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Published on May 11th, 2011 | by Meredith Burdett

Hand of Fear Overnights

Once again Doctor Who has been a ratings winner for the BBC scoring high viewing figures for its first two episodes.

You’d be immediately forgiven for thinking that we’re talking about The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon at this point but what has also been getting good ratings is the repeated viewing of The Hand of Fear, the last Doctor Who story from 1976 to feature Sarah Jane Smith as a full time companion, shown recently on BBC Four as a tribute to the late and great Elisabeth Sladen.

Unofficial overnight viewing figures show that part one got 203,000 viewers (a .94% share of the total audience) and part two received 276,000 (a tasty 1.19% share).

Now, you may say that these figures are not all that high in the grand scheme of things (“that’s not enough to get them to show more episodes!” I hear you cry) but if you portion it against the competition that was playing on other channels at the time…well then it looks good.

Going up against Doctor Who was the interminable Zac Efron: The Hot Desk on ITV 2 (65,000), Total Wipeout on BBC Three (252,000) and Friends on E4 (168,000). The winner was The Simpsons on Sky One with 496,000 viewers but we’ll forgive them as they made a “he will knock four times” reference in their 2009 Halloween special.

What a lovely tribute for Lis Sladen to receive.

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What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!




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