Doctor Who returned for the third episode of Season 8 last night with 5.22M viewers for a 25.4 share from 7:30-8:15 PM UK time on BBC One. That was 20,000 up on last week, according to the overnights. Last Saturday’s episode was down 1.59M on the August 23 S8 debut that introduced Peter Capaldi as the 12th Time Lord. Last night’s episode again had a 15-minute overlap with ITV’s X Factor UK which was down compared to last week, but up compared to last year.
Doctor Who has made two content tweaks in the past couple of weeks, one in light of current affairs, and the other owing to the broadcasting code in Singapore. Last night’s episode, Robot Of Sherwood, was edited to remove a beheading from a fight scene as a sign of respect following the recent murders of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by extremist group ISIS. The scene in question is believed to have featured a fight between Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham and was filmed in February, BBC News reported. A BBC spokesperson said, “In light of recent news events, we have made an edit to episode three out of respect.”
Meanwhile, the first episode, Deep Breath, saw a scene between two women edited for viewers in Asia due to local rules. The scene featured Silurian lizard-woman Madame Vastra kissing her human wife Jenny Flint as a means to share oxygen. The kiss would have run afoul of the MDA broadcast code for Singapore. The BBC entertainment feed is sent out from Singapore to six other countries in the region. Had BBC Worldwide not made the cut, it would have been liable for a fine.
The code states: “Information, themes or subplots on lifestyles such as homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexualism, transsexualism, transvestism, paedophilia and incest should be treated with utmost caution. Their treatment should not in any way promote, justify or glamorise such lifestyles. Explicit dialogue or information concerning the above topics should not be broadcast.”
BBC Worldwide told Deadline, “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 8, but did so without detracting from the storyline.”