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BBC sorry for sadism in Dr. Who

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1976-12-29 Telegraph.jpg

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Sir Charles Curran, the retiring the director-general of the BBC, has admitted that the television drama department was not totally satisfied with a "Dr Who" sequence which had been the subject of "sadism" complaints.

In a letter to Mrs Mary Whitehouse, Sir Charles says that, "with hindsight," the head of the department thinks a few cuts should have been made.

Mrs. Whitehouse wrote in November to complain of two episodes of the four-part "Dr. Who" adventure, "The Deadly Assassin."

One ended with the doctor having apparently been throttled and lying face upward in the pool. The other showed him with his foot trapped between two railway lines in the path of an oncoming train.

Mrs. Whitehouse, general secretary of the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association said the sequences were sadistic and violated the BBC's code of conduct on violence.

"For young children even a week of may be too long to wait for reassurance that a character with whom they identified as alive and well," she said.

In his reply Sir Charles writes: "I want to know that the television service was not totally satisfied with the way this particular adventure developed.

"With hindsight the service does accept that one or two other viewers besides your panellists may have imagined Dr. Who's dreams were reality.

'Too realistic'

"What actually happened was that the head of the department responsible felt, before these episodes were transmitted, that some of the sequences were little too realistic for a science fiction series. Accordingly several of them were edited out before transmission.

"The result was what you saw on the screen and which I myself eight was reasonably acceptable. However, with hindsight the head of the department's responsible would have liked to have cut out just a few more frames of the action than he did."

Mrs. Whitehouse said last night: "I am very pleased with this acknowledgement that of judgment has been made.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Last, Richard (1976-12-29). BBC sorry for sadism in Dr. Who. The Daily Telegraph p. 9.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Last, Richard. "BBC sorry for sadism in Dr. Who." The Daily Telegraph [add city] 1976-12-29, 9. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Last, Richard. "BBC sorry for sadism in Dr. Who." The Daily Telegraph, edition, sec., 1976-12-29
  • Turabian: Last, Richard. "BBC sorry for sadism in Dr. Who." The Daily Telegraph, 1976-12-29, section, 9 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=BBC sorry for sadism in Dr. Who | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/BBC_sorry_for_sadism_in_Dr._Who | work=The Daily Telegraph | pages=9 | date=1976-12-29 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=19 September 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=BBC sorry for sadism in Dr. Who | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/BBC_sorry_for_sadism_in_Dr._Who | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=19 September 2019}}</ref>