Series III Certification

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  • #237820

    Unrumble

    I feel like I’ve heard/read the explanation for this somewhere before, but I’m not sure, and can’t find anything online (official site doesn’t work on my browser).

    So, as I recall from a Doug interview, the brief shot of Starbug added on the end credits on the remastered/DVD version of ‘Marooned’ was so the certificate could be lowered from a 15 to a 12. This was due to a change, however minor, needing to be made to allow it to be submitted to for re-classification.

    My question is, what was the reason for the original ‘Series III Byte 1’ VHS being rated 15? (This caused me issues with my strict Mum, not allowing me to watch it in the 90’s as a pre-teen.)

    Presumably it was something in the content of ‘Marooned’ specifically. The story of Lister losing his virginity as a minor seems like the only obvious contender.

    If so, why would it now be deserving of a lower rating? Simply just a relaxing of attitudes/regulations in the intervening years?

    Possibly just answered my own question there…

    #237821

    Dave

    The ’12’ rating was only applied to home video releases after 1994, so presumably before that, anything that pushed beyond the PG rating (like Marooned, or maybe some of the Polymorph stuff) automatically bumped it up to a 15.

    #237822

    Unrumble

    Thanks, I didn’t know that about the 12 cert!

    #237823

    Pete Part Three

    According to the Red Dwarf programme guide it was, yes, Lister’s virginity story.

    #237824

    Warbofrog

    The most pecular/oversensitive BBFC rating I’m aware of is making the Farscape season 2 DVD set an 18 (early 2000s) because it featured two headbutts (man-on-puppet). The DVD company was offered a 15 if they took out one of the headbutts, but they wanted to release the episodes intact. There was some national panic about kids imitating headbutts or something.

    #237825

    Flap Jack

    Oh, so Lister talking about being a victim of rape in Marooned gets a higher age rating than Rimmer talking about being a perpetrator of rape in Confidence & Paranoia?

    DOUBLE STANDARDS, BBFC.

    #237826

    Dave

    Something similar affected Attack Of The Clones in 2002 – they had to cut a brief shot of Jango Fett headbutting Obi-Wan to avoid a ludicrously high rating. It was cut on the DVD too, but I guess that the panic around headbutts died down as the cut moment was restored for the Blu-Rays a few years ago.

    #237829

    MANI506

    The 15 certificate made Red Dwarf III Byte One look really cool – and the photo on the front was already really cool.

    The first 12 certificate I was aware of was Batman Begins in 1992

    #237831

    Dave

    The first Batman in ’89 was a 12 too I think.

    #237835

    Lily

    I hadn’t noticed before that XI got a 15, while X and XII were still 12.

    Bloody Samsara and its “infrequent strong sex references”.
    https://www.bbfc.co.uk/releases/red-dwarf-xi-video-4

    #237838

    clem

    > The first 12 certificate I was aware of was Batman Begins in 1992

    Returns, not Begins. Like Series III Byte 1 it was bumped up to a 15 for the video release.

    #237839

    Pete Part Three

    >Something similar affected Attack Of The Clones in 2002

    Same with GoldenEye in 95. The BBFC was irrationally sensitive about headbutts for a time. And the mere presence of nunchukas, actually, (there was a right old hoo-ha over Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Brady Bunch Movie).

    #237842

    Dave

    Returns, not Begins. Like Series III Byte 1 it was bumped up to a 15 for the video release

    Yes, presumably every 12 became a 15 on home video until the 12 certificate was brought in for home video in ’94.

    #237868

    Toxteth O-Grady

    >Yes, presumably every 12 became a 15 on home video until the 12 certificate was brought in for home video in ’94.
    That’s right. Batman Returns was a 12 at the cinema (as was the ’89 film) but a 15 when released on video, as they didn’t do 12-Certificates on videos back then.
    Presumably Warner Bros. hasn’t bothered with the Doug’s route of re-submission for re-classification, as they are still both a 15 on DVD and Blu-Ray to this day.

    #237870

    Dave

    To be honest in retrospect I’m always amazed that they get away with saying Shit so much in Flight Of The Navigator (U) and Short Circuit (PG).

    #237873

    Ben Saunders

    Saying shit in a U, really? That must be some sort of special case. Also damn I wonder how many under-15s were prevented from watching relatively harmless films because of the bizarre lack of a 12 rating. Whose idea was that?

    #237886

    Warbofrog

    It’s surprising to learn that things from my early childhood like Batman Returns and Beetlejuice (“nice fucking model”) were rated 15, but more that my usually sensitive mum rented them out for us with no qualms when I was about 5-6. Though I remember noticing that Alien 3 was 18 and her saying it maybe wasn’t suitable but letting me watch it anyway a year or so later. I think I’ll report her.

