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Shield, The

2.02 Dead Soldiers

original title: Shield, The

Comparison:

  • BBFC 15
  • US DVD
Release: Feb 12, 2011 - Author: John Cena - Translator: Sakaro - external link: IMDB - more from this series
Comparison between the censored German DVD (= UK BBFC 15 Version) and the uncensored US DVD.

In the 1990s right wing conservative began using what they labeled political correctness to advance their cause of outlawing unwanted and morally controversial content in the media. This caused feature films to become much cleaner than they used to be. However, television in the US took a different approach.
Spearheaded by some talented storytellers and supported by A-list celebrities award winning series were created; and since those series seemed to have all the ambiguity and complexity that were missing from mainstream cinema, moving into the TV-business soon ceased to be a career setback for writers and actors alike.
And even now, many years later, this trend is continuing.

Boston Legal preaches the blatant sexism and eloquent arrogance of male attorneys, which women have to face helplessly.
24 features torture and human rights infringements, which seem to be justified as long as they are in one’s own interest and the series that is discussed here The Shield features a murderer that is with the police and the audience hopes that he will never be caught.

These series show that an intelligent audience does not need a role model with whom they can identify and that the good old good vs. evil scheme is not enough anymore to keep audiences interested. Furthermore, it suggests that today’s TV productions have more freedom than traditional feature films.
Moral guidelines seem to be missing and the audience has to decide for themselves what is right and wrong. Story lines and characters are developed over several seasons and years. This makes it possible for stories to be more realistic, bolder and more successful.

The Shield is about an anti-gang police unit being sent into problem boroughs of Los Angeles, which are shaped by racial riots, poverty and corruption. Watching this can be unpleasant at times, especially since the series was inspired by a scandal of the LADP Rampart Division.

The Shield knows all the rules of American free-TV and regularly pushes the limits of what is possible. And that is a lot, especially when it comes to displaying violence. Furthermore, no issue is off-limits. The series confronts the viewer with unvarnished truths of US domestic politics, which have direct consequences for the ground work of the police. On British-TV all episodes were rated “15”. The BBFC, however rated the first episode higher and only gave it an “18”-rating.
Rumors that the first episode is censored, which are circulating the internet are wrong. The controversial scene with the burning gang boss that is often mentioned in those rumors is identical with the US version.
Having said that, episodes 2 and 3 were probably already censored for the first TV broadcast and were submitted to the BBFC in their censored version and thus also received a “15”-rating. Apparently submitting the uncensored versions after the first episode had been rated “18” was too much of a hassle and therefore, the DVDs also only contain the censored version from the TV broadcast.

The German DVD release, which was used for this comparison has the same censorship as the UK-DVD.

Running-time of the censored German DVD = 43:18 min.(PAL)
Running-time of the uncensored US DVD = 45:04 min. (NTSC)

The running-time references were taken from the German DVD.

6 censorship-related cuts = 18 sec
40:36
Vic hits Armadillo several times with a book .
ca. 4 sec



40:38
Again Vic hits Armadillo with the book. During that he screams, "I told you to leave".
ca. 3 sec



40:46
And again Vic hits Armadillo with the book.
ca. 2 sec



41:18
Vic pushes Armadillo‘s face onto the hotplate in a close-up..
ca. 5 sec



41:19
Another close-up of Armadillo’s face on the hotplate.
ca. 3 sec



41:26
After Shane and Curtis have pushed Vic away from Armadillo, the latter’s face is shown peeling away from the hotplate in a close-up.
ca. 1 sec