Doctor Who Viewership Numbers For Christmas Special Exceeded David Tennant’s Final 60th Anniversary Episode

The BBC viewership numbers for Doctor Who over Christmas week are revealed, and the seasonal special’s numbers are particularly impressive.


  • Doctor Who‘s “The Church on Ruby Road” received a massive 1.79 million streams on BBC iPlayer during Christmas week.
  • With an overnight rating of 4.73 million, the special surpassed the final Doctor Who 60th anniversary episode.
  • This strong viewership for the seasonal special bodes well for the upcoming Doctor Who season 14 premiere.

Doctor Who’s viewership numbers for its most recent seasonal special have been revealed. Airing on Christmas, Doctor Who released a special titled “The Church on Ruby Road,” which introduced new companion Ruby Sunday (played by Millie Gibson) alongside Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor. The Christmas special followed the release of the three Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials, which saw the return of David Tennant and Catherine Tate.

Radio Times reveals the viewership numbers for Doctor Who’s Christmas special, and it is a staggering total. During the week of December 25–December 31, the Doctor Who revival was viewed over 10 million times on the BBC iPlayer. “The Church on Ruby Road,” specifically, received 1.79 million streams and had an overnight rating of 4.73 million on Christmas Day.

The “Church on Ruby Road” Numbers Bode Well For Doctor Who Season 14

The season special’s 4.73 million overnight rating positions the special above the final Doctor Who 60th anniversary episode. “The Giggle” received a 4.62 million rating overnight upon its release. The Christmas special’s totals also position “The Church on Ruby Road” as the third-most watched show for the BBC on Christmas Day.

The numbers for this Doctor Who seasonal special are impressive for a one-off episode. There was massive hype surrounding the Doctor Who anniversary specials, with “The Giggle” causing particular intrigue due to its reintroduction of the infamous character The Toymaker. Viewers must have been satisfied with showrunner Russell T Davies’ work with the specials, as they were drawn back in droves for “The Church on Ruby Road.”

The success of “The Church on Ruby Road” is a great sign for the forthcoming Doctor Who season 14. Gatwa was introduced in “The Giggle,” and his presence was clearly beloved enough for viewers to return for more shortly thereafter. If this trend continues, Doctor Who is set for an impressive season 14 premiere as it prepares for a mid-2024 arrival.

Source: Radio Times

Doctor Who Poster

Doctor Who

Originally premiered in 1963, Doctor Who is a sci-fi series that follows a powerful being known as a Time Lord, referred to as the Doctor. Using an interdimensional time-traveling ship known as the TARDIS, the Doctor travels time and space with various companions as they solve multiple problems and help avert catastrophe as much as they almost cause it. Though the Doctor is always the same character, they experience regenerations, allowing them to be recast every few seasons as a unique immortal being with new personality traits.

Release Date
November 23, 1963

Adventure , Mystery , Sci-Fi


Doctor Who

Story By
Sydney Newman C. E. Webber Donald Wilson

Mark Gatiss , Toby Whithouse , Neil Cross , Steven Moffat , Chris Chibnall

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