Doctor Who gives the BBC its biggest show of New Year’s Day

Revolution of the Daleks achieved an initial overnight viewing figure of 4.69m on New Year’s Day. This is up 0.81m (21%) on previous Doctor Who episode The Timeless Children. It is down slightly on the overnights for last New Year’s Day’s Spyfall Part One. 4.88 million watched the Master’s return last year, meaning Revolution of the Daleks had a 0.19m (4%) drop year on year. In fact, however, this gives the 2021 New Year’s Day special the show’s highest overnights since the Series 12 premiere. It also makes it the BBC’s biggest hit of the day, and third overall, just behind Coronation Street on ITV (5.02m), while ITV News was the highest rated show of the day, with 5.54m.

To place this in the wider context, Mrs.Brown’s Boys has been confirmed for Christmas Specials to 2026. And its overnight viewing figure for Christmas Day 2020 was 3.8m. The soaps also scored similar results, with Christmas Day’s Coronation Street, Emmerdale and EastEnders getting 4.55m, 3.57m and 3.54m respectively. Meanwhile, another Christmas stalwart Strictly Come Dancing was seen by 4.86m, comparable to Revolution’s 4.69m. While Call the Midwife, guest starring Peter Davison, had a viewing figure of 5.43m, making it the top rated drama of the Christmas period.

However, as always, time-shifting and streaming are increasingly important to the real figure. Especially this year as the show is available in 4K for the very first time but, crucially, only on iPlayer. It’s almost impossible to predict how many people watched in 4K on iPlayer rather than on BBC One, or in the weeks to come. It won’t be until the end of January that we finally know Revolution of the Daleks’ official viewing figure. But based on these overnights, we can expect a healthy result.


Doctor Who Series 13, starring Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, and John Bishop, is currently filming and will return!

The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Steve Schofield
The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Steve Schofield


    • Or to put it another way, the third highest rated program, across 460 channels, on the second highest rated day of Christmas. And the third highest rated drama of the entire Christmas period.


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