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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Repainting the stable purple after the horse has bolted

Some future historian, in search of a telling detail to exemplify the primitive superstition of early twenty-first century thought, will seize upon this:

“Savile Dr Who show removed by BBC chiefs,” reports the Times.

The BBC has withdrawn an episode of Doctor Who from its DVD collection because of a link with Jimmy Savile.
The disgraced television presenter appeared in the introduction to a ten-minute special episode entitled A Fix with Sontarans and again at the end to interview Colin Baker, the sixth actor to portray the title character. BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm, decided to remove the recording in its entirety rather than cut Savile’s appearance.

The unannounced removal of the episode from The Two Doctors, a DVD featuring episodes starring Baker and Patrick Troughton, means that it is the only Doctor Who story that is not officially available. All other episodes, including early ones for which only the audio recording survives, are currently on DVD release.

Tom Spilsbury, editor of Doctor Who magazine, said that the reissue of the DVD will irritate completist fans of the science fiction stories. “It doesn’t really include Jimmy Savile — he just introduces it and appears at the very end — so it would be very easy to just present it without the bits with Jimmy Savile. I don’t know why they’ve not tried to do it that way.”

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10 comments to Repainting the stable purple after the horse has bolted

  • ZARBA

    Because The Beeb coddled, protected, and enabled his predatory behavior for so long, he’s an embarrassment that must be excised like a tumor. A few Dr. Who fans are a small price to pay for rewriting him out of thier history. “Savile? Never heard of him.”

  • Mr Ed

    “Savile? Never heard of him.”

    Not quite! It’s “Savile? Knighted by Mrs Thatcher, one Tory helping out another.

  • Rich Rostrom

    OJ Simpson appeared in some of the “Naked Gun” movies. I wonder if they are available uncut.

  • Richard Thomas

    What’s a DVD?

  • PersonFromPorlock

    It’s not really repainting the stable purple so much as it’s redefining the stable’s present color as ‘purple’. It changes nothing.

  • Runcie Balspune

    I suppose its a bit better than their last excuse for erasing Doctor Who episodes – “we needed to re-use the video tape”.

    All other episodes, including early ones for which only the audio recording survives, are currently on DVD release.

    Being an old school Whovian, I have a lot of the pre-10th DVDs and when I last checked, which admittedly was some time ago, there were a fair few episodes not yet available, so I could cynically say that this is a cheap publicity stunt to let those fans now about this.

  • Rob

    The BBC never knew Jimmy Saville. The BBC has always never known Jimmy Saville. The BBC invented the helicopter.

  • As long as we all remember that Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

  • Rich Rostrom

    A related datapoint: the crime show Derrick appeared on German TV from 1974 to 1998. The star, Horst Tappert, played the eponymous police detective. He died in 2008. The show was very popular and continued in reruns.

    Until 2013, when it was revealed that Tappert had served in a Waffen-SS tank division during WW II.

    Ironic subnote: Herbert Reinecker, co-creator and chief scriptwriter of the series, was an editor of Nazi magazines and served in the SS propaganda service.

  • Vinegar Joe

    Rich…..sigh……why did you have to go and mention the war?