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
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
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
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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