Doctor Who: The 50 Episodes With The Highest TV Ratings - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: The 50 Episodes With The Highest TV Ratings

Is your favourite story included?

On October 20th 1979, when the Fourth Doctor was the key-holder of the old Type-40 TARDIS, Doctor Who received its largest ever audience for a broadcast episode. Tom Baker's era dominates much of the below chart of 50 highest watched episodes of Doctor Who (plus he features in another one of them too), but he kindly left a bit of room for some other Doctors to gain massive viewing figures, even some modern ones.

So standby then for the countdown of the fifty episodes of Doctor Who that received the highest TV ratings across the last 56+ years of the show's long, long history. All figures quoted are for the UK premiere broadcast of each episode only. No repeats, omnibus editions or minisodes have been counted or included.

Does your favourite Doctor Who episode feature in the countdown?...

=48. The Dalek Invasion of Earth: World's End (21 Nov 1964)
The Dalek Invasion of Earth: The Waking Ally (19 Dec 1964)
The Android Invasion: Part Four (13 Dec 1975)
The Seeds of Doom: Part One (31 Jan 1976)
The Seeds of Doom: Part Two (7 Feb 1976)
The Talons of Weng-Chiang: Part Four (19 Mar 1977)
The Invasion of Time: Part Two (11 Feb 1978)
OK, so we said the top 50, but actually it's the top 54 as 7 episodes are tied with a whopping 11.40 million viewers each and, as you can see, the Fourth Doctor is taking almost all the spaces already - five out of seven to be exact, leaving just a couple for the First Doctor's second Dalek adventure. The opening installment of The Dalek Invasion Of Earth, titled World's End, did the best in its respective weekly chart, sitting at number 12 across all channels for the week, and is responsible for that iconic scene above of the Daleks crossing Westminster Bridge.

=45. The Romans: All Roads Lead to Rome (23 Jan 1965)
The Web Planet: The Centre (20 Mar 1965) 
The Seeds of Doom: Part Six (6 Mar 1976)
Three episodes from the classic years of Doctor Who take the joint 45th slot; the second episode from The Romans, the final part of The Web Planet and the concluding chapter of The Seeds Of Doom which sees the Fourth Doctor encounter a Krynoid problem. All of them watched by 11.50 million viewers.

=42. Pyramids of Mars: Part Four (15 Nov 1975)
The Face of Evil: Part Four (22 Jan 1977)
Underworld: Part Four (28 Jan 1978)
Three from Four for you here, and all of them being the final installment in their respective serials. It's perhaps no surprise to see Pyramids Of Mars included among the highest rated episode of Doctor Who, it is widely regarded as a classic, Underworld though notsomuch. Still it did the business back on Saturday January 28th 1978 and, like the other two here in joint 42nd place, was watched by 11.70 million viewers.

=40. The Deadly Assassin: Part One (30 Oct 1976)
The Deadly Assassin: Part Four (20 Nov 1976)
Consistency thy name is Tom. Yes, the first and last episode of the companion-lite Fourth Doctor adventure The Deadly Assassin both saw 11.80 million viewers tune in. And there's more from this adventure to come soon.

=36 The Dalek Invasion of Earth: Day of Reckoning (5 Dec 1964)
The Dalek Invasion of Earth: The End of Tomorrow (12 Dec 1964)
The Three Doctors: Episode Four (20 Jan 1973)
The Android Invasion: Part One (22 Nov 1975)
It's a very warm welcome to the Third Doctor, and by extension the Second too, who make their debut on the countdown with the final part of The Three Doctors, an adventure everyone wrongly believes was a tenth anniversary celebration of Doctor Who when in actuality it arrived 11 months prior to that occasion. Still, none of the 11.90 million people watching this episode or any of the other three above were bothered by such triviality.

=32. The Rescue: The Powerful Enemy (2 Jan 1965)
The Romans: Inferno (6 Feb 1965)
The Web Planet: Invasion (13 Mar 1965)
The Hand Of Fear: Part Four (23 Oct 1976)
With a screengrab that just screams "1960s Doctor Who", the opening installment of the two part adventure The Rescue saw 12 million viewers tune in that Saturday tea time, January 2nd 1965. The same figure as the other three stories listed above that all come in joint 32nd. The Powerful Enemy narrowly missed out on a top 10 spot on that week's British TV chart, sitting at no. 11. The next story, however, did much better...

31. The End of Time: Part One (25 Dec 2009)
Modern audience tracking data is much more advanced than the ones used throughout the classic era of Doctor Who, so whereas all of the episode from those 26 seasons are measured in hundreds of thousands of viewers, ratings now go down to the tens of thousands. And so edging its way in at number 31 on the countdown of 50 highest watched episodes of Doctor Who we have our first new-Who episode, part one of The End Of Time. The Tenth Doctor's swansong began on Friday December 25th 2009 at 5:59pm, it ranked at number 1 on that week's all channel TV chart with a huge 12.04 million viewers tuned in (44.7% of the total audience for its time-slot) many of them nursing a full tummy after their delicious Christmas dinner no doubt.

=28. The Android Invasion: Part Three (6 Dec 1975)
The Deadly Assassin: Part Two (6 Nov 1976)
The Robots of Death: Part One (29 Jan 1977)
It's another three from Four for you, including an Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers-esque adventure in the form of the third part of The Android Invasion. 12.10 million viewers tuned into that and the other two adventures listed above.

27. A Christmas Carol (25 Dec 2010)
It's a very warm Christmas Day welcome to Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor who joins the countdown at number 27 with, arguably his finest but undeniably, his first festive episode A Christmas Carol. Broadcast from 6:01pm that Saturday evening, 41.8% of the UK's TV's were tuned into BBC One, which by my calculations makes it an audience of 12.11 million viewers. And, 51 weeks previously...

26. The End of Time: Part Two (1 Jan 2010)
He didn't want to go, and by the size of the audiences he regularly received a heck of a lot of David Tennant fans felt the same way as the Tenth Doctor did. But, alas, it was The End Of (his) Time on the show, and 12.27 million viewers tuned into Doctor Who on New Years Day 2010 to send Tennant off and in doing so propelled his final episode to the top of the week's broadcast charts once more.

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