Doctor Who Loses Another 600K Viewers For Season Finale

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Last night’s finale of Doctor Who was chock-full of twists and surprise revelations, but it looks like that didn’t help raise season 12’s low audience figures at all.

Earlier on, we’d reported that Jodie Whittaker’s second run as the Thirteenth Doctor was in trouble due to all-time low ratings for the series since its revival in 2005. Some argued that the fatigue would fade as we got closer to the season finale and it made sense, too; Chris Chibnall had been carefully building up to several important revelations and given the episode’s title, “The Timeless Children,” it was clear that we were finally going to get some answers.

Those answers came, of course, and changed the show’s mythology forever. Much to Chibnall’s detriment, though, this Sunday’s concluding episode only roped in 3.78 million viewers, which was actually an uptick when compared to last week’s “Ascension of the Cybermen.” But what’s concerning is when you realize that the shows preceding and following Doctor Who‘s slot on Sunday night had many more viewers tune in, with 4.44 and 4.41 million respectively.

So, it would seem that around 600,000 audience members turned off the sci-fi show, which, considering its overwhelming popularity in the UK, is bad news for the BBC.

However, here’s a counter-argument: the audience figures aren’t actually that bad when you take those who tune in to the BBC’s iPlayer service into account. Nevertheless, it should be noted that overnight figures from live transmission in the premiere episode of season 12 were 4.88 million. Granted, that’s not nearly as many as season 11 managed last year, but the current numbers are both troublesome and worrying.

Suffice it to say, not everyone is on board with some of Chibnall’s controversial decisions for Doctor Who, but with the BBC renewing his contract for another season and telling fans that there’s nothing to worry about so far as ratings are concerned, some of the showrunner’s more vocal naysayers will have a difficult time adjusting to this new narrative for the foreseeable future.

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