» Introduction & Index
» 1 Lemon Sherbet
» 2 Newsreaders
» 3 Targets: Max & Des
» 4. Goodies Turning ...
» 5. Beanz Ads
» 6. Targets: Nichola...
» 7. Goodies In Love
» 8. The Trandem
» 9. Targets: Tony Bl...
» 10. Inventions
» 11. Tim In Drag
» 12. Targets - David...
» 13. Bill's Outfits
» 14. Live Music
» 15. Targets: Mary &...
» 16. Goodies Relatives
» 17. Tim's Patriotic...
» 18. Targets: Rolf H...
» 19. Bill & Graeme i...
» 20. Sports & Games
» 21. Targets: Lionel...
» 22. Guest Stars: Pa...
» 23. Graeme's Computer
» 24. Monty Python Re...
» 25. Targets: Eddie ...
» 26. Memorable Animals
A COLLECTION OF GOODIES THEMES
10. GRAEME'S INVENTIONS
One of the most enjoyable and interesting aspects of Graeme's character throughout the show is his ability to use his "clever clogs" scientific knowledge to benefit the storyline, either by conducting a nutty experiment to investigate a theory or create a cure, or manufacturing a remarkable piece of apparatus that often manages to defy the conventional laws of science in the process. This article will look at some of these great triumphs of Graybags genius from our favourite fuzzy-chopped loony scientist, though perhaps his grandest creations – the giant animals such as Kitten Kong, Frankenfido, the Almighty Cod etc – will be the subject of a separate article at a later date.
The opening sequence of the very first episode "Beefeaters" features Graeme's first great Goodies invention – their brand new office which he has designed by spending Tim's aunt's money "pretty well". The office defies all laws of space rather like the TARDIS in Dr Who, as the food store, kitchen, bedroom and games room are all magically located behind two different doors. Bill's gentle goading that "You've forgotten the loo, haven't you?!" leads to a rather smug-looking Graeme gesturing towards one of the doors that has already been opened and Bill rather nervously opening it to reveal the 'royal flush' inside. Graeme boasts that the office contains everything they need to live there for "24 hours a day, 7 weeks a month!", including his specially-designed computer to solve all problems, and comes complete with a special rent-a-view picture window which features various cities around the world with accompanying muzak. After a couple of different views, it clicks over to a photo of Sydney Harbour and Rolf Harris singing 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport', eliciting a hasty demand from Bill of "Turn it off!" Graeme's computer also gets put to use in solving its first problem by being an accomplice in his first oddball experiment to determine who has been stealing the Beefeater's beef, with it greedily scoffing a nice beef steak - with a resplendant burp for good measure - to further add to the beef shortage (much to Tim's outrage) and it can only come up with the unlikely suspects of bulls and poultry farmers as the culprits.
In the second episode "Snooze", Graeme's alarm clock signals the start of a new working day and sets off a remarkable automated sequence of gadgets which sees him prepare and eat breakfast, shave, get dressed and make his bed while he hardly moves a muscle. His entire fully-automated 'early morning, rise and shine' routine includes being woken up by a robotic hand and then a coconut being dropped on his head when he rolls over, drinking tea from his hot water bottle, having his radio automatically destroyed with a mallet when it starts playing the Radio Times, cooking an egg attached to a fishing line which he dangles into a saucepan on the stove, grabbing salt and pepper shakers from the chandelier and cutlery from a picture above his bed, and putting his suit on in one motion like a pair of overalls before tipping his bed up to reveal a doorway to the bathroom. He then casually explains it all to a bemused Tim as "The magic of science, dear boy." Later in the episode we see Graeme's chemistry set in full swing as he concocts "New Improved Snooze" and then has to busily create an antidote as the entire country nods off after drinking it.
Graeme's inventive brilliance really comes to the fore in "Radio Goodies where, after initially being too engrossed in designing a radio transmitter to provide a soulful "boom" for Bill's station jingle, he ultimately designs the good ship 'Saucy Gibbon' after slaving away off the Essex coast for the past week. The 'Saucy Gibbon' is a sensational underwater craft containing everything the Goodies need to start up their pirate radio station and post office and yet it is brilliantly disguised, for in Graeme's words: "This works on the iceberg principle. Seven-eighths below the water, one-eighth above the water. A perfectly ordinary rowing boat!" Of course it has to be anchored outside the five mile limit, requiring the Goodies to paddle out to it aboard kayaks, and Graeme's inspired genius soon gives way to wanton megalomania, which has been covered in detail in Article 4 - Goodies Turning Baddie.
