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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 August 2007, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
BBC Trust rejects Opus Dei appeal
Waking The Dead star Trevor Eve
The drama is about a police unit who investigate old crimes
The BBC Trust has dismissed a complaint by Opus Dei that episodes of Waking The Dead portrayed a "negative and false" view of the Catholic organisation.

The Trust ruled the drama, which stars Trevor Eve, was "about individuals, not Opus Dei as an organisation".

Its editorial standards committee said it regretted that the religious group was offended by the BBC One show.

Opus Dei's complaint went to the Trust on appeal after being rejected by the BBC earlier this year.

The two offending episodes of Waking The Dead were screened on BBC One in January.

The shows, subtitled The Fall, contained characters with Opus Dei connections who were "criminal or immoral", according to the complaint.

'Stereotypical'

The committee ruled that the TV audience would have been aware they were watching a drama.

It added that Waking The Dead was an established and popular show into its sixth series, which dramatises a police unit who investigate dormant crimes.

"The audience would have been prepared for highly complicated and unrealistic storylines that bore no relation to life," continued the adjudication.

Statue of Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer
Opus Dei founder Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer has been canonised

It added it was satisfied that the criminal motivations of some of the characters in the dramas were not linked to their membership of Opus Dei.

The complainants were concerned that the BBC had, in its view, chosen to reflect the portrayal of Opus Dei in The Da Vinci Code rather than challenge it.

The committee ruled that the organisation had not been depicted in a "stereotypical" way.

It pointed out that one character had told a police officer in the show not to make a fool of himself "by taking seriously the swirls of conspiracy that surrounded Opus Dei".

Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code novel famously painted the organisation as a power-hungry movement bent on covering up the truth about Christ's bloodline.

Founded in 1928, Opus Dei encourages its members to see religion as an all-encompassing part of their lives, rather than confined to religious worship.

The BBC Trust replaced the BBC Governors earlier this year and is the broadcaster's ruling body.

Its job is to represent the views of the public, not those of the BBC management.

The opening episode of the The Fall drew an audience of 7.2m.


SEE ALSO
Opus Dei complains over BBC drama
24 Jan 07 |  Entertainment
Da Vinci disclaimer 'not needed'
09 May 06 |  Entertainment

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