Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

What's not currently on the box
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Doom Patrol
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Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by Doom Patrol »

.... Wanna buy an uncensored DVD of Fawlty Towers? ;-)

Seems the revisionists at the BBC have been at it again.

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Re: Psst....

Post by Brock »

I'm not with you. Unless I'm very much mistaken, there were no references to Jimmy Savile in Fawlty Towers...

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Ross
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Re: Psst....

Post by Ross »

They cut the major's speech about Indians: "No, the West Indians are niggers; these people are wogs."

Unfortunately those who complain about such things never seem to make a distinction between a programme being racist and a character being racist. The BBC decided to follow the path of least resistance and censor. Sometimes people want censorship for conservative reasons (sex and swearing) or for liberal reasons (racism) but they share the same viewpoint that the 'other' are babies who need to be kept from dangerous ideas.

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Re: Psst....

Post by Lone Dog »

Also, "it is your legs?" was removed from 'Kipper and the corpse.' That's more of a subtle one, and I would have thought more likely to sneak through than the major's comments, but unfortunately not.

I only watched a few of the episodes so I wonder if anything else went missing?

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Re: Psst....

Post by Juswuh »

Stupid and cowardly.

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Blizzard
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Fawlty Towers and the editing scissors!

Post by Blizzard »

I'm amazed it took over 30 years before this happened!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... isode.html

I wonder how many more classic series will be subject to a similar trim or two?

I'm still miffed that the 'tar scene' in the first episode of series 3 of Some Mothers Do Have Em was cut for the video and dvd releases.

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John Williams
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Re: Psst....

Post by John Williams »

Lone Dog wrote:Also, "it is your legs?" was removed from 'Kipper and the corpse.' That's more of a subtle one, and I would have thought more likely to sneak through than the major's comments, but unfortunately not.
My understanding was that the "Is it your legs?" edit was to do with tape damage rather than a censored edit. It was missing on the original DVD but reinstated for the re-release. It's also present on streaming sites such as Netflix, but was missing from the recent BBC2 repeat, presumably because they used the older version.

As for the cut to "The Germans" I can understand why they did it for a pre-watershed slot, and Cleese seems to have agreed to the cut.

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Re: Psst....

Post by Lone Dog »

Yes, I've heard people speculate regarding tape damage, John. Not sure I go along with it, myself. I suppose we won't know for sure without any BBC comment on the matter.

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Re: Psst....

Post by John Williams »

Lone Dog wrote:Yes, I've heard people speculate regarding tape damage, John. Not sure I go along with it, myself. I suppose we won't know for sure without any BBC comment on the matter.
I might be either going mad or misremembering but I'm pretty sure one of the VT experts associated with the Doctor Who Restoration Team confirmed that was the reason when they were working on the DVD re-release.

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Re: Fawlty Towers and the editing scissors!

Post by John Williams »

Blizzard wrote:I'm amazed it took over 30 years before this happened!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... isode.html

I wonder how many more classic series will be subject to a similar trim or two?

I'm still miffed that the 'tar scene' in the first episode of series 3 of Some Mothers Do Have Em was cut for the video and dvd releases.
I'm not bothered about the line trims for pre-watershed scheduling and this has been going on for a while. My only concern is that the BBC seem to get a bit slipshod and once a cut version exists it can end up on a DVD release even when that wasn't the intention. This happened with Some Mothers.., Steptoe and Son and even the Bergerac releases when edited-for-time versions were accidentally used.

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Re: Fawlty Towers and the editing scissors!

Post by gallifreyan »

John Williams wrote:I'm not bothered about the line trims for pre-watershed scheduling and this has been going on for a while. My only concern is that the BBC seem to get a bit slipshod and once a cut version exists it can end up on a DVD release even when that wasn't the intention. This happened with Some Mothers.., Steptoe and Son and even the Bergerac releases when edited-for-time versions were accidentally used.
Tho at least the Bergerac problem was addressed when the big box set turned up...

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Re: Fawlty Towers and the editing scissors!

Post by John Williams »

gallifreyan wrote:
John Williams wrote:I'm not bothered about the line trims for pre-watershed scheduling and this has been going on for a while. My only concern is that the BBC seem to get a bit slipshod and once a cut version exists it can end up on a DVD release even when that wasn't the intention. This happened with Some Mothers.., Steptoe and Son and even the Bergerac releases when edited-for-time versions were accidentally used.
Tho at least the Bergerac problem was addressed when the big box set turned up...
True. It's interesting that the streaming services like Netflix don't seem to have this problem - at least with Fawlty Towers anyway. I suppose one benefit with non-physical delivery systems is that if the wrong edit was used inadvertently then it's fairly trivial to correct it, unlike with a DVD when you have to wait for a reissue.

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Re: Psst....

