Ordeal By Innocence viewers were shocked to hear the F-bomb dropped in episode two of the BBC whodunnit on Sunday evening.
While the reaction to the latest Agatha Christie adaptation – focusing on the death of the matriarch of an aristocratic family – has been predominantly positive, quite a few fans took to Twitter to bemoan the use of foul language.
One scene in particular, which saw beleaguered and bereaved daughter Tina Argyll (Crystal Clarke) shouting “f*** off!” at a group of men who hassled her on the street, ruffled a few feathers.
“Agatha Christie would be turning in her grave at all this swearing and misery,” Twitter user Rebecca O’Brien wrote. “I don’t think there should be swearing in Agatha Christie,” wrote user @heavenandthesea, “just not right.”
Agatha Christie would be turning in her grave at all this swearing and misery #OrdealbyInnocence
But it wasn’t just the use of four letter words that troubled viewers. A scene which featured Christian Cooke’s Mickey Argyll jibing his brother-in-law Phillip Durrant (Matthew Goode) about not being able to “get it up”, and Durrant later suggesting that Gwenda Vaughan (Alice Eve) had been “riding Leo [Bill Nighy] like a seaside donkey” on the kitchen table, also got under people’s skin.
There is a bizarre juxtaposition in #OrdealbyInnocence of an Agatha Christie story, period costumes and sets mixed with decidedly 2018 language. I don't think anybody used language like that in Agatha Christie land.
But some of the show’s defenders argued that the swearing and sex made the adaptation richer.
I'm filling in all the toilet stuff as I turn the page or drift into a reverie. You cannot pause a film to imagine and then dip back in. In putting the swearing into #OrdealbyInnocence or the sex into #WFTP@PhelpsieSarah is actually making it richer.
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