In "Pollution", Graeme's remedy to the worsening state of the environment is to devise a magic mixture of seeds, fertilizer and aftershave to be dropped into rainclouds from the trandem attached to a hot air balloon. Unfortunately his clever plan is slightly derailed by the Minister Of Pollution shooting a hole in the balloon, causing the mixture to be dumped all in one rather large raincloud that gets blown all over the countryside before stalling and dropping its fragrant load all over London. His next invention is much more understated but humourously effective – as part of his camping gear in "The Lost Tribe", he quietly unfolds a canvas table, clock and television in the middle of nowhere and switches the television onto a BBC program. Bill scornfully tells him that a canvas TV can't work, as it's scientifically impossible. Graeme replies "Oh yes. So it is. Damn!", turns it off in disgust and folds it away! Another subtle but effective gadget is his magic paintbrush in "Antiques" which creates dozens of copies of Monarch Of The Glen for the loud, rich and gullible American art collectors to snap up, helping to pay for the "one million billion trillion quintillion zillion pounds and 2 1/2 pence" worth of art treasures that they have ruined earlier in the episode.
The Goodies have a real struggle with learning how to dance in "Come Dancing" even resorting unsuccessfully to using Lionel Bleeah's rather camply-voiced learn-to-dance kit which leaves Tim and Bill tangled up as though they have been playing Twister instead. Fortunately Graeme's inventiveness saves the day as he develops special radio-controlled dancing suits which automatically take the required steps for them. Unfortunately though, opposition coach Delia Capone catches Graeme adjusting the control box for the suits and steals it. Incensed at their cheating, she changes the settings and sends the Goodies dancing madly all over the dancefloor and into the street to the tune of 'Baby Face' before she detonates the box, suits and Goodies in a wild fit of rage.
Graeme's next great invention is a voicebox for his computer, enabling her to express her feelings of true love for him over a romantic candlelit dinner of conversations about algorithmic progressions and quadratic equations, and leading to the classic scenes of them skipping through the woods smitten with love until everything comes unstuck at the double wedding. His gadget in "Hunting Pink"is a bit more practical however, as it brushes his teeth, combs his hair and washes his glasses all at the same time in a throwback to the fully automated setup that he had constructed in "Snooze" earlier.
The collective failure of the Goodies to hold their footing let alone be competitive in their training sessions for the "Winter Olympics" sees Graeme's scheming mind develop the theory that they would have a much better chance of beating the other nations if they melted all of the ice at the North Pole, where the games are taking place. His quick calculation determines that by using hot water bottles it would only take them 178,000 years to do the job, so he decides on something a little faster by them taking to the sky aboard a balloon-powered trandem and attaching a sun ray lamp to a large butterfly. Of course the lamp works a treat in clearing the ice away, enabling the Goodies to win a swag of medals for Great Britain, but Graeme's forgetfulness outweighs his genius on this occasion. He seemingly invents global warming as well by leaving the lamp attached to the butterfly long after they have returned to Cricklewood, causing his computer to blow a gasket calculating the corresponding rise in sea levels.
Bill and Tim return to the office in "Invasion Of The Moon Creatures" but find that it has become a top secret area with entry permitted only after giving the correct password, which luckily happens to be "Let us in, ya great 'nana!" from a rather annoyed Bill. Graeme has been busy converting the office into a control room for the new British lunar project which involves sending rabbits to the moon, providing that they can withstand the various cruel tests that Graeme is having much pleasure subjecting them to before the space flight! Graeme is keen to prepare the launch (with Bill cheekily offering to "peel the potartoes" for him!) but his lunar lunacy comes back to plague him later in the episode where his expansion of the bunny brain only benefits the villainous Big Bunny and his crew of space rabbits.
"Hospital For Hire" has Graeme devising a mobile travelling hospital seeing as the National Health Service can't cope because "they keep getting pestered by sick people". Graeme's hospital is capable of performing appendix operations, multiple childbirths (for a lady seemingly producing her own football team!) and plaster casting among other things, but it's his invention of a magic bright orange cure-all elixir (it cures "sunburn, heartburn … and Tony Blackburn!" among other ills) that is spruiked in a wild west-style evangelical show that really makes the National Health Service look incompetent. So incompetent, in fact, that the service closes down as there are no more sick people left in the country … except for the three Goodies who have no more magic elixir left to treat their own injuries!
