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Did Doctor Who Go “Too Far” With Dark Water? DWW Readers Reaction
What's your reaction?

Following the controversy earlier this week following the broadcast of Dark Water and subsequent [p2p type=”slug” value=”bbc-receives-complaints-dark-water-content”]complaints to the BBC[/p2p], we asked our readers their own thoughts on whether the show had gone “too far” with the storyline involving death, cremation and heaven.

There was a large response to the question and the answer was overwhelmingly in the negative, with only a handful of comments agreeing with those who complained to the BBC, interestingly Twitter followers being more critical than those on Facebook.

Here are a selection of your views:


“No. If it threatens someone’s belief system, they shouldn’t watch Sci-Fi. DW is about testing your imagination, not making you feel safe and secure.” – Anthony VonBank

“It seriously irritates me that we even have to ask this. It is one writer’s interpretation of death, on one TV show that no one is obligated to watch. The capacity of the human race to take offence, and for them to assume that everyone else is supposed to set so much store by their absurd opinions, consistently astounds me. Perhaps if most people were to occupy their time with more intellectual pursuits, rather than just absorbing the general vitriol spouted by mass media, then they would realise that they’re watching a TELEVISION SHOW. I imagine we all know someone who has been cremated, but evidently we here have enough intelligence to detach ourselves from one possible, implausible version of events. If people can’t see that, can’t make a connection between fiction and life, then frankly they should shut the hell up and switch to some trash that doesn’t challenge their useless conceptions, and instead spoonfeeds them their entertainment; let’s go with The X Factor. And as for children watching it, I really don’t know why a parent would allow their child to watch something regarding such an ‘adult’ notion of death anyway. Doctor Who isn’t for those too young to grasp its concepts – so rather than sitting an impressionable child, who *can’t* rationalise what they’re seeing, in front of such ideas, maybe these parents should instead be monitoring what their little ones actually see, rather than just expecting a show to conform to their needs. We need things like this on television; things that challenge, things that make us think and reassess and wonder, or we’re all destined to become the kind of vegetable that can’t take anything beyond face value.” – Holly Nottingham

“I really don’t see how downloading a human mind into cyberspace then purging the emotions of said human and redownloading that former human mind into the Cyberman shows us the actual afterlife. As The Doctor said, “Con”. People are way too sensitive.” – Les Dinerstein

“While death is a sensitive subject for many, especially for those who has lost someone close recently, at the end of the day this is sci-fi television, and death is portrayed all the time in every sci-fi show there is so why people chose to pick on Dark Water (which personally I feel is the best Capaldi episode so far) is beyond me. Well, actually it isn’t but we’d be here all day if I went into it. Anyway, as I was saying, everyone has different viewpoints and beliefs so nobody can accommodate for everyone simultaneously so basically, if you don’t like, it don’t watch it! After all, it is not actually serious: it’s entertainment FGS!!!” – Lauren Senkiw-Smith

“It didn’t offend me – but I thought it went just a step too far.” – Matt Barber

“In life I have become acquainted with death, far more than I’d ever have imagined. And no – I had no issues with it whatsoever.” – Paul Driscoll

“Despite personal experience, I didn’t offend me in the slightest. It is fictional after all. You could just see it as asking the same question that has been asked for centuries by humanity “What happens to our souls when we die?”. Sometimes it takes imagination to ask a question in a different way and I like it.” – Cavie Caviidae

“As somebody who has lost a lot of people close to me recently, I did feel quite horrible for a moment thinking about the fact that people who passed still feel everything and did take little offense for a moment. But that’s really all just me, too soon I guess. Objectively, very original and well thought out!” – Van Herck Nina

“It might’ve upset some people whose loved ones were cremated maybe x” – Angela Anthony

“I found it a bit far fetched even for D.W. who but I still loved it and that was one he’ll of a plot twist!! Can’t fait for the rest!” – Tailor Johnston

“What? And monsters under the bed, cybermen who will ‘upgrade’ you, and daleks who will ‘exterminate’ you aren’t scary? Of course they are! And a man who is 1000 years old, at least, and keeps changing his face? Of course, It’s Science FICTION, get a grip people, everyone has sat behind the sofa in at least one episode of the Doctor, otherwise it isn’t doing its job, of entertaining. Don’t ever stop amazing and entertaining us!” – Marilyn Craig

“Of course the subject of death and the afterlife is grim and uncomfortable, but EVERY story in human history has had their hands on this subject because it is important to face it in story. I know as a Christian myself, I believe in the afterlife, but I know that it is important to see how other people and content take it on. This is the view from a writer who doesn’t believe in it, but tries to apply a science-fiction take on a possible afterlife. This isn’t the usual Moffat poke and bash of the Christian take to Heaven and the afterlife, but this is Doctor Who take of a heaven … plus if I was in there with The Doctor and Clara, of course I’d call it a con which it was in the end. Young people will eventually have to confront these ideas themselves and if Doctor Who can lead them to searching for something, whether or not it results in them believing in a Heaven or not, then it did a good job. The BBC moved the show time to make sure little children didn’t get to watch it. Also, wouldn’t Deep Breath have more complaints? Especially since the death of the monster in that episode was due to a possible suicide thanks to the convincing of the Doctor’s harsh words or a possible murder by The Doctor himself.” – Paul Lara

“Still, it doesn’t surprise me. I don’t agree but I expected it. For some it is easier to complain than really think. Does this make me fear cremation or being a possible donor? It does not. It’s a story, it’s sprung from the nearly infinite imagination of a certain writer eh showrunner, and it’s Doctor Who. Oh yes and it was dark. That’s what many of us wished after all. But always someone will complain if certain deep lying fears are touched upon. They probably just don’t want to think about certain things, and then complain. Easier way, and one they’re entitled to. Just as long as there aren’t so many of them that they’re going to spoil it for us sf, drama and what else lovers in the future!” – Christine Grit



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About The Author
Michael East
Michael East is the founder of Doctor Who Worldwide. Best selling author, great statesmen, Ambassador to the Netherlands… Michael is none of these things. He was however named TIME Person of the Year in 2006 and 2011, is an award winning web designer and a comedy Marxist. He enjoys beards, retrogaming and classic TV. He is not a hipster.