Doctor Who (2000s), 803 - Jenna Coleman, Tom Riley and Peter Capaldi
Doctor Who (2000s), 803 "Robot of Sherwood" - Clara (Jenna Coleman), Robin (Tom Riley), and the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) ©2014 BBC Wordlwide

The BBC has edited this weeks Doctor Who 803Robot of Sherwood” to remove some elements of a beheading scene thought to involve Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Doctor Who (2000s), 803 “Robot of Sherwood” – The Sheriff (Ben Miller) and a sonic screwdriver! ©2014 BBC Wordlwide, photo by Adrian Rogers

Obviously these may be ‘Robots’ that we are talking about but in view of what happened to two US journalists by so called ‘Islamic State’ militants it was thought necessary. A BBC spokesman said: “In light of recent news events, we have made an edit to episode three out of respect.”

The sensitivity on this comes after journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were beheaded by militants, who released video footage of the killings. The Islamic State extremists also threatened to kill a British hostage unless US air strikes in Iraq stopped.

This is reminiscent of the Tom Baker days, when Mary Whitehouse complained so much even attacks by big fluffy rats (‘Talons of Weng Chiang‘) had scenes trimmed. One notable scene edited on a repeat showing was in a story much critised by Jan Vincent-Rudzki, ‘The Deadly Assasin‘. Here Tom Baker’s Doctor head was held underwater.

We suspect these edits will reflected in all versions around the world including what gets transmitted by BBC America. Looks like we may, after all, get a ‘nothing comedy story’ after all with the cutting edge drama cut out?

Doctor Who 803Robot of Sherwood” will air on Saturday September 6, at 9pm in US and 7:30pm in the UK.

Colin Davies

The editor of Film Review Online More by Colin Davies