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Hundreds of complaints to Ofcom over ITV's Jekyll And Hyde adaptation

Published 26/10/2015

Tom Bateman stars as Jekll and Hyde in the new ITV show. (PA/ITV)
Tom Bateman stars as Jekll and Hyde in the new ITV show. (PA/ITV)

Hundreds of people have complained to the broadcast watchdog about ITV's new series Jekyll And Hyde, which many viewers deemed too "scary" to be shown before the watershed.

The show, featuring scenes involving murder and violence, aired on Sunday at 6.30pm - hours before the 9pm cut-off point to show adult content.

Based on the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novel, it follows the story of Jekyll's grandson, Dr Robert Jekyll, who lives with a monster, Hyde, suppressed within him. But in 1930s London, he is not the only monster around.

An Ofcom spokesman said: "Ofcom has received 212 [complaints] about Jekyll and Hyde, which aired on ITV on Sunday. We will assess these complaints before deciding whether to investigate or not."

The first episode featured a half-human half-dog creature called a Harbinger, the physical transformation of saintly Jekyll into evil Hyde, and the brutal murder of Robert's foster parents in Ceylon. It also showed a violent bar-fight and a punch-up in an alleyway.

One Twitter user, @grannie_bb, asked: "ITV why are you showing Jekyll and Hyde pre watershed? Too violent and scary when young children still up."

While @Julie_Mayer tweeted: "Can not believe Jekyll and Hyde is on at 6.30pm. It's after the watershed stuff, not for the eyes of young children."

And @markwaugh added: "Not on to show Jekyll and Hyde pre-watershed @itv and @lv. Scared my kids."

But some leapt to the programme's defence - @therealroblough said: "Jekyll & Hyde is no scarier or creepier than Doctor Who. I don't get all of the comments saying it should be on after the watershed"

Another, @lordoftelinks, tweeted: "Jekyll and Hyde wasn't scary one bit. Kids watch way scarier films than that are rated PG."

An ITV spokesman said: "ITV issued a warning before the transmission of Jekyll and Hyde advising parents that it included some violence and scenes that younger children may find scary."

ITV has said that 280 people have complained to ITV Viewer Services so far.

According to the broadcaster, the overnight ratings were 3.4 million with a peak of 3.6 million, and the audience remained consistent throughout the first episode.

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