Complete and Utter History of Britain (1969– )

TV Series  -   -  Comedy
8.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.4/10 from 29 users  
Reviews: 1 user

A forerunner to 'Monty Python's Flying Circus', this sketch show looked at famous events in British history from a quirky perspective. Only one series was made, by the commercial channel ... See full summary »

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 61 titles
created 22 Aug 2012
 
a list of 12 titles
created 04 Apr 2013
 
a list of 40 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 146 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Complete and Utter History of Britain (1969– )

Complete and Utter History of Britain (1969– ) on IMDb 8.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Complete and Utter History of Britain.

Season:

1

Year:

1969
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An anthology of Monty Python's best sketches from their 1st & 2nd seasons of their original TV show.

Director: Ian MacNaughton
Stars: John Cleese, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman
Jabberwocky (1977)
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young peasant, with no interest in adventure or fortune, is mistaken as the kingdom's only hope when a horrible monster threatens the countryside.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Michael Palin, Harry H. Corbett, John Le Mesurier
History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A rapid-fire history of our world, from the beginning of time as we know it to present day. This two-hour CGI-driven special delves into the key turning points: the formation of earth, ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Cohen
Stars: Corey Burton, Alexei Vladimir Filippenko, Peter Ward
Comedy | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Erik the Viking and his men travel across the sea to find Valhalla to ask the gods to end the Age of Ragnarok.

Director: Terry Jones
Stars: Tim Robbins, John Cleese, Mickey Rooney
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

The original surreal sketch comedy showcase for the Monty Python troupe.

Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
Spud (2010)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

It's South Africa 1990. Two major events are about to happen: The release of Nelson Mandela and, more importantly, it's Spud Milton's first year at an elite boys only private boarding school.

Director: Donovan Marsh
Stars: John Cleese, Troye Sivan, Jamie Royal
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The comedy team takes a look at life in all its stages in their own uniquely silly way.

Directors: Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam
Stars: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle
Time Bandits (1981)
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young boy accidently joins a band of dwarves as they jump from time-period to time-period looking for treasure to steal.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, John Cleese
Gomorra (TV Series 2014)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Stars: Walter Lippa, Salvatore Esposito, Fortunato Cerlino
Three Men in a Boat (TV Movie 1975)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Tim Curry, Michael Palin, Stephen Moore
Comedy | Sci-Fi

A teacher experiences a series of mishaps after discovering he has magical powers.

Director: Terry Jones
Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Simon Pegg, Robin Williams
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Various / ... (6 episodes, 1969)
...
 Various / ... (6 episodes, 1969)
Wallas Eaton ...
 Bishop of Filey / ... (6 episodes, 1969)
Colin Gordon ...
 Narrator / ... (6 episodes, 1969)
...
 Various / ... (6 episodes, 1969)
Roddy Maude-Roxby ...
 Professor Weaver (6 episodes, 1969)
Ted Carson ...
 Various / ... (6 episodes, 1969)
Colin Cunningham ...
 Various (6 episodes, 1969)
John Hughman ...
 Various (6 episodes, 1969)
Melinda Mays ...
 Various / ... (6 episodes, 1969)
Johnny Vyvyan ...
 Various / ... (6 episodes, 1969)
Edit

Storyline

A forerunner to 'Monty Python's Flying Circus', this sketch show looked at famous events in British history from a quirky perspective. Only one series was made, by the commercial channel London Weekend Television. Written by D.Giddings <darren.giddings@newcastle.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 January 1969 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Life of Python (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
When history was hysterical!
9 July 2011 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Soon after the transmission of 'The Complete & Utter History Of Britain', an unimpressed John Cleese rang Michael Palin, and said: "Well, you won't be doing any more of those!". The show came from the newly-formed London Weekend Television, and went out just before the second - and final - run of Thames' 'Do Not Adjust Your Set' ( with these shows and Marty Feldman's to write, Palin and Terry Jones were certainly kept busy ) commenced in early 1969. The idea came from a sketch they had done previously in 'Twice A Fortnight' ( a late night B.B.C. show from 1967 ). What if television had existed during Britain's past? You could show say the participants in the Battle of Hastings interviewed in their dressing rooms immediately afterwards, diarist Samuel Pepys hosting a David Frost-type chat-show, Robin Hood as the very first social worker, Norman conquerors wearing berets, striped shirts, and riding onion-covered bikes or a damsel in distress failing to be rescued because her knight in shining armour insists she first sign a form confirming its legality. Another sketch had an estate agent showing a young couple round Stonehenge as though it were a council house.

Each episode covered a particular period of history. It was produced by Humphrey Barclay and directed by Australian Maurice Murphy ( later to work on L.W.T.'s 'Doctor' series ). Palin and Jones, as you would expect, took many of the best roles, but were not happy overall with the finished product. To give an example, they had written a battle in the style of a Western gun fight, but the way it looked on screen was not what was intended, just a few blokes larking about with swords. They were also unhappy with the casting of performers whom they felt to be 'old school' and out of step with the humour. Colin Gordon's stuffy presenter linked the sketches, which featured amongst others Diana Quick ( later to play Graham Chapman's wife in the film of 'The Odd Job' ), Johnny Vyyvan ( a diminutive comedian best remembered for his appearances on the Des O'Connor show ), and Wallas Eaton ( 'Ludricrus Sextus' from the second season of 'Up Pompeii' ). According to Roger Wilmut in his excellent book 'From Fringe To Flying Circus', the major weak point was Roddy Maude-Roxby's 'Professor Weaver', a forgetful historian unable to concentrate on the subject at hand. He is right. Palin or Jones would have been far better in the role.

Possibly because it was so radically different to most I.T.V. comedy of that period, the show was not well received - I.T.V. did not network it for some strange reason - and it was quickly forgotten, being overshadowed later in the year by the arrival of 'Monty Python's Flying Circus'. Originally seven editions were made, but the suits insisted the first two be combined as they were not deemed strong enough to go out separately. To add insult to injury, it was wiped soon after broadcast. Some film inserts survive though, along with the first two episodes ( as broadcast and as produced ). Hit and miss it may be, but it is a stepping stone on the road to Python ( the 'Dennis Moore' sketch from Season 3 could have fitted neatly into 'Complete & Utter' ). The surviving material was finally put on D.V.D. ( with the scripts to the missing bits included as extras ) in 2014.

In 1972, a B.B.C. children's programme tried to mine the same vein of historical humour as 'Complete'. It was called 'Cabbages & Kings', and starred Julie Stevens, Derek Griffiths, and Johnny Ball ( who also wrote it ).


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The complete and utter history of britain carolinesilverside

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?