Connect with us

ATV Today

The most talked about ‘New Doctor Who’ episodes


The most talked about ‘New Doctor Who’ episodes

This weekend sees the BBC celebrate the 60th anniversary of sci-fi show Doctor Who.

Airing from November 1963 until December 1989 and then returning in March 2005, the show follows the eponymous Doctor, an alien from the planet Gallifrey, and their adventures. 

As the show celebrates the Doctor and his many incarnations over the past sixty years, the team at has looked at data from the past 18 years of ‘new’ Doctor Who and can now reveal the top five most talked about moments since the show’s revival in 2005.

The most talked about episode in Doctor Who is the 50th anniversary episode: The Day of the Doctor. This single episode made searches for ‘Doctor Who skyrocket by 309% more than the average for the show. It aired on the 23rd of November 2013, 50 years exactly since the very first episode, and brought back David Tennant and Billie Piper for a story focused on the Dalek invasion of Gallifrey during the last great Time War. 

Next up is Turn Left and the last story for Donna Noble’s run as a companion. Turn Left explores a world without The Doctor and what that would mean if Earth were left on its own to deal with the numerous invasions the planet suffers throughout the show. This dark tale led into The Stolen Earth, where the credits sequence included the late Elisabeth Sladen and cameos from the spinoffs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. This moment in Who history had a search volume for the term ‘Doctor Who’ that was 237% higher than the norm.

Widely hailed as the ‘scariest’ episode of Doctor Who, Blink led to a 195% higher search volume for ‘Doctor Who’ during the month it aired. This story introduced the ‘Doctor lite’ formula, which put the focus on side characters instead of the titular character. Blink was followed by the series finale, which saw the return of the renegade Time Lord, The Master, and the farewell of companion Martha Jones.




The Day of the Doctor (50th Anniversary) 


Turn Left / The Stolen Earth 


Blink / Utopia 


Army of Ghosts / Doomsday 


Peter Capaldi announced as the next Doctor 

Series two finale Doomsday is the next talked-about episode. For the first time in the history of the show, signature villains, the Daleks and the Cybermen were seen on screen together. The episode also gives us the emotional goodbye of Rose Tyler. Rose, played by Billie Piper, had been the first companion of the revival series, appearing alongside both Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant’s portrayals of the Time Lord. This moment had searches for ‘Doctor Who’ surge to 175% more than the average. 

Finally, in fifth is the introduction of Peter Capaldi as the twelfth Doctor. Traditionally, the new actor to play the Doctor was announced through a BBC online blog or news post. For this announcement, however, the BBC did a live show which introduced Peter ahead of his debut. This was done specially for the 50th anniversary celebrations. Searches for ‘Doctor Who’ spiked by 162% during the August of 2013 when this announcement took place.

Tudor Turiceanu, Chief Editor for 

With Doctor Who making its way onto Disney’s streaming service in 2023 alongside its long-time home of the BBC, people will be talking about their memories of the show and moments that formed an emotional connection between them and the show. Looking at search data shows us that emotion is what resonates with the fans on social media.

“With David Tennant’s surprise re-introduction as the fourteenth incarnation, it will be interesting to see if viewers will return as figures were highest during his original tenure. Looking ahead, we will see if Ncuti Gatwa’s portrayal of The Doctor can give that same connection.

Continue Reading

More in BBC

To Top