Ratings: 2006

Last Alteration: Friday 20 October 2017


This page looks at the ratings seen for the 2006 series of Doctor Who, and places the show in context with the programmes around it. Data is based upon the public figures made available by the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board, which covers the weekly sweep of the top thirty programmes rated on the main terrestrial channels, plus overnight information presented by ViewingFiguresTV.

Note: BARB figures run to w/e the Sunday, so figures are rated on weekday programmes leading up to each episode.

Most recent updates:
» Weekend overnights for The Age of Steel and Doctor Who Confidential
» BARB details for The Girl in the Fireplace

If you think you've seen it all ... think again

Series Two was launched rather quietly this year at a press screening in Cardiff on Tuesday 28th March - however, even then the exact date and time of broadcast wasn't formally announced, to the point that the BBC Press Office release guides for the week commencing 15th April had the show "unplaced" and a "tbc" in the slot where we widely expected it to be ... finally the formal time of 7:15pm on the 15th April was revealed on the 5th. In the meantime ITV1 had also been quiet on what would face the series in that slot, ultimately revealed to be Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Trailers began on Saturday 1st April, with a 60 second version featuring the Doctor in the TARDIS behaving quite bizarrely(!) and clips from the first few episodes of the season. This was repeated regularly over the following fortnight in additional 40 and 20 second variations. Wednesday 12th April then introduced a 20 second trailer specific to New Earth itself. And then Thursday we were treated to a three minute preview running on BBC Digital - phew!

Other publicity on television included a Doctor Who Night on Sunday 9th April, featuring an hour long documentary on the new series from the Confidential team as well as repeats of The Christmas Invasion and The Story of Doctor Who; both BBC3 and UKTV Gold also broadcast the entire first series in the run-up to broadcast. Interview segments appeared on ITV1(1) with GMTV and This Morning (presented by "Captain Jack" John Barrowman in the week before Easter), and CBBC presented a new tie-in show Totally Doctor Who, plus a devoted segment on their digital text page 570.

15th April 2006: New Earth

Overnight Average: 8.0m
Peak: 8.3m
Audience Share: 38.6%
BBC Appreciation Index: 85
BARB Final: 8.62m

Being some four weeks later and not the new phenomenom of last year, would the ratings stand up this time around? Well, the overnight figures proved that the series still had drawing power, with the premiere being not only the highest-rated BBC programme for the evening, but achieved the highest viewing figures across all channels for the night!

New Earth was watched by an average of 8.0 million viewers, with a high of 8.3 million towards the end of the show; it achieved an audience share of 38.6% share. ITV1's broadcast of The Chamber of Secrets maintained an average of 5.0 million (25.4%). The overall top five for the evening saw the BBC's Doctor Who, Casualty (7.0 million, 32.7%), and Lottery Jet Set (6.2 million), and then ITV1's Harry Potter and Who Wants to be a Millionaire (4.7 million).

The BARB figures are due out on the 25th April ...

Time BBC1 ITV1
ShowRatingPosition ShowRatingPosition
18:10 Strictly Dance Fever 3.80m29/58 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 5.10m18/33
19:15 Doctor Who 8.62m4/9
20:00 The National Lottery - Jet Set 6.40m10/24
20:35 Casualty 7.30m6/19
21:00 Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire 4.80m20/37
21:25 Strictly Dance Fever 3.84m28/56

The final BARB figures confirmed Doctor Who's strong performance on Saturday evening, and indeed for the whole of week, being beaten only by Eastenders on BBC1 and in combination with Coronation Street on ITV1; this is the best chart position the general series has attained since it's return in 2005, and matches the position reached by The Christmas Invasion last year - uncannily, the show also managed to knock the Thursday Eastenders into fifth place again, too!


Additional Notes:
»  The Sunday repeat at 7:05pm on BBC3 was watched by 384,000 viewers (2.5% share), and Friday at 9:00pm by 454,000 (2.1%).
»  Doctor Who Confidential: New New Doctor was broadcast on Saturday at 8:00pm on BBC3, and was watched by 732,000 viewers (4.7% share); the repeat on Sunday at 7:50pm saw 324,000 tune in (2.1%).
»  Totally Doctor Who on Thursday 13th April was watched by 800,000 viewers.

22nd April 2006: Tooth and Claw

Overnight Average: 8.9m
Peak: 9.3m
Audience Share: 43.1%
BBC Appreciation Index: 83
BARB Final: 9.24m

Another 20 second trailer for this story, first appearing on BBC1 after the film Terminal Velocity at around 1:10am, and then during Sunday, where it was accompanied by a terrestrial broadcast of the Interactive trailer that had been running the week before on digital. Further publicity fell in the form of an article on Wednesday's Blue Peter on how to build the exterior of the TARDIS (interior in a forthcoming programme) and also the launch of a missing episode appeal.