"The Stone Age" features Graeme's "compendium of home entertainment" - a tv which contains a gramophone, a piano keyboard and also does the washing! With the others distinctly unimpressed, Graeme then reveals that his book is all about the Stone Age: "Anyway I'm off all this newfangled rubbish. I am into neolithic man." Bill (suspiciously): "Is that legal!?"
Graeme then turns his talents to automotive design in "The Race", constructing a motoring masterpiece out of scrap metal and bits of furniture so that the Goodies will have an entry in Le Mans. It looks nothing like the sleek racing car in the blueprint, but might work once all of the obstacles are removed from under the bonnet, like Bill checking the points of his "French maid", a stray cat which purrs louder than the engine and the patented Sudsy Wudsy windscreen washer with unbreakable windscreen (no glass!). Sadly the car is nobbled by the mysterious Baron O'Beef, necessitating Graeme to go one step further and turn the disused railway station office into a race car, much to the surprise of Bill who is just in the process of ringing the funny farm on Graeme's behalf at the very thought of such a weird concept.
The following dialogue from "The Movies" showcases Graeme's next invention: Bill: "Tell us something else. Now why don't they make films like that (a silent classic) anymore?" Tim: "You can't just make films, you know. They tell me it's quite difficult." Graeme: "Ah well, it wouldn't be so difficult if they used my latest invention. A pocket movie camera." T: "What a great idea. Let's see it." G: "Here you are. Pocket movie camera" (Produces a full-sized camera and tripod)
B (scornfully): "You can't get that in your pocket!" G (indignantly): Course you can! … Mind you, you have to wear the special trousers." (Crams the camera into a huge pocket stretching almost half the length of his trousers, with the tripod sticking out and almost knocking Bill's block off) T: (impressed, sort of) "Brilliant. That could … that could revolutionise the whole film industry."
The dire threat of Bill's Ecky Thump rebellion and march on t'Parliament requires something ingenious to stop it, as the black puddings are extremely effective (and in Tim's words, "extremely hard"), but Graeme is up to the task. Sneaking into Peckinpah's Perfect Puddings (None Blacker) in the dead of night, he pours ten million miniature electronic receivers into the black pudding mix (before taking an impromptu dip in the foul black gunk himself!) so the factory soon churns out radio-controlled puddings by the millions which Graeme is able to remotely control and foil Bill's delusions of power … after a fair bit of fooling around and a wild ride over a quarry cliff on a tea trolley by all three Goodies!
In "Rome Antics" Graeme is appointed as Entertainment Manager by the newly-crowned Emperor Tim and promptly comes up with two new inventions – bingo and candy floss. G: "Look, little card with all the numbers on. A chap shouts out the numbers … like Romulus and Remus, number 2, all the ones, number 3, give us a kiss (makes "X" sign), number 10, pair of those (two-fingered gesture), number 5. Then, when you've got all the numbers on your card you jump up and shout 'Candy floss!' (produces a stick of candy floss) 'Have a bingo!'"
Graeme's own favourite Goodies invention, according to an interview conducted with him and Bill by satellite linkup from the Kitten Kon convention in 2000, is the elaborate cream mining device from "Bunfight At The OK Tea Rooms". This contraption is driven by Graeme who is able to "laze around all day" relaxing in a rocking chair while cracking his whip to hurry Bill and Tim along. They are the ones who have the thankless task of shovelling the cream into a barrow and pushing it uphill to a chute which feeds through a gramophone speaker into a huge bag. Graeme's rocking chair then operates a ladle that scoops the cream from the base of the bag into a funnel, which fills cups on a trolley that is pulled along by a tortoise chasing a lettuce lure in front of it and voila, the cream is packed and ready to be flogged off at a premium price in Pennenink.
More of a discovery than an invention or experiment, but after much searching for the right image at the start of "Goodies Rule OK", Graeme hits on the secrets of success for a rock supergroup; these being Donny Osmond's teeth (chattering away in a box and requiring sunglasses to be put on before having a peek at them!), the Bay City Rollers huge baggy trousers, Elton John's oversized yellow-green sunglasses, Kojak's hair (a skinhead wig), Gary Glitter's hairy chest (a welcome mat!), Alvin Stardust's groovy glove, Ray Woods' horror makeup, the Rubettes' giant flat white cap, the Wombles' hairy feet and Lindy de Paul's sexy dress, which are worn in various combinations by the three Goodies in the display sequence and at their rock concert.
