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Monkee Python: Micky Dolenz directs Michael Palin and Terry Jones in ‘The Box’


Micky Dolenz directing the final episode of ‘The Monkees’
 
After the Monkees, after Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart, after the stage show of Harry Nilsson’s The Point!, Micky Dolenz spent a few years working as a TV director in London. He nearly made a career out of it. Dolenz was behind the camera of the robot sitcom Metal Mickey (namesake of Suede’s second single), the British version of Fernwood 2 Night (LWT’s For 4 Tonight), and the Bill Oddie series From the Top.

Dolenz also directed the TV film of a one-act play by Michael Palin and Terry Jones. The Box was based on Buchanan’s Finest Hour, the second of two short plays that made up Palin and Jones’ Their Finest Hours. A footnote in Palin’s diaries gives these plot summaries:

Underwood’s Finest Hour is set in a labour room with a mother straining to give birth and a doctor straining to listen to a particularly exciting Test Match. Buchanan’s Finest Hour is about a marketing idea gone awry. The cast, including the Pope, are trapped inside a packing crate throughout.

Watch ‘The Box’ after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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09.21.2017
06:13 am
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Monty Python on the Yorkshire Moors: Seldom seen interview from 1973

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An early interview with some of the members of Monty Python (John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin), recorded during filming on the Yorkshire Moors - “Of course it’s changed a bit now. They’ve put the rocks in, haven’t they? That used to be the bathroom over there,” quips Palin, while Jones seeks attention by falling over, and Chapman sips his G&T. Filmed for the BBC regional news program Look North, this was originally broadcast on May 23rd, 1973.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

‘Away From It All’: Little-known Monty Python ‘travelogue,’ 1979

‘Sez Les’: What John Cleese did after ‘Monty Python’

Monty Python vs. God

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.12.2012
06:29 pm
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The ‘Ripping Yarns’ of Michael Palin & Terry Jones

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After Monty Python’s Flying Circus ended in 1974, the BBC wanted to find other avenues for their team of talented comedy writers and performers.  One of the first ideas, was a proposal for a Michael Palin series. Palin was keen to try something different, but was unwilling to take-on any planned project without his writing partner and fellow Python, Terry Jones. With an offer to make a pilot, the pair came up with Tomkinson’s Schooldays, a hilarious spoof on Tom Brown’s Schooldays.

Partially inspired by Palin’s own experiences at public school, the show starred Ian Ogilvy as the School Bully, Gwen Watford as Mummy, Jones as the Headmaster, the Bear and Mr Moodie, and Palin as Tomkinson and in a selection of other roles. The pilot proved a major hit, and led to a series of Ripping Yarns - each a brilliant single story episode, with an all-star supporting cast (including Denholm Elliott, Joan Sanderson, Roy Kinnear, Judy Loe), covering such derring-do tales as bank robbers (The Testing of Eric Olthwaite), POWs (Escape from Stalag Luft 112b), Agatha Christie-type whodunnit (Murder at Moorstones Manor), stiff upper lip heroes (Across the Andes by Frog), and misadventure on the high seas (The Curse of the Claw).

A second season was commissioned, but only 3 episodes were made, as budget costs and a lack of nerve from the BBC unfortunately led to Ripping Yarns cancellation. This BBC documentary, directed by Maria Stewart for the Comedy Connections series, gives a fascinating and revealing insight into the making of one of British TV’s finest comedy shows.
 

 
More on ‘Ripping Yarns’ after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.02.2010
07:40 pm
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