Written by and starring Michael Palin and Terry Jones, The Complete and Utter History of Britain was among a handful of series that formed a template for Monty Python's Flying Circus.
This series offered a typically Pythonesque look at British history - as if television had been around to cover events as they unfolded. Thus we find Richard the Lionheart relating his exploits in the Crusades in the manner of a laddish holidaymaker and William the Conquerer engaging in post-match analysis (following an unspectacular scuffle in which King Harold is finally felled by a baguette). Studio sketches and filmed inserts are interspersed with the meandering insights of historian Professor Weaver (Roddy Maude-Roxby), with links by faintly bemused continuity presenter Colin Gordon.
Sadly incomplete in the archives, this set contains all remaining episodes along with the film inserts which Terry Jones has kept safe for nearly fifty years.
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