Directed by Adrian Cooper • Drama • With Denise Coffey, Eric Idle, David Jason, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band • 1969 • 25 minutes
The only episode from series two proper known to exist in its entirety is both fascinating and funny. After a Gilliam-esque animated opening title sequence (though from the credits it would appear that he wasn’t involved in this particular episode), the first thing you’ll notice is the deeper sound of the laughter – the studio audience, briefly revealed by the camera, seems to be prominently populated by university-student types. The sketches move fast, are neatly shot and very slickly written, and in some cases very amusing indeed (especially the sketch featuring Palin’s eccentric airline passenger upsetting serious businessman Jones). Captain Fantastic is still odd and entertaining, with many more overdubbed voices than it once had; only the Bonzos seem slightly less mobile then they once were, perhaps to accommodate a huge but fragile-looking robot who has joined the band for the evening. They all stay obediently in place, but Viv sneaks a delightfully strange finger puppet into Beautiful Zelda.