Racial content warning added to old 'Doctor Who' episodes on Britbox

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Tom Baker as the Doctor (Credit: BBC)

New streaming service Britbox has added warnings about racially insensitive content to some older episodes of Doctor Who.

One is specifically added to the episodes of the The Talons of Weng-Chiang storyline, during Tom Baker's tenure as the fourth Doctor.

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The warning prior to streaming reads 'Contains stereotypes that some may find offensive'.

Set over six episodes, it was final storyline of show's 14th series, airing in 1977, and set in 19th century London.

The Talons of Weng-Chiang (Credit: BBC)

Baker's Doctor is pitted against a criminal from the 51st Century, Magnus Greel, played by Michael Spice, who poses as an ancient Chinese god, while the actor John Bennett plays a Chinese magician called Li H’sen Chang, and is made up to appear stereotypically Chinese.

There is also use of racial slurs in the dialogue, but despite this, it's often voted one of the best ever series by fans of the show.

The Talons of Weng-Chiang (Credit: BBC)

Latter day showrunner Russell T. Davies described the dialogue as being the 'best ever written' for the show.

Though it has long been criticised for its stereotypes too, the Chinese Canadian National Council for Equality calling it 'dangerous, offensive, racist stereotyping [which] associate the Chinese with everything fearful and despicable', a complaing aird not long after it was first broadcast.

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In a statement, issued to the Radio Times, Britbox said: “BritBox provides a wide variety of programming from different decades for our subscribers to choose from.

“Some of this content reflects the times and attitudes of the time in which these programmes were made.

“Appropriate warnings are on the site to flag sensitive material and enable our subscribers to make their own choices as to what they watch.”