Graeme and Bill require just one further scouting badge for the full set in "Scoutrageous" – the very select World Domination Badge (Graeme: "There's only three people that have those. That was Alexander The Great, Julius Caesar and David Frost. Mind you, Frosty pinched his!") and Graeme intends to add his name to the list by creating his own atom bomb … and fancy scouting badge to go with it. G: Now I've written to all of the world leaders saying that we're going to plant the atom bomb under Oliver Reed. Then if they promise … if they promise to hand over the control of the world to us …" B (excitedly): "We promise to blow him up!" G: "Got it! (B chuckles)". Unfortunately for Graeme, his home-made atom bomb meekly fizzles out when he is surrounded by Salvation Army troups, but Tim's generosity and gullibility seems to allow him to get away with his failed world domination in any event.
In "U-Friend Or UFO" Graeme manufactures a robot to assist Tim with various domestic chores at his Knutters Knoll Knitespot restaurant, particularly seeing as Bill is too preoccupied with the mysterious disappearances of various trombonists (and the man in the bog!) to be of any use in the kitchen. As Graeme remarks, "Your problems are solved. This machine can do everything that Bill does. On the other hand, it has its compensations!" … "In fact, I could sell you a few dozen of these. You could open up a string of cafes up and down the country." T: "Oh, like McDonalds hamburgers?" G: "Not much!" Tim: "Neither do I." Graeme refers to his robot as the Electronic Brain of Great Britain which Tim soppily christens as EBGB, and its main claim to fame is uttering a Dalek-like "Exterminate!"when asked "EBGB, how do you speak to aliens?" by Graeme, not exactly helping to foster good intergalactic relationships.
Graeme and Bill jointly combine in the BBC "Animals" episode to display considerable inventiveness with putting Tim's otherwise lazy animals to good use in energy production for domestic chores. This includes Dynamouse running on a treadmill generator, a three-toed sloth making an excellent peg bag with crabs also used as pegs, an octopus churning away in the sink as a dishwasher, and a python as a vacuum hose. Also corrupted are Henrietta Hedgehog with a conveniently placed stick making her a more-than-handy loo brush, a poodle as a floor mop, and another dog which walks along a treadmill into the oven, turning on the buttons along the way to produce an 'instant hot dog"! Yum!
"War Babies" has a 2.36 year old Graeme putting his junior medical skills to good use to reconstruct Tim after a particularly nasty parachute landing behind enemy lines. With the help of his Little Nurse kit, pieces from various toys which he cruelly dismembers, and an extra energy boost by plugging Tim's finger into a light socket, Graeme manages to rebuild Tim stronger than ever. Tim is the world's first clockwork baby, complete with a key to wind him up and a cord in his back to activate the implanted voicebox from his teddy, which can only say "Mama!".
The LWT series finds Graeme's inventions getting weirder, particularly in "Robot" where it seems as though he is about to give birth! Tim nervously paces the floor like an expectant father and wishes he could be with Graeme, who is nearing his time, much to Bill's incredulous disbelief. Bill then accuses Tim of always being closer to Graeme (because Graeme has less hair than Bill does!) but exclaims "I didn't know they were THAT close!" in a shocked voice when Tim races off to be with Graeme, followed by "It's not possible! It's not natural! It's not very nice!". After a loud pop and a hearty wail is heard in the background, Graeme proudly appears with a blanket-clad baby robot (a "transistorised tot" that even has his eyes!) which will eventually grow up to replace Bill. Naturally Bill finds the whole idea so loony that he walks out for good, seemingly never to return, though the appallingly grotesque, bearded, big-knockered, funny-voiced nanny Helga from Sweden seems to be an apt replacement for him (just as though he never left!).
Later in this episode after the naughty teenage robot has been put in his rightful place (on the scrapheap), Graeme declares that he no longer needs automated help now that he has been able to "send in the clones". Using Bill - upside down on a stand with a hose in his mouth - as a vacuum cleaner, he opens a door and proves that he has done this by mass-producing several copies of Bill, who imitates numerous household appliances like a mixer, stove, computer and record player!
In "Football Crazy" Graeme is conducting a loony experiment in his lab with white mice on a mini football field and comes to the scientific deduction that after an 18 hour blitz of simulated soccer, the placid mice merely "go eek and wash their whiskers!". He concludes that violence (as shown by chief soccer lout Bill) is inborn, as displayed by his hooligan hamster who heaves a streamer out of its box when the lid is opened!
