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What topped the Christmas television ratings? And how well did the Peter Capaldi years fare overall?

The Peter Capaldi era of Doctor Who went out on a high note, with Twice Upon a Time achieving an official BARB rating of7.92 million viewers – Doctor Who’s best viewing figure for exactly three years, when Last Christmas reached 8.28 million in 2014. It was also the third highest rating of the entire Capaldi era, with Deep Breath remaining the benchmark, at 9.17 million. Doctor Who was part of a strong Christmas Day line-up for BBC One, with four other shows on the day itself managing to do even better (see chart), along with a couple of Coronation Street episodes from later in the week, and the 15-minute New Year firework display, which beat everything. However, for the third time in the last four years, no Christmas Day programme could quite make it to 10 million viewers. BBC One’s Call the Midwife came the closest with 9.57 million – its best Christmas Day rating since its debut in 2012. Indeed, although Christmas Day ratings aren’t quite what they were a decade ago – when Voyage of the Damned achieved Doctor Who’s 21st-century high of 13.31 million – there are still a fair few reasons to be cheerful. Doctor Who, Call the Midwife, Mrs Brown’s Boys and EastEnders all managed to improve on their figures of exactly 12 months earlier, with the Doctor managing this feat for the second year in a row. The main competition for Twice Upon a Time was, as in 2016, ITV’s Emmerdale – but the soap opera struggled against the regeneration episode, bringing in 5.12 million, compared to the 6.21 million it achieved against The Return of Doctor Mysterio (which had 7.83 million).

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About Doctor Who Magazine

DWM 522 throws new light on Doctor Who's success in its early years, with exclusive interviews with two people who knew Terry Nation (the creator of the Daleks) well: his agent Beryl Vertue and his writing colleague Brad Ashton. Doctor Who Magazine 522 also includes: • New research which reveals the Dalek toys which never made it to the shelves • The story of the Daleks in print in the 1960s • Previously unseen interviews with Peter Capaldi • Comedian – and now Doctor Who writer – Susan Calman discusses her love for the Time Lord • Emma Freud, the organiser of Comic Relief's unprecedented Breakfast with the Doctors is interviewed • Christel Dee’s guide to cosplaying Ace • Part four of The Phantom Piper, a new comic strip adventure featuring the Doctor and Bill • The Fact of Fiction explores the 2006 Tenth Doctor story New Earth • Previews, book and audio reviews, news, The Blogs of Doom, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!
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