Monty Python's Flying Circus

Season 2 Episode 11

How Not to Be Seen

0
Aired Unknown Dec 08, 1970 on BBC
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
31 votes
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Thanks to "S. Grog," Conquistador Instant Coffee becomes Conquistador Instant Leprosy; needle stuck on recording of announcer; needle stuck on credits; in 1929, Ramsey MacDonald in ladies' underwear "My it's hot in here"; job interview at swap center; animation- Miss Johnson destroyed by Chinese Communist conspiracy, Crelm toothpaste and U.S. defense only protection, Shrill gas mileage test; Neville Shunt's `It All Happened on the 8:13 From Gillingham', Shunt, Gavin Milnarrrr reviews the play; announcer and interviewer obsessed with giant buckteeth, shows clips from Martin Curry's film Julius Incisor; man on the street "I've been in the city..."; Crackpot Religions Ltd. to Cartoon Religions Ltd. (see below); H.M. Government Public Service Film No. 42 Para. 6 How Not to Be Seen; interview with a man trying not to seen; Jackie Charleton and the Toenails sing "Yummy Yummy (I've Got Love In My Tummy)" while trying not to be seen; credits; for those who just missed Monty Python, a 30-second recap.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Unusual names for coffee, a mystery play on the minutiae of arrivals at the train station, and a public service announcement with rather frightening advice on the way to remain anonymous.moreless

    10
    An adman comes up with a less-than-stellar new name for a beverage product: instead of drinking plain ol' Conquistador Coffee to wake up in the morning, now customers will be quaffing great big mugs of Leprosy!



    He's not exactly in line for that Employee of the Month parking space...



    A play starts off being about a murder mystery, exciting enough, then diverges into the usually unexplored theme of whether or not the killing occured during track switching on the Hainault to Redhill line.



    Lastly, a government film teaches the public the title lesson --or rather, the futility of it: everyone who wants to avoid being seen is shot or destroyed by explosives.



    Just another day at the office in the not-quite-sane world of Python.moreless
John Cleese

John Cleese

Various Characters [ series 1 - 3, Deutsche shows & features ]

Eric Idle

Eric Idle

Various Characters

Graham Chapman

Graham Chapman

Various Characters

Terry Jones

Terry Jones

Various Characters

Terry Gilliam

Terry Gilliam

Various Characters

Michael Palin

Michael Palin

Various Characters

Carol Cleveland

Carol Cleveland

Jasmine, Old Woman at Beach, Lady Interviewing Arthur Crackpot

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • In regards to the "Conquistador" scene body count, if you slow it down, just as Cleese opens the door, you'll see that the secretary is actually male, so "three men dead" is accurate.

    • In the Conquistador Coffee campaign sketch, The Boss (John Cleese) shouts that three men have died because of the bad campaign tactics. The body count had two men and a woman, the managing director's company secretary.

    • The Shrill petrol commercial boasts of "the new additive GLC-9424075, after 6:00 P.M., 9424047." When the additive is mentioned again, Michael Palin inadvertently says "after 6:00 P.M., 9424077." The film And Now for Something Completely Different is more consistent in naming the additive.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • FROG: You're not going to fire me, are you, sir?
      BOSS: Fire you? Three men dead, the factory burned down, the account lost and our firm completely bankrupt? What can you possibly say? What excuse can you possibly make?
      FROG: Sorry, father. (holds up black sign reading "joke" in white letters)

    • From Conquistador Coffee Campaign;
      BOSS: Why, Frog?
      FROG: S. Frog, sir.
      BOSS: Shut up! Well?
      FROG: Well, people know the name, sir.
      BOSS: They certainly do know the name. They burned the factory down!

    • It All Happened on the 11.20 from Hainault to Redhill via Horsham and Reigate, Calling at Carshalton Beeches, Malmesbury, Tooting Bec, and Croydon West
      (An upper-class drawing room. An elderly man lies dead on the floor. Enter Jasmina and John.)