Post by Scary »

Lone Dog wrote:Yes, I've heard people speculate regarding tape damage, John. Not sure I go along with it, myself. I suppose we won't know for sure without any BBC comment on the matter.
Why would it have been cut otherwise? I don't understand what the problem would be, or am I just being very innocent?


Incidently I had the audio cassette version of Fawlty Towers and the some of the episode titles were different - 'The Germans' was 'The Fire Alarm'. Anyone know what the story is there?

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Re: Psst....

Post by John Williams »

Scary wrote:
Lone Dog wrote:Yes, I've heard people speculate regarding tape damage, John. Not sure I go along with it, myself. I suppose we won't know for sure without any BBC comment on the matter.
Why would it have been cut otherwise? I don't understand what the problem would be, or am I just being very innocent?


Incidently I had the audio cassette version of Fawlty Towers and the some of the episode titles were different - 'The Germans' was 'The Fire Alarm'. Anyone know what the story is there?
There was a very good article by Andrew Pixley (what other kind of Pixley article is there?) in TV Zone quite a few years back about Fawlty Towers which explained that the original titles used by the production team and writers were different to what we know them as now. I can't remember any of others apart from 'The Germans' which I thought was 'Fire Drill' rather than 'Fire Alarm' but I could be wrong. I thought the article said that the new titles came about for the audio releases but the fact you had a cassette with the original titles means that I might be remembering wrongly.

If we're lucky Andrew might come along and shed some light on it.

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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by Scary »

Yes, it might well have been Fire Drill, they're at the bottom of a box somewhere.

I suppose it depended on what they thought was the major sub-plot, personally I always thought the fire drill was the best bit of that episode

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David Boothroyd
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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by David Boothroyd »

Fawlty Towers episodes don't have any official titles onscreen. The most familiar titles used now are the ones used for the original BBC VHS release in the mid-80s.

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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by SDG1970 »

Say Goodnight to the Troops Gracie. . . . . . .

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Richard Charles Skryngestone
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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by Richard Charles Skryngestone »

David Boothroyd wrote:Fawlty Towers episodes don't have any official titles onscreen. The most familiar titles used now are the ones used for the original BBC VHS release in the mid-80s.
Which one was originally called "The Burglars"?
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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by Richard Charles Skryngestone »

I don't mind episodes being edited for rescreenings. Although I remember a repeat of the "Money" episode of Blackadder II that was chopped to all hell, and made you wonder why they bothered showing it at all. I do have a problem with censoring things for DVD release though.

..I remember one person watching Fawlty and remarking on what a charming, doddery old chap the Major was, and then he made the comment above, and there was an awkward silence. Still, that is part of that character.
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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by Gary C »

'Which one was originally called "The Burglars"?'
there wasn't one.

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Re: Psst....

Post by Lone Dog »

Scary wrote:Why would it have been cut otherwise? I don't understand what the problem would be, or am I just being very innocent?
People have suggested that it might have been cut because "is it your legs? Most people seem to struggle down in the mornings" or whatever it was could be construed as being offensive to the disabled. I guess it's possible.

John's comment above about tape damage is probably the most concrete that I've heard on that score, though obviously not 100%. I guess that's possible too.

The good news is that the current dvd set is uncut.

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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by Brock »

I'm currently listening to a discussion on Radio 5 Live about this (where they're carefully avoiding racist language). Is this just an excuse for the Daily Mail to attack the BBC?

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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by The Wooksta! »

Does the Mail need one?
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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by Brock »

The point was made that if the BBC had broadcast the episode uncut, the Mail would probably have complained about that as well.

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Ross
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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by Ross »

Although the only people who give a fuck what the Mail thinks hate the BBC anyway.

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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by JWG »

The BBFC notes on the 7th volume of The Arthur Haynes Show notes "Contains discriminatory language".Don't know how long that sort of warning's been in place,but it could give the impression that a show/performers are prejudiced...

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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by Doom Patrol »

Brock wrote:Is this just an excuse for the Daily Mail to attack the BBC?
There may be an element of that. But the bottom line is the episode was cut regardless of whether it was reported by The Daily Mail or The Mirror. It seems academic to me. We should be talking about the BBC making the cut in the first place.

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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by ctraynor »

Fan as I am of FT, I think it's fine to cut it before the 9pm watershed (in late 1975 it was on at 9pm on BBC2 anyway). It just means once again that you've got to have your own disc set to watch it your way, allowing for what's been mentioned re possible errors regarding censored versions being put on the discs.

The Daily Mail story had its angle but it did give the BBC comment a more-or-less fair amount of space.

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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by brigham »

It has boosted sales of the DVD set, though. I couldn't find mine yesterday, so I've ordered a spare, 'just in case'.

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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by Doom Patrol »

Panic buying.

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