But she fell short of beating Christopher Eccleston's debut - he pulled in 9.9 million viewers for his bow in 2005.
It's a thorough regeneration for the series, which has a new showrunner - Chris Chibnall, who worked with Whittaker on the series Broadchurch - as well as new cast members, a new composer and a new writing team. Now, I know that nothing's ever universally loved, so I've genuinely tried to find some less positive reactions, but I can't find anything too venomous at all.
But by far the dominant conversation has been about the fresh, brand new 13th Doctor.
Whittaker's Doctor is compelling and charismatic - you can already tell how much love and respect for the role she has.
The first episode of a new Doctor is often some of the best in the entire show - the newborn Doctor is less sure of themselves, recovering from dying and being reborn, usually clothed in the burnt and tattered clothes of their previous incarnation.
Manchester United's Jose Mourinho to be investigated for touchline comments vs Newcastle
It's not like when he was at Inter Milan in the Champions League and he could park the bus defensively. He took a lot of stick but behind closed doors I said to the players, "We have to be doing better".
Like its protagonist, Doctor Who has survived this long thanks to its endless ability to regenerate - the malleability of its imaginative premise lends itself inherently to the kind of change that came between seasons 10 and 11. Between the tentacle creature, the giant blue frozen glowing Hershey's kiss cocoon, the armored alien who is later revealed to be a dude with teeth glued to his face, it was all a bit much and a bit muddled for a debut episode in which so many characters are being introduced at once. More than anything, it's hopefully incredibly entertaining and I think this series has something for absolutely everyone. "(And I've rarely had a hard time with accents)". And that actually links back to the very first series of Doctor Who from 1963, when the Doctor visited Marco Polo's era, the Aztecs, and the French reign of terror.
"Don't be scared. All of this is new to you, and new can be scary". Obviously the Doctor's not having that, and she steps in to save the day.
Dyspraxia wasn't the only issue the show dealt with, it also tackled problems that can affect all of us.
"Full of hope" she says immediately.
It makes sense. Doctor Who has always melded sci-fi spectacle (or as near to spectacle as its special effects budget allows) with mundane, workaday life on Earth.