'Q5' ended in May 1969, five months before 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' debuted on B.B.C.-1. Spike Milligan must have watched with dismay as this imitator brazenly stole his thunder ( to be fair, the Pythons openly acknowledged their debt to the earlier show ).
In 1975, the team having moved onto films, Spike felt the time was right to revive 'Q'. Reunited with producer Ian McNaughton, he once again came up with surreal comedy both brilliant and banal.
Neil Shand is credited as co-writer, but it is hard to ascertain his contribution, seeing as how much of the show feels improvised ( perhaps he was responsible for the filmed material ). In 'The Groping Doctor Sketch', Spike plays a frustrated television director trying to make something out of a weak bit of material, and asks a member of the studio audience ( John Bluthal ) to help out. The result - chaos. The stranger turns up for the scene wearing 'comedy' clothes such as a spinning bow tie. Julia Breck ( what a gal! ) keeps coming on set dressed as a nurse ( her costume disappearing one bit at a time ) and uttering the line: "Physician heal thyself!" in a manner reminiscent of Sheila Steafel.
British film star Jack Watling ( whose credits include 'The Wooden Horse' with Anthony Steel ) appears in a send-up of 'Colditz'; he along with the rest of the cast try to escape from the B.B.C. T.V. Centre, disguised as the casts of series such as 'Coronation Street' and 'Upstairs, Downstairs' ( did no-one tell Spike that these were I.T.V. shows? ). Over footage of V.E. Day the theme from 'Crossroads' is played.
The Lone Ranger and Tonto square up to Marshal Matt Dillon of 'Gunsmoke' on a golf course ( "me and my successful T.V. series are telling you and your even more successful T.V. series to get your balls off my green!" ). A commercial for Honson & Bodges cigarettes has Spike in a hospital bed, extolling the virtues of the brand on the grounds that he now has five days left to live, instead of merely four! We see the contenders for the title of 'The Smallest Police Station In The World', Spike does a Marlene Dietrich impersonation ( and collapses in giggles half way through ), the Governor of the Bank Of England throws himself out of a window wearing a Donald Duck mask, a yokel directs traffic using a false arm, and the picture of the Queen on a pound note comes to life ( Jeanette Charles again, folks! ). All in a day's work for Milligan.
The musical item is 'Mr.Skillicorn Dances', performed by Doggerel Bank.
Like I said, there's some brilliant stuff here and a fair amount of rubbish ( just like 'Python' ). If you get a chance to see 'Q6' then do so. It is unlikely to get a legitimate D.V.D. release in this country due to the presence of disgraced comedy star Chris Langham.
Funniest moment - dressed as a policeman, Spike reads the parable of 'The Good Samaritan' from a pulpit: "And they beateth out of him the crap...he put oil and vinegar on the victim's wounds, and he screameth saying: "Hast thou never heard of Elastoplast!".
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?