Earlier in the week, it was the BBC’s big-budget wartime drama ’SS-GB’ that drew viewers’ complaints for inaudible dialogue on its debut episode at the weekend.
Now, it appears even Tom Hardy is not immune, with viewers criticising his show ‘Taboo’ for the same problems with “incoherent mumbling”.
In particular, they’re complaining that they can’t hear Tom’s character James Delaney in the 19th century-set drama.
These moans come hot on the heels of grumbles about ‘SS-GB’, with one pithy viewer saying he found the German characters easier to understand than the Brits.
Many said they had reached for the subtitles during the wartime thriller, broadcast on Sunday evening. The second episode of the show is set to be re-edited this week, with efforts to cause viewers fewer problems.
These complaints come after the BBC’s Director-General Tony Hall said he was looking into “audibility issues” as a priority, however, the Mirror quotes a specialist today explaining that it isn’t the fault of the BBC, but of everyone’s spanking new slimline television sets.
The Mirror explains that this new generation of TV sets have been designed with more emphasis on picture quality than sound, with less sound for speakers in their construction than previously.
They quote sound recordist Simon Clark, saying: “The sound that comes out of most flat screens is appalling,” even if it’s perfect when it leaves the edit suite.
The last time viewers felt this strongly about problems with sound was for ‘Jamaica Inn’, which aired in 2014, while the most recent series of ‘Happy Valley’ also received complaints. ‘Rillington Place’ was another recent offender.
At the time of ‘Jamaica Inn’, the BBC responded, saying that “there were issues with the sound levels and for technical reasons they could not be altered during transmission”.
‘Jamaica Inn’ writer Emma Frost said at the time that the complaints made for uncomfortable reading when her drama debuted. “I spent one second on Twitter then reached for red wine and stepped away from computer,” she told the Telegraph.