    #237887

    Ben Saunders

    Oh i absolutely watched 15s before I was 15, millions of people do and it’s all absolutely fine. Kids can handle quite a lot, it’s mostly prudish adults who seem to have forgotten that who are in charge of the ratings. You think fourteen year olds don’t swear, that eleven year olds are going to go on a killing spree the moment they see someone die in a film? Don’t be silly.
    12A is a great thing, parents using their common sense in general on whether or not to let their children watch something is good.

    #237890

    Dave

    Although 12A is good for that reason, it’s also pretty useless as a parent in terms of providing a guide as to whether something is suitable for your kids or not. It essentially covers everything from what an old PG would have been, all the way up to stuff that pushes the boundaries of a 15.

    (It seems like PG rated films have all but disappeared as a result.)

    Luckily the BBFC website has pretty detailed breakdowns of exactly why a film has been rated as it has, which are really helpful.

    #237972

    Seb Patrick

    >official site doesn’t work on my browser

    Off the main topic, but what’s your browser, and in what way doesn’t the site work?

    #237973

    Seb Patrick

    >The first Batman in ’89 was a 12 too I think.

    Faaaaaairly sure Batman ’89 was the first ever 12. The rating was pretty much created for it, as it definitely wasn’t a PG but they couldn’t have kids not come to the film given what a merchandising juggernaut it was.

    It’s often thought that the first 12A was Spider-Man, as well; but it actually came out as a 12 and was later reclassified. The Bourne Identity was the first to be initially certified as 12A.

    #237974

    Dave

    I was going to say Batman was the first ’12’ but I wasn’t sure.

    This article gives a history of the certificate:

    http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/id/592516/index.html

    It says this:

    So in 1989, the BBFC experimentally awarded Madame Sousatzka (d. John Schlesinger, 1989) a 12 certificate in London, and Batman (US, d. Tim Burton, 1989) was the first general release title to feature the classification.

    However, the statutory nature of video classifications meant that extending the 12 certificate to cover video releases required an amendment to the 1984 Video Recordings Act. As with most changes in the law, this took some time, and the 12 video certificate was finally introduced on 1 July 1994.

    So that explains why it took so long for VHSs to get the ’12’ certificate.

    Also, I didn’t realise Crocodile Dundee had been a ’15’!

    #237975

    Seb Patrick

    Given the number of shits and bastards in it, you’d have to assume Back to the Future would have been a 12 if the certificate existed then. Ghostbusters, too, primarily for the blowjob gag.

    #237976

    Dave

    Yeah, I hurriedly had to skip that bit when I watched Ghostbusters for the first time with the kids recently!

    Language is an odd one – I mentioned earlier that Flight Of The Navigator and Short Circuit were a ‘U’ and ‘PG’ respectively on home video despite shits-a-plenty. Maybe PG is on the cusp, but a U seems a bit much.

    #237977

    Unrumble

    >Off the main topic, but what’s your browser, and in what way doesn’t the site work?

    It may be down to the computers or network settings themselves (whisper it, I’m at work), but I have the option of Internet Explorer – ‘page cannot be displayed’, or Chrome – just stays as a blank screen.

    I have no issues using Safari on my phone, or Firefox at home. I also have no issues with other sites, apart from social media sites, which I imagine are deliberately blocked.

    #237979

    Seb Patrick

    Ah, okay. AFAIK it should still work on IE (the underlying tech is largely the same as it has been for years), but the blank screen on Chrome does suggest a connection/firewall issue at your end more than anything. Does seem weird that it would be singled out by a policy, mind!

    But yeah, happy to look into any potential compatibility issues (or, I should say, get them looked into) as we would always want it to be as accessible as possible…

    #237982

    Pete Part Three

    >Yeah, I hurriedly had to skip that bit when I watched Ghostbusters for the first time with the kids recently!

    I watched GhostBusters endlessly between the ages of 6 and 10. It was only when I revisited it on DVD *much* later after years of not watching it, that I finally twigged what was happening in that scene. If I’d known it was “naughty”, I’d have never watched it with my Dad numerous times as I’d have been too embarrassed (and I definitely watched it with him a few times, as I recall asking him who Elvis was during one viewing, and him giving me a strangely cryptic/lazy answer).

    #237991

    Toxteth O-Grady

    Exactly. The blowjob *joke* (I’d say “blowjob gag” has a very different meaning), is only rude and risqué if you know what is being suggested in that scene; and any children watching won’t, therefore it shouldn’t effect the rating certificate.
    I watched Ghostbusters countless times as kid, and never thought to myself “here’s the bit where Dan Aykroyd gets sucked off by a sexy ghost”.
    It’s part of a dream sequence anyway, so I probably just thought it was him having a weird dream where his trousers unzipped by themself.

    Not that BTTF is necessarily a kid’s film, but I’m sure there’s a few specific movies made for kids that have the word “shit” in them. Home Alone is one.

