There's been a massive outcry in the United Kingdom over a new period drama on the BBC featuring frequent violence and graphic sex scenes - including a gay orgy.

Critics were labelling Versailles "prime time porn" even before it began airing last year, and with two graphic sex scenes in the first six minutes of the first episode, they weren't far off the mark.

Actors George Blagden and Alexander Vlahos and showrunner/executive producer David Wolstencroft attend an event to talk about the show. Photo / Getty
Actors George Blagden and Alexander Vlahos and showrunner/executive producer David Wolstencroft attend an event to talk about the show. Photo / Getty

The controversial series follows a young King Louis XIV - aka the Sun King - in the beautiful palace of Versailles as he tries to sleep with as many people as humanly possible while holding his embattled court together.

It averages a scene of sex or violence every fifteen minutes, making Game of Thrones look PG-rated.

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In fact, there were reportedly a total of 36 explicit scenes in season one - which had just 10 episodes.

And it's a formula that's clearly considered a winner with producers, as season two has already generated a stir over it's increasingly X-rated content.

The series hasn't landed in New Zealand or Australia yet, but the newest episodes premiered in France earlier this year and the explicit gay orgy immediately causing an uproar among viewers.

During the controversial scene, the King's brother Philippe is seen in bed with his lover ... and three other men.

Actors (L-R) Alexander Vlahos, Noemie Schmidt, David Wolstencroft, Helen Mirren, George Blagden and Tygh Runyan attend the premiere of Versailles. Photo / Getty
Actors (L-R) Alexander Vlahos, Noemie Schmidt, David Wolstencroft, Helen Mirren, George Blagden and Tygh Runyan attend the premiere of Versailles. Photo / Getty

Despite British family campaigners blasting the series as "simply pornography" and "TV junk food playing to the lowest common denominator", it looks set to go ahead with show insiders teasing that there's "buckets of X-rated material to come."