Monday 25 June 2018

Poldark producers defend BBC drama's new rape scene

Viewers saw cruel vicar Osborne Whitworth rape his young wife Morwenna in Sunday night’s episode.

Ossie Whitworth, played by Christian Brassington, and Morwenna Chynoweth (Ellise Chappell) in Poldark
(BBC/Mammoth)
Ossie Whitworth, played by Christian Brassington, and Morwenna Chynoweth (Ellise Chappell) in Poldark (BBC/Mammoth)

Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The makers of Poldark have defended another rape scene in the hit TV drama.

Viewers saw cruel vicar Osborne Whitworth rape his young wife Morwenna on Sunday night’s episode.

Mammoth Screen, which makes the BBC1 period drama, said in a statement that it represented the odious character as author Winston Graham penned him.

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Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza and Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark (Robert Viglasky/BBC/Press Association Images)

“In the novels, Winston Graham has created The Reverend Ossie Whitworth as a despicable character who regularly rapes his wife Morwenna,” it said.

“We have chosen to depict this element of the novels in series three because to do otherwise would be to minimise the appalling nature of Ossie’s behaviour and the horror of what Morwenna endures.”

The period drama previously sparked complaints to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom over a scene involving Aidan Turner’s character Poldark and former fiancee Elizabeth, played by Heida Reed.

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Heida Reed (Ian West/PA)

It showed Reed’s character resisting Poldark before appearing to change her mind, and was criticised for being ambiguous.

Meanwhile, Christian Brassington, who plays Reverend Osborne Whitworth, told how he bulked up to portray the villain.

The actor – who previously played Tony Blair in his university years – ate 3,500 calories a day to go from 13 stone to 15, he told the Daily Mirror.

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Christian Brassington played Tony Blair as a wannabe rock star (PA/Channel 4/Dave Bently)

“I ate a diet that included some protein shakes but it was mostly Haagen-Dazs ice cream and beer,”  he said.

“I quite enjoyed putting the weight on to start with but near the end I didn’t so much – and now I am trying to lose it, which is no fun at all. It takes much longer to lose weight than to put it on.”

Press Association

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