China Bans TV Shows About Time Travel; People’s Republic is Bakula-Free


When it comes to inexplicably banning things, China is a true superpower. The Times reports that China’s State Administration for Radio, Film & Television has issued a statement saying they have banned dramas from television that depict people going back in time. The release says that these shows “lack positive thoughts and meaning.” Clearly they have never seen Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Does this have anything to do with the fact that Palace, a popular show about time travel, is getting great ratings on the rival channel of state-run China Central Television? Of course not!

“[These shows] casually make up myths, have monstrous and weird plots, use absurd tactics, and even promote feudalism, superstition, fatalism and reincarnation.”

We can’t have our kids watching shows that promote reincarnation! Your son goes off and tries to imitate a scene from Palace and — BOOM — next thing you know he’s a goat.

This ban comes on the heels of the detention of artist Ai Wei Wei. He is being held for “economic crimes,” but many believe his arrest is part of a larger crackdown on outspoken citizens who promote ideas and beliefs that the state finds dangerous.

We’ve said it before, but China, you really got to lighten up. Locking up artists is wrong and banning shows about time travel is just uncool. There’s a chance Runnin’ Scared is banned in the People’s Republic, but we’re going to try to help anyway. Below are scenes from some of our favorite movies and TV shows about time travel. In the words of Doc Brown, “When this baby hits eighty-eight miles per hour… you’re gonna see some serious shit.”

You’re welcome, China.

Making TV Safer: Chinese Censors Crack Down on Time Travel [NYT h/t Gothamist]


This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 13, 2011

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