The BBFC has detailed cuts to Spectre in a new case study. The BBFC explains:
Columbia submitted Spectre to the BBFC in August 2015, for advice on whether it was likely to meet the BBFC Guidelines criteria for 12A. At this stage the film had no title sequence, end credits were missing and some special effects work was
unfinished, but the Senior Compliance Officers (then Senior Examiners) who viewed it noted it was largely complete. The BBFC advised that a 15 rating seemed the most probable outcome, citing strong bloody detail during a scene of eye-gouging and
further bloody detail in the aftermath of the suicide of a terminally ill man.
The distributor chose to reduce or remove elements of these scenes. BBFC staff viewed a re-edited version and advised that, now without strong bloody detail, the film was likely to be classified at 12A.
The eye-gouging in the version seen for advice showed a man embedding his thumbs in a victim's eye-sockets, the withdrawal of the thumbs, and sight of the bloody injury aftermath. The 12A version of the film retained only an establishing shot of
the thumbs being inserted, together with a reverse angle shot from behind the victim's head, with thumbs emerging slightly bloody.
The original suicide scene in the version submitted for advice showed a man place a gun underneath his chin and fire, with a spray of bloody mist. Two subsequent shots showed what might have been interpreted as brain tissue hanging down from the
back of his head. In the 12A version of the film, the suicide took place off-screen, and the injury detail was reduced.
Spectre also features a scene of torture in which Bond is strapped to a chair while a villain pierces his head with a micro-drill. The scene features no graphic sight of blood or injury detail, and instead uses sound and Bond's facial expressions
to suggest his pain. A broadly similar torture scene is present in a previous Bond film -- Casino Royale , also rated 12A -- and, given the lack of detail, and the audience's expectation that Bond will survive such threats, the BBFC considered
the scene to be within the 12A Guidelines for depictions of violence.