The return of Doctor Who on Saturday was trounced in the ratings war by the latest offering of the X Factor.
The first episode of the new series, The Magician’s Apprentice, had an overnight audience of 4.6 million viewers, a 22% share of the audience from 7.40pm on Saturday. It was heavily beaten by the X Factor who had 7.3 milion viewers watching from 8pm. ITV will no doubt be thrilled by this news, considering their defeat against Strictly Come Dancing during it’s launch night a few weeks ago.
This was the second series outing for the latest doctor Peter Capaldi, with a significant drop in audience figures from the 6.8 million who watched his debut last year. It was also the lowest viewing figures for any autumn series opener since Doctor Who returned to the BBC in 2005.
Earlier this week, Jenna Coleman who plays the Doctor’s assistant, Clara Oswald, confirmed that she would be leaving the show. She told Radio 1 “It was emotional! It’s been in the works for a very long time. Steven [Moffat] and I sat down a year and a half ago and tried to work out the best place to do it, and the best place to tell a really good story – hopefully that’s what we’ve done. I think it’s really cool … obviously we’re not going to give away any details but it will happen at some point this season.”
There is some good news for Doctor Who however, as it was the most watched BBC programme of the evening, and ratings will rise once figures for catch-up and iPlayer requests are included.