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Customer Review

39 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars CENSORED, 9 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The Two Ronnies Collection [DVD] (DVD)
The Two Ronnies had impeccable delivery & the scripts were dazzlingly witty & literate. But this isn't about the content; it's about the product.
I can confirm what the previous review warned about. Series 9 Episode 8 has been censored.: The TOTP spoof with the Ronnies impersonating Jimmy Saville. has been cut from the sketch.
Absurd that BBC should censor these comedians in an attempt to censor its own history. It's as if the BBC & associated DVD company imagine they are censoring Jimmy Saville by censoring two comedians who impersonate him.
To slip this by the customer who buys the box set in faith that what the box says is true - - "contains 93 Full Episodes" - - is fraudulent.
As an attempt to 'clean' its reputation, the BBC has added 'liars' and 'frauds' to its cv.
Reminds me of East Germany, post-war, when libraries X-ed out references to the Holocaust as if this would erase the past.
It puts customers on alert to mistrust all future back catalogue BBC releases. What else might be censored without the customer's knowledge in some future package that claims to be 'the Full episodes' ? This is how a company, already in disrepute, gets a reputation as Not To Be Trusted. Not to be trusted to market its products honestly, and not to be trusted with its own archives.
This is one step away from wiping the archives' videotapes, which the BBC practiced in the past, now refined to 'wiping' material it sees as embarrassing.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Sep 2014 16:00:11 BDT
John D. Muir says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Dec 2014 17:22:15 GMT
Stu says:
I'm in agreement with the OP as censorship/editing of such classics is wrong especially if not completely honest with such edits. There are many edits from broadcast shows to DVD for many reason and this isn't highlighted on "Complete Sets" and it should be. I wouldn't be offened by the inclusion of the Top Of The Pops spoof and as for Jimmy Savile, well 118 118. It's clearly the Two Ronnies and not Jimmy Savile. Possibly, Britsh Rail wanted it cut - who knows.

Posted on 22 Aug 2015 12:48:47 BDT
I'm totally with you about censorship - many a DVD collection I've purchased has been spoiled or ruined due to various editing, due to sensitivity, or issues over rights to songs, etc. (I've always been put off of buying the 'Only Fools and Horses' box set, for example, due to many of the episodes being edited for various reasons). However whilst I would want the full unedited versions, I think to rate such a volume of quality comedy one star and star comparing it to East Germany and the Holocaust, is rather over the top! To know that something has been edited definitely marks something down slightly in my view, but I suppose in this case, there is a debatable reason over sensitivity at least regarding the reason - hardly worth marking the whole thing right down for and bringing the Nazis into it.

Posted on 25 Sep 2015 13:28:43 BDT
Just to be clear for the benefit of those who don't notice the 'previous review' buried amongst the 5-star reviews, the original issue of the set contains the 'offensive' material as does the original stand-alone issue of series 9. I'm delighted that my set is complete - it's very lucky that it was issued just months before Savile was transformed from a saint into the most evil person of all time.
The reason for censoring it is no doubt a fear of someone being 'offended' and causing trouble and publicity, so it's easier just to cut it out. Many other TV comedies (and even the Tweenies, apparently) will have had references to Savile (usually at least somewhat poking fun at him) which could potentially damage or prevent DVD releases.
Ridiculous really when you consider that the BBC periodically (and, a couple of years ago, intensively) runs a news story of the 'Savile-even-more-evil-than-previously-thought' type accompanied by a big picture of the man (and apparently this doesn't 'offend' anyone).

Posted on 6 Dec 2015 22:55:52 GMT
Zionks says:
I strongly dislike censorship. Once again we have the PC brigade jumping on the bandwagon and censoring and erasing naughty and evil people from the history of TV.

I should be allowed to watch that Top of the Sketch for myself and then decide if i am offended but censorship takes that decision away from me.

If anybody is likely to be offended they could simply just skip that particular sketch (DVD players have skip/rewind buttons)

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Apr 2016 02:03:04 BDT
they did exactly the same thing recently to the two doctors dr who Dvd Release-thankfully i got my uncensored copy long before 'savillegate' erupted, and while i understand the reasons for removing 'saville' related material from dvds,i still find it deeply disquieting-now that Rolf Harris is in prison,i expect that too will affect any future Dvd release of Phil Cool's excellent 'Cool it' series-in which he impersonated the now discraced entertainer,but you could also argue against releasing the black and white minstrels on dvd-now considered 'politically in-correct' ,the dick emery show-his 'gay' character is now considered to be deeply offensive,and of course there was Alf Garnett-how are they going to remake that 'lost' episode of 'till death us do part' without 'fiddling' with some of the dialogue?'airbrushing' unpleasant details out of our cultural history is the slippery slope to a totalitarian state!remember George Orwell's novel '1984' 'who controls the present controls the past'

