Doctor Who season seven premiere pulls in 6.4 million viewers

'Asylum Of The Daleks' was broadcast last night on BBC One

The first episode of the new season of Doctor Who scored 6.4 million viewers when it premiered last night (September 1), on BBC One.

Asylum Of The Daleks pulled in an average audience of 6.4 million, only slightly less than the first episode of season six, which made 6.5 million. The second episode of the popular sci-fi show, Dinosaurs On A Spaceship, airs next Saturday.

However, Doctor Who was beaten in last night’s TV ratings by The X Factor, which attracted an average of 8.5 million viewers on ITV and ITV+1, with a peak of 9.7 million, which is the highest rating so far for this series of the talent show, according to the Metro.

The new episode of Doctor Who saw an early appearance from the doctor’s new sidekick, as played by Jenna-Louise Coleman.

Yesterday, the BBC denied reports that actor Matt Smith wants to quit Doctor Who. Smith, who has played the iconic Time Lord since 2010 recently told Empire magazine that the role was tiring him out. “I couldn’t do this for seven years,” he said. “I’d be run into the ground. I don’t think you can sustain it.”

His comments led the Daily Mirror to place an image on their front page of Smith underneath the headline “I Quit”, but BBC Head Of Communications Sam Hodges said: “He says in an interview that he won’t be the Doctor forever – hardly quitting!” and insisted Smith would “be around for a good while yet”.

Current Doctor Who companions Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill will make their final appearances at some point during season seven.