A scene in BBC One soap EastEnders [episode written by Simon Ashdown] which showed a character being buried alive has prompted 167 complaints.Jake Wood as Max Branning in EastEnders (Photo: BBC/Adam Pensotti)
The episode, shown at 2000 GMT on Friday night, showed character Max Branning being buried alive in a coffin by his wife and her lover....
The BBC said the number of complaints was proportionately small...
Last month, Ofcom ruled that the soap had breached TV regulations in an episode showing a gang attack on the Queen Vic pub.
Someone who did enjoy it was The Guardian's TV critic, Nancy Banks Smith.
Max is a man who could hide at will behind a spiral staircase, and Tanya, his long-suffering wife, has suffered long enough. She dispatches Sean, her scruffy lover, to buy a coffin, which proves surprisingly simple ("Cash was it? Got your own transport?") and laces Max's wine with barbiturates. No bon vivant, he quaffs the lot.
Simon Ashdown, the scriptwriter, who is clearly enjoying himself enormously, has read Macbeth to good effect. Tanya and Sean's conversation over the body is staccato and nerve-shredded. "What's that?" "Listen!" "I don't hear anything." An owl hoots, for they are now, of course, in Epping Forest, the traditional place to bury an EastEnder body. All the best people, or in Walford's case the worst, are buried here. Tanya, traditional to a fault, even falls into the open grave in the immemorial fashion of EastEnder widows.
Then she hears a sound. Tap, tap, tap. Max's eyes are open. He says: "Ehwah!" (You deeply suspect that this chilling moment will be resurrected on Harry Hill's TV Burp.) Tanya reminds him, perhaps unnecessarily, that he has been afraid of confined spaces since he was a child. "You'll have hours to think about what you did to me. Bye Max!" And she puts the lid on the coffin. It is not a comfy coffin. No unnecessary money has been lavished on purple satin padding. Let us pray Max remembered to take his mobile.