BBC responds to Dark Water complaints

November 4th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

The BBC has responded to complaints about the heavy use of death and cremation in the latest episode of Doctor Who.

In Dark Water, the first part of this year’s series finale, the Doctor and Clara discovered that ‘death is not an end’, however the premise has been deemed inappropriate by some viewers who were left upset by the controversial storyline.

The BBC has since defended the plot, saying the themes were “appropriate in the context of the heightened sci-fi world of the show”. Their official response fully reads:

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.

As always we’d love to hear your views on the matter, so have your say in the comments…

“You know who I am.” Click here to rate & discuss part one of the Series 8 finale.

9 comments on this article
  1. The 13th Doctor
    November 4th, 2014 at 10.34pm | #1

    There’s far more scarier stories about death written in the bible, which is freely available for younger and easily offended folk.

    Crucifixion, stabbing, drowning….

    So a mention about cremation on one episode of DW Is hardly more offensive

  2. MelodicHarmony
    November 5th, 2014 at 1.20am | #2

    @The 13th Doctor
    The bible is a biblical text and (if that is what you believe) true. But it is not being presented to you in images.

    I think the reason that people complained was because of the way it was presented. It was a rather creepy episode. Remember that doctor who episode ‘The Edge of Destruction’ from William Hartnells time had to have the BBC apologising for having Susan threatening and brandishing a knife at everyone on the Tardis

  3. MelodicHarmony
    November 5th, 2014 at 1.21am | #3

    *religious, not bibical :P

  4. Andy
    November 5th, 2014 at 1.51pm | #4

    I buy the explanation that the Doctor immediately calls BS on the notion of the dead staying connected to their bodies as for why it’s less horrible. But here’s the thing: this series of WHO has been training us to believe the Doctor is wrong. How many times in series 8 has the Doctor scoffed at something that turned out to be true? Quite a few. In fact, many have seen a running thread of the Doctor being very wrong in several episodes this year. So, naturally, by the time we get to “Dark Water,” we assume he’s wrong and the prospect of life after death becomes horrifying. Maybe “Death in Heaven” will clarify these points more?

  5. Grace Coleman
    November 5th, 2014 at 2.27pm | #5

    This is ridiculous if you don’t want to see it, change the channel.

  6. Grace Coleman
    November 5th, 2014 at 2.27pm | #6

    This is ridiculous if you don’t want to see it, change the channel.

  7. Calli Arcale
    November 5th, 2014 at 4.48pm | #7

    Hah! I told people it was probably not true. I mean, we only had Missy and her underlings telling us that people normally remain conscious after death, and why on Earth would we trust *them*? ;-)

  8. rose
    November 5th, 2014 at 6.00pm | #8


    good point. I was so happy when Missy revealed herself, though :3

  9. Grace
    November 7th, 2014 at 2.52am | #9

    I feel like I missed something with Dark Water. Why exactly was it called Dark Water?

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