Sunday, 13 May 2012
SILENT MAJORITY DENIED
I sat down to watch this week's Silent Witness crime drama only to find a repeat of Death in Paradise instead.
I know there had been 500 complaints about a particularly nasty male rape scene in the second two part drama of the long running crime drama and I think the BBC got cold feet in showing the next instalment, And Then I fell in Love.
According to Silent Witness News the BBC has pulled it because it needs further editing and that's why they showed an old, but good, repeat last week and replaced it with something else entirely this week.
I wonder if that's because the Beeb is worried about possible violent scenes in the last two episodes that may prompt more complaints if shown in their current format that they've decided to tone them down a bit.
If that involves recalling the actors and film crew then that would explain why it's now been scheduled to appear later in the year and can't be shown now.
Personally, I found those controversial scenes very disturbing but no more than violent or sexually degrading content in many other series and films.
I am very sensitive to such drama but I look away, put the kettle on, make a cup of tea and pick up the storyline when I get back to the room after the upsetting scenes have ended and moved on.
It loses nothing as far as plot is concerned and the fact that I know such characters are capable of such atrocities is enough for me. I don't need to see so much of them doing their worst.
I can't write such scenes because I can't bear to be that close to violence. Sometimes I wonder if they need to be so graphic in telling a story (and sometimes I wonder if I'd have more success if I could write that way).
I don't think the Silent Witness scenes were that graphic but they were cleverly written and acted so the audience was drawn into feeling the humiliation and pain of the victim and could "see" what wasn't there.
Why 500 people have nothing better to do than complain about an episode shown when all good kids should be in bed, and all nutters locked up, is beyond me.
The Beeb really should put this into perpespective rather than be forced into censorship. There are some 60 million people in the UK and 5.68 million who watch Silent Witness.
The complaints, therefore, are miniscule in comparison and don't reflect what the viewer generally thinks. Should we let the tiny minority decide and dictate to the majority who obviously don't give a damn?
The BBC would appear to be going over the top in taking the responsible broadcaster position but in doing so it insults its audience's intellectual ability.
Meanwhile, as a licence payer, I am shown repeats of an old series, which I enjoyed at the time but would now rather watch something new, and that is hardly value for money just because 500 people, who probably look for things to be offended about, didn't know how to change channel or turn their TV off .
I think the BBC should grow a pair, frankly.