Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

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

Post by stevep »

I smirked at the way the BBC checked with Cleese before they made the cut. Don't want a repeat of what happened in America re: "Monty Python" do we?

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

Post by Ernest Grainger »

It already happened with "Are You Being Served?" - and most memorably in the German Week episode! The sad thing is, those episodes accidentally ended up on the R2 DVD releases. David Croft supervised these re-edits when the show was first repeated in 1998.

My namesake refers to 'the damn Bosch' amongst other things. But you wouldn't know from the UK R2 DVDs, or the 1998 repeats. (Has it even been repeated much since?)

It's more annoying in that case, as the edited episodes ended up on the DVD releases. You have to track down the R1 DVDs if you want the original, uncut, uncensored versions.

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

Post by Brock »

Doom Patrol wrote:
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.
Did the BBC advertise the fact that the programme had been edited?

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

Post by Doom Patrol »

You know the answer to that. Now stop trying to score political brownie points. You seem more interested in the newspapers than you do the fact that the BBC edited archive material.

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

Post by Brock »

Doom Patrol wrote:You know the answer to that.
No I don't. That's why I asked the question.
Now stop trying to score political brownie points. You seem more interested in the newspapers than you do the fact that the BBC edited archive material.
The BBC edits all sorts of things. Why are you bothered? This material wasn't deemed appropriate for that particular time slot, so it wasn't broadcast. Has the BBC said that it's never going to be broadcast again?

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

Post by Doom Patrol »

Brock wrote:
Doom Patrol wrote:You know the answer to that.
No I don't. That's why I asked the question.
Yes you do. You invaded Poland. :-)

Ah, you know I've been waiting for that set up.

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

Post by Doom Patrol »

Brock wrote:
Doom Patrol wrote:You know the answer to that.
Now stop trying to score political brownie points. You seem more interested in the newspapers than you do the fact that the BBC edited archive material.
The BBC edits all sorts of things. Why are you bothered? This material wasn't deemed appropriate for that particular time slot, so it wasn't broadcast. Has the BBC said that it's never going to be broadcast again?
I should imagine it's not common practice to publicise editorial decisions. Why am I bothered? Well, you know, a sort of naive belief that it might be of interest and contributors to this forum might be concerned. It might possibly be broadcast again, but which one do you think they'll show? Probably the one that presents the easiest option.

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

Post by Brock »

Doom Patrol wrote: I should imagine it's not common practice to publicise editorial decisions.
When it comes to feature films, it is common practice to do so - "edited for language" or whatever. Therefore I don't see in principle why that shouldn't be the case for archive TV programmes.
Why am I bothered? Well, you know, a sort of naive belief that it might be of interest and contributors to this forum might be concerned. It might possibly be broadcast again, but which one do you think they'll show? Probably the one that presents the easiest option.
Would it be that difficult to have pre- and post-watershed versions of the programme? All sorts of programmes are broadcast in different edits nowadays. I really don't see why this is an issue at all.

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

Post by Doom Patrol »

Okay.

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

Post by stevep »

Ernest Grainger wrote:It already happened with "Are You Being Served?" - and most memorably in the German Week episode! The sad thing is, those episodes accidentally ended up on the R2 DVD releases. David Croft supervised these re-edits when the show was first repeated in 1998.

My namesake refers to 'the damn Bosch' amongst other things. But you wouldn't know from the UK R2 DVDs, or the 1998 repeats. (Has it even been repeated much since?)

It's more annoying in that case, as the edited episodes ended up on the DVD releases. You have to track down the R1 DVDs if you want the original, uncut, uncensored versions.

Mrs Slocombe uses the word "wog" in one of them, too. It's intact on the excellent R1 set.

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

Post by stevep »

Brock wrote:The BBC edits all sorts of things. Why are you bothered? This material wasn't deemed appropriate for that particular time slot, so it wasn't broadcast. Has the BBC said that it's never going to be broadcast again?
This is an archive TV forum - of course we're interested in whether old TV programmes are rebroadcast or issued on DVD cut or uncut. I would expect a forum on Hitchcock to contain people discussing cuts to his work too, and a Laurel and Hardy forum to discuss missing portions of their stuff. I really suggest you find another forum if such discussions are not to your taste (but not missing-episodes or roobarbs as such things are discussed on those, too).

