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Last Updated: Monday, 16 May, 2005, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Under-12 ban on Dalek torture DVD
Doctor Who episode "Dalek"
Rose (Billie Piper) encounters the captive Dalek in the episode
Young children will be unable to buy Doctor Who DVD of the latest TV series after censors objected to a scene showing a Dalek being tortured.

The DVD of episodes from the BBC show, starring Christopher Eccleston, has a 12 rating and unavailable to under-12s.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) felt the Dalek episode showed "violence and cruelty as a way of dealing with problems".

Last month the BBC denied the series was too frightening for under-eights.

Captive taunted

In the episode - entitled Dalek and broadcast on BBC One last month - a collector chains up one of the killer creatures, which screams as its helmet is drilled into.

The Doctor, played Eccleston, is then seen to taunt the captured Dalek which is initially unable to retaliate.

He later attempts to shoot the Dalek at close range but is prevented from doing so by his companion Rose Tyler, played by Billie Piper.

We are concerned about role models for children using the sort of tactics that Doctor Who used against the Dalek
British Board of Film Classification
"We are concerned about role models for children using the sort of tactics that Doctor Who used against the Dalek," a BBFC spokeswoman said.

"If that was transferred into the playground it would be something we would want to tackle."

The BBFC said the 2002 movie Spider-Man was similarly issued with a 12 certificate, rather than the less restrictive PG rating.

"It received a 12 because of its scenes of urban violence and the fact that role model Spider-Man used violence as a way of dealing with his problems."

Doctor Who
The Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) is shown taunting the creature
Earlier episode The Unquiet Dead, which featured Victorian killer zombies, has also been released on DVD with a 12 certificate.

The BBC said it would not appeal against the BBFC rating.

"We would have preferred a PG rating but we were not willing to re-edit the episodes to obtain that - we wanted to release the episodes exactly as they had been on seen on TV," a spokeswoman said.

On its early evening broadcast in April, the BBC initially said The Unquiet Dead episode was not suitable for children under eight.

The corporation later revised its advice, stating that while the episode "may be scary", its content had been "carefully considered" for a pre-watershed audience.


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