Comedic madness in Spike Milligan's ground-breaking, wild, subversive and nonsensical BBC sketch comedy series from 1969 1980. Simply Media are delighted to announce release of Q: The Almost Complete Collection on DVD 20th November 2017, containing all surviving episodes from Qs 5-9 in this 5-disc set, on DVD together for the very first time. Originally shown by the BBC from 1969-1980, this BAFTA-nominated series is considered a landmark in British Comedy. The fast-paced, anarchic sketch comedy will delight fans of the series and Spike Milligan's work. Written by and starring BAFTA-winner Spike Milligan in a variety of silly outfits and outlandish situations involving idiot Boy Scouts, Adolf Hitler, and the Royal Family. The original Q5 of 1969 was heralded as the inspiration behind Monty Python's Flying Circus, which debuted a few months later. It's also one of the best showcases of Spike's surreal and eccentric humour. Sketches come in thick and fast, and jump from one plot point or location to another with no explanation, and sometimes no apparent conclusion. Bizarre, yes. Funny, most definitely! Terry Jones and I adored the Q... shows , recalled Michael Palin for Spike's biography, [Milligan] was the first writer to play with the conventions of television. The BBC initially delayed re-commissioning the ground-breaking Q series until the Monty Python series ended, despite the impact Q had already had on the world of alternative comedy, and at a time when Kenny Everett and Not the Nine O'clock News were further testing the limits of TV Comedy. However, the popular Q returned over 6 years later for four further series. It is clear to see Monty Python in Spike's work, with Life of Brian's Chris Langham on the writing team and Monty Python's Flying Circus director Ian MacNaughton directing some episodes. For Q8 and Q9, direction was taken over by the talented BAFTA-winning Ray Butt (Only Fools and Horses). Spike leads a fantastic cast of co-performers including John Bluthal (The Vicar of Dibley), Bob Todd (Superman III), John D. Collins (Allo Allo), Peter Jones (The Rag Trade), and Margaret Nolan (Goldfinger), Alan Clare (Rising Damp) and a self-parodying David Lodge in yet more surreal, outrageous and determinedly under-prepared sketches and musical interludes. Enjoy all the madness and mayhem of Spike Milligan's Q again with this landmark DVD collection.
Classic BBC comedy starring Dawn French (French & Saunders) and written by Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral). Geraldine Granger is not your run-of-the-mill village vicar. She is a bubbly, young reverend overseeing an eccentric congregation in a rural community. She and her off-the-wall parishioners bring us unconventional laughs in Richard Curtis' award-winning divine comedy. Includes Series 1-3, plus the Easter Special (1996) and Christmas Specials (1996 & 1997).
Languishing in the vaults for decades, during which time it became a semi-legendary show among TV fans of a certain age, Fireball XL5 (1962) was Gerry Anderson's second puppet-animation science fiction series, the direct forerunner of Stingray (1963) and Thunderbirds (1964). This is the show on which Anderson established the formula for his later classics: a pseudo-military organisation engaged in desperate Earth-saving adventures against overwhelming odds; superb model work; puppets with very obvious strings but endearing personalities; iconic music by Barry Gray; and absolutely massive explosions. Colonel Steve Zodiac pilots the coolest spaceship then seen on British TV, the titular Fireball XL5, and is joined by medical officer Venus, a forerunner of Lady Penelope voiced by Sylvia Anderson, and comedy relief Prof Matt Matic (David Graham). Along for the ride is Robert the Robot, a thinner version of Robbie the Robot from Forbidden Planet (1956), a character who would soon turn up in Lost in Space (1965). The plots are ridiculous, with typically Cold War-era aliens routinely bent on planetary destruction for no reason, and there's zero attention to even rudimentary astronomy or anything else approaching actual science. Yet the gadgets, vehicles and puppetry are first-rate and the fast-paced, action-filled episodes are relentlessly entertaining. It's a cult just waiting to be reborn, and essential viewing for all Anderson fans. On the DVD: Fireball XL5 is presented with all 39 episodes (they run 25 minutes each) on five discs. Despite the colourful packaging, the episodes are all black and white, and the 4:3 picture is generally fine, though there are occasional instances of over-compression, which results in artefacting on smooth walls and the like. Some shots look a little soft, but detail is usually strong, making the models and puppets look better than ever. The mono sound is fine, if unremarkable. There are no extras beyond optional subtitles. --Gary S Dalkin
