Monty Python’s Flying Circus – Set 7 (Epi. 40-45) [VHS]

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This set contains the following episodes from the fourth season of Monty Python’s Flying Circus: Volume 19: Episode 40 “The Golden Age of Ballooning” and Episode 41 “Michael Ellis” Volume 20: Episode 42 “The Light Entertainment War” and Episode 43 “Hamlet” Volume 21: Episode 44 “Mr. Nuetron” and Episode 45 “Party Political Broadcast”Don’t expect the Spanish Inquisition in these six episodes from the fourth–and final–half-season of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. By this time (1974), John Cleese had departed. His absence is keenly felt, but Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam–with invaluable assist from Carol Cleveland, Douglas Adams (author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), and songwriter Neil Innes–pick up the slack with some of the most surreal material Python ever produced. Like the third season’s Cycling Tour, several of these episodes, including The Golden Age of Ballooning, Michael Ellis (set mostly in a very silly department store), and Mr. Neutron, are extended, near-program-length sketches. But there are memorable bits throughout: some indecipherable RAF Banter (“Bally Jerry hanged his kite right in the how’s-your-father”); a Hamlet tired of people wanting him to recite “To Be or Not to Be”; a parade of bogus psychiatrists; a doctor whose nurse keeps stabbing, shooting, or garroting his patients; and The Most Awful Family in Britain competition, which achieves “the really gross awfulness that we’re looking for.” These episodes do not loom large in the Python legend, except perhaps as the basis for a lawsuit the troupe filed in 1975 against ABC, which aired them during late night in severely tampered-with versions. While, literally speaking, no Monty Python collection is complete without this boxed set, initiates are bound to watch these episodes with a disappointed, “Well, what’s all this then?” –Donald Liebenson

Monty Python’s Flying Circus – Set 7 (Epi. 40-45)

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