This 8.2 million figure only represents the number of viewers who actually tuned in live on BBC One; it doesn't factor in those who watched it later or those who watched it on BBC America, where the episode aired at the same time as it did across the pond.
The series opener garnered a 40.1% audience share for the BBC in the U.K. After the episode came to a close, an extended preview of upcoming installments revealed glimpses of new guest stars who will appear throughout the ten-episode run. I loved the accent, that's an accent I grew up hearing which makes it all the better. Naturally, she also comes with her distinctive sonic screwdriver, because ... well, why wouldn't she. She nails the character and immediately re-energises a series that was in danger of disappearing into its own black hole.
In hindsight, it was perhaps not the best idea for the BBC to advertise the other characters - Ryan, Graham, and Yasmin (Mandip Gill) - as the new companions so much before the premiere.
The episode was a pretty solid opening for a Doctor.
Apart from the Doctor, who's still disorientated after the regeneration, quipping that she was "a white-haired Scotsman" only half-an-hour earlier, the transformation is batted aside in favour of jumping straight into the action. All set to the iconic Doctor Who theme song. Sure, the monster-of-the-week was slightly bland (it was basically a Predator, right?), but I guess that just helps keep the focus on the still-regenerating Doctor. Who's new cinematography is vast, colorful and sharp, director Jamie Childs making the most of Chibnall's Broadchurch roots to give even this Earth-based adventure a much needed facelift.
Jodie Whittaker has gone on record already saying that she finds the negative response "ridiculous", as its high time for a woman Doctor.