Q Vol 1 Series 1 -3 (Q5, Q6, Q7) (DVD) cover image

Q Vol 1 Series 1 -3 (Q5, Q6, Q7) (DVD)
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Comedy genius Spike Milligan's surreal and anarchic BBC sketch show from 1969. 

Q5 first aired in March 1968, just six months before the launch of Monty Python's Flying Circus, and has since been acknowledged by the Pythons as an inspiration for their own silly series. Remarkably, the Python's TV days were over by the time Spike was offered a second series, Q6, in 1975. Qs 7, 8 and 9 would follow over the next five years.

This two-disc set collects together all the surviving episodes for the first time. Sadly, four episodes of Q5 were wiped. Episodes 2 and 3 were recovered only as black and white telerecordings, and the colour master tape for episode 4 survived.

Spike was unencumbered by political correctness, and fans admire his reckless enthusiasm for poking fun wherever he pleases. The first series is notable for featuring seasoned satirists John Wells and Richard Ingrams. John Bluthal is also there, and appears in the later series along with fellow regulars Peter Jones, Bob Todd, Chris Langham and Julia Breck.

Shambolic sets and rough-and-ready wardrobes are a constant feature, and sketches and gags stop abruptly, overlap or repeat irregularly for maximum confusion. Adolf Hitler is often close at hand, prime ministers and world leaders of the day are roundly mocked, and madcap skits include an interview with the Queen's chicken, a grandmother hurling contest, Jehovah's burglars, the smallest police station in the world and the memorable Pakistani daleks.

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