Doctor Who Ratings Drop By A Million Viewers From Season Premiere


The ratings for season 12 of Doctor Who have continued to steadily decline, with the latest episode seeing the lowest viewership so far of Jodie Whittaker’s run playing the Time Lord.

Can You Hear Me?” pulled in 3.81 million viewers, down 160,000 from last week’s “Praxeus” and just over a million from season premiere “Spyfall.” It’s possible some people were put off by the episode’s structure of nightmares and dreamscapes mixing with fears and memories, which involved far more abstract a narrative than most stories of the show follow. While the mental illness theme was an important one to keep in the public consciousness, the subtlety with which it was portrayed left a lot to be desired, and the episode’s third act expository info-dump detailing the backstory of the villains was dropped in too quickly.

Fan reactions have been predictably mixed, both to the episode itself and Chris Chibnall’s aegis in general, with most detractions essentially boiling down to Doctor Who not being exactly what they wish it was and how it’s being ruined by its current incarnation, which have been complaints regularly wheeled virtually since the show’s inception over 50 years ago.

Even though this kind of news is regularly reported on, the simple fact is that a gradual downward trend in viewing figures throughout a season is typical for virtually every TV show airing, with the only real significant factor being to what extent the figures are declining.

The viewership of Doctor Who isn’t quite as significant as it is for most TV, as the BBC is publicly funded and thus has no advertisers to appease, but it does still ultimately matter, since if it drops to a certain point it would be difficult justifying continuing the series. It’s already been confirmed that Whittaker will be returning for season 13 though, so those determined to see an end to her run for the greener grass of whoever comes next will just have to wait a little longer to get their wish.