Whittaker series has Doctor Who’s highest average audience in nearly a decade

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Jodie Whittaker as Doctor Who, with (left to right) Tosin Cole as Ryan, Bradley Walsh as Graham and Mandip Gill as Yasmin (BBC/PA)

Jodie Whittaker’s debut series as Doctor Who is attracting the programme’s highest average TV audience for nearly 10 years.

Full ratings for Whittaker’s first five episodes put the average audience at 8.55 million.

The last time the show enjoyed a larger average after five episodes was in 2010 – Matt Smith’s first series in the title role.

Whittaker’s average is also higher than the equivalent figure for the 2007 and 2008 series, when David Tennant was playing the Doctor.

(PA Graphics)

Full ratings are different from overnight ratings as they include people who recorded a programme and watched up to seven days later.

They are treated as the official ratings for a TV programme.

Audiences for each of Whittaker’s first five stories as the Doctor have slipped from 10.54 million for episode one to 7.49 million for episode five, according to the latest official figures from Barb.

But the overall average is still higher than the equivalent figure for each of Peter Capaldi’s three series as the Doctor (2014-17), along with the 2011 and 2012/13 series which starred  Smith.

Whittaker’s five-episode average of 8.55 million is currently outranked by only three other series in the modern history of Doctor Who: Smith’s debut in 2010 (8.76 million), Tennant’s first series in 2006 (8.66 million) and Christopher Eccleston’s only series as the Doctor in 2005 (8.65 million).

Viewers will get to see Whittaker appear in a total of 10 episodes this series, plus a special episode expected to air over Christmas.