Posted on 3 Apr 2016 13:00:17 BDT
Was thinking of purchasing this item, but refuse to support censorship. Thanks for the review Gary.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Apr 2016 19:47:55 BDT
Gary says:
Well, a consolation option for those who did buy and feel cheated by the excision and lied to by the 'complete' description advertised on the package (which I think contravenes some consumer law about misrepresenting a product) would be to download the censored sketch from youtube via some type of downloader. The quality will be poor, though.
I watched the wonderful 2012 BBC documentary on George Martin the other day, on blu-ray, which includes a great interview with Rolf Harris listening to 'Sun Arise' (produced by Martin). Thankfully complete, which might be due to nothing more than the BBC not noticing it.
There is no reliability and no consistency, from one retrospective BBC product to the next, from one offending ex-employee to another, about whether this or that item will be censored. The BBC are as knee-jerk in wiping some of its history now as it was when it used to wipe videotapes of its programmes.
The cover story is the BBC doesn't want to cause offence, and so offends people anyway by censoring television history. The BBC shows no sign of concern about causing offence in this way or misrepresenting its product in packaging caught in the lie about it.
So the likelier explanation is the BBC is covering up its own embarrassed past as if it never happened, as if Jimmy Saville, or whoever next is incriminated, was never on the payroll.
BBC cannot be trusted to be the custodians of its own past.
As a public corporation, this is a matter of public concern.

Posted on 6 Apr 2016 16:24:08 BDT
Jazz Guy says:
Whilst I am with you on the principle of censorship, this is not the BBC trying to cover up Saville's deeds, it is mainstream light comedy. The lie was the genial personality that Saville presented to us. I am rather grateful not to have this TOTP spoof included. This guy was a prolific sexual predator and paedophile whose career was used to give him access to vulnerable victims. If this was a satire on to people and institutions who allowed Saville to continue his evil abuse for so long I daresay the BBC would show it but the inclusion of that sketch, which I do remember, would be wrong, it is tainted and comparing this to East Germany's suppression of its recent history is just wrong. There is a well know rule about internet discussions, which is, once someone starts comparing the person they are arguing with to the Nazi's then they have lost the arguemnet. This is essentially what you have done here.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Apr 2016 22:57:39 BDT
Last edited by the author on 6 Apr 2016 23:20:12 BDT
Gary says:
No: you'e not 'with me' on the principle of censorship - the rest of your comment says precisely the opposite, as anyone can see.
I have no idea of Savile's actual guilt or innocence as I didn't follow the headlines, and this review isn't a review of a court case or media coverage of it but of a DVD release of a historic television series called... oo what was it called again, oh yes, STEPTOE & SON - - no, no, THE TWO RONNIES, that's the one, THE TWO RONNIES, who haven't been accused of anything so far, though it's their performance that's been censored.
The comparison originally made isn't with the Nazis but twenty years later: German government's censorship of their history by XXX-ing out pages of German library books. That's the principle that applies: altering history by ellipsis.
You don't learn from history by suppressing it.
I wonder if there's another 'internet rule' that says this: once someone inflames an argument by spouting how abuse is an evil thing, as if this was ever the question in dispute here, he has lost the argument.
Listen to your own thinking here: Your notion that if this were a satire on 'the people and institutions that allowed Savile to continue his evil abuse for so long,' then 'I dare say the BBC would show it' - - Aren't you embarrassed by how nuts this sounds? In other words, you say if the sketch pointedly lampooned the BBC itself for facilitating an abuser's career, then the BBC would show the sketch.
Yeah, that sounds so in touch with reality.
Jimmy Savile can also be seen in the 1965 film, FERRY CROSS THE MERSEY, by the way. If that gets a release, distributors should perhaps follow the BBC's flagship example and delete that scene. Now let's see, who else was ever convicted, and who else is under suspicion...snip-snip... One singer under some suspicion but not prosecuted so far was in a classic Morecambe & Wise Christmas show. If the celebrity had been prosecuted, that 5-minute sketch plus 1-minute attendant sketch too would have to be cut, if there's any consistency.
And then, is this the only crime that warrants retrospective censorship of any appearance by the offender? Any reasonable feminist would agree rape is an evil crime. We can all surely agree on that. Murder - - that's another evil one. The list doesn't stop there, of course. Evil tends to get around, and not everybody agrees on the bottom line. Only a matter of time before some twit-of-the-year wants to censor TV retrospectives where cigarettes are smoked. Cigarettes can kill. Passive smoking causes cancer.
This is all such a tedious argument: these truths are so obvious that I haven't the patience left to explain further what John Cleese used to call 'the bleedin' obvious.'
The REAL hard-and-fast rule about internet argument, friends and neighbours, is that nobody changes their mind about anything and knuckleheads hang on to the most inane views right to the bitter end.
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