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

Post by Mike S »

I know the watershed is a bit of a quaint concept in the iPlayer age, but I do think it's an important factor here. If it had been cut for a 10pm broadcast I'd be angry about it, but at 7:30? It would be a bit faux-naive to claim that the broadcast of those words wouldn't be problematic in that timeslot. (And I know it's been repeated uncut in similar timeslots before, but...well, it probably shouldn't have been.)

Apart from anything else, there's probably a non-negotiable rule at the BBC regarding the broadcast of racist slurs before 9pm irrespective of their satirical intent - one that's no different from the 'no fucks before 9pm' rule. I mean, Pasolini's Salò is a satire, but you wouldn't show it after Bargain Hunt would you?

I used to be quite militant about stuff like this, but the whole 'It's an historical document' argument is too simplistic. Just because a scene can be defended as well-intentioned and anti-racist (which the Fawlty Towers scene certainly can) doesn't make the broadcasting of it a non-brainer.

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

Post by Brock »

stevep wrote:
Brock wrote:The BBC edits all sorts of things. Why are you bothered? This material wasn't deemed appropriate for that particular time slot, so it wasn't broadcast. Has the BBC said that it's never going to be broadcast again?
This is an archive TV forum - of course we're interested in whether old TV programmes are rebroadcast or issued on DVD cut or uncut. I would expect a forum on Hitchcock to contain people discussing cuts to his work too, and a Laurel and Hardy forum to discuss missing portions of their stuff. I really suggest you find another forum if such discussions are not to your taste (but not missing-episodes or roobarbs as such things are discussed on those, too).
Well I'm sorry, but I can't see what the issue is. The uncut version is still available - it's not as though the BBC has decreed that the scene shall never be seen again. It just wasn't deemed appropriate for broadcast in that particular slot.

I suppose there's an issue over whether the programme should have been shown in that slot at all, but other than that the BBC has every right to edit programmes for its audience as it sees fit. It's ridiculous to suggest that programmes can only ever be shown in the same form as they were originally broadcast.

Do you also object to re-edited versions of programmes that contain extra material that wasn't in the original?

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

Post by Brock »

Mike S wrote: Apart from anything else, there's probably a non-negotiable rule at the BBC regarding the broadcast of racist slurs before 9pm irrespective of their satirical intent - one that's no different from the 'no fucks before 9pm' rule.
I would imagine so (or if there isn't, there probably should be). I presume the choice for the BBC wasn't between broadcasting a cut and an uncut version, but between broadcasting a cut version and not broadcasting it at all in that slot. Broadcasting it in that slot may well have brought a new audience to it who hadn't seen it before, who'll no doubt have the opportunity to see the uncut version in due course.

The only people complaining about this are the ones who know the episode backwards anyway. I would have thought that bringing the programme to a new audience was far more important than catering to the whims of people who've probably seen it dozens of times.

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

Post by Brock »

Reviving this thread because the offending episode has now been taken off UKTV:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2020/ ... -from-uktv

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

Post by Spiny Norman »

I suspect that it's become a casualty, ironically, of certain countries being not correct enough.
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paul.austin
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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by paul.austin »

Mark Gatiss, or as i call him, "it's pronounced Gaytis because I'm gay", got a lot of flak from feminist Whovians who know history and what Georgian society was like when he had Rose barge into 19th century Wales and immediately start 21st century consciousness raising with no regard for Gwyneth and Sneed's different circumstances.

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

Post by Brock »

paul.austin wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:04 pm
Mark Gatiss, or as i call him, "it's pronounced Gaytis because I'm gay", got a lot of flak from feminist Whovians who know history and what Georgian society was like when he had Rose barge into 19th century Wales and immediately start 21st century consciousness raising with no regard for Gwyneth and Sneed's different circumstances.
Sorry, what does this have to do with Fawlty Towers?

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

Post by Richard Charles Skryngestone »

Brock wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:11 pm
paul.austin wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:04 pm
Mark Gatiss, or as i call him, "it's pronounced Gaytis because I'm gay", got a lot of flak from feminist Whovians who know history and what Georgian society was like when he had Rose barge into 19th century Wales and immediately start 21st century consciousness raising with no regard for Gwyneth and Sneed's different circumstances.
Sorry, what does this have to do with Fawlty Towers?
Maybe it's about modern television trying to create a false, pc-friendly version of the past.
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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by Brock »

John Cleese has now commented on Twitter:
John Cleese wrote:I would have hoped that someone at the BBC would understand that there are two ways of making fun of human behaviour. One is to attack it directly. The other is to have someone who is patently a figure of fun, speak up on behalf of that behaviour. Think of Alf Garnett... we laughed at Alf's reactionary views. Thus we discredited them, by laughing at him. Of course, there were people - very stupid people - who said 'Thank God someone is saying these things at last'. We laughed at these people too. Now they're taking decisions about BBC comedy.

