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China bans time travel on the tube

Posted by Jesse Nunes  April 14, 2011 12:07 PM

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If you're living in China right now and want to enjoy a nice quiet evening on the sofa watching the classic 1960 film version of "The Time Machine," you may be out of luck.

The New York Times recently reported that China's State Administration for Radio, Film & Television has issued new guidelines as to how TV shows should treat the issue of time travel, saying that shows that involve rocketing through time and space lack meaning and promote an unhealthy belief system.

The Times reports that a press release in Chinese says that these shows "casually make up myths, have monstrous and weird plots, use absurd tactics, and even promote feudalism, superstition, fatalism and reincarnation."

While plots involving time travel have been part of western culture for centuries – from "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," to "Back to the Future" – TV dramas with plot twists involving time travel have apparently been on the rise in China. One such show, "Palace," involves woman traveling back in time to the Qing Dynasty and falling in love with several princes.

Such shows are deemed by the Chinese media administration as insulting because they are "treating the serious history in a frivolous way, which should by no means be encouraged anymore," according to a Time magazine article.

This news comes as no surprise considering China's recent history with censorship. Besides flagging some keywords and blocking certain topics on the Internet, the country's government has also banned online games featuring mafioso and has blocked popular websites like Youtube and Twitter on quite a few occasions.

What else has the Chinese government censored? See a list of just a few of the items restricted and monitored by the government.

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