BBC defends dark themes of Doctor Who storyline after complaints

Peter Capaldi stars as the Doctor alongside his assistant played by Jenna Coleman. Credit: BBC

The BBC has defended the dark themes of a Doctor Who storyline following complaints from viewers.

The first of a two-part series finale, broadcast last Saturday, featured a plot dealing with the afterlife, which then led to an invasion of earth by the Cybermen.

The boyfriend of Doctor Who's assistant Clara Oswald appeared to have been killed in a car accident, and viewers heard references to how the bodies of the dead could feel pain while being cremated.

A BBC spokesperson told ITV News it had received 118 complaints over the content of the 'Dark Water' episode, but said it considered the themes to be "appropriate".

"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 [a fictional organisation featured in the episode] 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."

Viewers will see the conclusion of the controversial storyline on Saturday.