Now, this is interesting. Two more Extras have turned up on the BBFC. The first is the Series 4 Film Inserts. Lasting 7 minutes 6 seconds, again this will be the raw model shot footage. Just thinking about the rushes from the Starbug-on-the-rocks sequence in Dimension Jump makes me wet.
But here is the interesting bit. Also listed is Marooned – Extended. Blimey. Now, ignoring the Re-mastered version for the moment, the original video release of Marooned, passed on the 5th November 1991, and rated 15, lasted for 28 minutes 32 seconds. The DVD version, however, lasts for 28 minutes and 48 seconds, and is rated 12. A difference, as I’m sure you can work out, of 16 seconds.
Now, I have a theory, which is mine. This theory is as follows. The next thing you read will be my theory. The theory, which I wrote, and which is mine. There is a policy in existence that means that the same piece of material cannot have two different ratings attached to it. Now, the release of Byte 1 of Series III video was a 15 purely because of Lister mentioning he lost his virginity at the age of 12 – in Marooned. It’s possible that the extra footage has been added to circumvent the two-different-ratings-rule – allowing the Series III DVD to have a 12 certificate.
As I say, only a theory, but it seems likely. After all, why else would it be extended? All extra footage would be in the deleted scenes, not the actual episode. The Re-mastered version was also a 12, and as it was a different version to the original, the two-different-ratings rule did not apply. Forgetting about concerns about changing standards and rulings over time, the 12 certificate for videos just didn’t exist in 1991; it was only introduced on the 1st July 1994. (The 12 certificate did however exist for films from 1989.) A combination of GNP/BBC wanting a lower certificate, and the fact that the BBFC would no longer rule the piece has to have a 15 certificate because of the virginity stuff, could have produced this situation.
Incidentally, the episodes don’t have to be reclassified if they are the same as the video release and there aren’t any issues about the certificate issued; see for example this listing for The End – the classification made for the video release in 1993 holds for the DVD version; it did not need to be resubmitted. Therefore, the decisions for Backwards, Polymorph, Bodyswap, Timeslides, The Last Day, Camille, D.N.A., Justice, White Hole, Dimension Jump, and Meltdown are already done because of the video releases.
Anyway, if no other episodes are extended in this way, it would seem likely this theory is correct. We’ll get in contact with the BBFC and keep you updated. In any case, I wonder what the extra 16 seconds are…