"Change Of Life" sees all three Goodies looking rather old and flabby, as evidenced by Tim's hand-shaped bra to give his sagging manboobs a much-needed lift after he has humiliated Bill about the shape of the "Oddie body": "I am not looking at your body! (laughs) Oh yes I am! ... Moby Dick! Thar she blows, Captain Ahab! ... Jelly on a plate, jelly on a plate, wibble wobble wibble wobble, jelly on a plate (as Bill finds it very hard not to crack up with laughter!) Here come the elephants ... ba boom ba boom ba boom ba boom! ... Sorry Bill, sorry!" Therefore Graeme takes up a new role as 'Dr. Grayboots - Beautician To The Raddled' and invents the Autoplastomatorama, a revolving booth of various hair and face transplant styles which are expertly modelled in the window by Tim. These include the poncy La Rue pompadour, the reggae Rastamop, a Grease style coiffure with monstrous shaggy eyebrows, a Kojak pate with matching Prince Charles accessories and a pink wig with a jutting Jimmy Hill jawline.
Towards the end of this episode, Graeme dramatically unveils his doomsday machine, which is supposed to finish him off by any one of a number of grisly means, including a swinging axe, electrocution by 200,000 volts, spears, shotguns, a noose and failing that, a one ton weight dropped on his head. He then has to answer the phone, as Bill has locked himself in his coffin and Tim has his eyes closed and ears blocked so as not to witness Graeme's horrid demise, and so he walks blindfolded through his machine with the various booby traps going off one step behind him along the way, only to find out that the call was for the Robot anyway, after which he gets squashed by his one ton weight for good measure!
Graeme's invention in "Holidays" is a headset with a portable tv mounted to it and he reclines on a comfortable chair serviced by a range of other fancy automated gadgets until an annoyed Tim cuts the power off. There is also a nicely understated invention later in this episode when the roof is leaking – his glasses are fitted with little windscreen wipers to keep them clean.
The final LWT episode of "Animals" has Graeme showing Tim the new line of pets that he has created - a bunch of people dressed as dogs in a cage. Tim chooses Bill ("the runt of the litter!") and takes him for walkies, as Graeme changes the signage to Graybags Person Shop, and soon sells out of people assortedly dressed as dogs, mice, parrots and other animals.
Later in the episode his scheme to fatten all of the animals up for slaughter is exposed (as Graeme says to his herd of human beef bullocks: "Oh you fools! This plan could have made us all rich! In some cases dead ... but rich!") and it's rather appropriate that the very last sequence of The Goodies shows Graeme the dog chained up with a prominent "Beware Of The Looney" sign above his kennel as his multitude of loony schemes definitely went a long way towards providing some of the great storylines of the show.
Enough supplies to last "seven weeks a month"!
Automated breakfast in bed
Cooking up an antidote to New Improved Snooze
1/7 Radio Goodies
The grand plan of the Good Ship Saucy Gibbon
The Goodies Letter Stamp - a very practical invention
Magic pollution cure ready to go!
2/4 The Lost Tribe
Canvas clock, table and TV set
2/8 Come Dancing
Radio controlled suits - with the baddie in control!
2/10 Free To Live
Graeme installs a voicebox in his computer and romance blossoms
3/2 Hunting Pink
Graeme's all-in-one grooming gadget
3/3 Winter Olympics
A simple device to melt the ice will be nice!
4/2 Invasion Of The Moon Creatures
Bold space experiments with astrobunnies
4/3 Hospital For Hire
Graeme spruiking his magic elixir
4/4 The Stone Age
Graeme and his "compendium of home entertainment"
4.6 The Race
The two different race cars that Graeme designs for Le Mans
5/1 The Movies
Graeme's pocket movie camera
5/7 Kung Fu Kapers
Bill is agog at his radio controlled black pudding
5/9 Rome Antics
Candy Floss and Bingo
5/12 OK Tea Rooms
Graeme's elaborate cream mining contraption
Graeme about to unleash his home made atom bomb, much to Bill's terror!
8/4 U Friend Or UFO
EBGB to the rescue at Knutters Knoll Knitespot
Putting the animals to good use
The proud Dad and his baby robot
Send in the clones ...
9/2 Football Crazy
Graeme's hooligan hamster lets fly at the simulated soccer match
9/4 Change Of Life
The Doomsday Machine
Relaxation devices after a hard day's work