The world's most hilariously disaster-prone detective is back on the case as Peter Sellers stars in this merry masterpiece of sheer slapstick sleuthing fun! When the priceless Pink Panther diamond is stolen yet again the inimitable Inspector Jacques Clouseau is saved from an unwilling early retirement and sent off to the country of Lugash to investigate. Certain that the heist is the work of a suave jewel thief known as The Phantom Clouseau unleashes his formidable array of outlan
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In Carry On Follow That Camel, Sergeant Bilko himself, Phil Silvers, lends lustre and trademark spectacles to this 1967 desert spectacle following the adventures of a group of foreign legionnaires who find themselves besieged by a bloodthirsty band of Bedouins. Silvers plays Sergeant Nocker, a rogue cast firmly in the Bilko mould, who takes a dislike to new recruit Jim Dale, a young upper class gent forced to join the legion following disgrace at a cricket match. He's accompanied, naturally, by his faithful manservant (Peter Butterworth), with the pair showing a fine disregard for the austere requirements of the Foreign Legion. However, once they reach an agreement with Sergeant Nocker, they can join forces to repel the Bedouins, led, not unpredictably, by Bernard Bresslaw. This is vintage Carry On, in spite of Sid James' absence. Kenneth Williams' performance is subdued by having to deliver the usual puns ("zere are a couple of points I still need to go over", he informs busty Joan Sims) in a mangled French accent but Silvers gets into the right mode of delivering broad comedy with subtle inflections. Peter Butterworth draws the short straw this time and must feature in the obligatory cross-dressing scene, while Charles Hawtrey is a splendidly unconvincing hardened legionnaire. As for Bresslaw, can any other British actor, with the exception of Sir Alec Guinness, have distinguished himself in such a variety of multi-ethnic roles? On the DVD: Sadly, there are no extra features except scene selection. The picture ratio is 4:3. --David Stubbs
The Fast Lady team rides again! The newlywed Munroes purchase a rundown ramshackle cottage and plan to fix it up themselves primarily to escape their meddling father. However they haven't appreciated the scope of the work required to get the place up to scratch.. They have no choice but to seek outside help. When Builder Josh Wicks arrives on the scene the bills start going through the roof... Written by Henry Blyth (The Bulldog Breed) and Jack Davi
If you're a fan of brooding comic-book anti-heroes, got a nihilistic jolt from The Crow (1994) and share director Alex Proyas's highly developed preoccupation for style over substance, you might be tempted to call Dark City an instant classic of visual imagination. It's one of those films that exists in a world purely of its own making, setting its own rules and playing by them fairly, so that even its derivative elements (and there are quite a few) acquire their own specific uniqueness. Before long, however, the film becomes interesting only as a triumph of production design. And while that's certainly enough to grab your attention (Blade Runner is considered a classic, after all), it's painfully clear that Dark City has precious little heart and soul. One-dimensional characters are no match for the film's abundance of retro-futuristic style, so it's best to admire the latter on its own splendidly cinematic terms. Trivia buffs will be interested to know that the film's 50-plussets (partially inspired by German expressionism) were built at the Fox Film Studios in Sydney, Australia, home base of director Alex Proyas and producer Andrew Mason. The underground world depicted in the film required the largest indoor set ever built in Australia. --Jeff Shannon
Some remember him from the Goons some through his army autobiographies or his poems but it is his work on television that has stamped Spike Milligan's surreal chaotic and devastatingly funny humour on the nations imagination. This compilation features classic moments such as The Lost Forever in the Bermuda Triangle Holiday the Eurovision Joke Contest Michael Parkinson at the Soldierama Massage Parlour Spike as the singing Viking Maiden and loads more assorted lunacy from the
William Topaz McGonagall (Milligan) is an unemployed Scottish weaver who decides to devote his life to poetry. Falling in love with Queen Victoria (here played by Peter Sellers) he donates his major poetic works to her and despite many rejections dreams of one day becoming Poet Laureate...
