Jamaica Inn may have triumphed in the overnight ratings last night, with more than 6 million tuning in for the opening episode of the big-budget Daphne du Maurier adaptation, but the BBC is urgently seeking to fix problems with the sound quality which marred the pleasure of many viewers.
Following widespread complaints about mumbling on the drama starring Jessica Brown Findlay, the BBC is examining ways of remedying the audio problems which blighted last night’s transmission.
“There were issues with the sound levels last night that we are currently reviewing ahead of tonight’s episode,” said the Corporation in a statement.
Asked by RadioTimes.com whether the issue specifically concerned the level or quality of sound output, or problems with the original recording, a spokeswoman was unable to clarify but said that the problem was still being looked into and that BBC engineers hoped to fix it for the second episode of the drama which airs tonight.
Scores of viewers took to Twitter to bemoan the sound quality, insisting that the combination of the Cornish accents and the current vogue for mumbling in TV drama meant that they struggled to understand what was being said.
Those complaining included the actor John Challis, best known for playing Boycie in Only Fools and Horses, who tweeted:
Jamaica Inn LOOKS very good but I haven’t heard a single word that’s been said.Either the actors are mumbling or the sound track is faulty.
— John Challis (@BeingBoycie) April 21, 2014
Many viewers insisted they had been forced to use subtitles to help them understand what was being said.
Viewer Robin Davis said:
Had to put subtitles on to watch Jamaica Inn. Don’t know if it’s me going deaf or them going Cornish 🙁
— Robin Davis (@robinajdavis) April 21, 2014
The three-part miniseries is being stripped across the schedule with the final episode showing on Wednesday night.
Findlay plays the orphaned Mary Yelland who finds herself in remote Jamaica Inn living with her Aunt Patience (Joanne Whalley) and brutal Uncle Joss (Sean Harris).