Monday, August 20, 2007

BBC vetoes Islamic terror storyline

While I freely admit that I absolutely have it in for the BBC, I've got better things to do than write posts about them every five minutes - but they just keep walking into it. This morning the UK's Telegraph reports that the Beeb has dropped plans to film an episode of its hospital drama Casualty featuring an attack by a Muslim suicide bomber.

Senior BBC executives, reports the Telegraph, "had discussed the plotline in a development meeting but were overruled by the corporation's editorial guidelines department amid fears it would cause offence".

This would be fair enough if the BBC didn't want to offend anyone, ever; but this is the same BBC that brings you the spy drama Spooks, which has featured evil CIA agents, evil Israelis and evil anti-abortion activists among its gallery of villains.

Now, even given my general loathing of the BBC, there's a special dark, dank corner in the pits of my heart reserved for Casualty. The show is melodrama at its worst: badly written and badly acted, while at the same time being painfully earnest and 'issue-driven'; and on top of all that, when I lived in a part of Bristol (in South-west England) where they did a lot of location filming for the show they used to close roads and tow residents' cars away with impunity. And one of the blokes in the props department owes me £500. However, the people who watch this drivel are the sort of people who don't read books, or newspaper articles that aren't about celebrities; in other words they're the kind of people who, if they're ever going to learn about Islamic extremism, will have to learn about it from a second-rate TV drama. And if the BBC has its way, that's never going to happen.

Mind you, even if they had made the show, the suicide bomber would doubtless have come across as a sympathetic figure driven to extremism by British and American foreign policy, so maybe we had a lucky escape after all.

The Telegraph has a slightly less personal editorial on the subject.

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