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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece in need of restoration
This was THE show I had to watch when I was at school.

Watching it agin, the first thing that strikes you is that it is still very funny. Not quite everything works, but then not everything Python works either. The quality is pretty bad in places too, as this was a film from TV, copied onto video and now put onto DVD and all without restoration - or even lip...
Published on 12 April 2006 by Mr. M. Poole

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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pre-Python capers hit and miss
Possibly one of the most eagerly-awaited DVD releases for a long time "Do Not Adjust Your Set" will both please and disappoint.
On the plus side, it's been a long wait to view this legendary series. Pre-Pythons Eric Idle, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, ably assisted by a young David Jason and Denise Coffey, put their early comic ideas to the test. Idle's irreverant...
Published on 4 Aug. 2005 by A. Jackson


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece in need of restoration, 12 April 2006
This review is from: Do Not Adjust Your Set [DVD] (DVD)
This was THE show I had to watch when I was at school.

Watching it agin, the first thing that strikes you is that it is still very funny. Not quite everything works, but then not everything Python works either. The quality is pretty bad in places too, as this was a film from TV, copied onto video and now put onto DVD and all without restoration - or even lip synch at times. That said, it's amazing that any survive at all as the tapes at Redifusion TV were wiped and re-used (!).

The performers give their all and are uniformly excellent. The Bonzos are always great fun, clinicaly insane, but brilliant, and Captain Fantastic is the stuff of legends.

With this much star quality on show, plus live performances from the Bonzos of Monster Mash, Hunting Tigers and Hello Mabel! - this has to be watched. Incidentally, my son, who is 11 (about the age when I last saw it!) has watched them all 3 times now and rolls around the floor with laughter every time.

