Sunday, 27 July 2014

Missing But Not Forgotten #1

Here's the start of another occasional theme which will highlight some of the scenes that nowadays get routinely edited out of long running dramas shown on repeat channels when they are re-targeted to make them suitable for an intended pre-watershed audience.  Often the bulk of the episodes are entirely suitable and so the odd one or two that aren't are adjusted to fit in.

Mainly these channels are ITV3 and The Drama Channel.   And even when one of those channels has another showing of the same episode after midnight they often still seem to lazily use the same daytime friendly version of the episode.  Although I've only occasionaly checked this because once bitten ...

That isn't to say these channels edit everything and when a programme is intended for post-watershed viewing usually things seem to be left alone.

I'll start off with one where it might come as a surprise that it had any nudity at all:-

Rumpole of the Bailey

I'm aware of two episodes of this ITV series that originally had topless nudity.  Both of them were from the 5th series in 1988.

When the Drama Channel recently showed this series in their daytime schedules, I watched the two episodes in question just to see how they would (presumably) circumvent the nudity.

In Rumpole and the Bubble Reputation, Claude Erksine-Brown goes into a strip club and a newspaper hack gets a compromising photo of him ogling a stripper which gets printed in a newspaper.  In the edited version we see him enter the club but don't see any of the events that go on inside, which are implied-only by the subsequent newspaper story.  The performer playing the stripper was uncredited.

Unknown in "The Bubble Reputation"

In Rumpole and the Quality of Life, the episode opens with Helen Fitzgerald (as Lady Perdita Derwent) who is sitting topless posing for her much older artist husband Sir Daniel Derwent (William Squire) while his resentful daughter Helen (Caroline Goodall) from his first marriage, who is older than Perdita, snipes at her.  The full episode includes close-up shots of Helen Fitzgerald topless which were all missing although one brief topless long shot was left in - the whole scene couldn't have been easily cut entirely because it was an important scene setter which established the family dynamics when later Perdita is defended by Rumpole for the possible murder of Sir Daniel.

Helen Fitzgerald in "The Quality of Life"

The episodes are complete on the DVD release.

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