The entire 5-disc set! From the writer of Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral Richard Curtis. The sleepy village of Dibley has a new vicar but it's not your standard order bloke with beard bible and bad breath - it's Dawn French of the hilarious comedy duo French and Saunders. Armed with a sharp wit a double dose of double entendre and healthy supply of chocolate she brings the town's lovable - through rather eccentric - inhabitants a hyst
In the year 2257 a planet-sized sphere of supreme evil is approaching the earth at relentless speed threatening to exterminate every living organism unless four ancient stones representing the elements of earth wind fire and water are united with the mysterious fifth element.From Luc Besson the acclaimed director of 'Leon' and 'Nikita' comes a film that turns science fiction inside out.
BAFTA-winning director Ray Butt (Only Fools and Horses) takes the helm for the final two series of Spike Milligan s anarchic sketch show, recorded in front of and occasionally featuring a wide-eyed studio audience. Qs 8 and 9 were made in quick succession in 1979 and 1980 after the BBC initially delayed re-commissioning the series until the Monty Python team departed TV-land. This was despite the impact the original Q5 of 1969 had on the world of alternative comedy. At a time when Kenny Everett and Not the Nine O Clock News were further testing the limits of TV comedy, the former Goon leads a cast of co-performers including John Bluthal, Bob Todd, Julia Breck, Alan Clare and a self-parodying David Lodge in yet more surreal, outrageous and determinedly under-prepared sketches. Running gags and familiar tropes prevail, with Adolf Hitler, Arab sheiks, idiot Boy Scouts and the Royal Family subject to scattergun ridicule, while musical interludes from Spike, pianist Ed Welch and occasional guest singers age the shows a little more harshly than the main man s virulently anti-PC humour.
Cool and sophisticated Tolen has a monopoly on womanising - with a long line of conquests to prove it - while the naive and awkward Colin desperately wants a piece of it. But when Colin falls for an innocent country girl it's not long before the self assured Tolen moves in for the kill. Is all fair in love and war or can Colin get the knack and beat Tolen at his own game?
The words of the opening song pretty much describe the menu in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum--"Something familiar, something peculiar, something for everyone: a comedy tonight!"--a frantic adaptation of the stage musical by Larry Gelbart and Burt Shevelove. The wild story, based on the Latin comedies of Plautus and set in ancient Rome, follows a slave named Pseudolus (Zero Mostel, snorting and gibbering) as he tries to extricate himself from an increasingly farcical situation; Mostel and a bevy of inspired clowns, including Phil Silvers, Jack Gilford and Buster Keaton, keep the slapstick and the patter perking. The cast also includes the young Michael Crawford as a love-struck innocent. This project landed in the lap of Richard Lester, then one of the hottest directors in the world after his success with the Beatles' films. Lester telescoped the material through his own joke-a-second sensibility, and also ripped out some of the songs from Stephen Sondheim's Broadway score. The result is very close to the vaudeville spirit suggested by the title--though anyone with a low tolerance for Zero Mostel's overbearing buffoonery may be in trouble. Oddly enough, amid all the frenzy, Lester creates a grungy, earthy Rome that seems closer to the real thing than countless respectable historical films on the subject. Frankie Howerd, who played Pseudolus on the London stage, kept the tradition going with his Up Pompeii TV series. --Robert Horton
""Everybody's Favourite Shaggy Dog Story!"" Young Billy can't keep Digby the lovable sheepdog he brought home from the pound so he decides to leave him with animal expert Jeff (Jim Dale). But while Jeff's back is turned Digby accidentally drinks a top secret chemical which makes him grow... and grow... and grow! The gigantic Digby is soon being chased all over the country. The army think he dangerous and want to blow him up. Two thieves are trying to sell him to the circus! In this frantic and hilarious race against time Billy and the hapless Jeff must get to Digby with the antidote or lose him forever. With and all star cast including Spike Milligan and Victor Spinetti Digby The Biggest Dog In The World is a classic adventure story for the whole family. Available for the first time on DVD!