It's a great piece of fun!
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pre-Python capers hit and miss, 4 Aug. 2005
By 
A. Jackson "DVFM" (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Do Not Adjust Your Set [DVD] (DVD)
Possibly one of the most eagerly-awaited DVD releases for a long time "Do Not Adjust Your Set" will both please and disappoint.
On the plus side, it's been a long wait to view this legendary series. Pre-Pythons Eric Idle, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, ably assisted by a young David Jason and Denise Coffey, put their early comic ideas to the test. Idle's irreverant wordplay is already in place. Jones and Palin's visual prowess is coming to the fore. There are glimpses of what was to come in DNAYS.
The Bonzo Dog Band, led by Viv Stanshall and Neil Innes, take the lunacy to another level and probably did for DNAYS what Terry Gilliam's animations would do for Python.
Those expecting a Monty Python-ish romp will probably feel let down. What blots this first series of DNAYS is the reliance of the traditional formula of every sketch having a punchline or ending. Some bits work, some do not. Other material is screaming for the stream-of-consciousness approach that Python championed.
It has to be noted that the second series of DNAYS (run by Thames in early 1969) is more familiar and experimental, aided by a sympathetic director and Gilliam's revolutionary "Elephants" animation ; a key signpost to the way Python would be made later in the year. A DVD release for the second series would be welcomed, however many of these shows are missing. A shame.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An important piece of history, 3 Aug. 2005
By 
BC (Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Do Not Adjust Your Set [DVD] (DVD)
I have fond (if distant) memories of DNAYS, and welcomed this release. Top marks to Amazon and the UK postal service for getting it to Australia in just one week.
Did it live up to expectations? Yes and no - I agree with much of what previous reviewers have written. There are certainly plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, the Bonzo's are superb - worth the price for their performances alone - and the evil Mrs Black is kinda cute (and has a wicked laugh). But my fading memories of the show do seem to recall more of a Terry Gilliam influence than is evident here.
Technically this series is fairly primitive - it's in B&W for a start, it doesn't always fit on the screen, the sets are basic, and where there are edits, they are not subtle. But as Terry Jones explains in his feature interview, although this was (mostly?) recorded on tape, it was essentially live - there was no editing equipment (other than scissors) and editing was in any event heavily discouraged, as it devalued the tape. Considering these constraints, it holds up very well.
Note - the DVD is only divided into whole episodes, making finding individual sketches a real chore. This was an unnecessarily retro thing to do. The packaging is also careless at times ("...series that lead to the creation of Monty Python" - I think "led to" is the phrase you were looking for). But I do appreciate the decision to make the discs region-free.
I hope there is a second series to come - I'll buy it anyway, but a little more attention to detail would be nice.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative product poorly packaged, 30 July 2005
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This review is from: Do Not Adjust Your Set [DVD] (DVD)
DNAYS was the kids' show that treated us for real. No-one has ever avoided condescension so completely either before or since. Check out the opening sketch, a complex and wordy take on King Lear that the rug is very quickly pulled out from under. I am ecstatic that nine episodes have survived (and in Bradford a tenth, apparently).
But it is unfortunate that, to the marketers of this DVD, DNAYS only existed as a steppingstone to Python. This DVD claims to contain animations by Terry Gilliam, but these only amount to a few ravens at the Tower of London in the final episode. One of the extras is a long interview with Tim Brooke-Taylor - lovely man, but he talks almost entirely about the "companion" DVD At Last The 1948 Show. Some people are going to find in these faults a case of false expectations. DNAYS is far, far too important for this; they would have been better off giving us more material about the Bonzos, David Jason and Denise Coffey, and reaction to the series from when it was aired.
This, after all, is the show where delirious silliness was tried and proved to be a theme that could hold a tv show together; without this, Python would have been just a bunch of talented people making clever and funny comedy skits. DNAYS took it to the next level.
Highlights: David Jason's enormous variety of performance tricks from every kind of silly voice and accent to his smooth bouncy rubber-man slapstick. And the Concorde sketch - "The what?" has to be the funniest line of Palin's entire career.
Please enjoy this DVD as much as I did.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essentially a 5 star product, 28 July 2005
By 
Katie Pitt (Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Do Not Adjust Your Set [DVD] (DVD)
At last, some Do Not Adjust Your Set I can watch at home! For some years, the National Museum Of Film, Photography & Television in Bradford had an option to watch Do Not Adjust Your Set in their TV Heaven area. This was pretty much the only place you could see any DNAYS. Needless to say, it wasn't ideal, and when I found out about this DVD, I was looking forward to seeing this episode again and more. But it turns out this DVD does not have that one episode. It contains 9 recently discovered episodes, but why not the one that they'd known about all along? I guess I'll be going back to Bradford again.
Despite this omission, the DVD is excellent. 9 whole episodes, and special features. It's still very funny, but also a piece of history. And, if you're a fan of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, it's an absolute goldmine. The tagline on the cover is that DNAYS "lead to the creation of Python", but is fully enjoyable in its own right.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Collectors Dream, 26 July 2005
By 
Mr. Jack Gray "jackmaster" (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Do Not Adjust Your Set [DVD] (DVD)
I have always liked Monty Python, and the release of the DVD of, "Do Not Adjust Your Set", has raised certain eyebrows among archive collectors.
So here it is with the nine surviving editions that survive of the fourteen that were shown. Everything's here, The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, Captain Fantastic, Mrs Black, Ms Pringle, as well as the classics, Stool Pigeon sketch, Tartan Thistle Club, Holiday Show Sketch etc. In the Autumn of 1968, Associated Rediffusion, and ABC TV went on to merge as Thames Television. The rights to series 2, are held by Fremantle Media who own the entire Thames TV archive.
Watch out for Eric Idle singing on two songs, and The Bonzo's getting on the act. When Thames TV completed the transmission of the 2nd series in May 1969, it would be a full five months before we'd see Jones, Idle, and Palin with Cleese, Chapman, and Gilliam, in, "Monty Python's Flying Circus", which ran until November 1974.
SO HOW ABOUT THE DVD RELEASE OF SERIES TWO OF DNAYS? Come on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars wacky comedy, 10 Jan. 2011
By 
Marcia "marcia" (england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Do Not Adjust Your Set [DVD] (DVD)
Before Monty Python`s flying circus, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam along with David Jason, Denise Coffey created this show for ITV children`s tv between 1967 and 1968.
It is a wacky and madcap set of 25 minute shows with sketches and jokes. When you look at these sketches now they are not the funniest things ever made but they do have a humorous silliness that makes for transfixing viewing. They all have a novelty factor that keeps a certain amount of interest. The shows also feature a pop group of the day, the Bonzo Dog doo dah band who had only one hit single in the UK (I`m the urban spaceman). They feature on every episode and they possibly were a predictable choice since their songs and performance are as wacky as the comedy sketches.
The show was recorded on black and white video tape and the picture quality is not great. And the whole show looks old and archaic because of it. But there are some good moments of care free innocence. I remember the show from my childhood and the thing I remember the most was the novel and continuing adventures of "captain fantastic" in fact Denise Coffey and David Jason steal one of the best moments from the show with this feature. It is all done in silent movie style and features David Jason as Captain Fantastic and Denise Coffey as the evil villain Mrs Black. This feature was so popular that it was later a feature on another childrens tv show called Magpie.
Generally speaking this DVD release is interesting from a nostalgia point of view and also of interest to those interested in either Monty Python or wacky comedy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fruitful branch of comedy's family tree, 12 Jun. 2010
By 
Peter Reeve (Thousand Oaks, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Do Not Adjust Your Set [DVD] (DVD)
In the late 60s, television was still at the relatively primitive stage where it was necessary to flash up a message from time to time that there was a technical problem in the transmission and that you should not try to adjust your set. The phrase made a great title for the brand of zany comedy that Do Not Adjust Your Set brought to children's programming.

