Doctor Who’s Season 12 ratings continue their downward spiral following Episode 7, “Can You Hear Me?”
Doctor Who News reports the overnight ratings came in at 3.81 million total viewers in the United Kingdom. That’s almost a 200,000 viewer drop from Episode 6, “Praxeus” which had overnight ratings of 3.97 million.
Overnight ratings have steadily declined since the premiere episode, “Spyfall: Part One.” That premiere episode reportedly had overnight ratings of just over 5 million viewers. Despite the premiere episode being the first of a two-part episode, Spyfall: Part Two saw viewership decline by almost half a million viewers in overnight ratings. Radio Times reported overnight ratings came in at 4.6 million viewers.
Not only have overnight ratings declined, but final ratings, which includes viewers who taped the show and viewed it after it initially aired have declined as well.
Doctor Who News reports the first episode had 6.89 million viewers. By the second episode it was down to 6.07 million. They shed over 800,000 viewers in just one episode.
The show would continue bleeding viewers with Episode 3 “Orphan 55.” It had only 5.38 million viewers.
The show would slightly rebound with Episode 5 “The Fugitive of Judoon,” which had viewership of 5.57 million. However, the overnight ratings for “Praxeus” and “Can You Hear Me?” are much lower than “The Fugitive of Judoon.”
Doctor Who News reported “Fugitive of the Judoon had overnight ratings of 4.21 million viewers. That means the show lost around 250,000 viewers between Episode 5 and Episode 6.
It’s quite likely once final numbers come in for “Can You Hear Me?,” total viewership will be below 5 million in the United Kingdom. The last time Doctor Who viewership was below 5 million was Doctor Who Season 10 Episode 10 “The Eaters of Light,” which aired back in June 2017. It had viewership at 4.73 million. Before that was The Lie of The Land which also aired in June 2017. It had viewership at 4.82 million.
However, you have to go all the way back to 1989 with Survival: Part Two to find the another Doctor Who episode below 5 million. That episode saw Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor.
While the decline in viewership isn’t as significant on BBC America, it is still declining. Numbers have not been posted for “Can You Hear Me?” yet, but Praxeus posted the worst viewership of the season with 464,000 according to TV Series Finale. It did have a .13 rating in the 18-49 demo.
Spyfall: Part One originally posted viewership of 790,00 with a .19 rating. It would drop over 25% in viewership with Spyfall: Part Two to 589,000 and a .15 rating.
It would continue to decline with Orphan 55 posting 468,000 total viewership and a .10 rating. However, it would rebound with Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror and Fugitive of the Judoon. Episode 5 would have viewership at 490,00 and a .12 rating while Episode 6 would have viewership at 549,000 and a .15 rating.
As for why the show continues to bleed viewers in both the United Kingdom and the United States, YouTuber Gary Buechler stated, “Doctor Who is broken. There is no going back. This is The Last Jedi of Doctor Who. Well done, Chris Chibnall, you are the Rian Johnson of the UK.”
He adds, “Yes, canon does count. The legacy does count. If you disrespect it, you disrespect the fans, you disrespect all the Doctors who came before. And you end up making nothing matters. And if it doesn’t matter you lose fan investment, and then you don’t matter.”
Despite the declining viewership, actor Jodie Whittaker indicated she will be around for another season. She told Entertainment Weekly, “Yes, I’m doing another season.”
She added, “That might be a massive exclusive that I’m not supposed to say, but it’s unhelpful for me to say [I don’t know] because it would be a massive lie! [Laughs] I absolutely adore it. At some point, these shoes are going to be handed on, but it’s not yet. I’m clinging on tight.”
What do you make of Doctor Who’s ongoing ratings decline? How many more viewers do you think the show will bleed by the end of the season?