Doctor Who Series 12 – midway checkpoint

We’ve had five episode of Doctor Who series 12 and I think it’s fair to say they’ve got people talking. The series may be more or less popular or better or worse (whatever those actually mean) but my sense is it’s a step up from series 11 and has some high points. I’m aiming to be more objective. Let’s talk numbers!

Series 12 so far

First a reminder. At this point we’ve had five episodes and the most recent is sufficiently fresh not all the data is available. In case you need reminding, the episodes are:

My summary: started well, dipped a lot in the episode 3 and really picked up again. We’ve had a new Master, a new Doctor (!!), Judoon, Lenny Henry, Stephen Fry and eco-disaster. That’s what I think, but there’s more…

Viewing figures and AI

DoctorWho TV tracks all things viewing data: Doctor Who Series 12 (2020) Ratings Accumulator. In a nutshell (and not all data available for fugitive) ratings started OK and have dipped, AI scores started OK, suffered for Orphans and have picked up. I am keen to see the AI score for Fugitive of the Judoon! If you click their link, ratings for series 11 were better, both viewing (the Jodie Whittaker novelty factor at the start) and AI overall. You can find others on their site with some looking around.


I’m very sceptical of votes. What are they voting for, what do the scores actually mean, what are the metrics and are people voting consistently. That said you can get some trends.

I’ve started with the Divergent Universe. Each week there’s a discussion thread with poll asking for a 1-5 rating. An example is the one for Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror.

I’ve tabulated the votes and done some basic analysis (I may do more later):

Divergent UniverseVotesAverageSpread
Spyfall Pt 1523.831.10
Spyfall Pt 2424.020.87
Orphan 55513.040.98
Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror384.160.92
Fugitive of the Judoon524.810.65

Curiously Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror has fewest votes. On a scale of 1-5 most episodes score well, with Orphan 55 being average. A superb score for Fugitive of the Judoon.

The Spread is a standard deviation (if it means anything here). Basically the smaller the number the more consistent. Again the DU really liked Fugitive of the Judoon.

The DWAS has a similar poll but rates it from 1-6 with 6 being classic, 3 being average. They table looks like:

Spyfall Pt 12504.171.69
Spyfall Pt 21693.841.63
Orphan 552822.901.49
Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror1983.721.49
Fugitive of the Judoon1984.671.66

More voters and more variation in number cast with Orphan 55 attracting most. Even taking the 1-6 vs 1-5 into account the DWAS polls are more varied and less positive. I’d suggest the trend (except Spyfall Pt 2) is similar.

I’ll do more analysis after the end of season.

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