Doctor Who Showrunner Admits Ratings Aren’t Good: Series 16 ‘Up In The Air’

New season starring Ncuti Gatwa has the lowest ratings in the show's entire 60-year history.

doctor who showrunner ratings

Just as I have been stating all along, Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies now admits the ratings aren’t all that good.

Series 14 of Doctor Who featuring Ncuti Gatwa as the new Timelord happens to have the lowest ratings in the entire 60-year history of Doctor Who.

Already a half a million fans have stopped watching since the first episode, and millions more have stopped watching since the recent 60th Anniversary Specials and Christmas Special.

The number of fans not watching is even higher if we go back to the heyday of Russell T Davies and David Tennant, which had episodes with ten million or more.

doctor who devils chord ratings

What did Russell T Davies say about the ratings?

Via the latest issue of Radio Times, Davies admitted the ratings aren’t where they want them to be.

“I’m very proud of it! You know, they might not be the ratings we’d love. We always want higher,” he said.

Again, worth mentioning is that previous episodes of Doctor Who scored more viewers in one night than, per Davies, the new series has in a month.

“But they are building over the 28-day period,” said Davies. “Episode 1, ‘Space Babies,’ is already up to 5.6 million and counting. So it is getting there.”

It’s also known none of the Anniversary Specials, the Christmas Special or the new episodes have made it on any of the ratings charts. However, Davies continues and says it’s a success because they are getting the younger audience (note: Disney+ is the least-watched streamer among Gen Z, where Doctor Who airs outside the UK).

“I was brought back in to bring in a youthful audience. That’s been massively successful,” he said. “The audience no one ever gets are the under-30s. They just don’t watch television anymore. But those figures are astronomic for Doctor Who, it’s their top program in that bracket.”

He added: “I never thought it was possible, to be honest. But according to the people who juggle the numbers, all targets have been reached and exceeded. The BBC are running around like mad things.”

ncuti gatwa doctor who

Series 16 is “not actually commissioned”

The same issue of the magazine also sees Russell T Davies mention Series 16, which hasn’t been greenlit.

“I’m working on the fourth script now for [Series 16]. It’s not actually commissioned,” admitted Davies. “That’s still up in the air. But that’s the same for every TV program. I shouldn’t say we’re confident, because that’s asking for a fall, but we’re very confident, to be honest. And we’ll just keep going.”

doctor who ncuti gatwa millie gibson

Doctor Who ratings:


Special 1: 5.08M

Special 2: 4.83m

Special 3: 4.62m

Christmas: 4.73m


Episode 1: 2.6m

Episode 2: 2.4m

Episode 3: 2.04m

Episode 4: 2.62M

Episode 5: 2.12M

Episode 6: 2.11M

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