Season 10- The Ratings

 
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Season 9 ends on June 24th 1972, and Season 10 begins 26 weeks later on December 30th the same year. 

An important year for Doctor Who, 1973 is the 10th Anniversary. Strictly speaking the series won't have been on the air for 10 years until November 1973, but since the series now never airs in November, the anniversary story "The Three Doctors" kicks off Season 10 11 months earlier on the 30th of December 1972.

From a fan perspective this season is a little bit special. It begins with the first ever "multi-Doctor" story, continues with the 3rd Doctor finally ending his exile on Earth and voluntarily travelling to other planets, and it has the return of the Master and the Daleks. Not only that but the season ends with a highly-regarded story, "The Green Death", featuring the farewell of the much-loved Jo Grant. What's not to like? 

Well, as I've pointed out before, the vast majority of viewers are not strictly Doctor Who fans, so the above paragraph wouldn't mean a great deal to most of them. And this is reflected in the good but rather ordinary viewing figures. The season starts well at 9.6 million, peaking at 11.9 for the finale of "The Three Doctors", which would seem to indicate the chance to see Hartnell and Troughton did pique the interest of a significant number of viewers. However things settle down almost immediately afterwards to a quite respectable 8-9 million. The figures droop a bit over the next few weeks, before jumping back up to over 10 million for the much-heralded return of the Daleks. 

Final story "The Green Death" is still remembered as "the one with the maggots", but at the time it was watched by fewer people than any other story this season (even the somewhat over-long "Frontier in Space"). However this was still between 7 and 8 million viewers, which is as high as any Doctor Who story in the preceding few years, and in fact no episode in Season 10 has dropped below 6.5 million, making the 3rd Doctor's 4th season on average the highest-rated since Season 2. 
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