Doctor Who 60th anniversary special sets ratings record

david tennant and catherine tate, doctor who 60th anniversary
Doctor Who 60th special sets ratings recordZoe McConnell - BBC

Doctor Who made its grand return on Saturday (November 25) with David Tennant, Catherine Tate and Russell T Davies back to celebrate the show's 60th anniversary and kick off its new era.

The first of three anniversary specials, 'The Star Beast', translated all the hype into ratings success. The episode had an overnight rating of 5.08 million, according to figures quoted by the BBC's entertainment correspondent Lizo Mzimba.

Not only is it the biggest launch for a drama this year, it's also the biggest overnight ratings for an episode of Doctor Who since 'Resolution' in 2019, which was the show's first New Year's Day special after years of Christmas Day instalments.

david tennant, the meep, doctor who the star beast

The episode outperformed I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, which managed 4.83 million, while Strictly Come Dancing was the winner of the night with 7.67 million.

The numbers will only get better, as overnights only include people watching live on broadcast and those who recorded and watched the episode within the hours following.

The final ratings will comprise people watching within 7 days of the initial broadcast and on streaming.

And of course, these viewing figures are just for the UK. Disney+ is premiering all new episodes of Doctor Who in most territories around the world, which has the potential to bring the long-running sci-fi juggernaut to more people than ever before.

david tennant, yasmin finney, doctor who the star beast

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Meanwhile, this weekend's special, 'Wild Blue Yonder', has been teased with a brief trailer.

It doesn't give away too much about what's going on, but it looks like we're going to get a classic claustrophobic setting, with lots of running down corridors.

And if you're looking forward to adding the three specials to your physical collection, the release date for the disc versions has already been announced.

Doctor Who continues this weekend with 'Wild Blue Yonder'. The show airs on BBC One in the UK and Disney+ elsewhere.

Classic episodes of Doctor Who are now made available via BBC iPlayer in the UK as well.

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