“He’s from Barcelona”.. Fawlty Towers - rate the episodes or discuss

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  • Posts: 4,599
    It's the scene with the Major talking about cricket IMHO
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    It could be practically anything, couldn t it? Sooner or later, the whole show will be banned.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited June 2020 Posts: 14,934
    It could be practically anything, couldn t it? Sooner or later, the whole show will be banned.

    The major used the N word, the show was edited by the BBC quite a few years ago to remove it, Cleese was fine with it, Netflix and UKTV were using the unedited version, it’ll be back soon in edited form.
    Nothing to do with Germans, nothing to get upset about.

    Here’s the Daily Mail last year trying to make you angry that it is there:
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7767363/Unedited-Fawlty-Towers-episode-containing-N-word-broadcast-Britbox.html


    Here’s the Daily Mail yesterday trying to make you angry that it isn’t there:
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8412479/Germans-episode-Fawlty-Towers-taken-air.html
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
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  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,458
    I'm no expert on the series but I have seen some episodes over many years and I've always thoroughly loved what I saw. Shame to see the censorship stretching this far, to stuff that's decades old, but I don't know enough about it to definitely say one way or the other how objectively ridiculous it is. Give it time, they'll edit the older Bond titles before we know it.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    I'm no expert on the series but I have seen some episodes over many years and I've always thoroughly loved what I saw.

    giphy.gif?cid=ecf05e477455ed8274b634da24092a1f3cd0256020a799b0&rid=giphy.gif
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited June 2020 Posts: 14,934
    Revelator wrote: »

    I saw his tweets but it was unclear exactly what he was railing against, not least because he's been reported to have okayed the editing when it happened 7 years ago. He also blames 'the BBC' which is odd because they're not involved in this. UKTV is owned by them (more likely BBC Studios in fact which is a different company) but not controlled by them.
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    I'm no expert on the series but I have seen some episodes over many years and I've always thoroughly loved what I saw. Shame to see the censorship stretching this far, to stuff that's decades old, but I don't know enough about it to definitely say one way or the other how objectively ridiculous it is. Give it time, they'll edit the older Bond titles before we know it.

    What are you thinking of in particular? The n-word has never been said in a Bond film, the worst I can think of is Strutter referring to 'spades' in LALD.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,458
    I'm not discussing that in particular, @mtm - as my statement reflects, I don't know enough about the episode or scene in question to state my opinion definitively - but rather the process of editing film or television that has existed for decades and is a product of its time. I even saw some band changed their name the other day due to its historical ties, apparently.

    There's plenty enough from the Bond franchise, from racial-esque slurs to the way women are treated, that I'm sure some would be happy to edit out and permanently destroy if given the chance.

    Of course, this is another debate entirely when it comes to the topical issue of statues being destroyed in the past several weeks.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    edited June 2020 Posts: 45,489
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    I'm not discussing that in particular, @mtm - as my statement reflects, I don't know enough about the episode or scene in question to state my opinion definitively - but rather the process of editing film or television that has existed for decades and is a product of its time. I even saw some band changed their name the other day due to its historical ties, apparently.

    There's plenty enough from the Bond franchise, from racial-esque slurs to the way women are treated, that I'm sure some would be happy to edit out and permanently destroy if given the chance.

    Of course, this is another debate entirely when it comes to the topical issue of statues being destroyed in the past several weeks.

    Destroying and removing old culture you don t like is what both the nazis and the Islamic State and Mao did, just to name a few. You can add Moses.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,529
    Censorship is never a good thing. It's a sign of regression, not of progress. It's a sign of fighting intolerance with even more intolerance. It's a ridiculous slippery slope issue. But above all, it's a battle you can't win. If you start looking for problems, you will always find them, in every film. And it's hypocritical. Fawlty Towers was programmed into their schedule because it still has commercial value. They didn't worry about that specific episode when the promise of viewership was there. But now--oh no!--it's become tainted goods. So suddenly, it's no longer welcome in their programming. Pathetic.

    Same thing with Gone With The Wind. Let the film educate people on all the wrongs of the past. Pulling it from the list is just sad. It's one thing to openly discuss something important; it's a whole other thing to cowardly yield to a sudden outbreak of anger and all the irrational and stupid demands that come with it.

    I noticed a certain torrent website put Gone With The Wind on its "hot list" today. I actually like that. If Netflix or whatever doesn't want you to see it anymore, downloading the film for free is just as good.

