UPDATE: “Doctor Who” also opened very well Stateside, with Saturday’s premiere of Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor setting a BBC America ratings record with 2.2 million viewers. This tops the previous record for the network set with the most recent “Doctor Who” season premiere, in September 2012 (1.56 million).
Saturday’s telecast also averaged a little over 1 million adults 25-54, a nice jump from the 723,000 in the demo watched the season 7 premiere in 2012.
LONDON — “Doctor Who’s” season curtain-raiser, in which actor Peter Capaldi makes his first proper appearance as the 12th Doctor, attracted an average 6.8 million viewers to the U.K.’s BBC One on Saturday.
This repped a 33% share, and was the most-watched opener for the skein since 2010. The 80-minute episode, “Deep Breath,” played at 7.50 P.M. local time. At its peak it attracted 7.3 million people.
SEE ALSO: TV Review: ‘Doctor Who,’ Season 8
It is the eighth season in the latest incarnation of the show. The top season opener in this iteration was the first season in 2005, which had Christopher Eccleston in the lead role. That drew an average 9.9 million viewers. The season 5 opener in 2010, which saw the first appearance of Matt Smith, Capaldi’s predecessor, averaged 7.7 million.
The 2005 opener aired in March and the 2010 opener transmitted in April, which are both stronger months for TV shows in the U.K. than August, when many families are on vacation, due to the school holidays. Tomorrow, Monday, is a public holiday in the U.K., which would have prompted many people to go away for the weekend, softening the audience figures still further.