» 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 #20
(by Brett Allender)
SPORTS & GAMES
An interesting recurring theme throughout "The Goodies" is their participation in many different sporting activities, which provides them with good opportunities to shed their usual office garb, show off their reasonably impressive fitness and skills and to send up a number of different sports with speeded-up or cartoon-like action sequences. Initially the Goodies are asked by some of their guest stars to take on certain sporting events, most notably the Commonwealth Games and Winter Olympics; however by the time it comes around to dealing with events like the Summer Olympics and Le Mans motor racing, the Goodies are very much setting the agenda themselves.
The very first Goodies episode, "Beefeaters", features an impressively manic polo sequence where the masked rider knocks the Goodies over like a bunch of skittles before pelting them with a volley of fruit and hammering Graeme's staff completely into ground, though still having the courtesy to gently tap a lady's clothesline pole into the ground in the midst of all of the mayhem. Horse-based sports are a recurring Goodies theme in their own right, with horseracing, equestrian riding and hunting all featuring as prominent storylines in various episodes.
In "Hunting Pink", Tim ventures to the country estate of Tally Ho Towers to visit his Great-Uncle Butcher and soon finds out that his elderly relative is very keen on his horseriding and hunting. Egged on by Bill and Graeme’s raucous tall tales about their own hunting exploits (UB: "I once fell off my horse and broke a leg." B: " Well, I fell off my leg and broke a horse!"), Butcher has all sorts of trouble mounting his horse, even with the Goodies' help. He ends up at the wheel of a rampaging army tank and successfully blasts a rabbit from long range before snuffing it from the sheer thrill of the chase, leaving Tim to carry on the family horseriding and hunting tradition. Tim promises that the next hunt will be "bigger and better and rottener and crueller – I'm sure it's what my Great Uncle Butcher would have wanted"; leaving an appalled Bill and Graeme to sabotage his planned hunt. This is done by various means including Bill and Graeme firstly disguising themselves as Tim's horse and then as rabbits to distract the hunters, before pouring glue in front of the steeplechase to dismount the riders and then selling the horses off to an Indian; leaving an irate Tim to sail over a jump aboard the trusty trandem instead.
Horseracing again comes to the fore in "Black & White Beauty" where cruel horse trainer Bill enters Beauty in the Grand National and places nearly all of the Goodies money on it to win, not realising that it is merely a pantomime horse with Tim and Graeme cowering inside it. Black & White Beauty is given the rank outsider odds of 10,000-1 by the laughing bookmakers, but with Bill nobbling the other real horses in the race with funny cigars and buckets of tequila, Beauty has to compete with a field of other pantomime horses for the prize. The race contains plenty of amusing visual effects with Bill using a ladder and a brushcutter on the steeplechase fences to clear the way and Graeme's half-horse just about drowning in the water jump before Beauty loses the race in a photo after stopping and posing for a series of staged portraits just before the line.
"Royal Command" also features a steeplechasing race prior to the coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey, with the Goodies having to hurdle a series of dummy politicians with the Royal family in hot pursuit trying to wrest back control of the monarchy. The Royal takeover of the BBC earlier in the episode also features "Stars on Sunday" from the Hickstead equestrian centre with Moira Anderson singing 'Bless This Horse' complete with a frustrated "Damn!" when the horse fails to clear a jump. Likewise the raucous bloodlusting hunting-type characters from "Hunting Pink" crop up again in "Dodonuts", except that this time around it's Tim and Graeme doing all of the bellowing and shooting at anything that moves (B (horrified after the others have potted a bird that he had been observing): "That … that was a sparrow!" T (surprised): "I'm sorry, we thought it was a robin!" … G (slightly apologetically, after Bill starts blubbering): "It's a dead sparrow!") while Bill is desperately trying to shield various endangered species from their clutches; particularly his last living dodo. There are some very amusing, if somewhat cruel, hunting scenes in the early part of the show where Graeme blasts his cuckoo clock with a shotgun, Tim pots the rooster ornament atop the wind vane and a posse of hunters surround a bird feeder and each poke their guns into a different entry hole before blowing it to bits in unison, plus the end sequences where Tim and Graeme try to shoot down the elusive flying dodo in all sorts of devious ways.
Cricket also receives the Goodies treatment on a few occasions; the first being in "Commonwealth Games" when Tim is engrossed with watching the Test coverage on TV (and getting excited because a cover point fielder actually moves for the first time since 1937!) and then delivers one of his early patriotic speeches, claiming that the English were a "proud indomitable island race surrounded by a load of non cricket-playing frogs, wops, krauts and greasy dagos." and that "Generations of Englishmen sallied forth to the uttermost ends of the earth to seek out ignorant savages to teach them ... how to play cricket so that we could send out to them our ambassadors for goodwill, crack test teams of first-class players, and beat the living daylights out of them!" When Bill retorts: "Aha so that's all we care about is it? Winning!", Tim matter-of-factly states: "Bill, you do not play cricket to win. You play it to draw!"
