- Do Not Adjust Your Set
Do Not Adjust Your Set
From left to right: David Jason, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Denise Coffey and Terry Jones.
Format television comedy Starring Denise Coffey
Country of origin United Kingdom Language(s) English No. of episodes 27 Production Executive producer(s) Humphrey Barclay (series 1)
Ian Davidson (series 2)
Running time 30 minutes Broadcast Original channel ITV Original run 26 December 1967 – 14 May 1969
Do Not Adjust Your Set (DNAYS) was a children's television series produced originally by Rediffusion, London, then by the fledgling Thames Television for British commercial television channel ITV from 26 December 1967 to 14 May 1969.
The show took its name from the message (frequently seen on the TV screen in those days) which was displayed when there was a problem with transmission. Although originally conceived as a children's programme, it quickly acquired a cult crossover following amongst many adults, including John Cleese and Graham Chapman (as mentioned by Cleese himself in the "Paying my ex wife" stage performance tour, October 2010).
This was an early appearance of many actors and comedians who later became famous, such as Denise Coffey and David Jason; Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and Eric Idle later became members of the hugely successful Monty Python comedy troupe. The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band performed a song in each programme and Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band also appeared. The musicians frequently appeared as extras in sketches.
The programme comprised a series of sketches, often bizarre and surreal, frequently satirical with a disjointed style which was to become more famous in the more daring Monty Python's Flying Circus, which followed five months later. At least one DNAYS sketch was re-used in Monty Python. Strange animations between sketches were crafted in the final episodes by the then-unknown Terry Gilliam, who also graduated to Python – part of his "Christmas cards" animation reappeared there in the "Joy to the World" segment.
One long-running feature of the show was "Captain Fantastic", featuring a parody superhero (Jason) in improbable, even macabre adventures against villainess Mrs. Black (Coffey). These segments were shot entirely on film, on location in London.
In 1968 it won an international award, the Prix Jeunesse, in Munich.
- Series one: 14 episodes of 30 minutes broadcast between 26 December 1967 to 28 March 1968, Thursdays at 5.25 pm.
- Series two: 13 episodes of 30 minutes broadcast between 19 February 1969 to 14 May 1969, Wednesdays at 5.20 pm.
- Untitled special of 30 minutes broadcast 29 July 1968, Monday at 7 pm.
- "Do Not Adjust Your Stocking", 50 minutes broadcast 25 December 1968, Wednesday 4:10 pm.
In common with another important Monty Python predecessor, At Last the 1948 Show, many episodes were wiped as was common practice at the time due to the lack of any apparent market to them prior to the invention of home video.
Nine of the 14 episodes from the first (Rediffusion) series (presumably all that survive) were released on DVD in the UK and the US in August 2005. Both releases use the same NTSC Region 0 discs made from telerecordings of the original videotapes. The packaging implies that Gilliam's animations appear in these episodes, but they do not. Gilliam does appear as one of the additional writers in the credits for episode number three. The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band is seen playing its song "Death Cab for Cutie" (also performed in The Beatles' film Magical Mystery Tour) in the DVD, Episode 7.
iTunes Music Store release
In March 2008, nine episodes of Do Not Adjust Your Set were made available for purchase in the United States via the iTunes Music Store. Episodes are of varying lengths from 25 minutes for Episode 1 to 11 minutes for Episode 7. Average length is around 13 minutes. iTunes labels these episodes as "Season 2" but they appear to be the same as the DVD release
- Currie, Tony (2004). A Concise History of British Television 1930–2000. Kelly Publications. p. 64. ISBN 190305317X.
- Wilmut, Roger (1980). From Fringe to Flying Circus: Celebrating a Unique Generation of Comedy, 1960–1980. Eyre Methuen. p. 183.
- British Film Institute Screen Online
- A Review of DNAYS
- Do Not Adjust Your Set at the Internet Movie Database
- Do Not Adjust Your Set at TV.com
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