The Star Beast’s Overnight Ratings and Glowing Reviews Promise a More Successful Future After Chibnall’s Less Popular Years. This Article Does Not Include Spoilers for The Star Beast!
The Star Beast had an overnight audience of 5.08 million on BBC One, making it the biggest drama launch of 2023. This is something for fans of the show to be excited about! It might seem like a continuation of the decline seen throughout the Chibnall era, but various factors render that analysis rubbish.
Doctor Who’s viewing figures beat I’m a Celebrity’s 4.83 million overnight audience from the same evening, so it seems like their decision to spend a lot of money on getting a controversial figure on board is not paying off.
Strictly Come Dancing had the largest overnight audience with 7.67 million. I have included these other figures to show that the TV landscape has changed drastically in the past decade, as some other nerds out there might remember that 10+ million overnight viewers turned out for the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who, The Day of the Doctor back in 2013.
With the Children in Need clip of the Doctor crashing into the genesis of the Daleks gaining over a million views on YouTube over a few days, and the previews and trailers for the 60th Anniversary episodes receiving hundreds of thousands of views, it is clear that the audience for this new phase of Doctor Who is growing.
Additionally, the first episode of Doctor Who: Unleashed, the successor to Doctor Who: Confidential that fans will fondly remember from the 2000s, also performed very well in overnight ratings. It received 373,100 viewers on BBC Three, making the show the most watched non-sports programme on digital channels.
Doctor Who episodes during the Peter Capaldi and Jodi Whittaker years saw a decrease in viewership compared to the incredible figures Matt Smith’s episodes received during the height of his popularity. Hopefully, these overnight figures for The Star Beast are only the beginning for the next phase of the show, bringing back audiences who had previously left, and welcoming new audiences too. Tharries on YouTube made a video explaining why these figures offer hope for the show, so go and watch that!
Finally, I wanted to quickly mention the reviews! Except for the odd rant about “wokeness”, most reviews for The Star Beast have been glowing. The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times, Empire, Den of Geek, The Independent, and many more all give The Star Beast 4 or 3 stars, praising above all else the return of David Tennant and Catherine Tate in their respective roles.
My own review, which I don’t hold in the same regard at the likes of the aforementioned publications, gave The Star Beast 3/5 Stars, and I can’t wait to see the next two episodes of the 60th Anniversary Episodes!