In "Lips or Almighty Cod", the Goodies form an MCC touring party to the North Pole so that they can sneak into Eskimoland and steal back one of the British cod that they so foolishly flung at the Eskimos earlier. They barter cricket gear to buy a portable hole in the ice and catch a precious cod, before returning the hole to the Eskimo, with him amusingly attempting to ski away with cricket bats strapped to his feet and stumps in his hands as shortened ski poles. The Goodies are then sprung with the cod in their luggage by customs staff at departure, but stage an impromptu cricket match by bowling up snowballs and using their cod as a cricket bat, which distracts the Eskimos long enough for them to sneak through with the cod and head home to a huge ovation from the cod-starved British public.
Cricket also forms the major plotline in the second half of "2001 And A Bit" where the sons of the Goodies are looking to "give the crowds something really mind-bogglingly, rivetingly, excruciatingly dull and pointless" and achieve this by reviving cricket, which had fallen by the wayside many years ago. Firstly though, they have to rediscover the ancient near-extinct tribe that hides from man - the MCC. Young Tim Garden travels to the overgrown temple of Lords (which was long thought to be a place of sun worship with green strips of rice paddies inside it!) to find the right equipment for cricket, only to tip the Ashes out of their urn and end up wearing all of the cricket equipment in some rather unusual places. Meanwhile Tim and his son Bill don their power walking boots and enter the Slimbridge MCC Sanctuary (using a 5 pound note with Margaret Thatcher's face on it!) to observe the old cricketers in their last remaining native habitat. They sneak into the cricket pavilion and Tim spots an ancient Graeme and Bill, who have forgotten who he is and pelt him with fruit after mistaking him for Nicholas Parsons!
Fired up by a rousing cricketing poem from Bill Brooke-Taylor, the ancient cricketers march out onto the oval but they only manage to completely bore the crowd and a robot commentator when they hardly even utter a breath during two whole days of play. However Graeme Oddie and fellow his rollerblading lads issue a challenge, which leads to some humourous cricket sequences and despite their padding and the use of a 'Trojan batsman' to stand inside, they are dismissed for a grand total of zero. The lads of the MCC soon get runs on the board with the help of power-walking boots and some even dirtier tactics that escalate when Bill Oddie delivers exploding cricket balls from a tank. This prompts loud shouts of "How is 'e?!", followed by a "Where is 'e?!" as a huge cloud of smoke envelops the ground. In turn, Graeme Oddie pelts the MCC with cricket balls before he takes a wild ride through the streets on the sightscreen and ultimately slogs at a rising atom bomb which detonates massively and ensures that the MCC team retains the Ashes in the process.
The episodes "War Babies" and "Football Crazy" each have the Goodies involved with playing soccer in rather unusual circumstances. In "War Babies" the conflict is still deadlocked at Christmas time, so a soccer ball bounces out of the trenches for the deciding showdown between England and Germany. After a scoreless 90 minutes due to the war-wounded players on both sides barely being able to move, extra time is required and Tim (doubling as Winston Churchill) substitutes for the entire English team. The Germans in turn substitute their team for a tank and when the match is still deadlocked after extra time, the war must be decided by a penalty shootout. Tim brilliantly saves the shots on goal from the German tank, and then gently dribbles a kick which slowly rolls underneath the tank and pauses right on the line, with the goal being given after much deliberation and victory in the war to England in the process
As its name suggests, "Football Crazy" centres around the world game and starts off with a memorable display of hooliganism from cranky spectator Bill, who is so incensed at a player supposedly taking a dive and faking injury that he not only roars abuse from the terraces ("Get up, ya great nancy! Up! You great big soppy girl!"), but he also turns up in the hospital operating theatre and gives the bloke another earful while emergency surgery is being performed. Having distracted the doctors and causing the patient to flatline, he then also bobs up at the cemetery after the funeral service to jump on the poor fellow's grave, still demanding that he get up and stop faking his injury! Tim is sufficiently appalled by this violence to take on a new role as the Chief Of Police in charge of football hooliganism, whose duty is to rid the terraces of mindless yobbos ... like Bill, who flips out even more once Tim implements strict bans on players having long hair, affectionately celebrating goals and using even the mildest of bad language, making soccer even more boring to watch than before. The lack of action eventually encourages all of the hooligans to watch the ballet instead, as the Goodies discover when they form part of the Cricklewood team in the new Ballet League.
