While Billie Piper’s pizza mistreatment got Collateral’s audience talking last week, the most recent episode of the BBC drama sparked serious discussions about the portrayal of women on TV.
That’s because last night’s instalment saw Sandrine Shaw (Jeany Spark) facing harassment from her army boss Major Tim Dyson (Robert Portal) – a man who went on to blackmail her for sex.
- Jeany Spark on the “traumatic” past of key Collateral character Sandrine Shaw
- Everything you need to know about the cast and characters of Collateral
And some viewers at home saw this turn as not only a cliché, but a harmful depiction of women…
So bored of seeing women physically and sexually abused in the name of drama. That's it for me, #Collateral.
— Jojo Moyes (@jojomoyes) February 19, 2018
Looking forward to "gritty" drama that doesn't need to include sexual violence towards women. God's sake. #Collateral
— Rhiannon (@devon_rhi) February 19, 2018
Seeing meaningful change in how women are perceived & treated won’t happen while programme & film makers continue to use the abuse of women as “entertainment”
Really tired of this #collateral
— Liz Falkingham Temple (@JournoLizF) February 19, 2018
— Gill Wilkinson #FBPE ???????? ❄???????? (@calebsmam) February 19, 2018
— Ghosted G (@g_ghosted) February 19, 2018
Yet, at the same time, other viewers addressed what they saw as another – completely opposing – TV trope: political correctness. Referring to the show’s diverse cast and plot points relating to illegal immigration, sexual abuse, racism and classicism, Twitter users said the show was full of “PC stereotypes”…
How more stereotypically PC can you be?
Pregnant female whiteCop
Difficult black cop
Dodgy Labour MP
Usual BBC tripe
— Diana Griffiths (@loudia) February 12, 2018
I’m delighted with the interracial lesbians in #Collateral & the pregnant police officer with black partner, Muslim workers & the highlighting of the plight of refugees, but why no gender fluids?
— Folly Mooblemiss (@FollyMooblemiss) February 12, 2018
#collateral Anymore PC stereotypes that the BBC can stuff in to this ?
— Kevin Saunders (@h8kes) February 12, 2018
Tries very hard to be edgy but BBC PC DNA all over it. Every victim group represented and very London. Losing interest. But lovely houses. #Collateral
— Archie (@archietoppin1) February 12, 2018
However, many didn’t see a problem, claiming David Hare’s drama was engaging in legitimate modern issues.
How dare the bbc have gay characters , asylum seekers, female vicars , a main character being Left Wing it just disgusting it’s politically correct ….ermmmm no it’s life ! #Collateral
— Salfordmanda (@Salfordmanda) February 12, 2018
David Hare’s #Collateral is a hugely watchable state-of-the-nation thriller. Though bemused by the cries of ‘PC’ when TV engages with such relevant, contemporary issues and turns them into compelling drama pic.twitter.com/myMiTtSe9p
— Robin Baker (@robinalexbaker) February 20, 2018
Overly pc? I didn't think that at all until I saw all the tweets. Damn you Twitter, don't ruin it!
Ps Loved it, roll on next week. #Collateral
— ???????????????????????????? ???? (@MariekeMonk) February 12, 2018
So, will the next episode court more PC controversy? Or will we go back to the good old days of unified anger about the quattro formaggio getting thrown on the floor? We can only hope.
Collateral is on Monday at 9pm on BBC2