The Eleventh Doctor has debuted in Australia to excellent ratings on both TV and the internet. TV Tonight reports that The Eleventh Hour averaged 1.033 million viewers in the five major capital cities, despite stiff competition from the commercial networks, including the final of The Biggest Loser. It was the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's top-rating program of the day, rating higher than its popular Sunday 7pm news (By comparison, Part Two of The End of Time only rated 840,000 viewers in the five cities back in February). The episode and the corresponding Confidential Cutdown have also debuted on the ABC's iView service. TV Tonight reports that 'The Eleventh Hour', which appeared on iView almost two days before its televison debut, was also a big internet hit for the national broadcaster, having 112,000 views over the weekend (By way of comparison, the iView service had a total of 224,000 visitors, 540,000 visits and 2.8 million page views in the week ending 18 April). Matt Smith and Karen Gillan have also appeared in especially filmed ABC trailers directly inviting viewers to tune into ABC1 to watch the program on Sunday evening.
The debut of Matt Smith has also attracted considerable local media, including a number of interviews with the star on ABC Local Radio (including Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney local ABC) and the national ABC youth radio network Triple J, during which Matt has reflected on the long history and enduring popularity of 'Doctor Who' in Australia. In an amusing interview with TV Tonight, Smith even asks if an Australian version of Doctor Who has ever been considered! The actor has also been interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald, the Sunday Telegraph and TV Week where he expresses the hope of filming a future episode in Australia.
The Sydney Morning Herald has rated 'The Eleventh Hour' its 'show of the week' with Michael Idato writing that 'the real surprise is the manner in which Matt Smith owns the role completely from the very first frame. Any fear there might be teething problems or some lingering affection for his predecessor...failed to materialise. The verdict? Great, big, wallopy, timey-wimey brilliant.' Dianne Butler of the The Daily Telegraph also gives the program four stars, while Kerrie Murphy of the The Weekend Australian writes it 'is a pretty darn fantastic first full outing for the 11th doctor...Not only is Smith great but so is the story, which sees the Doctor crashing into the life of a feisty young girl who is visited by an unusual escapee prisoner. It nails the Doctor Who formula, mixing comedy with genuine tension and emotion.' Scott Ellis of the Sunday Age also writes of the new Doctor that he 'will take some getting used to but, by the end of this first adventure, Smith shows he has what it takes to reinvent the character again.' The Sunday Age also makes the episode one of its picks of the day also writing, 'Steven Moffat - the man who brought us two of the best-ever Doctor Who eps (Blink, The Girl in the Fireplace) is now head boy. Add the fabulous Matt Smith to the mix as the new Doctor and we're set for a superb series.' Moffat is also interviewed by David Knox of TV Tonight.