The "A Collection of Goodies" special also has a brief sendup of soccer where Bill is trying to flee from the others with a large but ever-shrinking plum pudding thanks to the different sports that it is being used for along the way. In addition to soccer, the pudding also gets used for basketball, rugby and bowling, then cricket, tennis and hockey before it finally reaches a small enough size for Bill to swallow it. Prior to this segment however, there is a wonderful sequence where the Goodies are exercising in a gymnasium, which includes memorable images such as Graeme dropping a large medicine ball through Tim's stomach as he lays on a bench, Graeme rebounding back and forth through the gym wall while tangled up in a muscle spring, Tim pulling on a climbing rope and bringing a huge bell clattering down on top of him and Tim having a wild ride on a bucking bronco vaulting horse among several other highlights.
"The Race" opens with the Goodies pedalling madly on the trandem in a bid to get out of the way of a bunch of rapidly-approaching riders behind them, only to find that they have actually won the Tour de France after taking a wrong turn on the way to Skegness for a holiday. Buoyed by this unexpected and rather easy sporting success, Graeme boldly enters "The Goodies … Le Bon Bon!" (B: (indignantly): "That's the Sweeties!") in the "Lemons Vings Quaters Hurs Race" … the Le Mans 24 hour motor endurance race, despite the Goodies having neither a car or a drivers licence between them. Graeme soon trains Tim in the art of driving with the help of a makeshift car which uses an upended Bill's feet as pedals (G (taps Bill's right foot): "Accelerator and that's (touches left foot) the brake." T (eagerly, ready to plant his foot): "So that means that the clutch must be …!" B (horrified): "Don't you dare!") and he also builds a car from bits and pieces around the office that does a serviceable job on the racetrack until the sinister local driver Baron O'Beef nobbles it. Graeme's backup plan of converting the entire office into a racing car proves far more resilient to the Baron's dastardly tricks, eventually forcing the Baron out of the race altogether, but the Goodies also run off the track, prompting Graeme to taunt Tim with the barb of "You can't even steer a disused railway station!" as they head for the cliff.
The sport of rugby is highlighted in the second half of "Wacky Wales" once the Goodies save themselves from execution by the fun-loathing Druids by knowing the words of their sacred hymn (about playing touch with the goalman's daughter!) and end up refereeing an ecclesiastical seven-a-side rugby tournament, which the Druids win easily. Their humble reverent victory ceremony (involving tipping beer all over each other and singing a song of "four and twenty virgins", to which Bill's objections to the song not being holy are met with the Reverend's outraged shriek of "Not holy! It's about flippin' virgins, isn't it? You can't get much holier than that!") is soon interrupted by Tim disqualifying them for cheating by including half of the Welsh international team in their lineup, to which they take out their ire by using the Goodies as balls to kick and throw around the field instead, with some nifty visual gags as part of the sequence.
During the course of the show, the Goodies have episodes featuring the three major world athletics meetings: the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games and the Winter Olympics. The Commonwealth Games is the first one to be sent up early in the second series which involves the Goodies being summoned to the office of the Minister of Sport, which is located inside the clockface of Big Ben, setting off a virtual earthquake when the hourly chimes ring. The Minister wants the Goodies to train the British athletics team to peak fitness for the upcoming Commonwealth Games against the August Bank Holiday Islands (located "between Easter Island and Christmas Island!"), who are the only other nation left in the Commonwealth as all of the others have left after a disagreement with Britain. The winner gets control of the Commonwealth but as the mission is considered too politically important to entrust to athletes and the British politicians all fail the sex test, the Goodies are required to compete for Britain against the August Bank Holiday Islands team, which consists of one athlete and his 7 year-old son.
With the Goodies being hampered in their movement by having to wear specially-made boots to combat the extremely high altitude of the stadium, they are summarily thrashed in every athletics event by the islanders, except for the boxing where the heavy boots at least prevent Bill from being knocked down for the count. There is quicksand in the long jump pit and an alligator in the steeplechase pit for the Goodies to deal with, along with the hostile reception from the native crowd (Minister: "Yes, excitable chappies, aren't they? I suppose they gave you the traditional August Bank Holiday Island welcome." Graeme (stunned): "They fired rifles at us!" Minister: "Yes, that's it!") and the Goodies find that although the August Bank Holiday Islands now rule the Commonwealth, all of the other former member countries have now rejoined under the new leadership … except for Britain which has been expelled because it's no good at sport!
"Winter Olympics" in Series 3 firstly has the reluctant Goodies practicing to take part in the winter games at a top-secret training camp in the coldest place in Britain ("Bognor on the Bank Holiday!") and though they have little hope of being competitive (especially judging by the portrait of the British 3 man bobsleigh champions on the wall of the hut - three coffins draped with Union Jacks!), they at least get some training in on an orange box bobsleigh powered by roller skates before heading to the North Pole Hilton (and its revolting menu of whale blubber dishes) for the big event.
