Dana's TW4 Blog - Barrowman Day
Hey All.

I started writing a comment on Mickie's Two Versions Blog and it occurred to me that it would make more sense to just write it as a response blog so I could post my thoughts on the issue as well.

For those in the UK who have previously been unaffected by the editing of BBC television for other parts of the world, let me fill you in. There are always multiple versions of BBC shows. You guys are just noticing it now because it may affect you for the first time. Every episode of Doctor Who or Torchwood we see in the US is cut down for time because we don't have the same run times in the US as in the UK. We only get to see the full episodes once the DVDs come out. And content, well, you're not the only one struggling with that either. When we had Torchwood on BBC America they've had to censor some things because it's not a pay channel like Starz. Particularly I think we lose the swearing. But we don't get the worst of it. Other non-UK countries have it much worse. If they get it at all  on TV, they get these shows delayed by WEEKS, MONTHS or even YEARS and when they do get them they are vastly different. All the questionable language and sexual content is cut. This is not a new issue this is just the first time it might affect the UK.

As for the BBC censoring some of the content of the show I don't know the details I assume there is stuff that is OK to show on Starz that isn't OK to show on BBC. Mickie mentioned the show Rome having aired on the BBC and having strong sexual content as well as being very violent. I've not seen this show so I cannot vouch for how extreme it is but let me give you a little insight into Starz. The pay channels in the US, specifically Starz, HBO and Showtime are known for their caution-to-the-wind adult programs. That's not to say they push the envelope just because they can, they have a lot of beautifully done shows that are improved or only possible because they don't have restrictions. But let's be clear. These channels and what they are allowed to show is one step down from porn. In fact, I think there are tamer "adult films" out there than some of the things I've seen. I don't know if that puts it into perspective for you all in terms of what the BBC usually sees fit to show but I imagine they have restrictions that Starz does not, even after watershed.

Mickie took issue with the two companies creating a show together that neither could air in it's entirety. I get that, I don't want to have to compare notes with my friends across the pond and try to track down the UK versions to get the whole story but that might just be the case. I hope they at least give us the full unedited episodes on the DVDs.

In defense of the networks let me say this. If I had the chance to create Torchwood without restriction. Or if I was creating any show really I would never dream of holding back. I think the executives of both networks came to the conclusion that they needed to make the best show possible and worry about editing later. There's nothing wrong with that. And if all goes as I hope we will all eventually see the full versions.

I feel bad for my UK friends, struggling with this for the first time. Until now they never had to worry about losing any content because the shows have been tailor made for BBC television. This year with Torchwood taking on the US trying to be noticed globally (as it should be) they really want to make it the best series yet. As much as neither of us wants to have edited versions I would hate it more if the shows was simultaneously shorter and more toned-down to meet the needs of the networks. We have to take a hit for the team here. Accept that we might not get the full version until the DVDs but know that all the versions airing around the world are going to have a higher entertainment quality. This is a bigger picture scenario. We're all in love with this show but if the rest of the world really grabs on that could mean 7 more years of Torchwood and then everyone wins.

I think there has been a lot of negativity amongst fans surrounding this new series of Torchwood and I'm not saying I am entirely innocent but I do try to keep positive. At every turn fans are questioning what that networks are doing and really complaining about every decision we're not even privy to yet. I'm not sure why fans seem to think this series was doomed from the get-go but I suspect it mostly has to do with it being a US/UK co-production. I think people need to take a step back. What's the point of worrying about an outcome we really don't know about and certainly have no control over? It's unnecessary stress about something that should be bringing fans joy. We get more Torchwood! Isn't that what we've wanted all along? Why speculate about all the things that can go wrong when we can look forward to all the things that can go right?

I may be a huge fan of the show and of John but guys, it's just a show. It's fiction and at the end of the day it's for entertainment purposes and it doesn't actually matter. It should be a happy thing in our lives, it certainly is in mine. Everyone has spent this whole wait expecting the worst and now my friends who saw the BFI screening have nothing but positive reviews. Have a little faith. I do. I don't think any of the people involved would have agreed to this collaboration if it was going to make Torchwood worse. From the start John Barrowman has been saying it's going to be the best series yet, and you know what? In Barrowman I trust. I am excited and I am going batty waiting the last 12 days until it's on my TV.

