A man walks into a café, purchases a baguette, and sits down at a table to eat...
Wedging the end in his mouth, he's startled when George Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' suddenly emanates from it. Slamming the bread down, the music stops and he flees. Closing in on the table, we see a sign, 'RESERVED', before a hammer crashes down on the snack.
Does that make any sense? No, but it's weirdly funny nonetheless. And that's probably the best way to sum up Spike Milligan's experimental sketch show.
Written by Milligan and Neil Shand, the series - which first hit our screens as Q5 - displayed a surreal bent and almost stream-of-consciousness format, which didn't just abandon punchlines, but often properly realised sets too.
Undeniably, it had a huge effect on Monty Python's Flying Circus, which debuted some months later.
"Terry Jones and I adored the Q... shows," says Michael Palin. "They were filled with surrealism and invention, and [Milligan] took huge risks... When it came to Python, Terry and I were so impressed that we looked for the name of the director on the end credits and hired him. That's how we met Ian MacNaughton."
The series returned four times over the years, on each occasion rebranding itself as Q6, Q7 and so on, until the BBC reportedly tired of the format and demanded a change in title for the final run in 1982. Hence it became known as There's A Lot Of It About.
Despite its genius, Q... has never provoked the same fervour as Python. That's because elements of the show have dated badly - Milligan poking fun at Jewish and Pakistani people and keeping Julia Breck on tap as his scantily-clad foil.
Nonetheless, any programme that featured a Punjabi Dalek is something special indeed...
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