Monty Python's Flying Circus

Season 2 Episode 2

The Spanish Inquisition

1
Aired Unknown Sep 22, 1970 on BBC
9.4
out of 10
User Rating
51 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Man flying into cliff; credits; Jarrow- New Years Eve 1911, interrupted by Spanish Inquisition; man asked to be in a sketch with a novelty salesman, man's head borrowed for animation- eyeball stolen and shot in cannon; new tax proposed on `thingie'; man on the street- What I would tax; snapshots with the Spanish Inquisition; animation- I confess!; semaphore version of Wuthering Heights, Julius Caesar on an Aldis Lamp, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Morse Code and the smoke signal version of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; charades in the Criminal Court, judge on trial, credits, Spanish Inquisition late for court.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition

    9.0
    This show has another very famous and classic sketch: The Spanish Inquisition. It doesn't get much better than the three members of the Spanish Inquisition torturing their victims with the comfy chair, the cushions and the washing up rack. Certainly an amazing sketch and one of the greatest this show has ever done. There's also a great series of film parodies using everything from flags to morse code to smoke signals for communication between actors, very smart. The court sketch with charades being played is a smart and very funny sketch, and sentancing the judge was an interesting turn of events, and I loved it at the end where the Spanish Inquisition are trying to reach the court in time. A great episode overall, Python shows are featuring less sketches at this point, focusing more on high quality, longer sketches that is working extremely well.moreless
  • "Bring out...the comfy chair!"

    10
    What would you tax?



    That's the question from the newsman to several people on the street. One might expect answers like food, drinks, sporting events tickets, or auto sales; but the answer deduced by one gentleman is, er..."thingy," as he delicately calls it.



    Hundreds of years ago, a brutal campaign to stamp out heresy saw the Catholic hierarchy order the imprisonment, torture and execution of those caught defying their teachings.



    And they never would have gotten anywhere had they been forced to rely on the ramshackle crew that interrupts several sketches in this show.



    "*No one* expects the Spanish Inquisition!" bellows the leader of a fearsome red-clad gang. They threaten punishments such as the rack...which turns out to be the plastic kind, from the middle of the dishwasher...



    Witness the results of "fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope." (Er, they show up late for court.)



    Another slew of classic sketches, with some of their most memorable characters.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

Marjorie Wilde

Marjorie Wilde

Old Lady with photos

Guest Star

Carol Cleveland

Carol Cleveland

Lady M, Young Lady dismissing photos

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Ximenez: Confess! Confess! Confess!
      Biggles: I confess!
      Ximenez: Not you!

    • The Story of the Spanish Inquisition: In the early years of the sixteenth century, to combat the rising tide of religious unorthodoxy, the Pope gave Cardinal Ximinez of Spain leave to move with let or hindrance throughout the land, in a reign of violence, terror and torture that makes a smashing film. This was the Spanish Inqusition...

    • Reg: Trouble at th' mill.
      Lady M: Oh no! What sort of trouble?
      Reg: One on't cross beams gone owt askew on treddle.
      Lady M: Pardon?
      Reg: One on't cross beams gone owt askew on treddle.
      Lady M: I don't understand what you're saying.
      Reg: (slightly irritatedly and with exaggeratedly clear accent) One of
      the cross beams has gone out of skew on the treadle.
      Lady M: Well, what on earth does that mean?
      Reg: I don't know! - Mr. Wentworth just told me to come in here and say that there was trouble at the mill, that's all - I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition!
      (The door flies open and in come three evil types in red robes.)
      Cardinal Ximinez: NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise! ...Surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency! Our three weapons are fear, and surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical
      devotion to the Pope.... Our four...no... (Reg and Lady Mountback look boredly at these loonies. They have obviously blown any chance at a dramatic entrance.) Amongst our weapons.... Hmf... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surpr.... I'll come in again.
      (They turn back and escape out into the hall, waiting again for their cue.)
      Reg: I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.
      (They burst in again.)
      Ximinez: NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! ...Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms - Oh damn! (turns to Biggles) I - I can't say it - you'll have to say it.
      Biggles: What?
      Ximinez: You'll have to say the bit about "Our chief weapons are..."
      Biggles: (rather horrified) I couldn't do that...
      (Ximinez bundles the cardinals outside again)
      Reg: I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.
      (The cardinals enter. Biggles is now in front, looking lost.)
      Biggles: Er.... Nobody...um....
      Ximinez: (under breath) Expects...
      Biggles: Expects... Nobody expects the...um...the Spanish...um...
      Ximinez: Inquisition.
      Biggles: I know, I know! Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. In fact, those who do expect -
      Ximinez: Our chief weapons are...
      Biggles: Our chief weapons are...um...er...
      Ximinez: Surprise...
      Biggles: Surprise and --
      Ximinez: Okay, stop. Stop. Stop there - stop there. Stop.
      (He has jumped back out into front by now.)
      Phew! Ah! ...Our chief weapon is surprise...blah blah blah. Cardinal, read the charges.
      Fang: Yew arr hereby charged that yew did on diverse dates commit heresy against the Holy Church. (dances) o/` 'My old man said follow the--' o/`
      Ximinez: That's enough! (To Lady M) Now, how do you plead?
      Lady M: We're innocent.
      Ximinez: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
      Ximinez: (Gesturing wildly) We'll - soon - change - your mind - about - THAT!
      Ximinez: Fear, surprise, and a most ruthless-- (controls himself with a supreme effort) Ooooh! (He retches a bit and hits himself) Now, Cardinal -- the rack!
      (Biggles produces a plastic-coated dish-drying rack. Ximinez looks at it and clenches his teeth in an effort not to lose control. He hums heavily to cover his anger.)
      Ximinez: (furious) You....! (He stops himself and resignedly decides to just pretend.) ...Right. T-tie her down.
      (Fang and Biggles make a pathetic attempt to tie her on to the drying rack. They laugh diabolically. Ximinez moves to the other end of the room and looks extremely depressed. When it is over, the rack has been attached loosley to the front of Lady Mountback's dress.)
      Ximinez: (trying to seem diabolical) Right! How do you plead?
      Woman: (defiantly) Innocent.
      Ximinez: Ha! Right! Cardinal, give the rack (oh dear) give the rack... a turn.
      Biggles: I....
      Ximinez: I know, I know you can't. I didn't want
      to say anything. I just wanted to try and ignore your crass mistake.
      Biggles: I...
      Ximinez: It makes it all seem so stupid!
      Biggles: Shall I...?
      Ximinez: No, just PRETEND, for God's sake!
      Biggles: Ha! Ha! Ha!
      (Biggles turns an imaginary handle on the side of the rack.)

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Cardinal Ximinez: Cardinal Fang, read the charges.
      Terry Gilliam played Cardinal Fang in honor of his days as an editor for Fang, the student magazine at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

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