I've said my peace, feel free to say yours. I would love to hear people's opinions even if you don't agree with me. And I hope that after you read this you can anticipate the return of Torchwood with a smile and leave all the network politics to the networks. xx

Susan Bomkamp
6/26/2011 05:06:10

Amen!!!!! Wow, you just pretty much said everything I've been thinking! It seems like like there are some people who are not happy unless they have something to complain about! Can we all just wait and watch the damn show before we go into meltdown mode?! Chill, for heavens sake!

6/26/2011 05:09:40

Thank you Dana for an absolutely fantastic blog. You've said everything I'd have liked to say, but only 100% better. Fabulous points made too; especially about cuts and how UK hasn't had to face this before.

Also, we here in the US have had to wait for the DVD's to get the full content of some shows. I wish we didn't have commercials so we could see shows without editing. Unfortunately, I never see this happening. At least not on regular channels. If anyone saw Merlin on Starz, they'll understand exactly what you were referring to. They do throw caution to the wind and leave nothing to the imagination. They want the best show possible and that usually includes all types of scenes.

I'm a huge fan of Torchwood and John Barrowman. At the end of the day,yes, it's just a show. Real life is a little more important to me. It's just too bad that some people forget that. Calm down people. Bottom line, we all want the same thing. A fabulous series of Torchwood; one that the should be going global.

6/26/2011 05:14:17

Susan - Thanks for reading and your response, good to have someone on my side. I'm so confident the show is going to be amazing but even if you're not, no point in dwelling and assuming the worst. :)


6/26/2011 05:17:13

aresnz - Ya, I know you get it. It's so weird talking about this from the US perspective we can so relate with each other about the cuts. And yea, you know what Starz can be like LOL. I am glad you can love Torchwood and John as I do and still appreciate that it's just a show and should be fun. I hope everyone remains as positive :) Thanks for reading and responding.


6/26/2011 08:28:50

Exactly what I was figuring. If they go for the nearly soft porn angle, as in Cinemax's night time programming, for some scenes, yes, it will definitely be edited for BBC. There's no way they'll show porn like our pay channels will.

6/26/2011 08:33:16

Great blog Dana...Just to give you a comparison of Rome..it was very much like Sparticus on Starz, just as graphic which is why DW magazines comments make no sense.

As I've said before, and I know Dana knows this anyway so it's not aimed at Dana, I have never had a problem with the BC/Starz co-production. Nor how Starz have handled all of this, I think they've been great. My gripe has always been aimed at the BBC and in all truth they have always been the same. I know how they've treated programmes and the fans in the past, not just Torchwood or Doctor Who. But that's the BBC.

With regards to cutting of programmes and delays, as I said to someone on twitter we've had US shows that we've been behind almost 2 years. The starngest was a Law & Order series were one of the actors died. It was almost 3 years before we saw a series without him in. And I am sure the shows we have had from the US have been cut.

But I'll not go over again what I've already said in my blog as that would just be silly lol

Thank you again love for the blog!

Mickie xxx

6/26/2011 08:48:21

Terreflil - LOL, yea you get it. #BBBPsychicLink

6/26/2011 08:53:32

Mickie - thanks for reading and responding to my response LOL. No need to repeat no. I know where you stand and we've talked before about the Law & Order thing. It sucks that that's the situation with shows from one country to another, maybe one day it won't be an issue. I'm not sure if you guys have had cut shows form the US unless it's similarly for censorship reasons. We usually get our cut for time and swearing but you guys don't have that issue. It's just a fact that this is how it works out as it and it's not a perfect system. hopefully we'll all see everything in the DVDs. xxx


6/26/2011 18:19:18

Great blog - clearly & eloquently put.

I'm not sure people realize the BBC censor shows - that will come as a shock to some.

Though I understand the reasons, it still seems sad that shows are chopped, topped & sliced - just to accommodate things like timing & local broadcasting codes.

I'll get hold of the Starz version & watch the BBC version whenever / if ever we eventually get it. Best of both worlds, that way! ;-)

6/26/2011 21:00:27

Hi Dana great blog.

