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back to article Dam Busters dog dubbed 'Digger'

Scriptwriter Stephen Fry has announced he's successfully tackled the thorny problem of just what to call Guy Gibson's dog in Peter Jackson's upcoming remake of The Dam Busters. The mutt will be rebranded "Digger", Fry announced to the BBC, because "there is no question in America that you could ever have a dog called the N-word …

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I heard a rumour

That Digger will be played by a mole.

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Pirate

Still better than U571

otherwise it would have been an American squadron of B17s or the like, and Barnes Wallis would be from MIT.

Where is a bomb icon when you need it?

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my thought exactly

you just beat me to the B-17 reference!

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Happy

Totally

Dropping the dead Nigger is just the beginning. I can see it being re-cast with Jeff Goldblum cracking the Enigma codes that then allows Reese Witherspoon to design the bomb that Bruce Willis, on fire, manages to heave out of a dying B-52.

Can't wait.

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U571

You know, this U571 hate has always irritated me.

Its a made up adventure, made by Americans and naturally enough they chose to use Americans as the main characters. The film not only acknowledges the British capture of the early enigma machines in its credits, the DVD has an interview with the RN chap who boarded the first U boat from which an enigma was recovered.

Nothing hugely dramatic - depth charged to the surface and abandoned by her crew. He didn't know it was abandoned, and by his account was bricking it because he had to climb down a ladder (where he couldn't hold a weapon) and thought he was going to get shot in the process. Didn't happen since it was deserted, and a working enigma was recovered.

Now that was a brave act, but it is hardly a story you could make a film out of. He certainly didn't feel that U571 was an insult to him so why should anyone else?

It's actually a really good submarine movie, and this Daily Mail faux patriotic hatred for it is just a bit pathetic in my opinion.

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Re: U571

Didn't U571-the-film involve the bizarre casting of Jon Bon Jovi? Or maybe Axl Rose or Bono? It's so easy to get all those overrated "gods of rock" mixed up!

"Get us to the surface: I can feel an anthem coming on! Wah-ah-wah-ah!"

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Meh.

No-one should care what the dog is called. I fully expect, however, outpourings of Daily Mail style rants about political correctness. To them, I say "feck orf"

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Daily Mail played for the other team

In the Daily Mail version of the Dambusters, the entire squadron would have been shot down by the glorious armed forces of the Reich, and the dambuster bombs would all be duds due to being manufactured by illegal immigrants.

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"Sod human rights"

Sums it all up, really.

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Trollface

modded down by Daily Mail readers

@DrXym: In the Daily Mail version of the Dambusters, the entire squadron would have been shot down ..

I guess there are at least two Mail readers on this forum ...

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Political correctness gone mad

Maybe they should also use the term the ''king's wife'' in case people assume that the king was married to his gay lover.

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The German Opposition

I do hope they've also removed any racist reference to huns, fritz, jerry, krauts or bosch.

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Stop

PC gone mad gone mad

I'm of the opinion that the whole "political correctness gone mad" thing has gone a bit mad.

It seems to get trotted out any time someone suggests that a bit of common curtsey and good manners might not be a bad thing.

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FAIL

"Take that, you

statistically-likely-to-be-German-or-at-least-aiding-them illegitimate child!"

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Re: The German Opposition

"I do hope they've also removed any racist reference to huns, fritz, jerry, krauts or bosch."

I say old boy, don't forget such endearments as Huns or 'sausage munchers'. Personally, and speaking as one of Le Rostbifs, I think us, the eyeties, bubble and squeaks, frawgs and Huns show a pretty good example of racial harmony, what? We kick the fsck out of each other over hundreds of years, call each other names, and still we get together every now and then for a game of rugger or footers, and perhaps even a little game of war for retroactive abortion purposes, and we never hold it against one another. Seems to me that old small fry needs to think again, what, what.

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I do hope

this wasn't the only thing holding up production.

Can we expect to see the film around May 2013?

Fortunately have the orginal to hand and now....

"('Well chaps), my watch says it's time to go"

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FAIL

Shame on the reg

The BBC had no problems writing Nigger, why should you?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-13727908

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Indeed.

