Synopsis by Nathan Southern
While innumerable documentaries on British comedy have emerged over the years, the program Monty Python: Critical Review -- In the Beginning offers one of the first and only full analyses of the famed titular comedy team (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam). The program reexamines the Pythons' accomplishments, first with their four-year Flying Circus television program on the BBC, and subsequently on records and in films (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Life of Brian, The Meaning of Life), and their enduring impact on the British and global comic landscape. Through it all, the program reveals how the Pythons evolved and further developed their material. Neil Innes, a key Python contributor (who wrote much of the material for Flying Circus' final season, appeared in Jabberwocky, and penned the songs for Holy Grail) serves as one of the commentators, along with Alexei Sayle and journalists Tom Binns and Ian Stone.