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Do Not Adjust Your Set (TV Series 1967–1969) Poster

(1967–1969)

Trivia

David Jason felt a little intimidated by Eric Idle, Michael Palin and Terry Jones upon first meeting them. In his autobiography, he described them as "a bit posh. Absolutely sure of themselves in a way I could never have imagined being in those days. They were highly educated, very articulate and quite experienced. They were very chummy with each other and a bit cliquey." However, he described Palin as "the one that seemed the nicest, the most talented, and there was less of a boundary with him". But when it came to socializing with them and Terry Gilliam, he felt he fit in like a "pork chop in a Jewish salad".
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"Do Not Adjust Your Set" was actually a children's TV show.
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The title derives from a notice screened during the 50s/60s whenever the signal went, which was a lot. It was thought it would gain the show free publicity.
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Elton John was a fan and named his album "Captain Fantastic" after the character in the series.
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David Jason received his first big break into television on this show.
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David Jason described the show as "all sorts of nothing much. Whatever else you wanted to say, there was nothing like it at the time and all the kids locked onto it. It spoke to them - they could feel proprietorial about it. It was their humor: none of the adults got it. Mums and Dads would say I don't know what you're watching this rubbish for and that just elevated it higher in kids estimations. It was mad."
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Filmed live to save money on tape editing.
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Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Eric Idle became frustrated with the show in Series 2 because material that was too adult was edited, like even showing a couple in bed talking. They wanted to take the series late night but they were refused because it was an immensely popular kids show. In retaliation, they threatened not to renew their contracts and the show ended just like that; David Jason was disappointed he was not included in their decision, he was just informed of it. David Jason and Eric Idle ran into each other years later in a restaurant and although the dust had settled, they didn't have much to say to one another, what with they're differing careers.
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David Jason, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Eric Idle were fans of the Bonzos after hearing "I'm the Urban Spaceman".
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David Jason felt "mad or fearless ideas flowed easily" from Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Eric Idle.
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David Jason described the series as a kind of "visual Goon Show - unfettered and bonkers".
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David Jason described his time on the show as "we were out, being paid to make films and behave like idiots, and wherever we went, the tab was picked up. I couldn't have been more blissfully happy, really. There was a wonderful freedom to it all. I was doing something I loved but under no pressure. I was an unknown actor, so there were no expectations. No one was expecting me to deliver. That came later. I was free to bury myself in work and enjoy it. I learned from this why so many people find solace in painting and drawing."
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David Jason looked back on the show as "in some small way, I was following in the path of my heroes, Laurel and Hardy and Buster Keaton, and it made me very happy. I felt that, if I did nothing else in my career, I'd always have Captain Fantastic."
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The show was an instant hit.
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David Jason described the creative process as "none of us knew much about kids. We simply were kids. The sketches had to make us laugh, or they didn't get in".
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Terry Gilliam contributed animations and sketches to the show; he did one of David Jason's head on a pig's body.
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David Jason felt he was "suddenly a budding star of children's television. It wasn't the route I'd imagined when I set out and I'm sure the same was true of Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Eric Idle. But none of us were complaining."
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David Jason likened Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin to "the three Musketeers".
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David Jason believed inside the show there was a grown-up program waiting to get out. He believed this culminated with Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969). He expected to be asked to join, but was sidelined.
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David Jason believed the whole point of Captain Fantastic was that it was a parody of the silent era, and if you lost that, you lost everything about it.
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Captain Fantastic was nearly adapted into a TV show but the studio wanted it shot indoors and on tape while David Jason wanted the more expensive film so the idea was dropped. Jason made the same request on The Darling Buds of May (1991), which was granted.
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David Jason has always been a big fan of superheroes since reading the Dan Dare comic strips of his childhood, so playing Captain Fantastic and later Batman in Only Fools and Horses.... (1981) were dream roles for him. In some early episodes, Rodney used to wear a shirt with Dan Dare on it.
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