BBC cuts Asian broadcast of lesbian “Dr. Who” kiss between human and lizard

The BBC censored a recent “Dr. Who” episode, cutting a scene of a lizard woman giving alien-mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a human woman, after concerns that the broadcast might violate Asian broadcast standards against public homosexuality on television.

The SCMP reports that the scene was cut from broadcasts in South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.


Dr. Who’s kinda sorta lesbian kiss between a woman and a female lizard person.

I stopped watching “Dr. Who” about the time he got his latest assistant, but apparently the lizard woman and the human woman are “wives,” so even though the kiss was for “medical reasons” — and even though the relationships was between a woman and a lizard — it was still too gay for Asian censors.

Because in Asia, bestiality is only for opposite sex partners?

At least the BBC thinks so.

Madame Vastra (left) and her wife Jenny Flint (right), on "Dr. Who."

Madame Vastra (left) and her wife Jenny Flint (right), on “Dr. Who.”

Not that we don’t indulge in our silly season in America when it comes to what’s acceptable on television. Still, it says something when a broadcast network is willing to censor itself on a human rights issue — and let’s face it, gay civil rights are human rights, and if the Asian censors don’t like it, they can pull “Dr. Who” entirely.

What other minorities will the BBC be censoring next?

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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15 Responses to “BBC cuts Asian broadcast of lesbian “Dr. Who” kiss between human and lizard”

  1. Richard Thompson says:

    It was Torchwood that brought me to the Dr. they referenced him so many times, without actually mentioning him, I had to find out who he was. Probably the best “accidental” stumble onto a show in my almost 5 decades…

  2. Richard Thompson says:

    Not that I disagree perse, but I’ve always thought of Dr Who as “intentionally campy” when it came to special effects, especially when compared to shows like Star Trek, Firefly, Babylon 5, etc. it’s kinda like the guaranteed five minutes of people running in every episode, it’s a running joke for fans of the show.

  3. vickif says:

    Yes we are.

  4. BeccaM says:

    I’ve been watching Who since the mid 1980s, when a friend/co-worker at my new job told me about the syndicated rebroadcasts on NJ and NY public television stations. Back then, they had the Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, and Peter Davidson eras on steady rotation. (Baker pretty much instantly became ‘My Doctor,’ with every other before or since falling into the category of “not as good as, but they’ll do*” — up until Tennant.)

    (* = Well, except for Colin Baker who is actually a very nice and friendly fellow in-person, but the Doctor Who writers of the time wanted an anti-hero and so wrote him to be insufferable, irritating, and annoying. For example, Colin was cool with the Doctor being a bit darker, and wanted to reflect this with a somber black outfit. The writers and producers instead dressed him in technicolor vomit.)

  5. vickif says:

    Torchwood is very interesting. My son bought me the DVD’s last Christmas because he saw I was watching my tapes all the time.

  6. vickif says:


  7. vickif says:

    I’ve watched Dr Who since Christopher Eccleston became the Doctor. Then David Tennant, then Matt Smith and now the new Doctor. I like Vastra and Jenny and I also like River Song.

  8. arcadesproject says:

    I saw that episode & thought it was good. More character driven, less special effects-y than some others. I wondered whether members of two different species can have a ‘lesbian’ relationship, though. I thought that was just for us humans. But maybe I’m being species-ist.

  9. Indigo says:

    Asian prudery is unexcelled though what happens once the shades are drawn is an entirely separate matter. Somehow, the subtle nuances of human rights are lost in the scramble of some Asian governments to cater to the fears and superstitions of their right wings. Enforcing full human rights in parts of Asia is akin to letting Texas pretend to enforce voters’ rights.

    Oh, and by the way . . . Dr. Who rules!

  10. BeccaM says:


    No, that’s Strax the Sontaran, who is Lady Vastra’s butler. Prior to that, he was a nurse — so dedicated to his job he had working mammary glands installed. The Sontarans are a race of clone warriors…and Strax’s running gags include his frequent proposals for utterly over-the-top violent solutions to small problems and his inability to tell human genders apart.

  11. BeccaM says:

    I have a feeling they’ll eventually try to spin it off. I can’t see why not. Torchwood had a decent run.

  12. crazymonkeylady says:

    I think it would be an awesome show by itself !!!

  13. Thom Allen says:

    Is the fat penis-shaped guy in the middle of the picture supposed to be Chris Christie preventing marriage equality?

  14. emjayay says:

    South Korea from what I have read is very retrograde on issues like understanding male privilege and objectification of women, and I suppose gay related stuff goes along with that. Some of those other countries are a lot Muslim, and come to think of it the same thing applies, except with religion/living in the world of a thousand plus years ago in the Middle East added.

  15. BeccaM says:

    Bastiges. Vastra and Jenny are the coolest married couple EVER on Doctor Who.

    Actually, if you’ve watched the recent seasons (I know you haven’t, but just sayin’), Lady Vastra’s Victorian-era detective agency is a recurring sub-plot, as is the quite risque and playful banter between the two wives. Both of whom apparently have awesome ninja skillz.

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