After a disastrous training session where the Goodies can't even stand up on the ice, let alone play competitive sport on it, Graeme hits on the bright idea of melting the polar icecap to enable them to compete on a firm footing. The Goodies dominate and win a stack of medals in the figure skating, ice (water) dancing and ski jump, but Graeme flips when he realises that they have left their sun ray lamp still dangling from the butterfly upon their triumphant return to Britain and we see the effects of global warming well ahead of its time.
It takes the Goodies until their last BBC series to finally get around to dealing with the summer Olympics (though there is a nice sequence towards the end of "Rome Antics" which explains the creation of the ancient Roman games and traditions such as the Olympic rings, torch and hoops), but "A Kick In The Arts" certainly fills in the missing link in style. The episode opens with a plug for a series of fundraising sporting events for the British Olympic Fund (including a great golfing sequence where Tim plays amazingly well with some spirited (and painful!) assistance from Graeme and Bill) but by the time that essential expenses (such as 500 pounds for Nicholas Parsons "not to turn up!") are deducted, Tim only has the princely sum of 3 pence left to donate to the Olympic cause. The ancient Olympians at the committee office can't even decide whether to allow Tim to enter and their vote on it is tied at 3 for and 3 against until one objector promptly croaks it ("that's better, two against!") and Tim's offer of money draws a rousing patriotic speech from one of the old geezers, who urges his fellow athletes to "gird up their loins, ... hitch up their hamstrings, ... and get out there on that track and ... LOSE!".
The British athletes are broke, starving and rummaging in bins along the street for food, and Tim is forced to join them when he is expertly fleeced of all his money and clothing at Graybungles Casino; Graeme's new business venture. Tim eventually becomes the Masked Shotputter and even robs the Queen of her tiara in his desperation to survive on the streets, only to be captured by casino security guard Bill and carted off to jail along with the rest of his athletic criminal cohorts. Meanwhile Graeme has undergone an identity change of his own; morphing into "Kerry Thwacker … sports-mad international. No, no, Mr Garden would do a much sillier voice than this!" (demonstrates) "Whack the diddle-o blue! Pull up a jumbuck and take the weight off ya billabongs!" Graeme sets about creating his own Olympic team by importing athletes from various countries while having very little regard for their welfare (as Bill reports that the six Kenyan long distance runners are a bit squashed and that some of the Russian child gymnasts are dead on arrival much to Graeme's complete indifference!) and even offers to host the Olympics once the Russians have baulked at the enormous cost of staging them.
Tim is extremely annoyed with Graeme's seemingly callous disregard for the British Olympic cause and breaks out of jail before sneaking into Graeme's office and making numerous changes to the events programme. It is Tim's birthday just prior to the opening ceremony and Graeme happily reveals all of his gambling and accumulation of imported athletes has been so that Tim would have a world-beating, top ranking British Olympic team as a birthday present. Therefore Graeme is horrified when he reads Tim's adjusted programme of events, and his athletes go berserk and have to be sedated with a tranquillizer gun. Tim has already assembled a new British team consisting of ancient writers, composers and performers who will excel in the revised events such as the 200kg lift and sonnet, the snatch press and limerick and the 100 metre freestyle opera swim, leaving Bill and Graeme little choice but to form the Rest of the World team themselves. Two weeks of spirited and very amusing sporting events culminate in a mighty British victory in the Dead Sea Scrolls Relay, though Tim doesn't get much time to savour the win before the Queen identifies him as the Masked Shotputter and he has to make a hasty getaway.
The Goodies' take on sports of all sorts is always very imaginative, rather quirky and adds a lot of enjoyment to whichever episodes it happens to appear in.
3/2 Hunting Pink
Uncle Butcher indulging in some rabbit hunting ... with the help of a tank!
6/4 Black & White Beauty
It's a photo finish in the Grand National.
An easy target for the shooters
6/1 Lips or Almighty Cod
Playing cod cricket to distract the Eskimos
6/6 2001 And A Bit
The final big hit of the Test match in the battle for the Ashes
9/2 Football Crazy
Referee Tim clamps down on unruly behaviour on the pitch
A Collection Of Goodies
Fun and games in the gymnasium
4/6 The Race
Cycling in the Tour de France
Graeme's car with its "turning nasty" indicator
All set for racing at Le Mans
5/4 Wacky Wales
The Goodies caught up in the scrum
Bill scores a conversion ... with a little help!
2/2 Commonwealth Games
Bill copping it in the boxing ring
3/3 Winter Olympics
Tim in training for the bobsleigh at the camp in Bognor
8/3 A Kick In The Arts
Tim travelling around the golf course in style
Lady novelists mud wrestling is a revised Olympic event
The winner of the 100 metre freestyle opera event
5/9 Rome Antics
Ancient Olympic hurdling
The original Olympic flame & rings