Into the Dalek, the second episode of the Peter Capaldi era, recorded an overnight audience of 5.2 million viewers, a drop on last week’s overnight figure of 6.8 million.
However, despite the apparent loss of 1.6 million viewers for Saturday night’s episode – which was up against The Chase and 15 minutes of The X Factor on ITV – BBC insiders expect the figure to increase dramatically once the consolidated ratings are published.
The consolidated figure for episode one, which includes BBC iPlayer viewing and catch-up, jumped from 6.8 million overnight to a consolidated audience of 9.2 million. Episode one was feature-length and aired between 7.50pm and 9.10pm compared to episode two which was shorter and broadcast between 7.30pm and 8.15pm.
“Doctor Who isn’t simply about the overnight audience and is incredibly successful with audiences on catch up,” said a BBC source. “It is our fourth highest rating drama title of 2014 so far after Sherlock, Midwife and Musketeers."
The source also pointed to the “great response to episode two across reviews and Twitter” after Capaldi and his companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) miniaturised themselves and spent most of the adventure inside an apparently renegade Dalek.
The episode also introduced us to a new character Danny Pink, a teacher colleague of Clara’s and a putative love interest for the character.
Doctor Who's main rival on Saturday night – The Chase’s celebrity special – recorded an overnight rating of 3.66 million, excluding ITV+1 and ITV HD between 7pm and 8pm.
Did you watch Saturday night's episode? Here's what RadioTimes.com thought of Into the Dalek...