The BBC has responded to complaints from viewers that feel it is inappropriate to show gay sex on Torchwood.
Torchwood Miracle Day, the fourth installment in the Torchwood series, is a co-production between the BBC and US Cable network Starz.
Although the BBC already stood by a decision to clip a sex scene from an earlier episode, they defended their actions on the grounds that it was the explicit nature of the scene that caused concern, and not the fact that it was a gay sex scene.
“It wasn’t that it was a gay scene that worried people, but just the fact that it was such an explicit sex scene full stop,” a BBC statement said at the time.
“You can get away with scenes like that on American cable channels, but you can’t on prime time BBC One. Even though the show airs after the watershed, it has a lot of young fans who would have been shocked at the graphic nature of the sex.”
However, even without the controversial scene, some British viewers are still unhappy with Torchwood‘s content.
“We’ve received complaints from some viewers who feel it is inapproprate to show gay sex in Torchwood,” the corporation said of the latest misgivings. “We have strict Editorial Guidelines which govern the content of our programmes, and Torchwood is no exception. These clearly state:
“In all BBC output the portrayal of sex, or the exploration of sexual issues, should be editorially justified and treated with appropriate sensitivity. In post-watershed content, we must be able to justify the frank and realistic portrayal of sex and the exploration of themes and issues which some people might find offensive.”
“Captain Jack Harkness is an established character in the series. We felt the content was justified in terms of the context and character and would be within the expectations of regular viewers. We aim to depict relationships whether heterosexual or homosexual in an honest and realistic way. These scenes are not meant to cause offence.”
Whether some British fans like it or not, it looks like the BBC is not about to step back from its decision.