      JASMINA: Anyway, John, you can catch the 11.30 from Hornchurch and be in Basingstoke by one o'clock, oh, and there's a buffet car and… es corpse) Daddy!
      JOHN: My hat! Sir Horace.
      JASMINA: Has he…been…?
      JOHN: Yes, after breakfast. But that doesn't matter now; he's dead.
      JASMINA: Oh poor daddy.
      JOHN: Looks like I won't be catching the 11.30 now.
      JASMINA: On no John you mustn't miss your train
      JOHN: How could I think of catching a train when I should be here helping you?
      JASMINA: Oh, John, thank you... anyway you could always catch the 9.30 tomorrow – it goes via Caterham and Chipstead.
      JOHN: Or the 9.45's even better.
      JASMINA: Oh, but you have to change at Lambs Green.
      JOHN: Yes, but there's only a seven-minute wait now.
      JASMINA: Oh, yes, of course, I'd forgotten it was Friday. (looks at corpse) Oh, who could have done this?
      (Enter Lady Partridge.)
      LADY PARTRIDGE: Oh, do hurry Sir Horace, your train leaves in twenty-eight minutes, and if you miss the 10.15 you won't catch the 3.45 which means…(sees corpse) oh!
      JOHN: I'm afraid Sir Horace won't be catching the 10.15, Lady Partridge.
      LADY PARTRIDGE: Has he…been…?
      JASMINA: Yes, after breakfast.
      JOHN: Lady Partridge, I'm afraid you can cancel his seat reservation.
      LADY PARTRIDGE: Oh, and it was back to the engine - fourth coach along so that he could see the gradient signs outside Swanborough.
      JOHN: Not anymore Lady Partridge. The line's been closed.
      LADY PARTRIDGE: Closed?! Not Swanborough.
      JOHN: Yes, I'm afraid so.
      (Enter Inspector Davis.)
      INSPECTOR: All right, nobody move. I'm Inspector Davis of Scotland Yard.
      JOHN: My word, you were here quickly, Inspector.
      INSPECTOR: Yeah, I got the 8.55 Pullman Express from King's Cross and missed that bit around Hornchurch.
      LADY PARTRIDGE: It's a very good train.
      (Others agree. Tony runs in through the French windows. He wears white flannels and boater and is jolly upper-class.)
      TONY: Hello, everyone!
      ALL: Tony!
      TONY: Where's Daddy? (seeing him) Oh, golly! Has he…been…?
      ALL: Yes, after breakfast.
      TONY: Then…he won't be needing his reservation on the 10.15.
      JOHN: Exactly.
      TONY: And I suppose as his eldest son it must go to me. (he starts toward the corpse's coat pockets)
      INSPECTOR: Just a minute, Tony. There's a small matter of…murder.
      TONY: Oh, but surely he simply shot himself and then hid the gun.
      LADY PARTRIDGE: How could anyone shoot himself and then hide the gun without first canceling his reservation?
      TONY (after a nervous laugh) Well, I must dash or I'll be late for the 10.15.
      INSPECTOR: I suggest you murdered your father for his seat reservation.
      TONY: I may have had the motive, inspector, but I could not have done it, for I have only just arrived from Gillingham on the 8.13 and here's my restaurant car ticket to prove it. (he produces a restaurant car ticket and presents it to the Inspector)
      JASMINA: But the 8.13 from Gillingham doesn't have a restaurant car.
      JOHN: It's a standing buffet only.
      TONY: Ah, did I say the 8.13? I meant the 7.58 stopping train.
      LADY PARTRIDGE: But the 7.58 stopping train arrived at Swindon at 8.19 owing to annual point maintenance at Wisborough Junction.
      JOHN: So how did you make the connection with the 8.13, which left six minutes earlier?
      TONY: Oh, er, simple! I caught the 7.16 Football Special arriving at Swindon at 8.09.
      JASMINA: But the 7.16 Football Special only stops at Swindon on alternate Saturdays.
      LADY PARTRIDGE: Yes. Surely you mean the holidaymaker special.
      TONY: Oh, yes! How daft of me. Of course, I came on the Holidaymaker Special calling at Bedford, Colmworth, Fen Dinon, Sutton, Wallington and Gillingham.
      INSPECTOR (puts a hand on Tony's shoulder): That's Sundays only!
      TONY (after brief pause): Damn. All right! I confess. I did it. I killed him for his reservation. (escapes Inspector's grip and heads for door) But you won't take me alive! I'm going to throw myself under the 10.12 from Reading.
      JOHN: Don't be a fool, Tony. Don't do it. The 10.12 has the narrow traction bogies. You wouldn't stand a chance!
      TONY: Exactly!
      (Jarring chord. curtain falls as characters freeze, Tony at the door, John holding Jasmina, Lady Partridge sitting on couch, Sir Horace dead on the floor, and Inspector at the French doors stage back.)
      VOICE-OVER: That was an excerpt from the latest West End hit, It All Happened on the 11.20 from Hainault to Redhill via Horsham and Reigate, Calling at Carshalton Beeches, Malmesbury, Tooting Bec, and Croydon West. The author is Mr. Neville Shunt.
      (Cut to Shunt sitting among mass of railway junk, at typewriter, typing away madly.)
      SHUNT: (typing to rhythm of train zooming across tracks) Chuff, chuff, chuffwoooooch, woooooch! Sssssssss, sssssssss! Diddledum, diddledum, diddlealum. Toot, toot. The train now standing at platform eight, tch, tch, tch, diddledum, diddledum. Chuffff chuffffiTff eeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaa Vooooommmmm.
      (Cut to art critic.)
      SUPERIMPOSED CAPTION: Gavin Millarrrrrrrrrr
      MILLARRRRRRRRRR: Some people have made the mistake of seeing Shunt's work as a load of rubbish about railway timetables, but clever people like me, who talk loudly in restaurants, see this as a deliberate ambiguity, a plea for understanding in a mechanized world. The points are frozen, the beast is dead. What is the difference? What indeed is the point? The point is frozen, the beast is late out of Paddington. The point is taken. If La Fontaine's elk would spurn Tom Jones the engine must be our head, the dining car our oesophagus, the guard's van our left lung, the cattle truck our shins, the first-class compartment the piece of skin at the nape of the neck and the level crossing an electric elk called Simon. The clarity is devastating. But where is the ambiguity? It's over there in a box. Shunt is saying the 8.15 from Gillingham when in reality he means the 8.13 from Gillingham. The train is the same only the time is altered. Ecce homo, ergo elk. La Fontaine knew his sister and knew her bloody well. The point is taken, the beast is moulting, the fluff gets up your nose. The illusion is complete; it is reality, the reality is illusion and the ambiguity is the only truth. But is the truth, as Hitchcock observes, in the box? No there isn't room, the ambiguity has put on weight. The point is taken, the elk is dead, the beast stops at Swindon, Chabrol stops at nothing, I'm having treatment and La Fontaine can get knotted.

