The BBC One series averaged 9.32 million and a 32.5% share in the 8pm hour, the highest overnight audience in the period drama's history so far, and 1.4m higher than for last year's launch.
Any concerns that series two wouldn't match the staggering popularity of last year's first series, following a Christmas special which lost out to Coronation Street, have been washed away as the show ranks as the BBC's most-watched of the week above EastEnders.
> Call the Midwife success creates student application boom
Call the Midwife, which climaxed with nearly 10m, towered over Dancing on Ice when the pair clashed between 8.30pm and 9pm, the reality show's Skate Off falling to 5.33m (18.2%) at 8.30pm (+1: 217,000).
Ripper Street was boosted by Midwife's lead-in, climbing 500k week-on-week to pull in 5.64m (21%), securing a momentous victory over ITV's lavish Mr Selfridge which settled for 5.45m (20.4%) also at 9pm (+1: 413k).
Photo gallery - Dancing on Ice show 3:
Elsewhere, BBC Two's Masters Snooker final coverage peaked with 2.5m at 10.15pm, while Celebrity Big Brother attracted 2m (7.4%) to 5 at 9pm (+1: 237k), and The Hotel delivered 1.83m (6.4%) to Channel 4 at 8pm (+1: 286k).
Overall, BBC One strolled to another primetime victory, its fourth in succession, with an average share of 25% - leaving ITV runner-up with 19.2% (+1: 0.9%). BBC Two followed in third place with 7.9%, comfortably ahead of Channel 4's 6% (+1: 0.8%), and Channel 5's 5.5% (+1: 0.5%).
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional