Do Not Adjust Your Set

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Do not adjust your set!
DoNotAdjustYourSet-dvd.jpg
DVD cover
From left to right: David Jason, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Denise Coffey and Terry Jones.
Format Television comedy
Starring Denise Coffey
Eric Idle
David Jason
Terry Jones
Michael Palin
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 27
Production
Executive producer(s) Humphrey Barclay (series 1)
Ian Davidson (series 2)
Running time 30 minutes
Distributor Fremantle Media
Broadcast
Original channel ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original run 26 December 1967 (1967-12-26) – 14 May 1969 (1969-05-14)

Do not adjust your set! (DNAYS!) is a 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.

It included early appearances of many actors and comedians who later became famous, such as Denise Coffey and David Jason. Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin later became members of the hugely successful Monty Python comedy troupe. Although, originally conceived as a children's programme, it quickly acquired a cult crossover following amongst many adults, including future Pythons John Cleese and Graham Chapman (as mentioned by Cleese himself in the "Paying my ex-wife" stage performance tour, October 2010).

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.

Episodes[edit]

  • Episodes produced by Associated-Rediffusion:
    • Series one: an introductory special on boxing day 1967, followed by 13 regular episodes of 30 minutes broadcast between 26 December 1967 to 28 March 1968, Thursdays at 17:25.
    • Untitled special of 30 minutes broadcast 29 July 1968, Monday at 19:00.
  • Episodes produced by Thames:
    • "Do not adjust your stocking", 40 minutes broadcast 25 December 1968, Wednesday 16:10. For a 1986 repeat, David Jason demanded to be removed from the show, thus creating an abridged version of 25 minutes.
    • Series two: 13 episodes of 30 minutes broadcast between 19 February 1969 to 14 May 1969, Wednesdays at 17:20.

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 for them prior to the invention of home video.

DVD release[edit]

Nine of the 14 episodes from the first (Rediffusion) series 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 episodes are renumbered 1 to 9, although, in fact they are episodes 1-2, 5-6, and 9-13 (a similar fault was made on the release of At Last the 1948 Show). The sole surviving episode from series 2 and Do not adjust your stocking were not included.[1]

The packaging further 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 Store release[edit]

In March 2008, nine episodes of Do not adjust your set! were made available for purchase in the United States via the iTunes 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

References[edit]

  • Currie, Tony (2004). A Concise History of British Television 1930–2000. Kelly Publications. p. 64. ISBN 1-903053-17-X. 
  • Wilmut, Roger (1980). From Fringe to Flying Circus: Celebrating a Unique Generation of Comedy, 1960–1980. Eyre Methuen. p. 183. 

External links[edit]