Doctor Who is back in 2020 and its rip-roaring return has proved to be a hit with fans.

Spoilers ahead for Doctor Who: Spyfall, Part 1

For over 50 years, Doctor Who has been a near-constant presence on our TV screens and, as a result, boasts a fanbase in the millions. 

However, it hasn’t always been plain sailing for the BBC sci-fi as its cancellation in 1989, thanks to a drop in audience numbers, goes to show.

Since the show was revived in 2005, Doctor Who has enjoyed plenty of success with highpoints coming in the David Tennant and Matt Smith eras.

But with Peter Capaldi starring as the 12th Doctor and a writing team somewhat losing their way, Doctor Who’s viewing figures plummeted to similar levels to when the show was cancelled in the late 80s.

Thankfully for Whovians though, Jodie Whittaker’s casting as the first female Doctor appears to have steadied the ship with viewing figures back on the rise but just how does the 13th Doctor’s audience stack up with Doctor Who viewing figures of the past few years? 

Doctor Who returns in Spyfall

After a baron 2019 for Doctor Who fans, 2020 arrived with a bang in the James Bond-themed episode Spyfall.

The fun-filled adventure, with some mysterious new aliens, was the perfect re-introduction, especially with new faces such as Stephen Fry and Lenny Henry stealing the show.

However, the biggest talking point of the espionage-filled episode was the return of a certain troublesome Time Lord, The Doctor’s long-time nemesis, The Master, this time being played by Sacha Dhawan.

All of those elements combined will surely have led to a boost in viewing figures for the hit sci-fi series.

Spyfall’s viewing figures

At the time of writing, the viewing figures for Spyfall, Part 1 have not yet been revealed.

However, given the fact that the episode was a New Year’s special and the first episode in a new series, with some big-name actors thrown into the mix for good measure, it won’t be a surprise to see a welcome boost in viewing figures for the season 12 opener, especially given the positive reaction that the episode has received.

We will, of course, keep you updated when the viewing figures for Spyfall are finally revealed.  

Jodie Whittaker gives Doctor Who a much-needed boost

Since its revival in 2005, Doctor Who has earned some of the best success in its history, particularly during the David Tennant and Matt Smith eras where viewing figures just teetered on the 10 million threshold in certain episodes.

However, after Peter Capaldi took over as the 12th Doctor and the show’s writers appeared to lose their way almost, Doctor Who suffered its worst run since the late 80s with ratings falling to just over five million per episode.

Since Jodie Whittaker began her tenure as the first female Doctor though, ratings have since seen a huge boost with figures back up to levels seen during the Tennant and Smith eras.

Understandably, viewing figures fell during the course of her first series, as it the case with most TV series, but they have remained at a steady average of just under eight million per episode.

BBC big-wigs will no doubt be hoping that the series can enjoy another successful spell in series 12 which continues on Sunday, January 5th with Spyfall, Part 2.

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