TV Cream

TV: Q is for...

Q5/Q6/Q7 etc.

MILLIGAN MULLARKEY which bemused most (including the Beeb) but delighted enough to keep it being recommissioned despite the same things showing up in the same order every bloody series, namely: Nazis; Nazis dressed as Jews; Nazis dressed as beautiful buxom women; Nazis and beautiful buxom women running an unlikely business such as a costermogers or grocery; everyone blacked up; everyone blacked up playing Nazis; everyone walking off set into the audience; everyone walking off set into another sketch on film; people with cotton wool in their ears; hole reinforcers and cutlery falling from people’s sleeves; BBC costume department labels on the outside of clothes; and racist and sexist punchlines. Original trailer announced the death of Spike, aged 104.



  1. Lee James Turnock

    May 1, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I conducted an e-mail interview with Q series regular Julia Breck (the “beautiful buxom woman” mentioned above) last year, you can find it here…

  2. THX Kling Klang

    December 11, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    “You realise this puts me in a very difficult position.”

    I remember watching an episode of what must have been the final series and halfway through demonstrating the new British Army Boot (which was huge and “driven” by Spike) the programme kept breaking down.

    They restarted it about five times, but it continued to break at the big boot bit, so I never did get to see the rest of the episode. It’s not one of the major regrets of my existence or anything, but it’s my main memory of the series because I couldn’t quite tell if it was another joke or not, such was the odd nature of Spike’s humour.

  3. Lee James Turnock

    April 26, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Sorry, can someone delete my old comment? That blog is no longer online.

  4. THX 1139

    September 4, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Watching this on DVD, I note Spike thought racism (and pretty much everything) was inherently ridiculous, but unfortunately parodies of racism are difficult to discern from the real thing (q.v. The Goodies). He was also much taken with The Six Million Dollar Man. And Bob Todd sings Street Life by The Crusaders in a couple of episodes. Not something I expected.

    • Richard16378

      September 4, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      I guess growing up in India gave Spike a different perspective on racial issues.

      • THX 1139

        September 4, 2017 at 7:21 pm

        And despite all the Irish jokes, he loved Ireland and moved there.

  5. Glenn Aylett

    April 17, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    Bizarre and yes the obsession with Nazis could be a bit much( newsreader sitting in front of swastika for no apparent reason), but best remembered for its not very PC Dalek sketch that had me roaring with laughter when I was about nine years old. Also there was a later version called There’s A Lot Of It About that had some hang up about the GLC and the Salvation Army.

  6. Tom Ronson

    May 8, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    Q5 came first in 1969 and predated Monty Python’s Flying Circus by several months. Spike’s next series for the BBC were Oh in Colour (co-written with John Antrobus and a lot more surreal / outlandish than the Q series, if nowhere near as funny) in 1970, followed by the four-part Milligan in Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter series of ‘entertainments’ shown in 1972-73. Q6 was next in 1975. Q7 was filmed in 1977 but not broadcast until the following year. Q8 and Q9 were from 1979 and 1980 respectively, and There’s A Lot Of It About was broadcast in 1982. Spike’s 1976 sitcom The Melting Pot was notably recorded in its entirety, but – pilot episode aside – never transmitted, and now probably never will be.

  7. Billy Cameron

    June 10, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    I found Spike Milligan very hit and miss and his Q series missed more than it hit. I also remember a one off he did called ‘The Last Laugh Before TV AM’ I’m still waiting. I never got the appeal of The Goons either.

  8. JakeyD

    June 11, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    None of my comments are ever accepted why?

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