The opening episode of the new season of “Doctor Who,” starring Jodie Whittaker as the first regular female time lord, scored a new audience high in the U.K. for the modern iteration of the long-running show. New 4-screen measurements by British TV ratings organization Barb, which include non-TV online viewing, showed that the total audience for the Oct. 7 season opener reached 10.9 million across all devices.
The result gives Whittaker, the 13th Doctor, the best introduction for any Doctor since the show returned after a long hiatus in 2005, when Christopher Eccleston’s debut scored a consolidated audience of 10.8 million. The figures also make “Doctor Who” the No. 1 drama launch of 2018 in the U.K. and the BBC’s biggest in more than a decade, surpassing its recent smash hit “Bodyguard,” which bowed in August.
The pubcaster also revealed that the show had scored well with 16-34-year-olds, with 1.8 million watching the show, which co-stars Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill and Bradley Walsh. The opening episode received 2 million requests through BBC streaming service BBC iPlayer in the seven days following the Oct. 7 broadcast. Excluding Barb’s new 4-screen measurement, the consolidated audience gave “Doctor Who” a 45.1% audience share.
Overnight figures, originally released Oct. 8, had the show at a 40.1% audience share with an average of 8.2 million viewers and a peak of 9 million. Peter Capaldi’s series opener as the previous Doctor saw overnight figures of 6.8 million; Matt Smith’s first episode scored 7.7 million; and David Tennant’s 8 million.
The second episode of the new season aired Sunday on BBC One and drew an overnight audience of 7.1 million. “Doctor Who” airs on BBC America in the U.S.