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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

19 comments on “UKTV Gold Smells of Wee and Poo

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  • I?m wondering if the second cut was for the gun-to-the-head imagery, rather than any dialogue reason?

  • Ah, of course! I bet you?re right. I should have thought of that.

    Still don?t think it needed to be cut – but at least it makes more sense now?

  • Considering they cut the other ?bastard? it?s probably just for that. Surely there were more cuts than this in the episode though. Don?t they have to cut bits out due to time?

  • Uk tv gold does smell of wee and poo. Your?e right!
    Also it should be free, seeing as weve already paid for these programes to be made, via the license fee.

    Im off to boil the cat and make jam sandwiches.


    Mooby :)

  • I was on the lookout for other cuts, but I didn’t see any. It had a 40 minute slot, so there shouldn’t have been any time cuts.

    I’ll think I’ll sit down and start compiling a proper list of cuts. (And excellent ad-break placings.) Then I’ll sent it off to them, and ask that they get proper copies of the episodes. It probably won’t work, but it’s worth a try…

  • Right, I just assumed it was a 30min slot. I love how US stations cut hour-long British shows (such as Spooks and *insert random bollocks BBC drama*) down to 42 minutes. Sci-fi even edit Who down. No doubt they’ll butcher the finale when they show it considering it’s 5 minutes longer. Just think, someone gets paid to make those edits and I bet the Who production team have zero say in it.

  • Also it should be free, seeing as weve already paid for these programes to be made, via the license fee.

    Well, UKTV Gold is a joint venture between BBC Worldwide (the commercial arm of the BBC), and what’s now Virgin Media. What that means is that UKTV Gold/BBC Worldwide have to pay the BBC the rights to broadcast the shows (so the BBC get money to put into new programmes that way) – and BBC Worldwide then make a profit, which is also put back into the BBC. That’s Worldwide’s purpose – to make a profit, and then put that profit back into Public Service Broadcasting.

    So it does all get back to us eventually.

  • Well, even though it’s a problem, the sci fi channel does have to play commercials- and it will be hard to get cable viewers to watch a slot that’s longer than an hour.

  • >Sci-fi even edit Who down.

    Which is one of the reasons why the average Yank viewer should watch Doctor Who on PBS: They don’t have to cut bits out for commercials! Even when they’re doing pledge drives, they cut away from it, but they don’t, as far as I can tell, make cuts to the content for any reason. So why watch it on Sci-Fi anyway =P ? (Seriously, most PBS stations are carrying New Who, albeit a season or two behind the UK.)

  • Basically, it seems UK Gold bought one copy of each episode years back, did these edits according to the then-pre-watershed guidelines. And keep reusing that set of tapes, no matter when they get played.

  • Yep, I guess that’s exactly what happened. Some of their Carry On transfers are AWFUL, as well, and obviously come from prints telecined years ago.

    What I really need to do is complain to them properly, rather than just posting stuff like this. Once I get together a full list of edits that show the extent of the situation, I’ll have a go. But let’s face it – they won’t listen, will they? Most viewers don’t even notice the edits, and it’d cost money to get proper versions of the show. It sucks, but I’m not exactly under any illusions that anything I say will change anything. It’s worth a go, though.

  • >PBS: They don?t have to cut bits out for commercials! Even when they?re doing pledge drives, they cut away from it, but they don?t, as far as I can tell, make cuts to the content for any reason.

    This is absolutely correct, Arlene, if you were looking for confirmation. They just let the show run late, and the next one start behind its usual time, and so on, until the network shuts down for the night. (Assuming they still do shut down for the night…thinking on it they might not anymore.)

    I wouldn’t be confident enough to say that they NEVER make content-related cuts, but they certainly haven’t that I’ve noticed. I’ve heard swearing, seen nudity and even moderately-explicit simulated intercourse on PBS, though, so I’d have no idea what they WOULD cut.

    Presumably they’d have no problem with Boob Olympics, but they’d cut Hardcore Supersex.

  • It’s also the reason they don’t bother with widescreen – they’d have to get proper copies of Doctor Who, QI, Top Gear, etc, etc.

    UKtv G2’s actually set up for widescreen in fact (they did it when they got the rights for football World Cup highlights last year), but, because they can’t be bothered to shell out for unARCed copies, you’ll never see any filmed-in-widescreen programme uncropped on it.

  • Indeed. And it’s *really* annoying – because if they’d spent the money and done things properly, then they wouldn’t be in the mess they’re in now with widescreen…

  • >This is absolutely correct, Arlene, if you were looking for confirmation. They just let the show run late, and the next one start behind its usual time, and so on, until the network shuts down for the night. (Assuming they still do shut down for the night?thinking on it they might not anymore.)

    I don’t think they do shut down for the night anymore–none anywhere near where I live do, anyway. I remember one station that used to do that, but now they just show reruns of the evening’s programming until they get to the kids’ stuff in the morning, like all the others.

    >Presumably they?d have no problem with Boob Olympics

    Well, if it’s culturally relevant. Or British. Even people in program planning at PBS confuse the two sometimes.

  • The copy of Carry on at Your Convenience UK Gold are showing at the moment looks like it’s been dropped down a toilet itself.

    It’s just blatantly clear they don’t give a fuck about their output. Shameful.

  • >Presumably they?d have no problem with Boob Olympics, but they?d cut Hardcore Supersex.

    If I ran a brothel, this is the sort of thing I’d put on my tariff.

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