It’s an oft-told refrain here on G&T – “Oh, yeah, I must make a list of stupid edits UKTV Gold make to Dwarf“. And then we never get round to doing it. Mainly because it’s actually really irritating to have to sit through – something which their excellent ad break placing only partly compensates for.
Still, whilst watching Bodyswap on Sunday night, I took a note of the edits made to the episode. The results astonished even me. Let’s have a look, then – cut stuff is like this:
RIMMER: You’ve reached that age, Listy. When you’re younger you can eat what you like, drink what you like and still climb into your 26 inch waist trousers and zip them closed. Then you reach that age – 24, 25 – your muscles give up, they wave a little white flag and then without any warning at all, you’re suddenly a fat bastard.
LISTER: I’m not fat – I’m porky!
Three points here:
- This episode was shown after 9pm. Now, look, I’m sorry, but if a commercial channel is too lazy to keep track of pre-watershed and post-watershed versions of a programme (and read nearly any Ofcom Broadcast Bulletin – loads of channels have to deal with different versions like this), then there is something seriously wrong with the running of the channel.
- Come to think of it – is it really that necessary to cut bastard out for any potential pre-watershed showing anyway? It is used occasionally in pre-watershed programmes, after all, and here it’s not said with any vehemence – and context is taken into consideration. I don’t think it had to be cut at all.
- And if you’re going to have to cut out bastard… surely there are better ways than an awkward cut? Dipping the sound down would be less obtrusive.
Next cut, then:
CAT: He’s bluffin. I’m goin’ in after him.
KRYTEN: He must be bluffing.
LISTER: Say he isn’t, man?
CAT: It’s gastronomic terrorism! We can’t stand by and let it happen.
RIMMER: Go ahead punks. Make my day.
LISTER: You’re right. He’s bluffin’.
CAT: Lets get him.
I’ll admit here that I can’t quite remember whether Rimmer’s “Smeg!” was included or not, although I don’t think it was. Not that it really matters – this is just absolutely bizarre. Sure, the cut was actually executed quite well technically – it didn’t really jar – but what possible reason could there be for this cut? It can’t be for time – you’re only saving a few seconds – but what the hell is offensive about the excised section? Sure, Sudden Impact is a violent film… but that’s no reason to cut the line, is it? Weee-ird.
Final cut, and it’s a pretty predictable one:
LISTER: You’ve lost me arm.
RIMMER: I’ve lost your watch too.
LISTER: You Bastard!
RIMMER: No, you’re right. It’s my fault. My hands are up… well, my hand is up.
Same remarks apply as to the first cut, although admittedly the line is said with rather more impact (although not enough that I think they couldn’t have got away with it, even before the watershed.) Unfortunately, it’s really, really badly done – we get a brief shot of Lister in between Rimmer’s two lines, and it just looks incredibly awkward. Why not just dip the sound, if you have to get rid of the word?
I’ll reiterate – if they need to censor any bit of Dwarf (and of the three cuts listed above, I think it’s only the last one that might even possibly need cutting), they should have two versions ready to show – a pre-watershed, and a post-watershed. The stupid thing about all this is that UK Gold very rarely show Dwarf before 9pm these days anyway – so there is absolutely no need for them to be showing these censored versions at all…
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – UKTV Gold clearly have people who care looking after their trailers. They’re absolutely wonderful. It’s just a pity they don’t have someone who cares looking after their actual programme output.