Asylum of the Daleks had an overnight audience of 6.4 million viewers, a share of 29.3% of the total TV audience.
The audience was steady throughout the show after inheriting 2.5 million viewers from Total Wipeout. The show following Doctor Who, The National Lottery, had 3.1 million watching.
Doctor Who won the time-slot, beating Ant and Dec's game show, Red or Black?, which got a rating of 3.5 million and was 6th for the day. Winner of the day was The X Factor, which had an audience of 8.6 million and a 36.8% share of the audience, making Doctor Who second in the charts for the day.
Casualty was third with 4.2 million watching. Channel 4 achieved 9th place with their coverage of Paralympic Games 2012, while BBC Two peaked in 17th place with Dad's Army. Channel Five achieved 23rd place with Celebrity Big Brother.
Last year's Autumn season opener, Let's Kill Hitler, achieved 6.2m viewers (28.7% share) on overnight figures, later revised to 8.1 million on final figures. Night Terrors, shown the first weekend in September, had an overnight figure of 5.5m (25.9% share) and a final of 7.07m.
The only other episode to be transmitted on 1st September was the first episode of the 1979 story Destiny of the Daleks which had 13.00 million viewers, albeit in an environment where there were only three Television channels available, and one of those, ITV, was locked into a bitter strike which had blacked out screens since 10th August.
Overnight figures are an estimate of those who watched the programme live, or before 2am the following day. Final figures will include all those who watch the porgramme within a week and will be available early next week.
With one day to come, Doctor Who is currently 10th for the week.