Doctor Who Breaks Major Record, Franchise Revived?

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Doctor Who has once again proven its timeless appeal as the recently aired 60th-anniversary special episode “The Star Beast” shattered viewership records. According to Radio Times, the installment that brought back the dynamic duo of David Tennant and Catherine Tate after a 15-year hiatus attracted 5.08 million overnight viewers.

Highest Viewership Since 2019

While viewership numbers on catch-up platforms still need to be accounted for, the figure is the highest for Doctor Who since the 2019 New Year Special, “Resolution.” Since streaming services and on-demand viewing have become integral parts of the viewing experience, the catch-up numbers are expected to add significantly to the overall viewership total.

The impressive figure not only reaffirms the enduring popularity of Doctor Who but also marks a triumphant return for Tennant and Tate, who reprised their roles as the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble. The chemistry between the actors, coupled with the engaging storyline of “The Star Beast,” has resonated with dedicated fans and newcomers to the series.

Beep The Meep

The story is based on a 1980 comic book and revolves around a spaceship crash-landing in London, leading to the appearance of a furry, 3ft-high creature called Beep the Meep, who seeks refuge in Donna’s shed to escape a team of assassins called the Wrarth Warriors The episode also reintroduces elements like U.N.I.T. and has been praised for its restoration of the audience’s faith in Doctor Who.

The episode also raises questions about the Doctor’s old face, the reconfiguration of the U.N.I.T, the Tardis’ next destination, and the identity of the boss mentioned by the Meep. Glowing reviews have celebrated “The Star Beast” for its nostalgic and classic Davies era. It also successfully sets the stage for the 60th-anniversary special and subsequent episodes.

Two Specials Left

The Doctor Who 60th anniversary special consists of three episodes. The remaining two, “Wild Blue Yonder” and The Giggle,” air on December 2 and 9, respectively. All episodes will be available to watch on BBC One and Disney Plus. Starring alongside David Tennant and Catherine Tate are Jacqueline King as Sylvia Noble, Yasmin Finney as Rose Noble, and Neil Patrick Harris as the mysterious Toymaker

60 Years Of Doctor Who

Created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, and Donald Wilson, Doctor Who first premiered on the BBC in November 1963. The show’s enduring popularity can be attributed to its unique concept of regeneration, allowing the titular Doctor to reinvent themselves through different actors. The TARDIS, a time-traveling spaceship, enables the exploration of various time periods for unpredictable storytelling.

 Iconic villains like the Daleks and strong, morally complex characters contribute to Doctor Who‘s appeal. The series also excels in addressing real-world issues through speculative fiction, creating a rich and complex continuity that appeals to new and longtime fans. With a dedicated international fan base, Doctor Who continues to inspire spin-offs, audio dramas, novels, and merchandise.

The Christmas Specials Return

The Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials will be followed by the 2023 Christmas Special on December 25. The plot has not been revealed yet, but it will likely continue the storylines and mysteries introduced in the anniversary episodes. The Christmas Special will also mark the debut of Ncuti Gatwa as the Fifteenth Doctor, succeeding David Tennant’s Fourteenth Doctor.