The BBC is making a new adaptation of Lady Chatterley’s Lover, starring Robb from Game of Thrones—okay, fine, Richard Madden—as the titular lover/gamekeeper Oliver Mellors. Critics are divided whether it “borders on porn” or not. Look, calendars fill up fast for the fall so let’s pull together a consensus, fellas.

The Independent says reviews go both ways:

Critics’ reactions to an early screening of the one-off DH Lawrence period drama have been mixed, with some papers promising “sexual gymnastics” that “borders on porn” while others insist there will be no “explicit nude scenes” or “raised eyebrows over supper”.

For instance, the Guardian says there’s no “fuck” or “cunt” which, hell, let’s just call the whole thing off. The Telegraph called the adaptation “chaste,” saying that:

And while it contains a handful of the intimate scenes so essential to the plot, none expose their young actors’ bodies and only one is likely to raise an eyebrow over supper.

The scene, shot in a rain storm, sees a lustful Lady Chatterley run to her new beau in her nightdress, in a frenzied yet fully-clothed scene in which he performs a sex act on her outside his rustic cabin.

Even the opening shot, which features men working down a mine pre- First World War, is a natural successor to the Poldark effect; a knowing wink to the tastes of its female viewers.

“The idea was to tell this as a love story, a love triangle,” said writer and director Jed Mercurio at the screening, according to the Independent. “Swearing or sex scenes don’t excite me because they don’t have emotional content.” Back in March he also told reporters that “we’ve got Google,” and really there’s nowhere that would be shocking simply for being graphic. “All that stigma, all that smut’s gone and it’s actually it’s just about these three people which is the fascinating story of it,” he added.

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But then the Sun went in a totally different direction, quoting a producer on the project: “I have never seen anyone do the things Mellors, the gamekeeper, does to Lady Chatterley. I’m not sure what more we could have shown unless it was for porn.” They produced some first-rate headline work for the story, too.

So is this thing steamy or what? Guess the only way to settle the question is to watch the damn thing.


Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.