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Published on May 16th, 2011 | by Christian Cawley

The Doctor’s Wife Overnight(s)!

You watched it, he watched it, she watched it – even the guy you want to trip over in the canteen watched it!

However it would seem that once again not everybody watched The Doctor’s Wife “live” on Saturday night as it went out, with overnight figures indicating that only 5.9 million viewers tuned in.

We had expected the words “Neil” and “Gaiman” to bring in extra views, but hopefully the episode has received plenty of delayed views (such as Sky+) over the weekend to bump up the figures to the 8 million mark. While there might be concerns that The Curse of the Black Spot might have discouraged some from tuning in this week, there is a chance that having the below-par dancing competition on either side of Doctor Who is helping matters as much as flanking it with dancing and the risible Don’t Scare the Hare.

Once again, Doctor Who failed to be the top rated show of Saturday evening, with The Eurovision Song Contest attracting an incredible and mind-bloggling 9.5 million (have you seen it?!) while Britain’s Got Talent saw 8.4 million viewers tune in to watch people look silly to sad music and moderately talented people look like gods to amazing music and camera editing.

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




4 Responses to The Doctor’s Wife Overnight(s)!

  1. avatar ChrisL says:

    If, as seems evident from the amount of attention they receive, the viewing figures are the ultimate indicator of how popular a programme is then The BBC needs to address the thorny old chestnut of scheduling.

    To slip Doctor Who into the current earler time slot is obviously going to affect the number of people who watch it ‘live’. I for one am not able to watch it at 6pm or even 6:30pm but thankfully we live in an era where Sky+ boxes allow us all to watch our shows at a time that is more convenient. Hence I am able to watch this fabulous show at a time that actually enhances the show (for me at any rate) i.e. around 9 or 10 pm.
    The world is darker and the whole atmosphere of the programme benefits from it.
    Maybe I’m strange but watching Dr Who at night certainly adds to the experience whereas being forced to watch it during daylight hours with outside influences impacting on the experience dilutes the impact of the show.

    I keep getting told that DR Who is a kid’s show and a 6pm slot reflects this. I disagree. For me, Dr Who is a show for everybody and a later showing, perhaps just prior to Match of The Day, with repeats on a Sunday morning for the kids, would result in higher viewing figures for the ‘live’ audience.

    Having said all that, I pay absolutely no heed to viewing figures. This show is usually magnificent and I can’t imagine the illusory phantom of the viewing figures ever causing The BBC to question the validity of their prized asset.

  2. avatar 23skidoo says:

    I keep saying that if the BBC wants consistent ratings they need to stop bouncing the show around the schedule. What’s it going to take for them to smarten up, pick a timeslot and leave it there? If that inane Eurovision thing was a BBC broadcast (I have no idea) then OK, I could see shifting DW once. But they haven’t aired the darn thing at the same time twice in a row. If I were in the UK I’d never watch it at its broadcast time, I’d record it for later viewing, if for no other reason I’d be tired of the randomness.

    I agree with ChrisL that the viewing figures are really irrelevant. But the problem is sci-fi fandom loves its self-fulfilling prophecies, and if enough people get convinced that DW is somehow “dying” just because a) it aired one episode that wasn’t a knock-it-out-of-the-park classic (Black Spot, which I thought was fine) and b) it isn’t getting 10 million viewers a week, then there’s a real danger the show will die. It happened with Star Trek on TV. People – and by people I don’t mean the converted like us, I mean the mainstream and people who take the Daily Mail’s constant BBC and DW bashing as gospel – need to be convinced to ignore the overnights. Actually, given the fact overnights are so incredibly inaccurate in the world of 2011, they should be abandoned outright and only the final, more accurate BARB ratings reported.

  3. avatar Rick says:

    I’ve said before that it’s a waste of time to even report the over nights…just wait a week until the final figures are in. Jumping in early is unnecessary speculation this year as it was last year with the big shift in how they do the numbers. I’d imagine as more and more people start switching over to iPlayer, etc., the overnights will get lower and lower and yet the final numbers will still be great, so I’d think that the naysayers would shut up, but we know there’ll always be naysayers out there. And as for the program, it is one of the few shows on either side of the pond that is top notch show for the entire family, period. You’d be amazed at how difficult it is for most writers and production teams to get into this special niche but there you go. You’d think they’d try harder considering how much of an institution DW has been for last 48 years….

  4. avatar Leosw4 says:

    This week after much being dropped from my own Saturday schedule I decided enoughs enough, going to have watch on IPlayer.

    The old 7pm slot was fine for me (ok selfish I know) but it was and seems like alot of other people felt the same way.

    Anyway, it was worth it in the end, amazing episode. Sod BGT Im actually glad that more people watched Euro than Cowell generated rubbish.

    All I can Surrane Jones, wow, wow and wow again.

    Brilliant!

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