Doctor Who avoided a nightmare in the ratings last night, despite ITV's double whammy of the FA Cup Final and Britain’s Got Toenails locking viewers into the commercial channel, and pretty much trouncing the rest of BBC One’s Saturday night line up. "Nightmare In Silver, though, was watched by 4.7 million viewers, a slight rise from last week.
Of course, we will have the usual chorus of “overnights don’t matter for Doctor Who ” but, hey, it’s nice to see the overnights go up! Especially as the consolidated figures have recently seen a bit of a downturn (last year the show was gaining almost another two million on catch-up regularly, but the last few consolidated figures for the show have seen increases of around 1.5 million). Doctor Who is still massive on iPlayer (“The Crimson Horror” kept the number one spot for a good three days), but we’ll have to wait until all the figures for this half season are available to see if the online service is taking up all the slack.
These are still healthy figures for a BBC drama, and few shows generate as much interest on the internet. But here’s a thought – if overnight ratings truly don’t matter for the show any more, would you be happy to see Doctor Who premiering on iPlayer? Is that the logical extension of that argument? It'd see some record figures for the BBC to boast about.
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