Especially since El Reg appears to have no problem in publishing, the 'most offensive word':

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/02/15/fonda_slip/

Personally, I believe it's not a word that is offensive, but the intent behind its use. In the case of people being offended by the (historically accurate) naming of a dog 'nigger', the thing I find most objectionable is the people who decide that they are going to be offended by it in the first place. my expletive of choice in this case would come form the film Blade 3, and I would refer to them as a bunch of 'cock-juggling thundercunts'.

That is all...

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Indeed.

I think it's the only sane move for the makers to change the name - leaving it as it was would be a huge distraction, overshadowing the rest of it, causing needless controversy and messing with people's suspension of disbelief. It's a sensible decision on artistic grounds.

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@Sarah

If they wanted to avoid controversy, they'd just write the dog out of the film, it's not like they aren't going to make several 'artistic' rearrangements of the facts anyway, and the fact that they had a dog called Nigger really doesn't form a huge part of the story of the bombing of the dams in the Ruhr valley anyway. By changing the name, I'd say that they were actually courting controversy, not avoiding it. Of course, they are also getting a certain amount of free publicity in the process, which is probably their aim.

As for suspension of disbelief, that really shouldn't be necessary for people watching a film based on something that actually happened.

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Mushroom

meh, title

in many ways, of course, the very most offensive thing about the Dambusters is:

YAY! We killed a shitload of people! Go team!

I know, we were fighting the dark empire etc. but it's still an unpleasant thing to be involved in: killing people is not really to be celebrated.

It just feels a bit weird to worry about the name of a dog when we're talking about the coldly calculated design of a machine created by people to kill other people.

Bit depressing really.

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The easy answer...

..would be not to remake the film at all - no controversy and it wouldn't be as good as the original anyway...

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sane?

If you want this story to be artistic, dont choose a historical event.

I am reasonable, but I think that changing history is a very bad thing.

What if we decide to make a film where the Germans didn't kill jewish people? Is that OK in artistic grounds?

Of course not.

It happened, it is fact.

Titanic, who remembers the details and the reasons for the films apology? who's seen the film?

Millions are misdirected in history to tell a better tale.

If you want it to be artistic, write a story. set it in a different time and good luck.

PS I dont read the daily mail and have no idea why every appears to be slagging it off.

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Nigger is significant

The dog is actually a significant part of the film. Gibson's dog killed the morning of the mission and his name was the codeword for the successful breaching of a dam. If it's name was Fido, they reports would be coming back, "Fido! Fido!", but its name was Nigger, and that was the codeword - avery significant historical fact that is very hard to leave out...

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Mushroom

Barking up the wrong tree

They're remaking a film which celebrates a mission of questionable strategic significance that killed upwards of 1500 civilians, and we're still arguing about the dog's name?

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FAIL

'War'

Look it up in a dictionary sometime.

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RE: Barking up the wrong tree

Suggesting that the Dambusters raid was of 'questionable significance' is a matter for debate. And both sides suffered civilian casualties.

If you'd just mentioned arguing about the significance of a dog's name in relation to the actual task undertaken you'd have got my upvote.

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FAIL

It can't possibly have been a significant victory...

Virtually no Americans were involved, and we all know they won the war for us.

</satire>

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Operation Chastise

"They're remaking a film which celebrates a mission of questionable strategic significance..."

No, although Chastise was of questionable tactical importance the strategic ramifications were huge. For one thing it enabled Churchill, in the USA at the time, to announce in a speech to Congress what the RAF had just achieved. Thus boosting Britain's prestige with the American public. Secondly it boosted British morale at home. The papers were full of what 617 Sqdn had done and in view of the state of the war at that time was a good reason for undertaking the operation. In the larger picture the loss of life is of course, to be regretted. But don't forget,as the saying was " Don't you know, there's a war on?" In war people get killed. One of the most tragic aspects of the deaths caused by the breach was the fact that a large number of those killed were in fact women from a Russian forced labour camp downstream of the Mohne dam.

