The Christmas special, “The Time of the Doctor,” saw the introduction of Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor, which likely lead to the spike in interest over 2012’s Christmas special “The Snowmen.” According to ratings reports, 8.29 million viewers tuned in for Smith’s swan song, though that grew to 10.2 million viewers in the final few minutes of the broadcast when Capaldi was introduced.
Those numbers are higher than “The Snowmen,” which was watched by 7.59 million, but still low for “Who” standards. That might have been because storms left thousands of Brits without power on Christmas Day. By comparison, the two parts of David Tennant‘s final Christmas special “The End of Time,” which ended with his regeneration, were watched by 11.57 million and 10.4 million viewers, respectively.
After the episode aired, Smith took to Twitter to say a final goodbye to his fans. “To the Whoniverse, thanks a million. You’re the best. I’ll miss you. And I’ll miss the madness,” he says through the BBC “Doctor Who” Twitter account.