    Circling back to RD, it always seems odd to me when Cat says “does mouse shit roll?”.
    Not only because they’d always used smeg as replacement swear word, but they use it in a line that makes barely any sense.
    Does mouse shit roll? I’ve never checked.

    #237992

    Lily

    >Yeah, I hurriedly had to skip that bit when I watched Ghostbusters for the first time with the kids recently!

    My parents home edited Ghostbusters before letting me watch it (pausing the recording off TV when it got too scary). The only bit that they cut out was the librarian ghost at the start, as she was too frightening. I remember that in particular as she scared the CRAP out of me first time I watched an unedited version. I’m pretty sure they left the blowjob thing in, as to a kid it’s pretty meaningless ghosty lady floating around.

    #237993

    bloodteller

    >Circling back to RD, it always seems odd to me when Cat says “does mouse shit roll?”.
    Not only because they’d always used smeg as replacement swear word, but they use it in a line that makes barely any sense. Does mouse shit roll? I’ve never checked.

    Presumably it’s the Cat equivalent of the “is the Pope a Catholic?” line. As you said though, it still seems weird

    The only other time I can think of them saying ‘shit’ in Red Dwarf is in Trojan when Rimmer fails his exam again. It always feels a little odd hearing actual swearing in the show. Thank goodness they removed the scene from The Beginning where they all say “We’re fucked” otherwise everyone would have totally freaked out

    #237994

    Paul Muller

    I was under the impression Rimmer’s line was actually ‘sack of sick’, but I could be wrong.

    #237998

    Hamish

    It’s sack of sick.

    #237999

    Bargain Bin Holly

    I remember Rimmer says bullshit in Last Human, but I think that was more to make the situation more serious and bring it to reality a bit.

    #238006

    Lily

    >Does mouse shit roll? I’ve never checked.

    It looks like small brown grains of rice, sooooo no, not really.

    Kinda kills the line though.

    #238007

    si

    No, I was never liked “Does mouse shit roll?” either. Seems really out of character and jarring. Same way as when Cat’s on about ‘titties’ in Timewave.

    #238015

    Warbofrog

    Is ‘bastard’ lower down the cussing scale than ‘shit?’ Rimmer’s “bastard” in Waiting for God surprised me as a kid, but is sparing swearing used to great effect. Marty saying it in BTTF1 seemed much more risque when I was in primary school than the various shits, which I didn’t even notice.

    #238016

    Dave

    Yes, I would say Shit comfortably outranks Bastard.

    There are a few Bastards in Red Dwarf – Father Christmas in Backwards springs to mind.

    #238031

    Plastic Percy

    There’s also a “you bastard!” from Lister in Bodyswap when he thinks Rimmer has lost his arm.

    #238032

    Unrumble

    Off the top of my head, both Rimmer:

    “It’s my duty. My duty as a complete and utter bastard” – Timeslides

    “The world loves a bastard” – Back in the Red

    #238033

    Unrumble

    Also-ish, from Tikka to Ride:

    Lister: “What pizza place have you been going to? The Fat Bastard-aria?”

    #238034

    Dave

    Then without any warning at all, you’re suddenly a fat bastard.

    #238036

    tombow

    They say bastard in Simpsons sometimes.

    #238037

    Unrumble

    >They say bastard in Simpsons sometimes.

    “Bastard! He’s always one step ahead”

    #238038

    Dave

    I always remember being baffled by the UK broadcaster’s cackhanded overdub of that Simpsons episode with ‘wankers’ in it (the U2 one).

    #238039

    Toxteth O-Grady

    >I always remember being baffled by the UK broadcaster’s cackhanded overdub of that Simpsons episode with ‘wankers’ in it (the U2 one).

    I don’t think they ever overdubbed it, did they? They just cut the word out entirely. Otherwise what did they overdub it with?

    I remember being utterly surprised when Channel 4 accidentally broadcast it uncut, as I never even knew it had been censored in the countless times I’d seen it on BBC 2 and Sky 1.

    These days Channel 4 make excessive cuts to The Simpsons, even for relatively harmless stuff. So much so I can’t be bothered with it.

    #238040

    Warbofrog

    I was shocked to hear “bloody” (x2) in legit kids’ film Muppet Treasure Island, then disappointed when it was “corrected” for the video release.

    I remember Tony Robinson on Stay Tooned! recounting a time when some British channel forgot to censor that not-rude-in-America word in an imported cartoon and it didn’t go down well (“it rhymes with ‘muddy’ and begins with a ‘bl.'”).

    #238041

    Toxteth O-Grady

    ‘Bloody’ must be the least offensive “offensive” word of all, right? I mean, it’s the exact same word as the completely innocuous adjective meaning ‘covered in blood’.