From what I've seen from the trailers which have been posted on Twitter and FB TWMD looks fab. I love John and I love Torchwood. TORCHWOOD ROCKS <3

6/26/2011 21:18:29

Great block, Dana. You talking to me from the heart. I'm from Germany and will have to wait months until the DVD goes on sale. Nevertheless, I still hope to be broadcast on German TV.
Otherwise I'll have to give the "Erklärbär". Erklärbär = translator. I am the only one in the family understands English fairly, and would have to constantly explain who said what. Please send me a large portion of compassion ... sniff. My English is not so good ...

Enough whining, back to Torchwood. When I heard last year, it will filming a new season of Torchwood, I could not stop smile. Now I'm really excited, and hope that I can see parts of Miracle Day on youtube.

I also think it's a shame that U.S. and UK can emit at the same time. Why get upset about things the fans can not change. Ok, Torchwood is a spin-off from Doctor Who, and this could be the reason why some fans are not particularly happy, not to be first, which can take a look on Miracle Day.

As for Torchwood Miracle Day, Russell T. Davis has written the screenplays as well. MD will be, as John Barrowman said. Just great.

There will be no easy solutions and answers that were never in Torchwood. Everyone had to carry his pack, sorry German phrase. And Torchwood is so great. It is placed the finger into the wound, kept the mirror to us. Nothing in life is free - everything has his price.

Can not tell you how impatient I am, and hope for some pieces on youtube ...
If my English is strange thing, I can only apologize.
Greetings from Bavaria

6/27/2011 06:53:48

I'm in the UK and I'm Welsh. I very much appreciated reading your comments on different versions. I don't have a problem with a plurality versions and, indeed, look forward to comparing differences.

I think it's important to distinguish between editing and censoring - for me the latter is a form of editorial action but not all editing censors.

I think fiction has a role beyond entertainment and that it matters a great deal.

I'm really looking forward to TW:MD and I'm very pleased STARZ have funded it.

Thanks again for your blog.

6/27/2011 12:08:54

@Chris - Thanks for reading and the kind words.

I think a lot of censoring goes unnoticed with lower profile shows. With something as global and big as Torchwood everything is news. Everyone wants to know anything and dissect all aspects. I think it's a natural reaction to something you're passionate about.

It's a shame that show's are edited at all, I agree. The time block allowed for shows should be the same world-wide. If there were standard constraints no one would have to miss out. As for censoring I get that that has to be specific to each network and their viewers. As much as most networks would love to throw caution to the wind there is a reason for censorship in general. They have to consider their viewers as a whole and not a specific group and they have to be careful not to put things on that are unsuitable for certain age groups. I get the idea that after watershed it's a free-for all but it's still basic channels everyone has and a kid could still wind up seeing something. The idea I think is to protect the station from backlash from unhappy parents, even if they should be motoring their kids. Just a guess. I don't know why BBC specifically censors, but I'm guessing it's not just or the sake of being difficult. As I understand it there is guideline they have to follow before and after watershed as to what they can show and I think that goes beyond the BBC. I may be wrong. Pardon the ignorant American.

Yea, I'll definitely be getting my hands on the BBC one and some point as well, just so I am sure to see the whole thing. Somehow I'll manage to suffer through two viewing LOL. Thanks for the comment.


6/27/2011 12:16:22

@Frizzstar - LOL I know YOU are excited! But glad to hear it! I love John and Torchwood too! Funny we both happen to be here!

xx <3Dana

6/27/2011 12:30:50

@Uli - Thanks you for reading and the sentiment. I am glad that you can relate to what I am saying. It's awful that you have to wait until the DVD, maybe German TV will end up showing it after all. I started a separate blog for updates on Torchwood airing around the world. You can check every so often to see if Germany has been announced. http://barrowmanday.weebly.com/4/post/2011/06/torchwood-miracle-day-air-dates.html

I am sending you a HUGE portion of compassion. I feel for you and really your English is quite good. I am glad you were so excited to hear Torchwood was coming back. That is exactly the attitude fans should have. I hope you get to see it sooner rather than later.

I also wish that everyone could see it at the same time but it's just not practical for a lot of reasons. Ideally it would be cool if they put in on the internet for everyone to watch once it's aired the first time.

You're right, it's a shame people getting upset especially since getting upset won't change anything. I think a lot of the UK fans do feel possessive of the show because it came from Doctor Who which is a "their" show. I know they want to be the first but it's just not the case, so it seems.

