The Asian viewing public can watch the latest incarnation of Doctor Who – minus the scene of two women kissing each other.
As reported in Radio Times, the BBC removed a scene of two women kissing from the venerable sci-fi series when it aired on the BBC Entertainment network in Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore last week.
In the excised scene, the alien character of Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) and her human wife Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart) lock lips to share oxygen while hiding from murderous droids who can only detect people when they’re breathing.
The BBC removed the scene in its entirety in order to comply with the strict broadcast code in Singapore, which states in part: “Information, themes or subplots on lifestyles such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism, transsexualism, transvestism, paedophilia and incest should be treated with utmost caution.”
Said a BBC spokesperson: “In order to comply with broadcast regulations in Asia where our BBC Entertainment channel airs, BBC Worldwide made a brief edit to the first episode of Doctor Who series eight, but did so without detracting from the storyline.”
In Britain, Doctor Who returned two weeks ago to a record audience of nearly seven-million viewers and the same kiss drew a total of six complaints from viewers. The British Office of Communications dismissed the complaints, stating, “Our rules do not discriminate between scenes involving opposite sex and same-sex couples.”