The Doctor Who New Year’s Day special has suffered its worst ratings since the show rebooted 17 years ago.
The episode – which featured current Time Lord Jodie Whittaker – drew just 3.4 million viewers compared to 9 million in 2018, it was revealed.
It comes as Russell T Davies returns as Doctor Who showrunner in a bid to save the series amid a ratings slump – 12 years after stepping away from the show.
Oh no: Doctor Who’s New Year’s Day special suffered its worst ratings since the show rebooted 17 years ago
The special – called Eve Of The Daleks – saw the Doctor get stuck in a terrifying “time loop” where she repeatedly died and came back to life.
The last number is for those who watched live that day. Final ratings, including catch-up viewers or check-ins, will be released next week.
A source told The Sun: “Jodie’s legacy leaves behind some of the worst viewing figures in the show’s long history.”
“Although many more people are watching catch-up programmes, this still does not compensate for the drop in viewership since 2018.
Change: The episode only attracted 3.4 million viewers compared to 9 million in 2018, it was revealed
“Also, the BBC has always viewed Doctor Who as the kind of show that was ‘event TV’, bringing the whole family together at the same time.” But that doesn’t seem to be happening.
A BBC spokesperson said: “Doctor Who is one of the most popular shows on BBC iPlayer and has been streamed 50 million times over the past year, with 7 million streams to date for the latest series, as audiences increasingly appreciate the option of choosing when and where they watch it.
It was reported last year that there had been a steady decline in Doctor Who viewership, which has been declining for five years.
It was said that Jodie and showrunner Chris only got half the audience during their pairing compared to what the show’s version led by Russell and David Tennant did.
Exciting! It comes as Russell T Davies returns as Doctor Who showrunner in a bid to save the show amid falling ratings – 12 years after stepping away from the show
The Telegraph reported earlier this year that the episodes drew less than 5 million viewers. The newspaper added that such numbers “are no different from when the show ended in 1989”.
By comparison, more than 10 million viewers watched David Tennant’s Doctor Who finale in 2010, according to The Guardian.
However, the episode Can You Hear Me? saw just 3.81 million viewers tune in to the ratings overnight, which – according to the Cosmic Book News website – was a 22% drop since the first episode of season 12, which aired ten months ago earlier.
And in figures released in March 2020, the same month the series ended, Doctor Who’s ratings slipped to their lowest since the series returned in 2005.
The series 12 season finale had a total TV viewership of 4.6 million, making it the lowest-grossing Doctor Who ever. The previous all-time low was 4.7 million in 2017.
Series 12 saw an average viewership of 5.4 million viewers.
It comes after earlier this week the producers of Doctor Who hinted that the next Time Lord would be another woman.
Rumors: This comes after Doctor Who producers earlier this week hinted that the next Time Lord would be another woman (pictured is current star Jodie)
Production notes for the next series of the BBC sci-fi show suggest a woman will star again as It’s A Sin’s Lydia West is widely tipped to take over, reports The Mirror.
Lord Jodie’s role comes to an end this fall with a regeneration episode after she became the first-ever female doctor in 2017.
Entertainment industry website Production Weekly lists the new episodes as follows: “An action fantasy saga of a mysterious alien time traveler, Doctor Who, who takes on human companions, takes on evil foes with little more than only his wits and a sonic screwdriver and travels through time and space in a police phone booth called a TARDIS.
Jodie herself recently called on another female doctor to take over the role.
She told Radio 1’s Vick Hope and Jordan North: “If we had the power to choose, I would choose an actress who I think is really exciting and I think she would be phenomenal, an actress called Lydia West. ” If I had the power!
Lydia is bookmaker Coral’s favorite to replace Jodie at odds of 3-1, while Fisayo Akinade and Omari Douglas (both 5-1) are joint second favorites and Olly Alexander comes next in the bet at 6-1.
Jodie also recently opened up about her emotional final days filming Doctor Who.
Could it be you? Production notes for the next series of the BBC sci-fi show suggest a woman will once again star, claims The Mirror, with Lydia West (pictured) set to take over
The actress told Entertainment Weekly that she was “in mourning” as she filmed the scenes.
She filmed the final scenes for the fall episode in late 2021 and said of the experience, “I shot my version of regen[eration]and it was singularly the most emotional day of filming I think I’ve ever had.
Jodie previously said she was quitting the coveted role this year because she felt it needed ‘new energy’, but the star also admitted she wasn’t sure she was making the right decision .
Jodie then admitted to the publication that it was strange to feel sad because she had made the decision to leave.
Iconic: Jodie has previously said she is quitting the coveted role this year because she feels it needs ‘new energy’
She said: “It’s a really weird feeling, because it’s the best time I’ve ever had at work, and I’ve made the decision to leave it, so it’s a really weird thing to do. for yourself.”
She continued, “It was a wonderfully festive day of grief that I was able to spend with the family I had created. I guess the best thing about it is that the episodes are still on. So until they’re gone, I don’t really need to understand that it’s not my role!
Before the fall episode airs, there will be a special spring 2022 episode titled Legend of the Sea Devils.
The final episode will be part of the BBC’s centenary celebrations.
Jodie then shared that she wouldn’t be against returning to the role and admitted that when you leave the role, you don’t leave it forever.
MailOnline has contacted the BBC for comment.
Who has every chance of replacing Jodie in the role of Doctor Who?
According to Ladbrokes.co.uk, they are the favorites to succeed Jodie in the Tardis…
OLLY ALEXANDER – 3/1
The It’s A Sin actor and Years And Years hitmaker, 30, has previously said he would like to take over the TARDIS.
KRIS MARSHALL- 6/1
Kris, 47, is rumored to be the 13th Doctor in 2017 – could 2021 be the year he finally steps into the TARDIS?
JODIE COMER – 10/1
The 27-year-old Killing Eve star, who has won an Emmy and a BAFTA so far, is also one of the biggest names.
REECE SHEARSMITH – 12/1
The League of Gentleman actor, 51, is currently an outside bet for the role.
MICHAELA COEL – 5/1
Michaela, 33, has won acclaim for her BAFTA-winning role in Chewing Gum and the BBC/HBO drama I May Destroy You – making her a big favourite.
RICHARD AYOADE – 6/1
The IT Crowd star, 43, is not far behind Michaela as he looks to add to his impressive CV.
PHOEBE WALLER-BRIDGE – 8/1
Highly decorated Fleabag and Killing Eve are among favorites for the role.
JOHN BOYEGA – 10/1
The 28-year-old Star Wars actor previously starred opposite current Time Lord Jodie in Attack the Block and called his performance “brilliant”.