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article imageReview: Rape and murder in the soaps Special

By Alexander Baron     Oct 8, 2013 in Entertainment
One of Britain's leading soaps has a further twist on yet another improbable plot, but the biggest news is over a period drama that went too far.
It remains to be seen if Downton Abbey is a soap, a period drama or something else, but one thing it most definitely is at the moment is controversial. Set in an England that no longer exists, and on the estate of an aristocratic family at that, neither bad language nor sexual violence appear to be welcome by the followers of what might just be construed as family viewing, something that can hardly be said for Coronation Street, EastEnders or Emmerdale.
Consequently the recent rape scene attracted what might just be a record 60 complaints, but out of a viewing base of 9 million plus, what more can be said except you can't please all the people all the time? Actually, it was more of a non-rape scene, because apart from the initial slap and the aftermath - which did not feature the assailant - the only indication of the dastardly deed was a few screams muffled by the singing upstairs of Dame Nellie Melba.
Having said that, the last murder carried out by Emmerdale's very own serial killer is said to have attracted a record number of complaints, even though it was hardly graphic and involved simply smothering a motor crash victim who may well have died anyway.
It seems though that viewer indignation is somewhat selective, or perhaps it is only ITV viewers who complain. How many complaints were there two years ago when a woman met a gruesome end in the daytime soap Doctors? Come to think of it, how many complaints were there when the Downton Abbey rapist Nigel Harman was himself murdered in EastEnders?
Over in Emmerdale, serial killer Cameron is being transported by prison van when, surprise, surprise, said van is ambushed by armed villains intent on freeing one of their ilk, and guess who gets a free ride?
What is implausible about this scenario? Well, to begin with, a man with so much blood on his hands would have had a lot more security than that, namely a police escort. Still, look on the bright side, instead of fleeing the country with the passport provided he decides to return to the non-existent village for an encore.
The good news is that this is his swan song, but just in case that doesn't hold your attention there is also a baby falling in the river and the usual adultery. All of which makes the other two leading soaps sound rather tame at the moment. It looks as though there could be a bit of domestic abuse brewing in EastEnders, and a death in Coronation Street , in a hospice for once, which means that unlike at least two of the street's previous casualties, Haley Cropper is unlikely to end up being buried under Carla's knicker factory.
More about Emmerdale, downton abbey, Rape, Murder
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