    Yes, we need to discuss racism and all that was and still is wrong. But films, TV series, comic books, novels, ... produced decades ago, leave those alone. There's woke and there's crazy woke. Pretending a certain Fawlty Towers episode doesn't exist is an example of the latter.
  • Posts: 2,895
    mtm wrote: »
    I saw his tweets but it was unclear exactly what he was railing against, not least because he's been reported to have okayed the editing when it happened 7 years ago. He also blames 'the BBC' which is odd because they're not involved in this. UKTV is owned by them (more likely BBC Studios in fact which is a different company) but not controlled by them.

    I'm guessing that UKTV was using the full version and not the edited one, for whatever reason. In any case, the episode is being reinstated, presumably with a trigger warning. His comments about the corporate management at the BBC seems spot on, even if the production arm is separate from the streaming one.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,458
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Censorship is never a good thing. It's a sign of regression, not of progress. It's a sign of fighting intolerance with even more intolerance. It's a ridiculous slippery slope issue. But above all, it's a battle you can't win. If you start looking for problems, you will always find them, in every film. And it's hypocritical. Fawlty Towers was programmed into their schedule because it still has commercial value. They didn't worry about that specific episode when the promise of viewership was there. But now--oh no!--it's become tainted goods. So suddenly, it's no longer welcome in their programming. Pathetic.

    Same thing with Gone With The Wind. Let the film educate people on all the wrongs of the past. Pulling it from the list is just sad. It's one thing to openly discuss something important; it's a whole other thing to cowardly yield to a sudden outbreak of anger and all the irrational and stupid demands that come with it.

    I noticed a certain torrent website put Gone With The Wind on its "hot list" today. I actually like that. If Netflix or whatever doesn't want you to see it anymore, downloading the film for free is just as good.

    Yes, we need to discuss racism and all that was and still is wrong. But films, TV series, comic books, novels, ... produced decades ago, leave those alone. There's woke and there's crazy woke. Pretending a certain Fawlty Towers episode doesn't exist is an example of the latter.

    Once again, infinitely better than I could've stated it, Dimi.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited June 2020 Posts: 14,934
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    I'm not discussing that in particular, @mtm - as my statement reflects, I don't know enough about the episode or scene in question to state my opinion definitively - but rather the process of editing film or television that has existed for decades and is a product of its time. I even saw some band changed their name the other day due to its historical ties, apparently.

    There's plenty enough from the Bond franchise, from racial-esque slurs to the way women are treated, that I'm sure some would be happy to edit out and permanently destroy if given the chance.

    Of course, this is another debate entirely when it comes to the topical issue of statues being destroyed in the past several weeks.

    I think that’s unnecessary extrapolation. No one has asked for that and there’s no sign of that happening. It’s best to worry about things when they happen and try to understand why other things are happening now.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 14,934
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    I'm not discussing that in particular, @mtm - as my statement reflects, I don't know enough about the episode or scene in question to state my opinion definitively - but rather the process of editing film or television that has existed for decades and is a product of its time. I even saw some band changed their name the other day due to its historical ties, apparently.

    There's plenty enough from the Bond franchise, from racial-esque slurs to the way women are treated, that I'm sure some would be happy to edit out and permanently destroy if given the chance.

    Of course, this is another debate entirely when it comes to the topical issue of statues being destroyed in the past several weeks.

    Destroying and removing old culture you don t like is what both the nazis and the Islamic State and Mao did, just to name a few. You can add Moses.

    To think this sensitivity to racism is comparable to the extreme racism the Nazis undertook is completely the wrong way around.
    No culture is being destroyed at all.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited June 2020 Posts: 14,934
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Censorship is never a good thing. It's a sign of regression, not of progress. It's a sign of fighting intolerance with even more intolerance. It's a ridiculous slippery slope issue. But above all, it's a battle you can't win. If you start looking for problems, you will always find them, in every film. And it's hypocritical. Fawlty Towers was programmed into their schedule because it still has commercial value. They didn't worry about that specific episode when the promise of viewership was there. But now--oh no!--it's become tainted goods. So suddenly, it's no longer welcome in their programming. Pathetic.

    Intolerance for racism is bad, is that what you’re saying here?
    And it is welcome in their programming: the episode in particular will be returning.
    Everything gets censored. Even Bond films before we ever get to see them.
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Same thing with Gone With The Wind. Let the film educate people on all the wrongs of the past. Pulling it from the list is just sad. It's one thing to openly discuss something important; it's a whole other thing to cowardly yield to a sudden outbreak of anger and all the irrational and stupid demands that come with it.

