The latest drama from BBC One has garnered mixed reviews from viewers, with many slamming lead actor Christopher Eccleston’s Northern Irish accent as ‘terrible’ – and others left feeling awkward over the first episode’s ‘rough’ sex scenes.
Airing at 9pm last night, viewers watched as single-dad mechanic Greg Farrell (Eccleston) rescued Brenna from an abusive relationship – and then wooed her in a series of graphic sex scenes.
And Eccleston’s Northern Irish accent prompted questions about why a native actor wasn’t employed in the role.
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Christopher Eccleston plays Greg Farrell in the BBC’s latest drama Come Home – but the first episode left some viewers shocked by the ‘endless’ sex that featured between Greg and Brenna (Kerri Quinn)
As passions between Greg and Brenna reach fever pitch, the pair enjoy a passionate encounter in Greg’s car – before being spotted by a local policeman
The steamy encounter shocked some viewers, with one saying he wasn’t comfortable watching ‘Doctor Who have rough sex’
Single dad Greg is seen rescuing Brenna from an abusive husband – and then wooing her throughout the first episode
Some viewers said the sight of Greg and Brenna’s ‘rough’ sex left them feeling uncomfortable. Right: A more tender embrace between the pair, who are seen in the throes of first romance during the first episode
Middle-aged Greg sees his ardour reignited 11 months after his wife Marie (Paula Malcolmson) left him in sole charge of their three children
The drama, filmed in Belfast and written by Danny Brocklehurst, sees Greg struggling to deal with his three children nearly a year after his wife Marie (Paula Malcolmson) ‘walked out on her home and kids for no reason.’
A spark between Greg and sandwich delivery driver Brenna quickly escalates into a raunchy encounter between the sheets, the first of several in the episode.
The most graphic of them sees Greg and Brenna being caught in flagrante by a local police officer after a vigorous tryst in a car.
The scenes left many viewers feeling a little awkward.
@birdiegotweet84 wrote: ‘At the ripe old age of 34, it’s still awkward watching a sex scene with your mum in the room! Thanks @bbc’
@joshaaronr added: ‘I’m not comfortable watching doctor who have rough sex tbh.’
@PhilipMur asked: ‘Is this just going to be 3 episodes of endless sex?’
@amz07 cringed: ‘Don’t think I like seeing #ChristopherEccleston have sex…’
@Lauren_R_C added: ‘Didn’t realise #ComeHome was going to be that full of sex.’
Eccleston’s Northern Irish accent sparked criticism – and some applause – on social media
While some viewers said that the former Doctor Who star’s accent was ‘painful’ to listen to, others said he had made a decent job of mastering it
Eccleston’s accent also fired up hot debate, with many viewers asking why an Irish actor wasn’t employed in the role.
@lisa488 wrote: ‘That accent is terrible. There are plenty of fabulous NI actors.’
@CottomSarah penned: ‘I know it’s only 12 mins in but I’m not really getting in to it. His accent is crap.’
Others said the actor had actually done a fine job of mastering the accent.
@ShelleyFMarsden said: ‘So I’m from Belfast and can confirm @Christopher_Ecc in #comehome is one of the most authentic accents I’ve heard from a non-Belfastian. Stellar actor.’
@SaxSurely agreed, saying: ‘For everyone complaining about his accent, obviously we all know he is not Irish, he is an actor. That is what they do. It is their job to act out parts and pretend to be other people.’
A spokesperson for the programme responded to the criticism of Eccleston’s accent, saying: ‘Christopher Eccleston is a highly talented actor who was hired for his acting skills rather than his nationality and with his extensive credits, Christopher has brought an extraordinary quality to this ambitious series which we believe audiences will enjoy.’
Eccleston himself said he loved filming the drama in the Northern Irish city. He told Belfast Live: ‘I have to say, I’ve fallen in love with Belfast very much. It’s an incredible place. I could get moved by it.’
He added: ‘I’d love to come back. I feel like Belfast will always be part of my life now. I’m based in London because my children (Albert and Esme) are there, but I’ll definitely be back.’