In the lead up to the episode itself, many of the audience watching the football must have been rooted to the spot, hoping that Liverpool's lead would not be broken (with even Gary Lineker saying "Doctor Who fans hold on!". And hold on we did, with the overnight ratings showing that once again Doctor Who was the highest rated show of the evening, with some 8.9 million viewers watching the episode (42.3% audience share); ITV's repeat broadcast of a Midsomer Murders managed 3.3 million (17.7%). Casualty suffered relatively badly, with a mere 6.1 million viewers (26.8% share) putting it into 5th place overall as it was just beaten by ITV's competition in An Audience with Coronation Street (6.1m, 26.9%). The rest of the Top 5 were Match of the Day (4:45pm, 2nd, 6.6m), and The National Lottery (9:00pm, 3rd, 6.2m).

Time BBC1 ITV1
ShowRatingPosition ShowRatingPosition
16:50 Match of the Day 5.58m12/29  
18:00 Midsomer Murders 3.48m30/<67
19:15 Doctor Who 9.24m5/10
20:00 Strictly Dance Fever 5.81m10/27 Celebrity Who Wants To Be A Millionaire 5.38m18/33
21:00 National Lottery Draw n/a- An Audience with Coronation Street   
21:10 Casualty 6.55m8/22

The BARB figures confirm Doctor Who as the top Saturday show for the second week, and the highest non-soap of the week, only beaten by the four Eastenders and five Coronation Street installments.

For the week in general, a new series of New Tricks on the Monday achieved 7.62 million, and Tuesday's Holby City at 6.64m meant that Casualty slipped to eighth place in the BBC chart. The weekend also saw a new series of Sean Bean's vehicle in Sharpe's Challenge, which achieved 7.56 million viewers when up against BBC's Waking the Dead (4.92m) on Sunday.


Additional Notes:
»  The Sunday repeat at 7:15pm on BBC3 was watched by an average of 542,200 viewers (3.3% share).
»  Doctor Who Confidential: was broadcast on Saturday at 8:00pm on BBC3, and was watched by 616,100 viewers (3.8% share).
»  Totally Doctor Who on Thursday 20th April was watched by 900,000 viewers (8.2%).

29th April 2006: School Reunion

Overnight Average: 7.59m
Peak: 7.7m
Audience Share: 39.8%
BBC Appreciation Index: 85
BARB Final: 8.31m

The trailer for this story is once again 20 seconds. Other publicity this week included an appearance by Elisabeth Sladen and K9 on the Monday edition of Blue Peter on BBC1, during which she talked about her up-and-coming appearing in this weekend's episode and what both she and her character Sarah thinks of the new Doctor!

A further appearance by Elisabeth Sladen on BBC's Breakfast on Thursday morning was followed by an ITV1 interview with Anthony Head on Entertainment Today on Friday morning, during which he talked quite extensively about his role in Doctor Who (and was subjected to a quiz!). Online, we also saw an interview with Elisabeth Sladen on BBC Norfolk and Anthony Head on BBC Somerset.

On Saturday, this weeks "opposition" by ITV took the form of the sci-fi film Hulk, which managed to attract some 2.4 million viewers with a 15.2% share; however, Doctor Who slightly beat it with 7.6 million tuning in to see the return of Sarah and K9 (39.8% share).

The viewing figure for the iconic return of arguably the classic series' best-loved companions to the Doctor's travels is somewhat lower than this time last year, when again arguably the most popular enemy made it's reappearance in the show - Dalek saw 7.83 million tune in. However, the audiences were down in general this year, and in real terms Doctor Who once again hit the top slot for Saturday evening entertainment. Indeed. of the programmes of the day, the top five were once again BBC programmes!

The ratings were also down in comparison to last week, but the Bank Holiday weekend weather (at least for the start) was much warmer, meaning many of those extra viewers would have been out enjoying the sunny day and be back by the time Casualty started (7.4m, 35.5%) - the BARB results should see an improvement to the general programme figures as the recordings are taken into account ... will that be enough to maintain Doctor Who's top position?

Time BBC1 ITV1
ShowRatingPosition ShowRatingPosition
17:35   Hulk <3.29m-
18:20 Strictly Dance Fever 4.72m18/38
19:20 Doctor Who 8.31m5/12
20:05 National Lottery Draws - Jet Set 6.36m8/24 Who Wants To Be A Millionaire 4.27m22/46
20:40 Casualty 7.70m6/14
21:05 Ultimate Force 4.08m23/49
21:30 Strictly Dance Fever 5.25m12/29

The BARB results brought Doctor Who's audience up to 8.31 million, and assured that it maintained its position as the highest rated non-soap of the week on any channel. The four Eastenders took their inevitable top slot in the BBC chart, and with ITV1's Coronation Street, Monday's Emmerdale and Heartbeat taking the other higher places to slip the programme into twelfth place overall.

