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Doctor Who's first 60th anniversary special shines with strong ratings

David Tennant's long-awaited return has had an impact.

Doctor Who fans are eating well this year because of the 60th anniversary celebrations, with the three specials being the main course. Last Saturday, The Star Beast arrived and satisfied most fans, but it appears its success was bigger than anticipated.

Daily Mail has the details about its Saturday-night launch in the UK, where it pulled in "around 5 million average viewers with a peak of just more than 6 million." This is a marked improvement over Jodie Whittaker's last-ever episode, which "only racked in 3.6 million average viewers with a peak of 4 million." The special episode is built around a reunion between Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) and the 14th Doctor with the face and body of the 10th Doctor (David Tennant). Questions and mysteries abound, but for the most part, the first of the three specials kept things fun.

Internationally, Disney+ is handling the distribution after closing a major deal with the BBC last year, and so far, the numbers outside the UK are strong. Right now, Doctor Who: The Star Beast is hovering between the 4th and 2nd spots in the countries where Disney's streaming platform is available. This is a positive outcome for the two companies' distribution deal and should solidify their relationship moving forward, though it remains to be seen whether the numbers will be as strong for the other two specials too.

This week, on December 2, things might get a tad darker, as the teaser for Wild Blue Yonder promises a different kind of adventure for Donna and the Doctor. You can watch it below:

Cover image for YouTube video

On top of the three aforementioned specials, BBC's Whoniverse has dropped a celebratory six-part series (available exclusively on the BBC iPlayer) titled Tales of the TARDIS. If you're looking to get into the massive, decades-long series, you'll need the help of our complete watch guide.

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Fran Ruiz