Episode Title: FROM THE MONTY PYTHON ARCHIVE: “DÉJÀ VU” RESURRECTED
Produced by: Monty Python
Description: What do you do with a tape that’s been hidden away for over twenty five years? Why, get it played of course!
The tape is one of two original transmission tapes of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” that slipped through the net when the BBC made their digital masters in the early 1990s. The episode, “Déjà Vu”, the third episode of the second series, should have been part of that archiving process but for some reason the BBC’s poorer quality sales copy was archived instead.
According to the paperwork, the tape hasn’t been played since 1979, but it seemed fitting that it should be resurrected in Monty Python’s 50th anniversary year.
The tape is a two-inch quadruplex recording, a format developed by Ampex in the 1950s. It was the workhorse of television broadcasters from 1958 until the late 1980s when it was superseded by more flexible formats. Ampex quad machines haven’t been manufactured since the early 1980s, but working machines can still be found. This video shows the first time we played back “Déjà Vu”, almost certainly the first time it has been played since the 1970s.
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