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Was the 907-year-old Doctor's passionate scene a kiss too far?

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As the new series of Doctor Who comes under fire for its 'overtly sexual' content, reporter Simon Gaskell asks whether the BBC Wales family-favourite has become simply too grown up


THE time-travelling adventures of Doctor Who have inspired fear among generations of cowering children reduced to watching from behind the living room sofa.

But now there is a new fear surrounding the perennial family favourite - after London newspaper reports that the revamped show has become too adult in its themes.

The critically-acclaimed primetime show stands accused of featuring a spate of racy content, including an "overtly sexual scene" in last Saturday's episode entitled Flesh and Stone, broadcast at 6.25pm.

The exchange - which got some commentators hot under the collar - saw sidekick Amy Pond, played by Kirsty Gillan, lying seductively on a bed before pinning Matt Smith's Doctor to the Tardis, passionately kissing him and attempting to tear his clothes off. She went on to make a joke about how long it was since the 907-year-old Doctor last had a passionate encounter.

Critics have also pointed out that, at the end of the episode, the trailer for this week's episode featured a troupe of blood-lusting young, female vampires in low-cut dresses.

It's a dim view of the new series - the first since Russell T Davies left the show's helm - that's echoed by pressure group Media Watch UK.

Vivienne Pattison, director of the organisation, said: "I was surprised [by the episode].

"I think you would say it went quite near the knuckle.

"Possibly some innuendo goes over the head of children and there had obviously been some care taken, but it went very close to the line."

Mrs Pattison said the issue centred on whether Doctor Who was any longer suitable for children.

"The problem with Doctor Who is whether it is a children's programme or not," she said.

"It goes out at around half-past six and is marketed as family viewing, but it doesn't go out on CBBC so it is quite a grey area.

"There has been hints of romance in the past, but it has never gone that far because the Doctor can't go there."

The fifth series introduced a host of new cast members and Steven Moffat took over as executive producer and head writer. The first episode, featuring Matt Smith as the new Doctor, aired in April.

The series has enjoyed plenty of critical acclaim, as well as media attention focusing on the new Doctor's sassy sidekick Amy Pond.

But despite the acclaim, the BBC has received some complaints about scenes featuring Amy Pond as a kissogram in a risque police uniform and nun outfit.

One fan, posting on the Radio Times website after Saturday's episode went out, said: "I am absolutely horrified by the explicit sexual content contained within the Doctor Who series five.

"I was pretty disgusted by the first episode, which featured the Doctor's companion as a kissogram.

"However the ending of 'Flesh and Stone' was even worse, and is shameful for what is meant to be a family programme."

TV critics, meanwhile, hailed the show, with Guardian critic Dan Martin saying it was perhaps "the greatest episode there has ever been".

Neil Midgley, the Daily Telegraph's assistant media editor and keen Doctor Who fan, added that he didn't think that the series had changed under Steven Moffat.

"I don't think there is a great deal of mileage in the argument that Doctor Who has become over-sexualised," he said.

"I think sci-fi shows and movies like Barbarella and right through to earlier than Doctor Who, have always featured long-legged lovelies to keep dads interested.

"I don't think the current series is any different to that.

"I think [previous actresses to play Doctor Who's assistant] Billie Piper and Freema Agyeman were fairly in-your-face characters and I certainly don't think Steven Moffat has decided to over-sexualise the series - that is not my impression."

In response to the recent criticism, a BBC spokesman for the show said: "Millions of Doctor Who fans watched and enjoyed last Saturday's episode, including the light-hearted and humorous scene in which Amy kissed the Doctor."


GRAPHIC: BLOOD AND FANGS: Some viewers have been alarmed by next Saturday's prospect of young female vampires wearing low-cut dresses, above PICTURE: Adrian Rogers/BBC/PA Wire

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  • APA 6th ed.: Gaskell, Simon (2010-05-06). Was the 907-year-old Doctor's passionate scene a kiss too far?. The Western Mail p. 19.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Gaskell, Simon. "Was the 907-year-old Doctor's passionate scene a kiss too far?." The Western Mail [add city] 2010-05-06, 19. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Gaskell, Simon. "Was the 907-year-old Doctor's passionate scene a kiss too far?." The Western Mail, edition, sec., 2010-05-06
  • Turabian: Gaskell, Simon. "Was the 907-year-old Doctor's passionate scene a kiss too far?." The Western Mail, 2010-05-06, section, 19 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Was the 907-year-old Doctor's passionate scene a kiss too far? | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Was_the_907-year-old_Doctor%27s_passionate_scene_a_kiss_too_far%3F | work=The Western Mail | pages=19 | date=2010-05-06 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=3 March 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Was the 907-year-old Doctor's passionate scene a kiss too far? | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Was_the_907-year-old_Doctor%27s_passionate_scene_a_kiss_too_far%3F | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=3 March 2024}}</ref>