Celebrating twenty years of classic Carry On films two of the film's best loved stars Kenneth Williams and Barbara Windsor return to Pinewood Film Studios to unwrap some rib-tickling moments to the series. From the original military mayhem of 'Carry On Sergeant' through to the really ancient archaeological gags of 'Carry On Behind' our saucy hosts get their titters out for this laugh-a-second gallop through the most successful series of British comedy films ever made. With a cast
If you're expecting a selection of your favourite episodes from The Vicar of Dibley, then you'll be in for a bit of a surprise. For what we have here instead is Dawn French in conversation with John Plowman, the show's producer. Together, they introduce and analyse the characters and relive key moments from the series, neatly categorised under such headings as "Chocolate", "The Nearly Wedding" and "Celebrity Appearances" (don't forget they enticed both Kylie and Darcey Bussell onto the show, as well as a host of other celebs). So, it's very much a selection for diehard fans who want to be reminded of the highlights (and there are plenty), ranging from Alice's Teletubby bridesmaids to the arrival of Geraldine's mega-freezer, packed to bursting with Haagen-Dazs. To watch this 90-minute film is to be reminded of just how brilliant--and topical--the concept was. The writing is as fresh as ever, as are the priceless group of characters who bring the scripts to life. From the very opening moments, when Geraldine turns up and jokes that they were expecting a man "beard, bible, bad breath; instead you got a babe with a bob cut and a magnificent bosom", you know you're in the presence of an enduring comic creation. On the DVD: The Best of the Vicar of Dibley offers pretty minimal extras--an entertaining feature on real-life women vicars, laconically but pertinently narrated by Jo Brand. --Harriet Smith
While the later chapters of the Carry On series have received fairly constant exposure, some earlier examples such as 1964's Spying remain relatively unseen. Given the brash production and ensemble playing of the more well-known films, this black and white version of the Carry On world seems oddly low-key in comparison. Four of the soon-to-be-regular cast are in attendance--Barbara Windsor, Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale, Charles Hawtrey--and there are many signs of a formula in development (the double entrendres, bad puns, Windsor's ill-fitting clothing). Of course, with its obsession with sex and bodily functions it's all very English and parts have dated horribly, not least the casual racism of some of the secondary characters, but fans of this most unique of genres will find much to tickle their fancy. And don't they look so young?On the DVD: Given the long history and colourful characters of the series, there must be scope for much behind the scenes and documentary footage, but this disc is totally bereft of any extras bar scene selection. There is also little to add to the original black and white film stock, although the soundtrack, chock full of humorous instrumentation, sounds pretty good. --Phil Udell
In the year 2257 a planet-sized vessel of supreme evil is hurtling towards the earth with relentless speed threatening to exterminate every living organism in its path. It has been left to the ex-marine and unlikely taxi-driving hero Korben Dallas (Willis) to reunite the four stones that represent the elements - Earth Air Water and Fire with the mysterious Fifth Element to unleash the only power that will save the Earth. Joined on his mission by the intriguing Leeloo (Jovovich) and Priest Vito Cornelius (Holm) Dallas must retrieve the elements from the beautiful Diva aboard the luxury cruise ship the Fhlotsin Paradise.
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