Fans of family-friendly TV series Doc Martin turned against the programme’s makers after a violent car crash formed a plot twist in the latest instalment of the usually sedate show.
Many of the six million viewers – including children – were left horrified after Doc Martin’s wife was unexpectedly hit by a car, prompting many to vent their distaste on social networking sites.
Following the accident, which left Louisa Glasson, played by Caroline Catz, with a broken collar bone, a viewer wrote: ‘I wasn’t expecting that! Not sure my nerves can take it!’
Another wrote: ‘Louisa getting hit by that car looked so real.’
Others said: ‘That car hitting Louisa made me scream out loud!!’
'It is not the sort of thing you would expect from this series and seems to be following a recent trend towards harder more unpleasant story lines as we have seen in the normally gentle Downton Abbey.
'This is not entertainment.’
And Vivienne Pattison, director of MediaWatch, urged broadcasters to consider using warnings ahead of unusually graphic scenes.
Last night an ITV spokesman said: ‘Details of the storyline had been trailed in advance of transmission.’
In the show, Louisa Glasson was seen chasing after her husband Doctor Martin Ellingham, played by Martin Clunes, after they had rowed.