Angry Fans Openly Misinterpret ‘Doctor Who’ Viewership Data, Calling the Series “Woke” and “Unwatchable,” Despite Praise from Critics

Angry Fans Openly Misinterpret 'Doctor Who' Viewership Data, Calling the Series "Woke" and "Unwatchable," Despite Praise from Critics
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Sci-fi fans will know that Doctor Who is a brand series and a cult classic. The original series appeared in 1963 and has had several iterations since then, with the most recent, fourteenth season premiering on May 11, 2024, on BBC and Disney, with some early previews on BBC iPlayer. The most recent series sees Ncuti Gatwa take over the role of the Doctor by becoming the Fifteenth Doctor and Jodie Whittaker’s successor as the program’s lead. The casting has caused a lot of controversy and backlash among fans, some of whom are so angry that they have resorted to misinterpreting viewership data and cast/crew statements.

Namely, after the first two episodes were released on BBC One, the viewership numbers were released a couple of days later, revealing that “Space Babies,” the first episode, was watched by 2.6 million viewers, with “The Devil’s Chord,” the second, having an overnight audience of 2.4 million. And while these numbers are certainly low, they are not the complete numbers, as we are about to see.

These two are some of the lowest overnight numbers for the series, with “Legend of the Sea Devils” only securing an overnight audience of 2.2 million in 2022, thus setting an infamous record. But the viewership numbers from 2022 were correct and complete, as BBC was the only source where one could watch the series at the time. On the other hand, this time, the series is available both on Disney+ and BBC iPlayer, for the first time, so many people had the opportunity to watch the series on these platforms.

What does this mean? The numbers that were released reflect only the overnight viewers on BBC One and do not include streaming viewers, which means that they are incomplete. There is certainly a small number of fans of the series who have opted to see the episodes via these platforms, so the low ratings are only partial and do not reflect the actual numbers, which are probably going to be released later. This, of course, hasn’t stopped some angry fans – mostly conservatives and anti-woke crusaders – to label the series as dead. Some of the comments from social networks were as follows:

“After the cast and crew told the old #DoctorWho fans to stop watching in favour of the ‘modern audience’, the current season’s 2-episode premiere received the lowest overnight ratings in the show’s HISTORY!!! #RIPDoctorWho.”

“#RIPDoctorWho Wow. Well Dr Who is totally unwatchable now. Maybe have a Dr Who series again instead of a platform for gender politics and radical left wing ideology? Go woke go broke.”

“The Maestro was probably one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. No exaggeration. #RIPDoctorWho.”

Source: Express

Now, we have already reported that the series has been a victim of review bombing by angry fans who hadn’t even seen the episodes. At the same time, the critics are absolutely amazed by the new series, as we have reported, and there are many fans who share their opinions. But what about the claims from the comments above?

Well, we have explained that the claim that “the current season’s 2-episode premiere received the lowest overnight ratings in the show’s HISTORY!!!” is false. Firstly, the 2022 episode received lower ratings than both these episodes and, secondly, the numbers released are only partial, so when we consider that fact, the actual numbers are much greater, so this is simply a manipulation and is factually wrong.

As for the claim that “the cast and crew told the old #DoctorWho fans to stop watching in favor of the ‘modern audience’,” after some thorough fact-checking, we were unable to find any claim that pushes away old fans in favor of a new audience. Sure, the series is radically different in its approach and is closer thematically to younger viewers, but none of the cast or crew members actually spoke about old fans having to leave or wanting them to leave. This is just nonsense. We did find a quote by the series showrunner Russell T Davies, who explained how the series will attract new fans, especially Gen Z fans:

I think you’ve got a generation now that is learning to open up. And I don’t just mean the sad stuff. I mean actually their joy on TikTok dancing about a chicken wing. I think that’s brilliant. We encourage them to express their humor and their joy as much as we do their sadness. I wanted a Doctor who would chime with that, who would correspond to that, even before we cast Ncuti. (…) It kind of gave me faith to say, ‘Well, we don’t need to… offer the Doctor to an elder statesman. I don’t need a great big BAFTA-winning, Oscar-winning actor to do that. We can call the young talent.’

Source: IGN

As you can see, Davies only spoke about attracting new fans. There is no mention of “old fans” or anything else, so the claim made by Twitter user GoldenAgeGeeks, which is the source of the first above-quoted comment, is a blatant lie.

We can understand that some people don’t like the new direction of the series, absolutely, but they are not forced to watch it. Blatantly lying and misinterpreting interpretation is simply wrong, and it doesn’t help anyone; it just looks sad. We have fact-checked and proven these claims wrong, so you can definitely rely on us on Fiction Horizon to provide you with the most reliable information on any topic related to pop culture. We will be following this story in the future as well, so be sure to keep following us for more information. And all the best to the cast and crew of Doctor Who, we wish you all the luck in the world!

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