    I noticed a certain torrent website put Gone With The Wind on its "hot list" today. I actually like that. If Netflix or whatever doesn't want you to see it anymore, downloading the film for free is just as good.

    It’s HBO Max, and they have literally said it will return to their platform with a "discussion of its historical context".

    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Yes, we need to discuss racism and all that was and still is wrong. But films, TV series, comic books, novels, ... produced decades ago, leave those alone. There's woke and there's crazy woke. Pretending a certain Fawlty Towers episode doesn't exist is an example of the latter.

    They’re not pretending it doesn’t exist: they will be replacing it with the edited version made 7 years ago and which wasn’t there presumably purely through error.
    If you’re going to get angry you need to pay attention to the actual facts: there’s an awful lot of uninformed kneejerking in your post.

    Revelator wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    I saw his tweets but it was unclear exactly what he was railing against, not least because he's been reported to have okayed the editing when it happened 7 years ago. He also blames 'the BBC' which is odd because they're not involved in this. UKTV is owned by them (more likely BBC Studios in fact which is a different company) but not controlled by them.

    I'm guessing that UKTV was using the full version and not the edited one, for whatever reason. In any case, the episode is being reinstated, presumably with a trigger warning. His comments about the corporate management at the BBC seems spot on, even if the production arm is separate from the streaming one.

    Apart from the BBC not being responsible, you mean?


    The main problem with all of this is that it’s a massive distraction piece, designed to get comfortable white people angry because ‘those awful people are taking our beloved sitcoms away’ (much the same technique as was used in Brexit campaigning), so compassion for the black lives matter campaign is eroded and attention is taken off the real problems to be replaced with non-issues. It’s tragic.

    You’re being played: some of you are even complaining about things that haven’t even happened, and all so you turn away from the real issues.
  • BennyBenny In the shadowsAdministrator, Moderator
    Posts: 14,864
    It's beyond stupid, luckily I have all the episodes on dvd, so can watch them whenever I want.
    This censorship from the entertainment industry is getting out of hand. Where does it end?
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited June 2020 Posts: 14,934
    Benny wrote: »
    It's beyond stupid, luckily I have all the episodes on dvd, so can watch them whenever I want.
    This censorship from the entertainment industry is getting out of hand. Where does it end?

    It hasn’t started: you have it on DVD as you say. The original version of the episode is still widely available.
    To worry about this is to completely ignore the most important problems of racism in our society today. Which do you think is more important?

    Who got annoyed when they changed the name of Agatha Christie’s novel ‘Ten Little N——-‘?
  • BennyBenny In the shadowsAdministrator, Moderator
    edited June 2020 Posts: 14,864
    I'd hope that we're all concerned about racism. The episode 'The Germans' has plenty of content that would be deemed offensive. From Basils reaction to Sybil's doctor, to the Majors recounting of a cricket match between India and the West Indies.
    The storyline with the Germans is the least offensive of the episode.
    We can't change history, but we can change the future. To tell people what people they can and can't watch is not going to solve any racist issue's society has.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 14,934
    Benny wrote: »
    I'd hope that we're all concerned about racism. The episode 'The Germans' has plenty of content that would be deemed offensive. From Basils reaction to Sybil's doctor, to the Majors recounting of a cricket match between India and the West Indies.

    I suspect it's only the Major's dialogue which is the issue in this episode.
    Benny wrote: »
    We can't change history, but we can change the future. To tell people what people they can and can't watch is not going to solve any racist issue's society has.

    What helps to change the future is making racist terms unacceptable. Loads of kids watch Fawlty and love it, by not showing them that calling someone a 'w*g' is funny, you help to change the future just a little bit.
  • BennyBenny In the shadowsAdministrator, Moderator
    Posts: 14,864
    If something offends you, then don't watch it. If you're watching something offensive with your kids, then is that not your fault for letting them watch it.
    I've watched movies and tv shows with my kids, that I've explained afterwards why it may be inappropriate.
    Does watching Fawlty Towers make me a racist?
    I hope not. Can I not find the content funny, even if it's no longer acceptable. I know the difference between right and wrong.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited June 2020 Posts: 14,934
    Benny wrote: »
    If something offends you, then don't watch it.

    That's not the point: I'm saying racist language is unacceptable. It's not about whether it offends you, it's about whether using it in society offends those people it is directly aimed at.
    If it's used in a hard-hitting drama tackling these issues then it has a place, but I can't think of anywhere else it should be.

    Benny wrote: »
    If you're watching something offensive with your kids, then is that not your fault for letting them watch it.

    No idea why that's important.

