Readers of the Daily Mail might have been interested to read the paper’s story on how ratings for the latest series of Doctor Who, starring Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, have dropped by 1.2 million since it’s launch and the paper blames the “sexing up” of the series for the ratings drop – however, as ever, the story isn’t entirely accurate.
It was relaunched amid great fanfare, with a young Doctor Who and his sexy assistant. But hopes that the pair would continue the revitalisation of the old format have been exterminated as 1.2 million viewers deserted the latest series. The BBC expected Matt Smith, 27, as the Time Lord and Karen Gillan, 22, as Amy Pond to give the show a further boost after the previous success of David Tennant in the title role. But the latest series, which ended at the weekend, managed an average of six million viewers, according to latest TV ratings. – Daily Mail
The paper has published several articles over the course of the recent series about it “being sexed up” from Amy Pond’s kissogram costume in the opening episode, The Eleventh Hour, to the scene where Amy attempted to seduce the Doctor at the end of Flesh and Stone. The paper criticised both scenes and claimed the corporation was deliberately “sexing up” the series in a bid to boost ratings so it obviously took great delight in laying the blame of the low ratings firmly at the floor of the “sexing up”.
The truth however, is far more boring. Saturday’s finale, The Big Bang, did indeed rate lower than the season opener way back in Easter. However, Saturday was a very hot day with viewers opting to enjoy the sunshine rather than stay inside and watch television. The episode was also on at the earlier time of 6.05pm when, again, most of the audience are outside enjoying the weather.
More importantly though viewers are opting to record episodes to watch later, watch the repeats on BBC Three or download episodes via the BBC iPlayer service. The Eleventh Hour has been downloaded over TWO MILLION times since Easter making it one of the most requested programmers on the iplayer service while episodes such as Vampires in Venice and The Hungry Earth are also highly requested by viewers using the service.
So Daily Mail it seems that technological changes are allowing viewers more flexibility as to when they wish to view the episode. The same technological changes that are seeing circulation figures for newspapers fall as readers opt to go online to catch up with news stories rather than pay for the “privilege” of buying a papers like the Mail.