‘Doctor Who’: Beheading Scene Edited After Journalists Slain

The BBC has chosen to voluntarily edit a scene in this week’s upcoming episode of Doctor Who, after two journalists were brutally slain by ISIS militants in recent weeks.

The pre-emptive change was made as a mark of respect, according to The Guardian. This week’s episode of Doctor Who, the third of this season, revolves around the Doctor and companion Clara Oswald visiting medieval England, encountering Robin of Sherwood. The edit in question involves a beheading shown in the climactic fight scene between Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham. The episode, “Robot of Sherwood,” was filmed in February.

ISIS militants have murdered two journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, by beheading, as The Inquisitr has previously reported. Releasing disturbing video of the killings online, the militants have also threatened to murder a British journalist unless airstrikes in Iraq are suspended by U.S. forces. As a BBC spokesman explained, the changes to Doctor Who were made as a direct result of the killings.

“In light of recent news events, we have made an edit to episode three out of respect.”

As The Hollywood Reporter points out, the BBC is fortunate to be able to make the change to Doctor Who. Fox wasn’t so lucky, launching a promotional campaign for Sleepy Hollow centered around the Headless Horseman at the same time that news broke about the beheading of Sotloff. Organized with the hashtag “#headlessday”, the campaign declared September 2 “National Beheading Day.”

Doctor Who is currently in the midst of its eighth season since the series’ 2005 revival. New star Peter Capaldi, who features as the twelfth regeneration of the time traveling Gallifreyan known as The Doctor, has already garnered rave reviews for his portrayal from many fans.

The edit to “Robot of Sherwood” is not the first change that the BBC has made to Doctor Who this season. As The Independent notes, a same-sex kiss between lizard-woman Madame Vastra and her human wife Jenny Flint in the first episode of the season garnered complaints from six concerned citizens in the U.K. While TV regulator Ofcom stated it would not investigate, the kiss was edited out of Doctor Who ahead of its broadcast in Asian countries. Since the Asian BBC Entertainment feed is relayed from Singapore, the episode was altered to adhere to the country’s strict MDA broadcast code, lest BBC Worldwide face a fine.

Doctor Who will air, without the beheading scene, on September 6.

[Image via io9]