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Recap / Monty Pythons Flying Circus S 3 E 8

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Title: Cycling Tour

Original Airdate: 7/12/1972

Instead of the usual format, this episode follows the adventures of Mr. Pither as he goes on a cycling tour of Cornwall. After asking a doctor for directions and watching a couple argue, Mr. Pither gets a ride from food accident specialist Mr. Gulliver, but the two are in a car accident. Mr. Pither brings the injured and amnesic Mr. Gulliver with him as he somehow makes it to France and then the Soviet Union. Mr. Pither drops Mr. Gulliver off at a hotel and goes to the British embassy to find a way back home. The British embassy, which is staffed by Chinese guys, get sidetracked by their love of bingo and Mr. Pither gets nowhere.


Back at the hotel Mr. Pither is grabbed by the secret police and taken to a Moscow clambake, where Mr. Gulliver, now believing himself to be Leon Trotsky, does a song and dance number. Mr. Pither is blamed and taken to jail. Luckily Mr. Gulliver, who also ends up believing he's Eartha Kitt and then Edward Heath until his memory is jogged when he's hit in the head by a piece of fruit, rescues him, somehow. The two part ways twelve miles outside of Tavistock, as Mr. Pither continues on his tour. The End.



  • All Just a Dream: Subverted. "So it was all a dream." "No, this is the dream, you are back in the cell."
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: The "Bingo-Crazed Chinese" sketch.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: Mr. Pither and Mr. Gulliver find themselves in Soviet Russia facing a firing squad, who after several failed attempts at shooting Mr. Pither, attach bayonets to their guns, and try to run them through. We don't get to see how they escape, instead we get a caption noting a missing scene, and then the two men appear back in Britain, safe and sound.
  • Easy Amnesia: Mr. Gulliver after the car crash, until someone throws a piece of fruit at him that hits him in the head.
  • Getting the Boot: Happens to Mr. Pither.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Mr. Pither is put in front of a firing squad, and everyone misses. Repeatedly. They finally resort to fixing bayonets and charging. Even that somehow fails.
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  • Indestructible Edible: Mr. Gulliver develops these. He made a cheese sandwich that can resist 4000 psi, and a tomato that predicts when it's going to be in an accident and jumps to safety. Even if you've already eaten it.
  • The Klutz: Mr. Pither is constantly falling down while riding his bike.
    • Everyone in the Casualty Ward of the hospital Mr. Pither goes to is accident-prone as well, including the doctors and nurses.
  • Last-Minute Reprieve: Mr. Pither is about to be executed by a Soviet firing squad. An officer is shown running toward the execution site yelling "Nyet!" (No!). He hands a paper to the firing squad officer.
    FS Officer: A telegram? From the Kremlin! The Central Committee! It says..."Carry on with the execution".
  • Non-Standard Prescription: Mr Pither goes to a doctor to ask for directions to Iddesleigh. "Normally I would have asked a policeman or a minister of the Church, but finding no one available, I thought it better to consult a man with some professional qualifications, rather than rely on the possibly confused testimony of a passer-by." The doctor writes something down and tells Mr Pither to take it to a chemist (pharmacy in the US). The next shot is a chemist looking at the paper and giving Mr Pither the directions.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Mr Pither:
    Cafe Proprietor: 35 p please.
    Mr Pither: Ah... oh, I have only a fifty. You have change?
    Cafe Proprietor: Well, I'll have a look, but I may have to go to the bank.
    Mr Pither: I'm most awfully sorry.
  • Spy Speak: The KGB officers whom Mr. Pither encounters at the hotel indulge in this.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When the KGB officers tell Mr. Pither to come with them, and he asks who they are, one of them replies, "Well, we're not secret police anyway."
  • Switch to English: John Cleese is a Soviet officer making a speech in Russian to fellow Soviets, pausing for the subtitles to show, and then says in Russian, "Forgive me if I continue in English in order to save time."
  • The Stinger: Two animated creatures pop out and dance to Clodagh Rodgers' "Jack in the Box", a throwback to the scene where Mr Gulliver believed that he was Clodagh Rodgers.

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