The BBC is refusing to remove shots of a naked woman from the opening episode of the new series of Sherlock when it receives its early-evening repeat this Saturday on BBC3, despite complaints from over 100 viewers following the original broadcast.
The scene in question features star Benedict Cumberbatch’s first meeting with Sherlock’s female nemesis and love interest Irene Adler, played by actress Lara Pulver.
Pulver appears completely naked but with her modesty hidden by judicious camera angles and her own strategically placed limbs.
The charged encounter takes place around 25 minutes into the 90-minute Sherlock episode A Scandal in Belgravia, which aired on BBC1 from 8:10pm on New Year’s Day and was watched by almost 9 million viewers.
The Daily Mail criticised the decision to air the scene before the watershed, calling it “a mystery”, but included a full-sized still of one of the offending images in its article.
Sherlock’s writer and co-creator Steven Moffat posted a tongue-in-cheek response to the article on Twitter, telling followers: “To all concerned about the reported nudity in Sherlock’s opening episode – rest assured it’s still available on iPlayer. DVD from the 23rd.”
A BBC spokesperson said it was unclear how many of the complaints had been made before the Daily Mail article was published and confirmed that the episode would be shown in its entirety for this weekend’s BBC3 7pm repeat.