Doctor Who Season 12 Opens With Lowest Ratings In Years

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Jodie Whittaker made history last year by becoming the first actress in the history of Doctor Who to play the titular character, but it would seem that her second outing as the Last of the Time Lords is still suffering from low audience figures.

Reactions to Chris Chibnall’s tenure as showrunner have been mixed ever since Whittaker’s debut in “The Woman Who Fell to Earth” in season 11, and despite many praising the premiere episode of season 12 for its shocking twist and powerful buildup, “Spyfall Part 1” is now officially the second-worst episode of modern Who with 4.96 million viewers, behind Moffat’s “The Magician’s Apprentice,” which only pulled in 4.58 million viewers.

To put things into perspective, “The Woman Who Fell to Earth” had a total of 10.96 million viewers, setting the record for the highest number of viewers in a Doctor’s season premiere. It made sense, too, since Jodie was the first woman to play the Doctor and people were really curious, if not downright excited, to see the result. After that, the show experienced a significant decline with each episode, and last year’s special, titled “Resolution,” only netted 7.1 million viewers.

Many have criticized the new showrunner for leaning too much into political correctness, while some Doctor Who veterans have assured us that Jodie’s second season will be significantly better. Now, with season 12’s premiere episode drawing in one of the worst figures in the show’s history, we can bet the Thirteenth Doctor is in trouble.

Previously, there were rumors that Chibnall and Whittaker would leave the show in 2019, but since then we’ve learned that these reports were unfounded. Still, Chibnall has received his fair share of criticism for being “too political” with Doctor Who, and if the current audience figures have anything to say, the showrunner will have to up his game.

For now, the second part of “Spyfall” is set to premiere tomorrow night on the BBC, and we’ll see if the return of story arcs affects audience participation for longtime fans of the show.

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