More people watched Jodie Whittaker's 'Doctor Who' debut than David Tennant's, Matt Smith's, and Peter Capaldi's

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Jodie Whittaker (Credit: BBC)

The numbers are in, and Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who debut drew a massive 8.2 million viewers to BBC One and iPlayer last night.

For context, that’s more than the debuts of previous Doctors David Tennant, Matt Smith and Whittaker’s immediate predecessor, Peter Capaldi.

Capaldi drew 6.8 million in 2014, Smith grabbed 7.7 in 2010, and Tennant scored eight million in 2006 for their first episodes.

But she fell short of beating Christopher Eccleston’s debut – he pulled in 9.9 million viewers for his bow in 2005.

(PA)

The episode peaked at nine million viewers, averaged out at 8.2 million, and pulled 40.1 percent of the audience share.

The show also managed to top ratings smash Bodyguard, which launched to 6.7 million in August.

Fans have hailed Whittaker’s entrance as the regenerated Timelord, after last night’s episode The Woman Who Fell To Earth.

The critics were pretty sold too.

(Credit: BBC)

“Whittaker is a breath of fresh air: a talented, emotionally engaged actress who brings warmth and humanity to a show that was largely in danger of disappearing up its own black hole,” wrote the Daily Telegraph.

The Evening Standard added that ‘Whittaker is energetic and eccentric. She delivers the sci-fi cobblers with the right note of self-mockery’.

“The woman who fell to earth has very much landed on her feet,” wrote The Guardian.

Last night’s intro to the new Doctor also concluded with a run-down of the guest stars for the series ahead, among them Sex and the City star Chris Noth, Lee Mack, Julie Hesmondhalgh and Alan Cumming.

Doctor Who returns on Sunday.

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