The BBC has been forced to respond to complaints by more than one hundred viewers upset by a dark theme brought up in “Dark Water,” this past weekend’s episode of “Doctor Who”.
SPOILERS AHEAD FOR LAST WEEKEND’S “DOCTOR WHO” EPISODE
The episode was the first part of the season’s two-part finale and saw Peter Capaldi’s Time Lord and his sidekick Clara Oswald visiting the mysterious 3W Institute which claims to look after the care of the dead once they’ve passed with their minds and ‘souls’ now living inside what appears to be a giant sphere.
The scene in question that’s causing all the fuss sees The Doctor and Clara talking with institute representative Doctor Chang (Andrew Leung) who is explaining that 3W is short for ‘three words’ which the institute’s founder discovered within standard white noise transmissions and which are said to be telepathic messages from the recently departed.
According to Chang, the dead are still conscious and are fully aware of what is happening to their physical bodies, which makes the three words being screamed out in the anguished transmissions all the more chilling – “Don’t Cremate Me”. Another scene has a 3W rep attributing an off screen scream of pain as coming from someone who donated their body to medical science.
The Doctor immediately dismisses it as a con and a racket, which it ultimately proves to be – a plot by the Cybermen and the mysterious Missy (who gets her own twist reveal) using Time Lord technology to harvest dead bodies for the creation of a Cybermen army as part of an invasion of Earth.
Nevertheless it’s a chilling idea and an upsetting one for those who recently lost loved ones. The numerous complaints are all said to be regarding the references to pain rather than any explicit content on screen, and it’s enough of an issue that the network was quickly forced to issue a statement:
“Doctor Who is a family drama with a long tradition of tackling some of the more fundamental questions about life and death. 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. 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.”
The two-part episode will conclude this coming Saturday.
Source: The Independent