    • How Not To Be Seen
      John Cleese: In this picture there are forty people. None of them can be seen. In this film we hope to show you how not to be seen. In this film we hope to show how not to be seen. This is Mr. E.R. Bradshaw of Napier Court, Black Lion Road London SE5. He can not be seen. Now I am going to ask him to stand up. Mr. Bradshaw, will you stand up please? (In the distance Mr. Bradshaw stands up. There is a loud gunshot as Mr. Bradshaw is shot in the stomach. He crumples to the ground.) This demonstrates the value of not being seen. In this picture we canot see Mrs. B.J. Smegma of 13, The Cresent, Belmont. Mrs Smegma will you stand up please. (Mrs Smegma stands up. A gunshot rings out, and Mrs. Smegma leaps into the air, and falls to the ground dead. Cut to another area, however this time there is a bush in the middle.) This is Mr. Nesbitt of Harlow New Town. Mr. Nesbit, would you stand up please. (nothing happens) Mr. Nesbitt has learned the first lesson of not being seen - not to stand up. However, he has chosen a very obvious piece of cover. (The bush explodes and you hear a muffled scream. Cut to another scene with three bushes.) Mr. E.V. Lambert of Homeleigh, The Burrows, Oswestly, has presented us with a poser. We do not know which bush he is behind, but we can soon find out. (the left-hand bush explodes, then the right-hand bush explodes, and then the middle bush explodes. There is a muffled scream as Mr. Lambert is blown up) Yes, it was the middle one. (Cut to a shot of a farmland area with a water butt, a wall, a pile of leaves, a bushy tree, a parked car, and lots of bushes in the distance.) Mr. Ken Andrews, of Leighton Road, Slough has concealed himself extremely well. He could be almost anywhere. He could be behind the wall, inside the water barrel, beneath a pile of leaves, up in the tree, squatting down behind the car, concealed in a hollow, or crouched behind any one of a hundred bushes. However we happen to know he's in the water barrel. (The water barrel just blows up in a huge explosion. Cut to a panning shot from the beach huts to beach accross the sea.) Mr. and Mrs. Watson of Ivy Cottage, Worplesdon Road, Hull, chose a very cunning way of not being seen. When we called at their house, we found that they had gone away on two weeks holiday. They had not left any forwarding address, and they had bolted and barred the house to prevent us from getting in. However, a neighbor told us where there were. (The camera pans around and stops on a obvious looking hut, which blows up. Cut to a house with a gumby standing out front.) And here is the neighbor who told us where they were. (He blows up, leaving just his boots.) Nobody likes a clever dick. (Cut to a shack in the desert) And here is where he lived. (shack blows up - cut to a building) And this is where Lord Langdon lived, who refused to speak to us. (it blows up) And so did the gentleman who lived here... (shot of a house - it blows up) ...and here...(another building blows up) ...and of course here... (a third building blows up) ...and Manchester... (Manchester blows up) ...and the West Midlands... (the West Midlands blow up) Spain... (Spain blows up) ...China! (China blows up and Cleese starts laughing maniacally; cut to Michael Palin watching all this on his news monitor)
      Michael Palin: Ah, I'm afraid we'll have to stop the film there, as some of the scenes which followed were of a violent nature which may have proved distressing to some of our viewers. Though, not to me, I can tell you.

  • NOTES (2)

    • A still frame from the deleted cartoon can be seen in the "Monty Python again in 60 seconds" recap at the end of the show. It's extremely brief, however; you need to use pause or slow motion to catch it.

    • There is a whole section of the "Cartoon Religions Ltd." segment that is missing from most versions of this episode. After the devil is nailed into the vicar's head the cartoon cuts to a lineman on a telephone pole, as the camera pulls back we see that the telephone cables are run between the cross of Jesus Christ and the other Crosses of Calvary, then the ground opens up and Satan comes up saying "Did somebody call?" According to the Robert Hewison book Monty Python: The Case Against, the BBC did not censor this ten-second clip; the Pythons themselves dismissed the cartoon because they thought it was in poor taste.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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