Do Not Adjust Your Set

Overview

For more than three decades -- especially in the United States, where it was never broadcast -- the late-'60s British television show Do Not Adjust Your Set was something of a hazy legend for Monty Python fans not fortunate enough to have seen it when it was first shown. Though it's not a perfect or complete record, this two-DVD set of nine episodes from the first of the program's two series is a Holy Grail of sorts for Monty Python lovers. For the series featured, as both writers and performers, Eric Idle, Terry...
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Overview

For more than three decades -- especially in the United States, where it was never broadcast -- the late-'60s British television show Do Not Adjust Your Set was something of a hazy legend for Monty Python fans not fortunate enough to have seen it when it was first shown. Though it's not a perfect or complete record, this two-DVD set of nine episodes from the first of the program's two series is a Holy Grail of sorts for Monty Python lovers. For the series featured, as both writers and performers, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin, just a year or two before Monty Python was formed. Mind you, it's not at all the same thing as Monty Python's Family Circus, and not just because they shared the stage with two other cast members, David Jason and Denise Coffey. Do Not Adjust Your Set was a children's show, and though the future Pythons ended up pretty much writing and performing it as if it was for adults (who did end up comprising a large percentage of the viewing audience), these sketches aren't quite as daring, or nearly as surreal, as what Monty Python's Flying Circus would offer shortly afterward. It's a bit like watching a tamer antecedent of Monty Python's Flying Circus, or Monty Python lite, and the production values -- including cheap sets and black-and-white images (which aren't preserved with the greatest of pristine detail on this DVD) -- are likewise more modest. Still, it is funny, and you can detect definite seeds of Monty Python in sketches like the one where Michael Palin plays a rude grocer who fills the customer's order with items that have nothing to do with what he's requested, or the one where a planned robbery meeting breaks up when it's discovered every mobster is a plainclothes policeman. Also funny are the frequent musical interludes by regular guests the Bonzo Dog Band, which are on par with the core comic sketches for weird goofiness, and in which a future auxiliary member of Monty Python (Neil Innes) can be seen. Less funny, alas, are the regular bits -- one per episode -- of the satirical adventure serial "Captain Fantastic," which only feature the less talented (though adequate) comics Jason and Coffey. Note that, despite the claim on the cover of this package that this features "original animation by Terry Gilliam", there is no such thing by the Monty Python animator in these episodes (although he did contribute cartoons to a few of the episodes not included in this compilation). Also note that, sadly, these DVDs present less than a third of the episodes that were broadcast (and none from the second series), and it seems possible that the others might never be retrieved or rediscovered for DVD release -- a priceless loss to the legacy of British comedy.
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Special Features

New interviews with Terry Jones and Tim Brooke-Taylor; Collectible booklet
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/26/2005
  • UPC: 844628010054
  • Rating:

  • Source: Tango Entertainment
  • Region Code: 1
  • Language: English
  • Time: 4:40:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 52,679

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Disc 1
1. Episode 1 [24:30]
2. Episode 2 [24:56]
3. Episode 3 [24:53]
4. Episode 4 [24:48]
5. Episode 5 [24:52]
Side #2 -- Disc 2
1. Episode 6 [24:57]
2. Episode 7 [24:52]
3. Episode 8 [24:59]
4. Episode 9 [25:05]
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Menu

Side #1 -- Disc 1
   Play All
   Switch Episodes
      Episode 6: Insert Disc 2
      Episode 7: Insert Disc 2
      Episode 8: Insert Disc 2
      Episode 9: Insert Disc 2
   Special Features: For Special Features Insert Disc 2
Side #2 -- Disc 2
   Play All
   Switch Episodes
      Episode 1: Insert Disc 1
      Episode 2: Insert Disc 1
      Episode 3: Insert Disc 1
      Episode 4: Insert Disc 1
      Episode 5: Insert Disc 1
   Special Features
      Interview With Tim Brooke-Taylor
      Interview With Terry Jones
      USA DVD Trailer for "At Last the 1948 Show" & "Do Not Adjust Your Set"
      UK DVD Trailer for "At Last the 1948 Show" & "Do Not Adjust Your Set"
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