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Published on September 29th, 2011 | by Andrew Reynolds

McGann, Exposure and Pixellated Helicopters

The Doctor may be known as the oncoming storm but now one of his former incarnations has found himself in the midst of an almighty internet storm thanks to a Youtube blunder by ITV.

The Eighth Doctor Paul McGann may have been his ever reliable self while providing his trustworthy voice for ITV’s new current affairs show Exposure but the researchers were anything but as they accidentally included footage showing the IRA apparently shooting down a British Helicopter using weapons allegedly supplied by Libya – footage that in truth originated in the tactical shooting PC game Arma II.

This almighty great cock-up of staggering ineptitude was the result of a ‘wrong search and click’ according to The Guardian, or rather the more likely: “No budget, no time; this kinda looks right lets not check it and slap a ‘IRA Footage 1988’ tag on it and not pay for any copyrighted images. Mine’s a pint of mild.”

What’s more unbelievable is that within the heavily pixellated footage-  which presents itself as being the genuine article – you can clearly hear the person operating the camera (or playing the game) yell: “Shit!” as he takes down a helicopter.

Over such scenes of pixellated death McGann intoned:

“With Gaddafi’s heavy machine guns it was possible to shoot down a helicopter as the terrorists’ own footage of 1988 shows. This was what the security forces feared most. It may have been a lucky hit, but for the army and crew once was enough.

No one died in this attack.”

Well they could just re-spawn.

There is in fact quite some pedigree behind the programme as well with producers from such elevated affairs shows as The Cook Report and World in Action working behind the scenes which depending on how cynical you’re feeling is either a sign of our steadying decline or a sign that all the money was spent upstairs rather than on the programmes themselves.

In the past independent game developerBohemia Interactive have denied documentary filmmakers the right to use in-game footage so as to protect it from any negativity through association with terrorists.

Now it’ll be forever associated with terrible journalism.

Speaking to the website Spong, Marek Spanel, chief executive of Bohemia Interactive said:

“I am not sure how they could make such an obvious mistake.

On a somewhat more positive note, we consider this as a bizarre appreciation of the level of realism incorporated into our games.”

Unsurprisingly ITV have removed the documentary from its ITV Player and are currently in the process of re-editing the programme – adding in actual already-sourced footage like slapping a band-aid on a severed artery (you know, if you body actually pumped credibility instead of blood…oh forget it.)

Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA will be back on the ITV Player sans game footage on Thursday.

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About the Author

Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.




2 Responses to McGann, Exposure and Pixellated Helicopters

  1. Alex says:

    That’s actually really funny. No it isn’t. Nah, yes it is. Presumably the appropriate derriere has been kicked.

  2. Ratfink says:

    If its anything like my work, the idiot is now a manager.

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