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Jodie Whittaker’s ‘Doctor Who’ Debut Generates 9 Million Peak Audience, New Guest Stars Announced

Jodie Whittaker’s turn as the timelord was well-received by critics, as well as fans in the U.K. who tuned in in droves to the new season of “Doctor Who.” The series opener garnered a 40.1% audience share for the BBC in the U.K. After the episode came to a close, an extended preview of upcoming installments revealed glimpses of new guest stars who will appear throughout the ten-episode run.

In its new Sunday evening slot on BBC One, “Doctor Who” generated an average of 8.2 million viewers, and a peak of 9 million. Previous Doctor Peter Capaldi’s series opener won 6.8 million. Prior to that, Matt Smith’s first episode won 7.7 million, and David Tennant’s 8 million.

By way of comparison, BBC drama “Bodyguard” was the U.K. pubcaster’s best new drama launch for a decade earlier this year with an overnight audience of 6.8 million.

New “Doctor Who” guest stars revealed included Chris Noth (“Sex and the City”), Mark Addy (“Game of Thrones”), and Phyllis Logan (“Downton Abbey”).

There were also glimpses of Shaun Dooley (“The Woman in Black”), Susan Lynch (“From Hell”), and Art Malik (“Cold Feet”), who had all been confirmed as appearing in this season. British comedian Lee Mack and actor Alan Cumming (“Instinct”) had already said they would be in the show and were seen for the first time.

A raft of other other upcoming guest actors were revealed in the teaser trailer. Julie Hesmondhalgh (“Coronation Street”), Shane Zaza (“Press”), Shobna Gulati (“Coronation Street”), Brett Goldstein (“Superbob”), Josh Bowman (“Revenge”), Siobhan Finneran (“Downton Abbey”), Lois Chimimba (“Trust Me”), Hamza Jeetoa (“Bin Men”), Suzanne Packer (“Casualty”), Vinette Robinson (“Vera Drake”), Amita Suman (“Casualty”), and Ben Bailey Smith (“Bounty Hunters”) will all be seen in this year’s run.

In its review of episode one, Variety said “the first female doctor makes her mark.”

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