    “Police have discovered a bloody knife at the scene.”
    “Shut your bloody gob!”

    Would anyone *really* be offended to hear the latter but not the former?

    #238042

    Dave

    I always think of Bloody and Damn as being UK-US counterparts. Neither are particularly offensive, but in one country they are seen as slightly stronger than in the other. Both are on about the same level as Crap for me.

    I don’t think they ever overdubbed it, did they? They just cut the word out entirely. Otherwise what did they overdub it with?

    Bizarrely, on the first BBC2 broadcast they just took Burns saying “ow” and doubled it up again to dub over “wankers”. It was just odd and distracting.

    #238043

    Toxteth O-Grady

    Aaah. I don’t remember that version. On Sky it just immediately faded out after the first “ow”, which worked a lot better.

    I’m trying to remember at what time of day they broadcast the episode where Skinner says “Stand back, it’s wanking time!”. It may have been when Channel 4 showed episodes post-watershed.

    #238044

    Seb Patrick

    Bizarrely, on the first BBC2 broadcast they just took Burns saying “ow” and doubled it up again to dub over “wankers”. It was just odd and distracting.

    I REMEMBER THIS it was incredibly cack-handed.

    #238045

    Ben Saunders

    I think I’ve mentioned on here before how “spaz”/”spastic” is offensive in the UK, but isn’t in the US. Over there they call irritable bowel syndrome “spastic colon” (which makes sense), and there was that Kanye West/Paul McCartney song where Ye’s verse featured the line “hold me back, I’m about to spaz.”
    But anyway I tuned into the Olympics at one point and the presenters were apologising profusely to camera for one of the American athletes using “THAT word”, and I scoured Twitter to find out what word they used, expecting the N word, but it turns out they said that they “spazzed out” during the event, which would be absolutely fine to say on CNN or something, but the BBC had to apologise for it.

    #238047

    cwickham

    <quote>I REMEMBER THIS it was incredibly cack-handed.</quote>

    I remembered that so well I devoted an entire paragraph to it in this article I wrote: http://cwickham.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-simpsons-on-bbc-ludicrously.html

    #238048

    Seb Patrick

    Re the spaz thing, Weird Al Yankovic had the word “spastic” in his Blurred Lines parody (“Word Crimes”) but after it was pointed out to him how offensive it is here, he’s stopped using it in live performances.

    Brian Michael Bendis used to use “spaz” loads in Ultimate Spider-Man, too. It was a while before I discovered that it’s just not offensive over there in the same way.

    Same goes for “retard”/”retarded”, although they are starting to cotton on to that a bit more now.

    #238049

    clem

    I remember being quite shocked by the lad in Bedknobs and Broomsticks saying “Not bloody likely!”

    As a kid there were a few films I didn’t realise our taped-off-the-telly versions of had been bowdlerised. Probably all three BTTFs, and Spaceballs “[Fuck!] Even in the future nothing works!”

    #238051

    clem

    Channel 5 used to put See No Evil, Hear No Evil on at teatime. There’s so much you’d have to cut out of it to make a version suitable for broadcast pre-watershed, I used to wonder why anybody had bothered.

    #238052

    Bargain Bin Holly

    McSpazatron is said twice in the Spongebob Squarepants Movie (Maybe three times, can’t remember)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwtpkQAA8kw

    #238053

    Dave

    As a kid I happily watched edited pre-watershed versions of See No Evil, Hear No Evil (and loads of other Richard Pryor movies) as well as the likes of Coming To America, Beverly Hills Cop and so on. I never noticed the edits. Watching them back as an adult they must have been cut to ribbons.

    #238054

    bloodteller

    >Same goes for “retard”/”retarded”, although they are starting to cotton on to that a bit more now.

    When I was younger, I saw the (Tim Burton) Charlie And The Chocolate Factory movie and remember being quite shocked when one of the children says “retard”. Even if it’s not as offensive in the US, it surprised me they got away with that in a kid’s movie

    Mind you, they did that West End musical version of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory a while ago where Augustus gets decapitated and Veruca gets torn limb from limb by squirrels, so I guess Roald Dahl stuff can just get away with anything

    #238055

    Warbofrog

    Shoddiest editing I’ve seen was at the cinema in Singapore, they just cut sentences off half-way when it looks like there’s going to be a rude word and it jumps a few seconds. Their regional BBC also censors anything suggesting scandalous same-sex relationships in shows like Doctor Who, so episodes are about 50% as long.

    #238056

    Ben Saunders

    I’d love to watch a cut of Deep Breath with all the implied gayeity removed. Considering one of the most important scenes is resolved with an interspecies lesbian kiss.

    And what do you know, I looked it up on Google and it was indeed edited out of Asian broadcasts. And received a number of complaints to Ofcom. Fuck off.

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