Yes, Russell writing and John acting it's a great team ,there is no reason to assume it'll be anything short of phenomenal and I trust John Barrowman :)

"It is placed the finger into the wound, kept the mirror to us. Nothing in life is free - everything has his price."

That's a lovely way of putting it and yes I think Torchwood is a very honest representation of human nature and reflects the world which is why so many people are touched by it. There is a lot to learn from the stories it tells.

I am so excited I think I understand! I cannot wait for more Torchwood! Your English is fine.

Greetings from America!
Thanks for the lovely comment.


6/27/2011 12:41:19

@Chris #2 - Thanks for reading and I'm glad you liked my comments. I think it's a minor inconvenience but it's certainly nothing to get in a huff about. I've dealt with time cuts to Torchwood in America for 3 series now. Same with Doctor Who, it's not a big deal and I certainly have no issue with repeat viewing. I hope you enjoy both versions!

RIght of course there is a difference. One is editing content and censoring it. The other is editing time and usually gets rid of unimportant moments.

I didn't mean to imply that there was no intrinsic value in entertainment or art in general. Far from it. I simply meant that something as trivial in it's effects on the real world should not seep negativity into real life. Certainly art and Torchwood is a valuable reflection of life and human nature. And there is a lot to be gain from postulation and observation of such things. I am a fan, I swear.

I'm also looking forward to it! It's exciting that Starz will be able to provide it such a big budget to really do what it's capable of with less restriction. Both financial and editorial.

Thanks again for reading :)


6/27/2011 16:04:25

Thanks for both replies. It's interesting reading and thought provoking. Hopefully it's obvious that i'm a Torchwood fan too and i hope the show continues to thrive wherever it's made.

6/27/2011 23:29:27

Brilliant and well thought out, Dana.
I just happen to be one of those fans who get TW YEARS later than everyone else, and it's edited like crazy. Imagine a TW where you have no clue Jack likes guys, or that Jack and Ianto are a couple. No Jack/John or Jack/Jack. Also... no gore. Remeber the scene where Jack gets skewered in Sleeper? Well it didn't happen here!!! Welcome to the TW world on BBC Entertainmet Asia. And did I menton? No CoE yet, if ever.
So I'm glad there will be more Torchwood. I don't care who makes it, or where it's shown, as long as JB and RTD are on board, so will I be. OH. JB HAS TO BE THERE! Lol
So I'm grateful for downloads and DVDs. It's not that I don't want to watch it legitimately on TV, but, if like TW operatives, I die young, I'll never get the chance! And that would be really tragic...


Sandra Nelson
6/28/2011 03:44:41

Now you're picking up what I'm laying down, sister. I am from over on the Torchwoodforum site, and I read LOTS of fanfic on lj. And there is much doom and gloom, lots of vows of never watching the new TW cuz there's no Ianto, or Tosh or Owen. Sheeeesh! I keep telling people to chill, just wait, watch one of the new epis and THEN decide. Sadly, a lot of good fanfic writers have crumpled up into weepy helpless heaps, and won't write for the fandom anymore. Which is a crime , cuz some of 'em are just super writers. I say, look at the changes as a challenge, write your own spin.

If there REALLY is going to be another SEVEN!!! years of TW, ( be still my heart) there will be even more changes down the line. And that's called good television, folks. Stagnation kills a fanbase. Granted, I LIKED the characters RTD so gleefully killed off. And I'm sure that he will just as gleefully kill off MORE characters that I like. Him AND Josh Whedon!(gets grip on self) But we have to WATCH before we can critique, people! Don't consign the new episodes to the green waste bin until you've ACTUALLY SEEN THEM!

Now, I'm in Toronto, and our beloved Space channel will make sure we get our fix of TW as of July 9(YIPPEEE!) and will probably have it on Space's website as well. There will probably be some editing;this is Canada after all. But because there are very clear warnings put up before a show starts, we may not be as heavily edited as other places. I worry for the American Bible Belt. Full throttle Jack will cause bad cases of the vapors in thousands of homes. There are people out there who have NO clue of what is about to hit them. I remember my first exposure to The Captain....ahem.
Keep upthe good work!


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