, indeed, what it will be competing against on the increasingly numerous ‘other sides.’ And will a post-Brexit Britain see its hunger for optimistic escapism increase or decrease?
It would be astonishing for it to repeat the viewing figures of Series 11, and that’s perhaps something more to be hoped for than expected. Probably it’s more realistic to see Jodie Whittaker’s first season as a ‘ratings reset’ which has returned a now fourteen-year-old format to its ratings heyday. If Whittaker’s second season follows the pattern of her predecessors’ (David Tennant lost 2% between Series 2 and 3, Smith 3% between Series 5 and 6, and Capaldi 9% between Series 8 and 9) it will still be bringing in audiences of around 8m per episode, and maintaining Doctor Who’s place as one of Britain’s top-rated dramas.