The BBC are currently bracing themselves for a complaints storm ahead of the next episode of The Politician’s Husband, during which David Tennant’s character is set to brutally rape his own wife, due to air tonight!
2.5million viewers tuned in last week to see the opening episode of the three-part drama, starring Tennant as Cabinet Minister Aiden Hoynes whose career is suddenly overshadowed by his wife’s skyrocketing political career, and his resentment is set to take a twisted turn in tonight’s instalment when, five minutes into the episode, the former Doctor Who will be seen savagely raping his wife in a 70-second, graphic scene.
Bosses at the Beeb are already fearing the backlash from the episode, which has already been criticised by pressure group Media Watch UK, with its director, Vivienne Pattison slamming the network for showing such “adult material” so soon after the 9pm watershed, the Sun newspaper reports.
Pattison explained: “The Politician’s Husband will be following on from snooker.
“Snooker to sadistic sex is quite an extreme leap and care should be taken to avoid putting the most ‘challenging’ material immediately after 9pm.”
And, echoing Pattison’s concern, Rape Crisis charity representative Katie Russell has come out and said that she believes that viewers should be pre-warned of the violent content ahead of broadcast, explaining:
“It’s important that any programme planning to screen such scenes carries clear and repeated warnings to avoid triggering flashbacks or distressing and re-traumatising sexual violence survivors.”
The attack occurs after Aiden’s MP wife, Freya Gardner (Emily Watson) is seen in a romantic embrace with her husband in bed, but after a few seconds the atmosphere switches and romance is out of the window as Aiden exerts his power in a vile and savage way.
A BBC spokesman said: “This scene goes to the heart of the emotional story for the characters. It establishes that their sex lives are integral to the narrative, and while some viewers may find these scenes strong, they reflect the central themes of power and betrayal which impact on their political marriage.
“It will air in a post-watershed slot and there will be a warning prior to broadcast that the drama contains scenes of sexual violence and some strong language from the start.”
Watch a preview of last week’s episode in the clip below:
The Politician’s Wife continues tonight at 9pm on BBC2/BBC2 HD.