Yes, America … you’re pretty much one week ahead of Britain when it comes to the “Doctor Who” spinoff ‘Torchwood.” So you can imagine why it took a week for Britons to complain about seeing gay sex in the middle of their “Torchwood” episode.
Series star John Barrowman hit the sheets more than once with actor Daniele Favilli during flashbacks to the early 20th Century that involved a key story point for Barrowman’s Capt. Jack Harkness.
Harkness has always been an “omnisexual” character, even during his days on the more family-friendly “Doctor Who.” Yet, despite “Torchwood” being geared more for the adult crowd, BBC fielded a reported 500 phone calls complaining about the love-making between Barrowman’s and Favilli’s character this past week.
“This show is meant to be sci-fi, but I had to turn it off as my grandson, an avid fan, was in the room,” one viewer reportedly told BBC, according to The Daily Star. “Leave the gay scenes for programs more suited to it.”
Another viewer said they were fed up with “Torchwood” because there are “too many gay sex scenes.”
Although “Torchwood” has moved to premium cable channel Starz in the United States — where risqué programming is far more accepted — the “Miracle Day” season of “Torchwood” has actually been toned down quite a bit when it comes to areas as language and sexuality. The level of curse words, for example, has diminished significantly (likely because it’s airing on BBC One in the United Kingdom, and not its original home of BBC Three, which allows for more “colorful metaphors”).
Although this particular episode of “Torchwood” did feature a guest appearance of Barrowman’s butt, the inclusion of gay relationships, and even sex scenes, has been around since Season 1 of the show when it was still trying to find its footing. How anyone who has been an “avid fan” of any kind could have missed that in the past, and just now been upset about it, is beyond most thinking people.
The fact that millions of people tuned in to see “Torchwood” on BBC, 500 wouldn’t seem like a lot. The British tabloid, however, hinted that because of Britain’s unwritten code of decency, receiving that many calls for a single episode could be considered significant.
The BBC, however, is not apologetic.
“We aim to depict sexual relationships in an honest and realistic way,” a spokeswoman reportedly said. “These scenes are not meant to cause offense.”
Yes, that means gay people have sex, too.
“Torchwood: Miracle Day” airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Starz.