TV Watershed – Necessary or outdated?

10 February 2017

Call the Midwife shocked many viewers when the new series started a few weeks ago. The first episode featured an expectant mother and her abusive husband, with their turbulent relationship playing out in rather graphic detail throughout. Strong language and scenes of domestic violence were included within the storyline – all in a programme which airs before the 9pm watershed.

Viewers were quick to share their thoughts on social media and while some were taken aback by the theme of the programme, others were grateful of the awareness it raised for an issue that still lingers in society long after the era in which Call the Midwife is set.

Due to the mixed reaction to this programme and content of any nature being so readily available nowadays, we wanted to understand if there is still a need for the protection offered by the watershed or if it simply prevents TV programmes accurately reflecting the real world.