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Holy Flying Circus is a recent fictional BBC4 dramatisation depicting the events that surrounded the original release of a small, cult Monty Python film that went by the name of Life Of Brian. Maybe you have heard of it? Of course, the sad fact of the matter is that by creating such a fuss about the film in the first place, The Church and other religious types only served to give it more publicity and Life Of Brian has gone on to become one of Monty Pythons greatest and best remembered work!
The cast here are simply sublime as the assorted Pythons with Darren Boyd in paticular putting in a star turn as a very convincing John Cleese! Boyd was of course most recently to be found in the BBC2 comedy, Whites, set in a busy and almost 100 % accurately portrayed Hotel Kitchen; a show which also starred Alan Davies and which, criminally, has not been picked up for a second season. Other mentions must go to Steve Punt, who plays an excellent Eric Idle, and Charles Edwards for his role as Michael Palin; one of the most pivotal of all the characters who appear here! Rufus Jones too deserves credit, playing as he does both Terry Jones and, bizarrely and very much in keeping with Monty Python itself, Palin's long-suffering wife.
The thing I liked most about this dramatisation was how closely it followed Monty Python's surreal and subversive humour itself! Right from the beginning, the drama is keen to point out that much of what we are about to see has been made up and only the final scenes, depicting the live T.V debate where Palin and Clese take on a Bishop with the intention of defending Brian, bare any resemblence to anything like the real facts!
The comedy too is so totally off the wall that Pythoin fans cannnot help but be impressed! In one memorable scene, a too early reference to Joey Deacon is made and a viewer makes a complaint. That complaint is taken to the Head of BBC4 who promptly throws it in the bin. Why? Because, as he says, "no-one watches BBC4 anyway!!"
If you are easily offended, then this is something best perhaps avoided (with much Effing and Jeffing and a couple of liberal uses of the C-Bomb!) but many very strong arguments are made during the course of the programme that defend Life Of Brian against its false charges of Blasphemy and argue against strong censorship in the media!
I think this is a lot better than a lot of people expected it was ever going to be and certainly, for me, was one of the funniest things I have seen on T.V in ages!
Running for an hour and a half, this programme brilliantly encapsulated the whole essence of Monty Python and simply could not have done a better job even if it had tried!! If you love Monty Python, I can tell you you will love this ~ the only slight downfall, the actor playing Terry Gilliam often seems to try too hard!