April 14, 2011

China bans time travel from TV

CNN reports that the paranoid commie chiefs over in China have mandated NO science fiction on TV that involves time travel:

New guidelines issued on March 31 discourages plot lines that contain elements of "fantasy, time-travel, random compilations of mythical stories, bizarre plots, absurd techniques, even propagating feudal superstitions, fatalism and reincarnation, ambiguous moral lessons, and a lack of positive thinking."

“The government says … TV dramas shouldn’t have characters that travel back in time and rewrite history. They say this goes against Chinese heritage,” reports CNN’s Eunice Yoon. “They also say that myth, superstitions and reincarnation are all questionable.”

CNN's Kevin Voight wonders how several noteworthy time travel yarns would be "acceptable" for Chinese censors; here's a few more for 'ya:

  • The Terminator. Since Kyle Reese doesn't travel back in time to impregnate Sarah Connor -- who would eventually give birth to John Connor -- all Ahnuld Schwarzenegger does in 2029 is go around killing any human he comes across until they're all dead.

  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Since Kirk and crew don't go back to 1986 to retrieve now-extinct humpback whales, the film features Earth succumbing to the alien probe which is turning our oceans into vapor. Possible name change: "Star Trek IV: The National Geographic Special."

  • Star Trek: First Contact. Since the Borg don't go back to 2053 to stop Earth's first warp drive flight, they're destroyed by the Federation armada in the then-present late 23rd century. Which makes it the shortest Trek film ever, clocking in at about 15 minutes.

  • Planet of the Apes. Since Chuck Heston and company don't get time-warped to Earth's future (which is ruled by apes), they eventually make it to that planet they were originally supposed to journey to. They land, pick up a few rocks, and then return home.

  • Somewhere in Time. Christopher Reeve's constant -- and unsuccessful -- attempts to journey back to 1912 to meet Jane Seymour cause him to go completely insane. Most of the movie features Reeve in an institution staring into space muttering to himself "It's 1912, it's 1912, you know this to be true ..."

(h/t to my pal Brent for the link.)

Posted by Hube at April 14, 2011 05:18 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

special guest Brent?!

Posted by: cardinals fan at April 14, 2011 08:29 PM

Yep!

Posted by: Hube at April 14, 2011 08:36 PM

I'm surprised that they don't want someone to go back and stop Lennon & McCartney from writing the line "And if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao/you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow."

Posted by: Rhymes With Right at April 14, 2011 09:05 PM

Do journalist still fact check? With a shrinking world it’s not hard to plug the Chinese government press release into a translator, and find out it contains *no mentioning of time travel*. Here’s the Broadcast Administration announcement:

http://www.sarft.gov.cn/articles/2011/03/31/20110331140820680073.html

The phrase “神怪剧和穿越剧” litterally translates to “spirit-monster theme and transcendental theme”, refering to *crossing-over* (not time travel) ghost stories that are too scary for prime time slots where children may be watching.

This is the same issue TV censor boards in US would consider.

Posted by: ChasL at April 14, 2011 11:44 PM

Do journalist still fact check? With a shrinking world it’s not hard to plug the Chinese government press release into a translator, and find out it contains *no mentioning of time travel*.

The phrase “神怪剧和穿越剧” litterally translates to “spirit-monster theme and transcendental theme”, refering to *crossing-over* (not time travel) ghost stories that are too scary for prime time slots where children may be watching.

This is the same issue TV censor boards in US would consider.

Posted by: ChasL at April 14, 2011 11:45 PM