The 2014 Doctor Who Christmas Special, “Last Christmas,” was seen by 6.34 million viewers in the UK according to overnight ratings provided by ratings agency Attentional (via The Hollywood Reporter), accounting for a 27.5 percent share of all Christmas Day UK viewers.
This is a drop in ratings from the 2013 Christmas Special, “The Time of the Doctor,” which saw ratings of 8.29 million viewers and a 30.7 percent audience share. “The Time of the Doctor” was Matt Smith’s final outing as the Eleventh Doctor, and was the final part of a three-part finale storyline that included the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, “The Day of the Doctor.”
By comparison, even the unresolved question of Clara Oswald’s (Jenna Louise Coleman) Series 9 return and Nick Frost’s guest role as Santa Claus couldn’t match last year’s Christmas Special in terms of pure hype.
While the special’s ratings were down from last year, “Last Christmas” did manage to beat the Downton Abbey Christmas Special, which aired in the same timeslot, for the second year running.
Following the airing of “Last Christmas,” Jenna Louise Coleman officially announced that she would be returning for Clara’s final series as the Twelfth Doctor’s (Peter Capaldi) companion in 2015’s Doctor Who Series 9, beginning with the premiere episode “The Magician’s Apprentice.”