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Ratings: Doctor Who Flirts With 10-Year Premiere Audience High Over in UK

Doctor Who Ratings Whittaker

Jodie Whittaker’s numbers are bigger from the outside.

Doctor Who‘s 13th Time Lord on Sunday afternoon delivered 8.2 million total viewers to BBC One, outperforming the across-the-pond debuts of predecessors Peter Capaldi and Matt Smith (both of which of course preceded the timey-wimey series’ move away from Saturday nights).

Per BBC One, that tally marks the best preliminary numbers for any Doctor Who broadcast in five years, and the largest overnight audience for a season (sorry, series) opener in 10 years (when David Tennant’s swan song started off with 8.4 million viewers).

Ratings for the Stateside simulcast won’t trickle in from BBC America until Friday, folding in Live+3 playback. Plus, it takes extra time to convert from centimeters and all.

Alongside Whittaker’s own debut, Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch) now serves as Doctor Who‘s showrunner, while Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill and Bradley Walsh play the Doctor’s three companions, whose backstories were established in the season opener.

TVLine readers gave Whittaker’s debut episode an average grade of “B+”; you can read our recap here.

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