WATCH: Clips From The BBC’s Astonishing ‘Monty Python’ Drama

The cast, left to right: Terry Gilliam (Phil Nichol), Graham Chapman (Tom Fisher), Michael Palin (Charles Edwards), John Cleese (Darren Boyd), Terry Jones (Rufus Jones), Eric Idle (Steve Punt)

I’m writing this in a bit of a tizzy. Tonight, the BBC are airing Holy Flying Circus, an imaginative dramatisation of the battle the Monty Python team had in getting the Life Of Brian made and distributed, a battle which encompasses a wave of outrage from Christian campaigners and (without meaning to let impartiality drop too much) a hugely wrong-headed misinterpretation of the film’s central narrative thrust.

But of course no one cares about any of that stuff, we just want to see how well the six members of Monty Python have been portrayed, and whether the wigs all fit properly. And I’m happy to report it’s all looking astonishingly good.

Don’t just take my word for it though, here are three clips, you be the judge.

Here’s Michael Palin and John Cleese arriving at the BBC for their legendary showdown with Malcolm Muggerage and the Bishop of Southwark.

And here’s the entire team debating whether the film should take a X-rating, to comply with requests from protesters:

As befits the subject, some silliness has crept into proceedings, not least the idea that Michael Palin and Terry Jones are a married couple:

Rufus Jones, who plays Terry Jones as Terry Jones, but also as the fictional character Jones The Wife, has written a lovely blog about making the program, in which he says this: “I suppose the challenge with Jones The Wife was to try and create something sweet, something truthful, then stick some fake boobs on it and see if the audience still bought it.”

Looks rather grand, doesn’t it?

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 13 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Music.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

See more posts by Fraser McAlpine