Wednesday 9 July 2014

Leaked Content: To Watch or Not To Watch

By Courtney Lockhart

 Last week, it was discovered that five of the series 8 Doctor Who scripts had leaked online.  It is theorized they were left on a less than secure server  by staff at the BBC's translation department. The network has begged fans to not share the leaked scripts "so that everyone can enjoy the show as it should be seen on 23rd August."

Last month, The Flash's premiere made its way onto torrent sites. The CW has largely remained silent  about the leak, the second since production began.  Reaction from fans who have seen the contraband material  has been very positive, leaving the cynics in the comments sections to wonder if the leak is more clever marketing than shoddy security. 

No matter how the leak happens,  the question ultimately becomes- Are you going to watch it? 

The temptation is definitely there.  It would be instantly gratifying and there aren't any real repercussion or consequences unless you are the person who leaked the files originally. But then there are the possible drawbacks. 

You could end up with a fake. The version that has leaked may be an alternate  or unfinished cut. It is entirely possible that the best or worse aspects of the show are no longer there in the final product.  For example, would I be happy if drafts one and two of this article were what you read instead of this tuned up piece? Not really.

There are also the social implications.  Some of these events are much more thoroughly enjoyed  when you can laugh/cry/livetweet along with other members of the fandom.  An episode can only be enjoyed for the first time once. 

If you do go for it and partake of the leaked content remember the rules of spoilers: Don't say anything until after it has aired and you know the person wants to hear it.   

Courtney Lockhart lives in the west end of Ottawa with her husband and step-cat.  She is polishing her skills to pursue one of her dream careers as either a costume drama character, Torchwood operative or executive assistant to a billionaire vigilante. You can follow her daily mission to DFTBA on Twitter @corastacy.

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