Hulk didn't make it into ITV1's Top 30 ...


Additional Notes:
»  The Sunday repeat at 7:00pm on BBC3 was watched by 599,400 viewers (4.1% share); the Friday repeat at 9:00pm had 430,900 viewers (2.8%).
»  Doctor Who Confidential: was broadcast at 8:05pm on Saturday evening and was watched by 565,800 viewers (3.8% share); the repeat will be on Monday morning at 3:05am.
»  Totally Doctor Who was broadcast on Thursday 27th April at 5:00pm, reated on CBBC Fri 6:30pm, Sat 6:30pm, Mon 1:30pm./td>

6th May 2006: The Girl in the Fireplace

Overnight Average: 7.4m
Peak: 8.1m
Audience Share: 36.6%
BBC Appreciation Index: 84
BARB Final: 7.90m

After the last three weeks' worth of trailers for the series, it was something of a surprise to find hardly any publicity during the lead-up to this week's episode; the only pre-Saturday trailer appeared during the end-credits for the Friday evening Neighours; Saturday, however, saw the show advertised as "The One To Watch" throughout the day. Friday morning's GMTV stalwart Richard Arnold did make it "Pick of the Day", concentrating on Sophia Myles's role in the show.

However this didn't appear to impact Doctor Who's performance, with the show once again achieving the highest rating for Saturday evening with 7.4 million viewers (a 36.6% share of the audience). ITV1's competition again took the form of a film, this time the premiere of Peter Pan which was watched by 3.3 million (17.5%).

Casualty was once again the second most-watched programme, with 6.8 million (31.5%), followed by other evening BBC1 offerings National Lottery (6.1m, 29.7%) and Strictly Dance Fever results (4.7m, 22.2%); ITV1's new show Ultimate Force achieved sixth place at 4.1m (20.1%), beaten to fifth by the long-running Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (4.3m, 20.1%).

Time BBC1 ITV1
ShowRatingPosition ShowRatingPosition
18:00 Strictly Dance Fever <3.74m-  
18:10 Peter Pan 3.50m26/<=65
19:00 Doctor Who 7.9m6/13
19:45 National Lottery Draw - Jet Set 6.12m10/23
20:10 Who Wants To Be A Millionaire 4.46m19/42
20:20 Casualty 7.07m7/17
21:10 Strictly Dance Fever 4.76m18/35 Ultimate Force 4.35m20/43

The BARB results showed that Doctor Who maintained it's top slot for Saturday evening, but Monday's New Tricks just beat it as the highest rated BBC drama that week into 5th place with 8.58 million viewers; other places were occupied by the usual soaps. The main edition of Strictly Dance Fever failed to chart at all, indicating the wealth of viewers that returned to Doctor Who when that started!

Peter Pan did make it into ITV's chart for that week; other films playing during the week included the three Matrix films, achieving 3.80m (Mon against New Tricks), 3.05m (Tues, against A Life of Grime - 5.17m), and 3.18m (Weds, against one off drama Angel of Death - The Beverly Allitt Story - 4.86m) respectively.

The heavily-trailed BBC1 drama Krakatoa eventually pulled in 6.74m viewers, narrowly beating ITV1's Paul McGann drama If I Had You (6.51m).


Additional Notes:
»  The Sunday repeat at 7:00pm on BBC3 was watched by 686,00 viewers (3.5% share); the Friday repeat at 9:00pm had 352,800 viewers (2.3%).
»  Doctor Who Confidential: From Script to Screen was broadcast at 7:45pm on Saturday evening and was watched by 724,000 viewers (4.7% share); the repeat was on Monday morning at 3:05am. A Cut Down version was broadcast on Sunday at 7:45pm and was watched by 299,000 viewers (1.8%), and on Friday at 9:45pm by 248,000 (1.7%).
»  Totally Doctor Who was broadcast on Thursday 4th May at 5:00pm, reated on CBBC Fri 6:30pm, Sat 6:30pm, Mon 1:30pm.

13th May 2006: Rise Of The Cybermen

Overnight Average: 8.64m
Peak: 9.65m
Audience Share: 40.1%
BBC Appreciation Index: 86
BARB Final: (expected 24 May)

Trailers were back on the screen again this week, with the usual 20 second montage of clips to interest us. Unexpectedly, Richard Lloyd-Pack made an appearance the week before, on Tuesday's Breakfast to talk about his forthcoming appearance. Further coverage on Blue Peter, who will present a special on behind the scenes of the show the coming Monday, and Richard Arnold gushed on about Cybermen in both his slots on GMTV/Entertainment Today on Friday morning.

