'Asylum of the Daleks', which featured a surprise appearance from new companion Jenna-Louise Coleman, logged 6.38m (29.3%) between 7.20pm and 8.10pm - solid with its 2011 premiere in terms of overnight audience data.
Doctor Who is also currently the 'Most Popular' show on BBC iPlayer, meaning the audience is expected to rise considerably in the official ratings to be released in a fortnight's time.
Meanwhile, The X Factor drew 8.15m (35%) from 8.10pm until 9.10pm for its latest instalment, adding 422k (1.9%) on ITV1 +1 - down 2.5m year-on-year. The Xtra Factor followed with 943k (4.4%) on ITV2 (+1: 121k/0.8%), topping the multichannels.
Red or Black?'s 7.30pm instalment grabbed 3.3m (15.1%), then the Ant & Dec gameshow dropped to 3.06m (13.3%) later on but added 120k (0.7%) on +1.
Channel 4's Paralympics coverage scored 2.56m (11.7%) between 7pm and 10.30pm (+1: 106k/0.5%), while BBC Two's Proms enthralled 1.5m (6.6%), and Celebrity Big Brother took 1.4m (6.2%) for Channel 5 (+1: 136k/0.8%).
Overall, BBC One managed to just overtake ITV1 with 20.2% versus 19.4% (+1: 0.8%). Channel 4 ranked in third place with 11.2% (+1: 0.5%), ahead of BBC Two's 5.3% and Channel 5's 4.1% (+1: 0.3%).
BARB ratings data supplied by Attentional