- Odd News
By Chris Hastings
PUBLISHED: 16:26 EST, 13 July 2013 | UPDATED: 07:03 EST, 14 July 2013
Few countries can compete with the UK when it comes to television costume dramas . . . but American audiences, it seems, prefer our dramas without the costumes.
A raunchy alternative version of the ten-part BBC1 series The White Queen has been created for screening in the US – including graphic sex and nude scenes which don’t appear here.
The independent production company behind the medieval drama came up with two ‘edits’ – one for the BBC and the other for US cable Channel Starz, the company behind Spartacus and Da Vinci’s Demons.
Raunchy: An alternative version of the ten-part BBC1 series The White Queen has been created for screening in the US - including graphic sex and nude scenes which don¿t appear here
Different: The production company behind the medieval drama came up with two 'edits'. This shows how the US version goes further than the BBC version above
Bedroom scenes in which actors appear in the BBC version partly clothed are sexed-up for the American market – and the actors complete the scenes naked.
As lead actor Max Irons put it: ‘There’s the BBC cut and the Starz cut. You get a lot more a*** in the Starz version – the cameras kept rolling after the BBC stopped the scene.’
The Mail on Sunday has seen the first three episodes of the US version – dubbed The Blue Queen – and can confirm the American version is more stripper than bodice ripper.
In episode two, broadcast by the BBC on June 23, Queen Elizabeth, played by Rebecca Fergusson, was seen wearing a nightdress for her love scene with Edward IV, played by Irons.
Cheeky: Max Irons revealed only his naked chest to UK audiences. But in the U.S they see a good deal more of actor
But when the clinch is broadcast on American television later this summer, the same actress will be shown first topless and then completely naked in the marital bed.
Several other passionate encounters are entirely missing from the BBC version, including one involving the King’s treacherous brother George, played by David Oakes, and new wife Isobel, played by Eleanor Tomlinson.
The scene, which appears in episode two of the American series, includes a shot of the Duke’s naked bottom.
Young actress Faye Marsay, who plays Anne Neville, has also spoken of the steamy scenes. ‘I looked at them and went “wow”,’ she said, ‘because it’s my first job and I’ve never done them before, but it’s important to the story.’
Steamy: There is no mistaking the passion between the King and Queen Elizabeth. In this scene from the BBC version, she is fully dressed
Passion: However, in the US version, the actress is completely topless
Episodes one, two and three of the American version all contain nudity and the first programme includes at least four shots of the Queen’s breasts and a scene showing her younger sister topless in a bath.
By contrast, the BBC version doesn’t include any nudity until episode three, and even then only fleetingly.
One of the biggest contrasts between the two versions involves the King and Queen’s first night of passion in a hunting lodge in episode one.
The BBC version contains no full nudity as a shirtless King starts to undress his wife before they make love in the marital bed. The scene ends when the King rises from the bed, telling his wife: ‘I must wash.’
One of Lady Elizabeth's younger sisters can be seen in the bath, with British audiences not seeing too much flesh
Revealing: But in the US version, viewers get to see a whole lot more
Instead, Americans will see a five-second shot of the Queen topless and a shot of a naked King as he walks down to the lake to wash. In the BBC’s episode two, the King begins to undress his wife again and asks her: ‘How is it that I have allowed you to wear so many clothes.
Star: Elizabeth Woodville played by Rebecca Ferguson
'What is the point of being King if I cannot keep you naked all day?’ Yet the Queen remains clad in a nightdress as the scene ends with a topless King climbing into bed with her.
American viewers, however, will see a love scene which features prolonged shots of the Queen’s breasts and the King’s naked bottom.
The White Queen, based on a series of bestselling historical novels by Philippa Gregory, is a co-production between the BBC and Starz.
Costume drama can cost as much as £1 million an hour to produce and co-productions between different broadcasters are nothing new. But it is rare that versions of the same show can be so radically different.
A spokesman for the BBC said that Company Pictures, which produced the film for the BBC and Starz, created two versions to meet the broadcasters’ differing requirements.
She said the BBC was delighted with the success of its Sunday night drama and had no idea what was in the American version.
Starz, one of America’s most successful subscription channels, bills the drama as a ‘sizzling’ tale of ‘love and lust’ which follows the fortunes of three women ‘who seduce their way’ on to the English throne.