BBC defends Doctor Who episode 'Dark Water' following more than 100 complaints

Viewers have been upset by some of the life and death themes explored in the sci-fi drama

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The Independent Culture

The latest Doctor Who episode, which saw sidekick Clara Oswald’s boyfriend killed in a car crash and an invasion by Cybermen, has prompted complaints from viewers.

The first in a two-part series climax discussed issues of life and death and suggested that dead people could feel the pain of cremation.

The BBC has defended the storyline which it says is “appropriate” in the context of the show.

Broadcast on Saturday night, the drama saw dead bodies transformed into an army of Cybermen.

Missy, who is revealed to be the latest incarnation of ‘The Master’, tells Peter Capaldi’s Doctor: “All the graves on Earth are about to give birth.”

In a response to the complaints, the BBC said it was stated within the episode that some of theories about the afterlife could be "distressing" and later proved to be a "con".

"Doctor Who is a family drama with a long tradition of tackling some of the more fundamental questions about life and death,” the BBC said in a statement.


The Cybermen return

“We were mindful of the themes explored in Dark Water and are confident that they are appropriate in the context of the heightened sci-fi world of the show.”

"The scene in which a character reveals 3W's unconventional theory about the afterlife was preceded by the same character warning the Doctor and Clara several times that what they were about to hear could be distressing.


It continues: "When the Doctor does hear these claims, he immediately pours scorn on them, dismissing them out of hand as a 'con' and a 'racket'. It transpires that he is correct, and the entire concept is revealed to be a scam perpetrated by Missy."

It is understood that 118 people complained about the show to the BBC. The audience for Saturday night's programme numbered around five million.

Ofcom revealed it received 9 complaints about Saturday's Doctor Who. "We will assess these complaints before deciding whether to investigate," it said in a statement.

The storyline reaches its conclusion on Saturday.