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4/02/2007 02:04:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Not only was the launch of the new series one of the most watched programmes of the week, it was also one of the most loved, with an Appreciation Index of 88.

This is the highest figure for a Doctor Who series debut, and has only been beaten by previous season finales "The Parting of the Ways" and "Doomsday", both of which which scored 89.

The programme was 4 clear index points higher than anything else shown on Saturday night.

The Appreciation Index, or AI, is a measure of how much the audience liked the programme. It is a score out of 100, based on responses from a carefully selected panel. The average score for drama on BBC1 and ITV1 is 77. A score in excess of 85 is regarded as excellent while a score below 60 is poor.