Although he initially wanted to pursue a career in medicine, Ian MacNaughton became interested in acting while performing in an amateur theater group with the Royal Marines during World War II. A native of Scotland, MacNaughton returned to his homeland after the war and immediately began appearing in films such as 1956's "X: The Unknown", 1958's "The Safecracker", and a small uncredited part as a Scottish soldier in director David Lean's 1962 epic, "Laurence of Arabia". By 1964, however, MacNaughton had grown tired of acting and enrolled in a BBC training course for TV directors. After finishing the course, MacNaughton began directing episodes of several British television programs, including the comedies "Q5", and "Charley's Grants". MacNaughton's most notable directorial work, however, came when he was asked to direct the British comedy troupe, Monty Python, in their groundbreaking television series, "Monty Python's Flying Circus". It was the beginning of a relationship that would last throughout MacNaughton's career. Not only did he direct nearly all of the episodes for the show, he helmed a German TV special called "Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus" and the group's first foray into film with 1971's "And Now for Something Completely Different". By the 1970s MacNaughton was based exclusively in Germany, where he lived out the remainder of his career directing television series.