I was older than the target audience, but I was soon hurrying home from work to catch as much of it as I could. It's good now to be able to watch the whole thing at leisure, on DVD. I think today's kids may still get something from it, but it's more of interest to an adult audience, wanting to see the early efforts of Idle, Palin and Jones, and indeed David Jason. Yes, it is essentially a children's show, so make allowances for that.

The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band feature quite a lot and are worth the price of admission on their own.

David Jason is surprisingly awkward in some sketches, and very knockabout physical, with little indication of the great comedy actor he was to become.

Tim Brooke-Taylor makes a guest appearance.

Inevitably, some of the references will be lost on a modern audience. For instance, the parody of the White Heather Club is excruciatingly funny, for those who saw the original. Still, I'm sure anyone can enjoy it.

I was looking forward to seeing the insert, a 'Comedy Tree Poster Booklet'. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a totally incomprehensible tangle of arrows and labels which tells you nothing about how the British genre of zany, surreal radio and television comedy evolved from The Goon Show through to the present. The chart even includes shows like Cheers, simply because John Cleese made a guest appearance, and it totally ignores radio shows. This is a pity, because a tree with The Goons, Twice a Fortnight, At Last the 1948 Show, Do Not Adjust Your Set, I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, The Goodies, Monty Python, etc, showing how the whole thing evolved, would be really interesting.

This DVD is recommended for all comedy lovers who are in the mood for some childish fun.
[PeterReeve]
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Minor adjustment of golden memories, 1 Aug. 2005
By 
Pismotality (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Do Not Adjust Your Set [DVD] (DVD)
If, like me, you have very fond (but dim) memories of Do Not Adjust Your Set - my one act of vandalism at school was tracing the start date of the second series on the dusty wall of the school canteen - then this DVD has a lot to live up to. It does and it doesn't.
Partly for technical reasons: I believe these are film recordings, so you don't get the immediacy or clarity of the original video and, as has been pointed out by others, these are only a selection from the first series, so gems I remember like Armchair Theatre (literally a drama taking place on armchairs, even in the street), or a sendup of a well known antiques show retitled Going for a Burton, are missing.
Also it has to be admitted that you become aware, watching this in the light of Python, that the conventional sketch form, leading to a deliberately groanworthy punchline, is in evidence here. And watching nine episodes of the gently surreal slapstick of Captain Fantastic (the work of Denise Coffey and David Jason) more or less back to back isn't quite the inventive gagfest memory suggested.
But against that you have the Bonzos' inspired wackiness, with some indications of how volatile and unpredictable Viv Stanshall could already be (though Eleven Moustachioed Daughters and Beautiful Zelda are missing) and you have the verve of ALL performers throughout, including Jason and Coffey. Palin and Idle in particular already have in place the kind of characters they explored further in Python: when you see an announcement for a pantomime played by two policemen, you can guess that Michael Palin will be one of them, and that a certain amount of amusement is likely to ensue, and there is a brace of wrongfooted TV announcers of the sort played by Idle. And the sketches which have stayed in the memory - like a miniskirt-obsessed Italian customs man (Idle) or a man being fired by two diffident bosses, don't disappoint, either.
In short, this is well worth watching for its energy and zest, and there's never any sense of talking down to its audience, but not every sketch succeeds, and you can see how the performers must have leapt at the lack of constraints which Python offered. It would be fascinating to compare this with the second series if that ever becomes available.
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4.0 out of 5 stars of its time, 6 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Do Not Adjust Your Set [DVD] (DVD)
Although this and the companion volume At Last the 1948 Show are forerunners to Monty Python, they show their age both in content and regrettably picture quality - the latter not surprisingly given the age of the source material. It is however wonderful to see the Bonzos with the mighty Vivian Stanshall yet again (showing that attempts to 'replace' him on the anniversary concerts were never going to do justice to his manic originality) but over all these programmes were significantly different to what had gone before as later afternoon/early evening entertainment shows - after all they were programmed in the children's TV slot at around 530. David Jason in a very early television role withe the greatly under rated Denise Coffey, and Palin & Jones and Eric Idle gave strong indications of what could follow and how this stuff would develop.
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