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Hixie's Natural Log

2002-12-20 18:37 UTC BBC uncensors musical

So apparently there is a lot more to the story of Once more with feeling being cut than I originally realised.

It appears there are two official versions of the episode: a 42 minute version, which BBC showed yesterday, and a 50 minute extended version. The BBC knew about this back in January, when they berated Sky for planning to show the 42 minute version, and then promised to show the full-length version when they discovered that they could. Apparently when Sky heard that they could show the long version after all, they had it rushed over so that they could show it, and that is the version they first broadcast (although they also showed the shorter version at least once, as I understand it).

But the BBC apparently forgot all about this, got the wrong copy, and showed that, much to the dismay of many fans. On the positive side, they have realised their mistake and are going to show the extended version tonight. TiVo users, don't forget to tell your magic devices that tonight's showing is a different version and should be recorded as well!

Based on the rumours I read in various newsgroups and bulletin boards, it appears the UK has a long history of having Buffy episodes cut: back at the start of the year, there was a petition to have Sky show season 6 later so that they wouldn't cut it. Does anyone know what came of that? I didn't notice any edits while watching the later episodes, but I don't know if that's just because I wasn't paying attention of if there weren't any. (Having a TiVo means I have no clue when programmes are actually shown... was the time slot moved to after the watershed?)

By the way, why isn't there a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan site as thorough as the Babylon 5 fan site The Lurker's Guide? Are Buffy fans just not as nerdy as B5 fans? I mean, I can watch And the Sky Full of Stars and then immediately go online and find that the Horoscopes were on page 8A of the Universe Today newspaper in that episode, or I can watch War Without End, Part Two and then find that the box of tools Zathras uses cost $10, or I could watch Moments of Transition, and then quickly check that the appearance of the Agamemnon is indeed an unintentional glitch, which was corrected in later airings. And, StarTrek fans have written hugely detailed analyses of the StarDate system, compiled hideously comprehensive lists of every single star system, planet, country, and stellar phenomenon in the StarTrek universe, and analysed the physics of the Warp drive to an obscene level.

Where is the encyclopedia of Buffy demons? The episode analysis explaining what Dawn's line The hardest thing in this world is to live in it is in reference to? The list of all the spells that Willow, Tara, and other witches have cast?

2002-12-19 22:50 UTC BBC censors musical

BBC2 showed Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode 6.07 Once more with feeling today.

Well that is to say, they showed some of it.

They cut at least 10 minutes!

Spoilers follow.

Namely:

  1. Everything up to the graveyard scene, including the scene with Buffy and her alarm clock, the scene with Willow, Tara, and Dawn going about their morning business, the key scene where Tara finds the Lethe's Bramble, and the scene with the gang going about their daily lives in the magic shop.
  2. The conversation at the start of the magic shop scene after Something to sing about, from Buffy entering the shop to Buffy's line So no research?, including the bit about Buffy taking (or rather, not taking) Dawn to school.
  3. The end of I've got a theory / Bunnies/ If we're together from Anya's line Or maybe midgets to her line Except for bunnies (including Buffy's line Hey, I've died twice).
  4. Willow's line I thought it was neat.
  5. The section of the dialogue after the song that refers back to the bit of the song that was cut, from Giles' I thought it didn't matter to Buffy's hugs and puppies.
  6. Dawn's line I gave birth to a pterodactyl and Anya's reply Oh, my god. Did it sing?.
  7. Buffy's line The volumey text and Tara's You know....
  8. From Xander's I bet they're... singing to his Oh yeah.
  9. The start of the scene in Xander's apppartment from Anya's Hey baby, you don't have to go to work? to Xander's It's a flab thing (which, oddly, has been replaced with the line You want some breakfast baby? as a voiceover of a shot of his building).
  10. During Spike's Rest in peace, the second half of the second verse, from You know, you got a willing slave to Stop visiting my grave and let me rest in peace.
  11. Dawn's line I just hate it when you... (although the bits on either side of it are still there).
  12. Tara's line Will you be okay for a little while? followed by Dawn's line Yes, the fifteen year old can spend half an hour alone in her locked house.
  13. The first few seconds of the first scene in the Bronze.
  14. Sweet's line at the end of What you feel: Now we're partying... that's what it's all about.
  15. Anya's line: Dawn may have had the wrong idea in summoning this creature but I've seen some of these underworld child-bride deals and they never end well. Maybe once.
  16. Willow's line A little confusion spell could and Tara's response No! I mean, I don't think it'll help.
  17. From Buffy's line So one by one, they turn, from me to Anya's She came from the grave much graver.
  18. Buffy's line You got a name?, Sweet's response I got a hundred and Buffy's reply Well, I oughta know what to call you if you're going to be my brother-in-law.
  19. Sweet's line: Come now. Is that really what you feel?
  20. Buffy's line I think you already know and Sweet smiling impishly.
  21. Dawn's line: The hardest thing in this world is to live in it.
  22. Xander's line Does this mean that I have to... be your queen? and Sweet's line It's tempting... but I think we'll waive that clause just this once.

In fact, about the only thing that it seems the BBC didn't cut is the left and right eigths of the wide screen format, which coincidentally is the only thing that sky|one cut when they showed this episode earlier this year. And you know what, I'd much rather see it in 4:3 ratio with adverts than see it in 16:9 ratio with no adverts but with huge chunks of the plot missing.

The most amusing thing in all this is that the quiz for this episode on the BBC site has two questions (out of ten) that require you to have seen bits that the BBC cut!!!

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2002-12-17 10:08 UTC Talent spotting in unexpected spinoffs

In a surprising turn of events, we have discovered hidden talents in Kamakaze... he's an artist!

Apparently he got bored of fixing bugs in Voidwars (that's the successor to Battlegrounds, which I mentioned in my first Web log entry — Voidwars is currently in beta testing mode, by the way, so if you are bored, help us test it!), and instead decided to draw a comic strip about the events of the game.

So far there are two strips: Why the Terran and the Bakani aren't at peace and another one. I can't wait to see if some recurring characters are introduced and if there is a long term arc! Will we really have to wait a whole week?

2002-12-17 01:45 UTC Popularity contest

Mozillazine is having a hilarious poll: Which Mozilla developer would you most like to have round for Christmas dinner?

I promise I'll even eat any left-overs you have!

(And please — only vote once.)

2002-12-13 09:30 UTC Being sued for breaking and entering... into your own property

It's been reported all over the place, of course, but this week Oslo has seen the opening of the trial of Jon Lech Johansen, who, as far as I can tell, is accused of trying to watch a DVD that he had bought.

Yeah, we can't have that. Whatever next. Someone who thinks it's ok to buy a book and then read it?

One of my CSS Working Group colleagues, Håkon Lie, is attending the trial, and has written up some thoughts on the matter from the court room.

Contributing to the mess of DeCSS descramblers in their various forms, this link points to the source of a tiny DeCSS implementation, but it isn't hosted on any particular internet host... merely linking to it makes it exist.