Saturday schedules were thrown out by the FA Cup final match over-running (two teams unable to score clear goals!), and this meant that Doctor Who ended up broadcast some twenty minutes later than scheduled. However, this did not appear to cause any problems - if anything it was more beneficial with a steady increase of viewers pushing the average to 8.64m (40% of the audience total), and a general audience of well over 9 million for the story finale (presumably as X-Men on ITV1 finished!).

The film itself managed an average of 3 million viewers (15.8% share) opposite Strictly Dance Fever (5.7m/33.5%) and Who of course, but also suffered from the football overrunning. The rest of the evening showed that once again Doctor Who was the highest-watched show, with Casualty taking the expected second place with 7.1 million (33.7%).

For this time last year, Father's Day achieved 8.06m as it's final figure, and the initial ratings spread look as if the Cybermen's return will even beat the Daleks! The BARB results will reveal all in 10 days ...

Time BBC1 ITV1
ShowRatingPosition ShowRatingPosition
18:20   X-Men   
18:25 Strictly Dance Fever   
19:25 Doctor Who   
20:10 National Lottery Draw - Jet Set    Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?   
20:45 Casualty   
21:10 Denis Norden's All New 13th Laughter File   
21:30 Strictly Dance Fever (results)   

Additional Notes:
»  The episode was repeated on BBC3 on Sunday night at 7:15pm, achieving 624,900 viewers (3.9% share), and on Friday 19th at 9:00pm (309,110, 1.7%).
»  Doctor Who Confidential: Cybermen was broadcast on BBC3 on Saturday evening at 8:05pm and was watched by 712,500 viewers (4% share, and highest of the evening); the Sunday repeat at 8:00pm achieved 331,000 viewers (1.9%); a Cut Down version on Friday at 9:45pm was watched by 166,300 viewers (1% share).
»  Totally Doctor Who is broadcast on Thursday 11th May at 5:00pm, repeated on CBBC Fri 6:30pm, Sat 6:30pm, Mon 1:00pm.

20th May 2006: The Age of Steel

Overnight Average: 6.85m
Peak: 7.73m
Audience Share: 35.5%
BARB Final: (expected 31 May)

Trailers were back on the screen again this week, with the usual 20 second montage of clips to interest us. Unexpectedly, Richard Lloyd-Pack made an

This week's episode falls under the annual shadow of the Eurovision Song Contest, and as with last year's The Empty Child the time slot was moved back; however, the new 6:35pm timeslot was not widely publicised during the week, with only a single trailer appearing over the end credits of Friday evening's Neighbours and a reminder before Our House later on. Saturday did see frequent The One trailers for the show.

In other publicity, Blue Peter had a Cyberman special on Monday, and Friday saw ITV1's GMTV make Doctor Who Pick of the Day, and Noel Clarke featured as a special guest on Entertainment Today.

The lack of publicity didn't do too much harm, however; Doctor Who achieved an average of 6.85 million viewers, with a peak of 7.73m near the end. This was a 35.5% share of the audience, with ITV1's Prince's Trust 30th Birthday celebration seeing a 5.1 million figure (23.4%). This was also an improvement on this time last year, where The Empty Child averaged 6.6 million.

Unsurprisingly, the epitomous Eurovision Song Contest was top dog for the evening, with the Finnish "Klingons" subduing our poor Daz and his schoolgirls to the tune of 8.2 million viewers!

Time BBC1 ITV1
ShowRatingPosition ShowRatingPosition
17:45 The Weakest Link: All Singing, All Dancing Special     
17:55 Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Celebrity   
18:35 Doctor Who   
18:55 The Prince's Trust 30th Birthday - Live   
19:25 The National Lottery - Jet Set   
20:00 The Eurovision Song Contest   

Additional Notes:
»  The episode will be repeated on BBC3 on Sunday night at 7:00pm, and on Friday 26th at 9:00pm.
»  Doctor Who Confidential: From Zero to Hero was broadcast on BBC3 on Saturday evening at 7:25pm and was watched by 591,700 viewers (3.9% share); it is repeated on Monday morning at 3:05am, and as a Cut Down version on Sunday at 7:45pm and Friday at 9:45pm.
»  Totally Doctor Who was broadcast on Thursday 18th May at 5:00pm, repeated on CBBC Fri 6:30pm, Sat 6:30pm, Mon 1:00pm.
 
     

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