A major sequence in which the nuns tear down and ravish a life-sized icon of Christ in an orgiastic frenzy was cut from the film and subsequently vanished. Film critic Mark Kermode discovered the footage many years later. Director Russell was keen to reinstate the scene but found that Warner Brothers were not interested in doing a director's cut. The footage can be seen in a documentary Kermode made about Russell and was subsequently included in an uncut DVD release.
While preparing for the climactic demolition of the city walls, a technician mistook a signal from Ken Russell and detonated the explosives before the cameras were rolling. A large chunk of the set had to be rebuilt. However, a documentary on the second disk of the 2012 DVD release of the film contradicts this story. In this documentary, Russell states that it was himself that pressed the button which detonated the explosives without communicating this to the camera team. It is also stated that the scene had to be re-shot a month later as a consequence the cameras missing the destruction of the walls.
Derek Jarman's sets are modeled on the sets of Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927). Ken Russell wanted to avoid the clichéd look of period films and insisted on anachronistic, even futuristic, design. Russell's guidance to Jarman was that it should echo the 'rape in a public toilet' line from the Huxley novel that inspired the film.
Subject of an online petition to persuade Warner Bros. to release the movie as a DVD, something the company was reluctant to do, apparently because of its controversial nature. The campaign was ultimately successful with the re-release on DVD, by the BFI, of the 1971 UK X-rated cut of the film.
Supermodel Twiggy and her manager/boyfriend Justin de Villeneuve were given brief cameo roles during the court scene, and appear as a male courtier and a tall silver-wigged gentleman respectively. However once the nuns started stripping Twiggy walked off the set and the pair only filmed one shot.