London: The BBC has been hit with a flood of complaints after a crime drama showed a prison guard sexually assaulting a man and explicit images of a man`s throat being slit.
Viewers were reportedly appalled at the graphic violence shown in "Silent Witness", and filed more than 500 complaints. The BBC received 483 and media regulator Ofcom 35, said the Daily Mail.
Although the show was aired after the restricted time, viewers said the scenes were "graphic and nasty" and "went too far".
The BBC stood by its programme but offered an apology to viewers.
The controversial scenes came in a two-part story about a prison where a guard was a killer.
A large number of complaints were related to the scenes where the prison officer was shown attacking a drug dealer in a toilet.
Viewers only heard the violence being carried out in a closed cubicle and saw blood seep from beneath the door. The prisoner`s half-dressed body was later seen as the guard emerged from the cubicle.
Other violent scenes showed an officer slitting the throat of a colleague and bludgeoning to death another man.
Viewers expressed their shock on internet message-boards.
"I have only just started watching `Silent Witness` and think that series like this are far too graphic and nasty and I am not surprised that we have violence in real life today," a viewer said.
A BBC statement said the scene "was not an attempt to gratuitously shock the audience" but was "rooted in character and research".