Doctor Who - The Lie of the Land had an estimated audience of 3.01 million viewers, a share of 15.0% of the total TV audience, according to unofficial overnight viewing figures.
The series was hit hard by being placed directly opposite the final of the ITV show Britain's Got Talent, which topped the day with 8.19 million watching.
Doctor Who's overnight rating is the lowest the series has received in its history, with Battlefield in 1989 getting 3.10 million. However Lie of the Land, thanks to the ability of present day audiences to catch up with the programme in the weeks after transmission, should have a final figure much higher than the initially reported one.
Casualty, which also faced the Talent show had 3.21 million watching. On ITV The Keith and Paddy Picture Show had 3.16 million watching, making Doctor Who the fourth most watched show of the day.
Against Doctor Who, BBC Two The Lake District: A Wild Year had 1.11 million watching, while Channel 4 managed 0.5 million for Britain's Ancient Tracks.
Final Figures should be available in 8 days time