Ian MacNaughton, 76, a television director who helped bring the anarchic "Monty Python's Flying Circus" to the BBC screen, died Dec. 10 in Munich.

Terry Jones, a member of the Pythons comic acting group, said Mr. MacNaughton died from injuries sustained in a 2001 car accident.

Mr. MacNaughton directed all but the first four episodes of "Monty Python's Flying Circus," which ran on BBC television from 1969 to 1974. The series also ran in the United States on PBS stations and later on commercial cable channels, becoming a cult hit.

In Mr. MacNaughton's obituary published in Britain's Guardian newspaper, Jones said the series began with "a certain amount of friction" between the director and the strong-willed comedians. But Mr. MacNaughton soon became a valued member of the Monty Python team, credited with helping give shape to the troupe's unruly talents -- and defending them to skeptical BBC executives.

"He appreciated the spirit of Python: The subversiveness and a touch of anarchy struck a chord with him, and being a bit of a wild Scotsman, he loved the fact that we were trying something new," troupe member Michael Palin told The Times newspaper.

Mr. MacNaughton also directed the first Python feature film, "And Now For Something Completely Different" in 1971, and a German version of the TV series, "Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus," in 1971 and 1972.

Mr. MacNaughton, a native of Glasgow, Scotland, attended medical school and served in Britain's Royal Marines before becoming an actor. He appeared on television and had minor roles in films including "Lawrence of Arabia."

In the 1960s, he moved into directing and carved out a niche in comedy. Mr. MacNaughton was highly regarded by comedians; he also worked with volatile comic genius Spike Milligan on the television series "Q5" and four sequels and collaborated on the classic 1970s British situation comedy "Rising Damp."

Mr. MacNaughton spent his final years in Germany, the home of his wife, Ike Ott. He directed the popular English-language series "Follow Me!" for German television and mounted theater and opera productions around the world.

He was returning from the opening night of his production of Alan Ayckbourn's "Season's Greetings" in Hall, Austria, when he was injured in the car crash, Jones said.

His marriage to Rita MacNaugton ended in divorce.

In addition to his wife, survivors include two children from his first marriage.