The BBC has received hundreds of complaints over gay sex scenes in an episode of sci-fi drama Torchwood.

More than 500 viewers contacted the broadcaster over the scenes involving ‘omnisexual’ character Captain Jack Harkness, played by gay actor John Barrowman.

In the episode, screened last Thursday after 9pm, viewers saw him kiss a male lover before the pair were shown in bed.

According to the Daily Mail, complaints claimed that the scenes were “pointless”, irrelevant to the plot and unsuitable for children.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “We aim to depict sexual relationships in an honest and realistic way.

“These scenes are not meant to cause offence.”

The show, written by openly gay screenwriter Russell T Davies, has often touched on Barrowman’s character’s sexual orientation, although this is not the first time it has sparked complaints.

Earlier this month, the BBC had to address complaints that the series has too much gay sex.

The corporation recently admitted cutting out parts of a gay sex scene in the current series.

Although US audiences saw the raunchy scenes, BBC bosses decided they would be too explicit for a UK audience, even after the watershed.