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From The Archive: The BBFC's First Take On Jurassic Park
'Things go wrong at dinosaur park'

16 August 2013  |  Written by Phil de Semlyen  |  Source: BBFC

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Forget, for a moment, those flawed Jurassic Park sequels and abortive remake attempts. Forget the 4.0 version of dinogeddon we've long been promised and even forget Alan Partridge and his love of the film. Instead, cast your mind back two decades. It's late May, 1993, and Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park is heading to the big screen. It's promising wondrous sights, including groundbreaking... no, game-changing special effects, exotic locations, sci-fi tech and big, scary dinosaurs.

But exactly how scary are they? Well, with the film back in cinemas next week, the British Board Of Film Classification has ventured into its version of the InGen control centre and dusted off a document charting its first reaction to the film, answering that question definitively.

Contextualised by a studio desperate to swerve the dreaded '12' rating - the '12A' wouldn't come into being for another decade - that would keep younger viewers from seeing the film, it's a significant piece of archive material that the BBFC is sharing for the first time.

Click to enlarge

It's also an entertaining insight into what happens when a classifier is tasked with sizing up a family blockbuster that has a bit where a lawyer gets eaten whole. We're letting the "Velox Raptor" thing slide, okay?

Click to enlarge

If you don't know the plot of the film – and, seriously, please say you do – it's best described by paraphrasing Jeff Goldblum's Dr. Malcolm: "God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs. Dinosaurs escape. Dinosaurs ruin Richard Attenborough's day. Dinosaurs eventually make it as far as San Diego in the sequel." Even the BBFC don't know how that last bit happened.

There's a little confusion between Laura Dern's Ellie and Ariana Richards' Rex on one line about a goat, but the thing that delights us most is that in 1993, two years after Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey was released, it appears that BBFC censors were still quoting that film's "No way! Yes way!" motif.

Jurassic Park is back on the big screen in 3D from August 23.


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