    Benny wrote: »
    I've watched movies and tv shows with my kids, that I've explained afterwards why it may be inappropriate.
    Does watching Fawlty Towers make me a racist?

    Who suggested that? That's a strawman.
    Benny wrote: »
    I hope not. Can I not find the content funny, even if it's no longer acceptable. I know the difference between right and wrong.

    Why is keeping racist language in circulation 'right' then?
  • BennyBenny In the shadowsAdministrator, Moderator
    Posts: 14,864
    I laughed at the episode 'Communications Problems' earlier. Best let people who are hard of hearing know. Just in case they don't find it funny too.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited June 2020 Posts: 14,934
    Benny wrote: »
    I laughed at the episode 'Communications Problems' earlier. Best let people who are hard of hearing know. Just in case they don't find it funny too.

    So false equivalence rather than actually being able to answer my points? That's dummy-spitting, it's not discussing the situation.

    It's not an ideal situation: I'd love these things to stay unedited too. But it's just less important than the real issues at play. Nothing is being erased forever, it's just certain platforms which are trimming them, much like Licence To Kill gets its exploding head and swearing cut out when it's shown at 3pm. If you can understand why that happens, you can understand why this is happening.
  • BennyBenny In the shadowsAdministrator, Moderator
    Posts: 14,864
    What do you want me to say @mtm?
    You're clearly looking for an argument.
    Is there offensive material in 'The Germans' ?Yes
    Would it be allowed today? No
    This was aired over forty years ago, when it wasn't deemed offensive. Can I or we change that? No.
    By removing such things from people is not going to cure racism. Would it not be better to educate on why these things are offensive?
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited June 2020 Posts: 14,934
    Benny wrote: »
    What do you want me to say @mtm?
    You're clearly looking for an argument.

    No, I'm looking for a conversation. I'm not angry about this, I'm sorry if you're getting that impression, but you'd be wrong.
    I'm giving reasoned, non-argumentative answers to your points but you're ignoring mine and then going on the offensive against me personally. If anyone is looking for an argument it's not me.

    Benny wrote: »
    Is there offensive material in 'The Germans' ?Yes
    Would it be allowed today? No
    This was aired over forty years ago, when it wasn't deemed offensive. Can I or we change that? No.

    This whole situation is about airing it today. No-one is calling for the past to be changed: that would be impossible and insane. Please, the strawmen aren't helping.
    It's still available to buy in unedited form.
    Benny wrote: »
    By removing such things from people is not going to cure racism.

    Yes it will. Bit by bit. Racism is caused by a cumulative drip-drip of what is seen as permissible and acceptable. It's not acceptable to be used in comedy anymore, and people watch these as entertainments today. Those who wish to watch them as historical documents are able to do so too and seek out the original edit, which won't be hard to find.
    The only shame is that the recent Blu-Ray isn't as good a job as it could have been, but that's another matter!
    Benny wrote: »
    Would it not be better to educate on why these things are offensive?

    Not really, no. Fawlty Towers isn't designed for educational purposes. Some things are, and it is helpful to absorb some attitudes of the past, but shocking moments like this won't help when folks are seeking entertainment and sends out the wrong message when a lovable old duffer like the Major says it, even despite Fawlty being slightly uncomfortable in that circumstance.
    You don't need to watch Fawlty Towers to learn why being racist is offensive, why would you?
  • BennyBenny In the shadowsAdministrator, Moderator
    Posts: 14,864
    Well call me what you want. I enjoy Fawlty Towers as a series. I don't consider myself a racist, and believe I know right from wrong.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited June 2020 Posts: 14,934
    Benny wrote: »
    Well call me what you want.

    Not sure what this means..? Do you think you're being called a racist?
    Benny wrote: »
    I enjoy Fawlty Towers as a series. I don't consider myself a racist, and believe I know right from wrong.

    Again, I'm not sure what this is in answer to. Literally no-one has said that people who watch Fawlty are racists.


    Anyway, UKTV have said it's being reinstated with a guidance note on it:
    https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2020/jun/12/john-cleese-attacks-stupid-removal-of-fawlty-towers-episode
    I'm not quite clear on whether that means they'll be using the original or 2013 edit.
  • Fire_and_Ice_ReturnsFire_and_Ice_Returns I am trying to get away from this mountan!
    Posts: 23,271
    'Those who can't remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'
  • BennyBenny In the shadowsAdministrator, Moderator
    Posts: 14,864
    @mtm I have no issue with you, so let's leave it at that.
    \m/
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