Hundreds of people have complained to the broadcast watchdog about ITV’s new series Jekyll and Hyde, which many viewers deemed too ‘scary’ to be shown before the watershed.
The drama, featuring scenes involving murder and violence, screened on Sunday at 6.30pm – hours before the 9pm cut-off point to show adult content.
Based on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel, it follows the story of Jekyll’s grandson, Dr Robert Jekyll, who lives with a monster, Hyde, suppressed within him. But in 1930s London, he is not the only monster around.
An Ofcom spokesman said: “Ofcom has received 212 [complaints] about Jekyll and Hyde, which aired on ITV on Sunday. We will assess these complaints before deciding whether to investigate or not.”
The first episode featured a half-human half-dog creature called a Harbinger, the physical transformation of saintly Jekyll into evil Hyde, and the brutal murder of Robert’s foster parents in Ceylon. It also showed a violent bar fight and a punch-up in an alleyway.
Many Twitter users were shocked.
@ITV why are you showing Jekyll and Hyde pre watershed? Too violent and scary when young children still up. Are you mad or just chancers?
— bb (@grannie_bb) October 25, 2015
— Julie Mayer (@Julie_Mayer) October 25, 2015
— Mark Waugh (@markwaugh) October 25, 2015
But some leapt to the programme’s defence.
Jekyll & Hyde is no scarier or creepier than Doctor Who. I don’t get all of the comments saying it should be on after the watershed
— Rob Lough (@therealroblough) October 25, 2015
Jekyll and Hyde wasn’t scary one bit. Kids watch way scarier films than that are rated PG.
— scare (claire) (@lordoftelinks) October 25, 2015
An ITV spokesman said: “ITV issued a warning before the transmission of Jekyll and Hyde advising parents that it included some violence and scenes that younger children may find scary.”