The Singapore Grip caused some controversy ahead of its premiere tonight (September 13) after it was accused of showing a "harmful and deeply upsetting" portrayal of colonialism.
Based on the 1978 novel by JG Farrell, the ITV drama takes place during World War II and follows a British family living in the titular country at the time of the Japanese invasion.
However, its depiction of colonialism isn't the only reason for its controversy – an unsettling father-daughter relationship is at the centre of its story.
During an exclusive interview with Digital Spy, the cast explained how the relationship between David Morrissey's Walter Blackett and his daughter Joan (Georgia Blizzard) is "uncomfortable to watch".
"His relationship with his daughter is not incestuous, but it's definitely wrong. There's something inside there that's not right," The Walking Dead star Morrissey said.
"They have a physicality with each other, an intimacy with each other, which is to the exclusion of his wife, and that is slightly an odd relationship.
"But again, not a relationship a million miles away from the man in the White House. Some of the things he says about his daughter, you're like 'what?!'
"So there's definitely places I can look at that for that type of relationship."
Morrissey went on to explain that the two characters team up to ensure he becomes a major shareholder in a company he owns and "what he's delighted about is that she just gets it".
"But not only does she get it, she wants to do it. She's up for it. She's absolutely 100% behind his work view without any shame.
"She's not ashamed in any way about using her wiles to gain power, and he's suddenly so proud of that and they team up in this very off way."
Jane Horrocks, who plays Walter's wife Sylvia, said she found the relationship "uncomfortable and creepy" to watch back.
"Whether Sylvia is aware of the relationship that Joan has with her father and turns a blind eye to it, I don't know. But when I watched it, I actually found it a bit uncomfortable and creepy, their relationship.
"It's quite Lolita-esque at times. I think it's brave to have that."
Georgia Blizzard, who plays their daughter Joan, also agreed the relationship was "uncomfortable" to watch, but called the characters "a real meeting of minds" and added that they both have each other "under a spell".
"It's an incredibly interesting relationship and I think there was a lot for David and I to play with. These two characters, who are a real meeting of minds. And it was very interesting for him and I to see how far we could push certain things, how tactile we wanted them to be."
Blizzard explained the fact that Walter had chosen his daughter and not his son to be in business together showed how "intelligent" and "ruthless" she is.
"It isn't this sort of daddy's girl thing, where Joan will do whatever he says. I agree it's quite uncomfortable to watch at times, but they really are partners.
"She's giving just as much as she's getting. And she's got him under a spell and he's got her under one also, so it's not just a case of her following her dad."
Regarding the show's depiction of colonialism and lack of representation, BEATS – a UK-based advocacy organisation founded by British East and Southeast Asians across the theatre, film and TV industries – released a statement earlier this week.
"The television adaptation could have taken a more enlightened perspective in keeping with the progress that has happened in the half century since the novel's publication," it said.
"Instead, even the cynical desperation and callous decadence of Farrell's Caucasian characters is bled out in favour of jauntily-forced, comedic indulgence, presenting this traumatic period of Singapore's history as little more than breezy and inconsequential."
Screenwriter Sir Christopher Hampton has since addressed the backlash, arguing: "Its very subject is possibly the greatest catastrophe to befall the British Empire during its decline, a disaster the colonists were themselves squarely responsible for.
"The most sympathetic and resourceful of the central characters is a Chinese woman, a member of the Resistance against the Japanese, who is able to educate our hero and open his eyes to what he is already becoming aware of, namely the corrupt practices and casual racism of the ruling British elite."
The Singapore Grip airs on ITV.
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