EastEnders fans have accused the soap of showing too much violence before the watershed, after an episode in which both Martin Fowler and Phil Mitchell were brutally attacked.
On Tuesday night (July 30), Phil went on a red-faced rampage where he tried to hurt both Kat Slater and Martin - until he was hit with a spanner from behind.
In explosive events last night, the mechanic with a history of using his fists rather than his only brain cell was livid after being mocked by Kat over his missing £50k.
After Phil threatening Kat's son Tommy, the pair had a furious bust-up in The Arches and Phil looked like he wanted to seriously harm Kat.
But when Martin burst in, he took the beating instead.
As Phil was choking Martin and threatening him with a crowbar, his wife Stacey Fowler appeared from nowhere and smashed Phil over the head with a spanner.
Viewers saw Phil lying on the car pit of the garage, apparently bleeding from his head.
In real life, I've never seen anyone slap another person in the face but it's a regular occurrence in soaps.
While many EastEnders fans were left wondering if Phil will die, some were appalled at the level of violence shown in the BBC soap at the pre-watershed time of 7.30pm.
Writing on Digital Spy Forums, one viewer wrote: "I don't think violence against anyone, man or woman, should receive the level of nonchalant reactions it currently does in soaps.
"In real life, I've never seen anyone slap another person in the face but it's a regular occurrence in soaps, and no one seems to care much?"
Another said: "Martin's done nothing to deserve a good kicking except make romantic dinners he wanted to share with his wife, be a father to the children Stacey had with three different men, put up with having all of his wife's family living under his roof whilst he attempted to support the household, forgive his wife for having sex with her ex-father in law on the floor of their house at Christmas."
They added: "I don't agree with any physical violence but I do agree with Martin walking away, getting custody of Hope, and never looking back."
A third added: "I don't think real violence is acceptable at all by the way, but in TV land we know it isn't real."
On Twitter, one fed up viewer typed: "Watershed violence EastEnders Phil Mitchell #BBCgetagrip."
However, other fans applauded the episode, with one saying: "Incredible episode. Hand EastEnders all the awards please."
Another said: "They're improving so much lately! The storylines are so much more entertaining and enjoyable to watch."
A third said: "The Slaters at their finest... Love it, poor Phil though."
"So glad Phil got his comeuppance!" enthused another.
Fans of the show will have to tune in on Thursday (August 1) to discover Phil's fate, while Stacey tries to cover her tracks...
ED! has approached Eastenders for comment.
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