On a separate note one of the things that Chastise did demonstrate was the superb skill of the crews of Bomber Command. To navigate, at low level over hostile territory at night: to rendezvous at a given time and place and then to attack at 60 feet, no higher or lower, shows the tremendous skills of the crews available to AM Sir Arthur Harris, AOC Bomber Command. Harris was not convinced that his crews had the ability to attack the precision targets that would shortly be called for under the Pointblank Directive. Chastise and the later operations by 617 Sqdn. as directed by Gp. Capt. Leonard Cheshire proved to him that Bomber Command was capable of such attacks. This enabled the RAF to multiply its effectiveness and thus shortened the war. So, although of limited tactical importance Chastise was a milestone in the strategic bomber offensive, showing the way to future possibilities.

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Disturbing

I find your lack of faith in the glorious US of A disturbing. The US of A is a great nation. Remember that you're talking about the people who not only single-handedly won WW2 all by themselves, but also tamed the fearsome Mt Everest, sent the first living organism in space, then the first man in space, tackled terrorism on the whole planet, and are awesome in every regard.

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Leet speek?

Surely in those days they wouldn't have used a * in his name?

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LPF

Well I'm West-Indian

and I know the whole story and what the dog was called! Guess what I not about to go kill a load of white people over someone called his dog 70 years ago!

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But if you did....

could I have the movie rights.

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Trollface

Gottta love the Daily Heil commenters!

If the Dog had been called "Knob Jockey" would the commenters be so vehement in the need for historical accuracy!

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Thanks

You just named my new dog.

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Definitely..

Can you imagine them not wanting historical accuracy on that one?

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Joke

(mis)quoted from The Office

Well, it was racist, but that was back before racism was bad, so it was OK.

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Happy

Gervais again...

The Enola-what? Sorry?

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Honky please

"In the film, you're constantly hearing 'n-word, n-word, n-word, hurray'"

Ironically, that sounds like it would be disturbingly plausible as the chorus of a party-oriented hip-hop/RnB chart hit... albeit one that would be censored on daytime radio and you'd have to be black yourself to get away with singing.

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Which of course is completely unlike successful American movies like

Pulp Fiction.

Sadly, I do understand his point. But I think I would have renamed the dog Niger. But I don't consider his choice as bad as them changing the movie name for Rowling's first book. I still want to put all the morons who insisted it be "Sorcerer" instead of "Philosopher" up against the wall.

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The comedian Richard Herring

Suggested replacing the black dog with a red one, and calling it "Ginger" instead.

Which makes a lot more sense than "Digger"

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Ginger

Great idea. Which reminds me...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVN_0qvuhhw

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can't

Insulting to all those with ginger hair, predominantly with some celtic ancestory, so racialist ....

Why is it all right to call N. Europeans "white"? I feel really offended.

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...and conveniently...

...Ginger is an anagram of....?

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emmm...

Reg-ing.

The act of reading or posting on El Reg!

That's that sorted then.

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good point

Make it a belton English Setter then, and call it "Bluey"

Although that's probably racist against people who are very cold.

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Childcatcher

Shame

Yet another "rose tinting" of history. Yeah, it's only a dogs name, but it's the thin end of the wedge.

20 years from now these films will be banned, because we're discriminating against/victimising/racially abusing the germans. And we won't be able to use lancasters, because they use dirty petrol engines, and that's not environmentally friendly. And a war film??? Wob't someone think of the childern???

50 years time the dambusters will be a story about a happy camping trip to Germany by smiling, multi-ethnic teenagers (who don't have sex before marriage, naturally), flying over in their solar and fart-powered eco-planes to dance and have social events with the equally multi-ethnic Germans.

Pah, humbug.

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Teenage Premarital Sex Is...

...permitted in movies. But they must be killed horribly by the [monster|fire|meteor|Etc.] within five minutes.

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Happy

Not quite...

...they THINK they're going to get some. A quick kiss and a fondle, the music changes ( Which is always the biggest clue something nasty will happen. Why aren't the kids listening to the music? ) and the Nasty Thing(tm) either abducts or brutally slaughters almost all present, but one person has to survive to go on and kill the thing in the end, but doesn't quite as the Nasty Thing(tm) always has something left in it as the credits roll....*breathe*

People wonder why I don't bother watching films anymore, more sense and reality in an episode of Fawlty Towers than some of the latest Hollywood claptrap!

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@Not Quite

Ah, I think you're referring to the classic trope of "We have seen your breasts, now you must die!"

(Sorry, way off topic)

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