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Fictional heroes go up in smoke

The law banning smoking in public places in Scotland came into force recently, England is to follow next year. But even before the ban started it was announced that hard-drinking chain-smoking cop DI John Rebus was not going to be allowed to put a cigarette in his mouth in the next TV series (shot, of course, in Scotland).

Rebus without a fag on? Whatever next? Will he have to chew Nicorette gum insead.. or perhaps cover himself in nicotine patches?

Detectives have a bit of a tendency to smoke. There was Poirot; he liked a cigarette, in a nice long holder, Columbo had his cheroots and Phillip Marlow, he was on about 40 a day, Sherlock Holmes enjoyed a pipe or two (and not just of tobacco).
Spaghetti westerns too; there's hardly a scene in a Clint Eastwood film where he doesn't have a stogie clamped between his teeth.

They'll all have to be censored. Little patches of pixellated vision will hover near their mouths as the censors protect us from the corrupting images. Perhaps the genitals of streaking football fans will now be exposed as teams of editors are overworked expunging smoking materials from the hands of film and TV stars.

It's not just fictional characters who are targeted by the ciggie vigilantes. The cover photo for a forthcoming re-issue of some early Beatles material has had the cigarettes airbrushed out of the Fab Four's hands. Evidently they took Ringo's fingers out too, how's he going to hold a drum-stick now?

And why stop at smoking? There are plenty of other shameful acts perpetrated by fictional characters on TV and in film these days.

Drug taking for a start, by the time they've finished censoring Train Spotting there'll be no film left... and violence, almost any recent blockbuster movie will have to have the good bits cut out. Resevoir Dogs, will be edited down to a family version, which'll probably run to about 15 minutes. I reckon that bit with the spider in Lord of The Rings had better go too, it shows insects (sorry.. arachnids) in a bad light (and it's scary), then there are those Hobbits, goodness knows what they put in their pipes.

James Bond, he'll have to stop all that casual sex... it's not politically correct. Casanova? Definitely not a suitable subject for a TV show, lock up the BBC right now!

So to sum up: We should have wholesome TV with no smoking, drinking, over-eating, sex and/or violence, loud clothes, swearing, rock music, unwashed people, annoying visual effects or rude jokes.
I think that just leaves the Waltons and the Test Card...

Sod that! I'm off down to the DVD rental place. I think they've got an under-the-counter hard-core version of BBC3's "The Smoking Room".

© Winamop. March 2006

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© Winamop 2005