But it's not just stupidity. The BBC is now run by a mixture of marketing people and petty bureaucrats. It used to have a large sprinkling of people who'd actually made programmes. Not any more. So BBC decisions are made by persons whose main concern is not losing their jobs. That's why they're so cowardly and gutless and contemptible. I rest my case.

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

Post by Spiny Norman »

Funny, he agreed with the removal of the offending lines when it was repeated on TV.

If the USA would have gotten their act together, none of this would have happened.
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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by Brock »

Spiny Norman wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 6:02 pm
Funny, he agreed with the removal of the offending lines when it was repeated on TV.
I suppose there's a difference between editing a programme to remove offensive content and removing the programme completely.

murphy1961
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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by murphy1961 »

These cuts they take out of programmes are ridiculous, and far be it from me to tell people how to spend their ‘hard earned’ money, but just buy the DVDs. I assume they’re not cut and still available. I think we pretty much all know we live in a different world now and unfortunately we just have to like it or lump it. Well I guess we don’t have to like it, but you know what I mean.

It never fails does it? Put a bit of race or sex in a thread and they (the posts) come running from miles around.

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

Post by Brock »

murphy1961 wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:57 pm
These cuts they take out of programmes are ridiculous, and far be it from me to tell people how to spend their ‘hard earned’ money, but just buy the DVDs. I assume they’re not cut and still available.
I think I must have misled some people by reviving an old thread. The story about the cut dates from 2013. The recent story is that the episode has been removed from UKTV entirely - although I've heard on the news that this is just a temporary measure until they can install a warning.

Sorry if anyone was confused by this. I assumed that the story about the programme's removal would be well known since it's been heavily covered in the news.

Incidentally it's not just Fawlty Towers that is affected - a number of programmes have been taken down because of supposedly racist content. It's all connected with the protests that have been taking place over the last few days.

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

Post by Spiny Norman »

As far as I know both cases are about exactly the same lines.

It's not even crystal clear that it's Basil and the Major that are being made fun of. Not every viewer will realise the irony that it's the two most incompetent characters in the entire series that are looking down here on women and minorities.

Although it would be worrying if that line of thought would stop entirely. Little Britain makes fun of a ton of people, for being fat, trans, chav, well for anything. You can't say that blacks are in any way singled out. Technically the Mr. T sketch is out too then. :(
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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by Brock »

Yes, that's why I revived the old thread. But murphy1961 appeared to be under the impression that it was a recent thread and that the issue was that the programme had been cut, not that it had been removed completely.

Might be better to start a brand new thread about it. Perhaps I'll do so tomorrow.

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

Post by Spiny Norman »

Brock wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:55 pm
Yes, that's why I revived the old thread. But murphy1961 appeared to be under the impression that it was a recent thread and that the issue was that the programme had been cut, not that it had been removed completely.

Might be better to start a brand new thread about it. Perhaps I'll do so tomorrow.
It's back in a cut version, at least I think that's the latest.

I can live without the N-word in there. Cleese should be careful he doesn't turn in one of his own characters.
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Re: Psst.... (Fawlty Towers edited)

Post by fatcat »

Spiny Norman wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:09 pm


I can live without the N-word in there. Cleese should be careful he doesn't turn in one of his own characters.

I haven't seen it for a while (but saw it at its premiere on BBC2) and don't recall FT ever using the N-word.

The Major uses the W-word in 'The Germans' and today it seems to be associated with his description of the West Indian Cricket team
...I once again don't recall it being used in that way, IIRC he was describing some unnamed tribe in a desert.

So before we tear down and neutralize yet another hero ( Cleese this time) of old as the usual clapped out racist bigot or whatever is nastier.... perhaps somebody could confirm or deny exactly what phrases were used

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

Post by brigham »

It's one of the most hilarious lines in television. It involves so many levels.

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

Post by Ian Wegg »

fatcat wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:27 pm
perhaps somebody could confirm or deny exactly what phrases were used
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