The newspapers and television reports are fully devoted to the ever-increasing pollution problem engulfing Britain, with the BBC newsreader even being forced to continually splutter as clouds of smog fill the studio while he delivers his news bulletin. Tim puts his hand out the office window to sample the weather (having heeded Graeme's explicitly precise warning that he can only expose his hand to the outside atmosphere for 1.57 seconds!) and concludes that the upcoming Test match will have a "sticky wicket", as it is raining oil outside. Bill returns from a walk in the not-so-fresh air and only succeeds in polluting Polly the parrot from the toxic fumes that seep into the office when he opens the door.
The government claims in the news bulletin that there is no cause for alarm, but Graeme's computer calculates that the world could be uninhabitable by next Monday (which worries Tim because the Test match doesn't conclude until Tuesday!) so the Goodies ring the government Complaints department to lodge a strong protest. After being fobbed off by a recorded message (which includes options such as "A: We are sure that Mr Powell didn't really mean it" and "C: What we do with your taxes is our business, so there!"), the Goodies decide to pay a visit to the Ministry of Pollution office in Eastbourne to find out what is being done to solve the crisis.
On the trandem ride to the Ministry, the gas mask-wearing Goodies encounter streets filled with garbage, radioactive cows crackling away in a paddock, and a beach strewn with oil drums and rubbish. A man pushes the Goodies aside on his way to having a swim, but the Goodies chuckle when he quickly re-emerges covered in smelly brown muck, while Bill throws a ball into the sea for a dog to fetch and gets upset when the dog slowly sinks in the polluted water. A plane takes off from close range with a deafening roar (as buildings collapse and Graeme's glasses shatter) and rain begins to fall. Tim rather smugly hoists his umbrella as the others start to get wet, but the acid rain soon rots Tim's umbrella away.
The Ministry of Pollution is a huge ugly factory (with a "Conservationists Go Away" sign on prominent display outside) and it appears as though the Ministry is actually manufacturing pollution rather than controlling it. The Goodies follow a Ministry van as it leaves the factory and watch with astonishment as the Minister firstly changes the sign on the van to 'Pest Control' and shrivels a gardener's prize marrow away to nothing with weedkiller, then returns shortly afterwards in disguise as an 'Official Marrow Salesman' to sell the gardener a replacement one. He then changes the van sign to 'Crop Spraying' and forces the Goodies to duck for cover as a blast from a crop-dusting plane instantly turns the lush green meadow in which they are standing into a dead stinking wasteland.
The Goodies pose as bowler-hatted civil servants from Whitehall and armed with a hidden camera and tape recorder, and microphone on Graeme's extendable arm (as well as clothes pegs on their noses to give them the right plummy voices!); they uncover the Ministry's dastardly secret plans to pollute the entire countryside. The Minister informs them that after years of dumping pollutants into the atmosphere and sea at random, the government now has a "planned pollution scheme" where tar would initially be piped into the Thames, so that it would drift out to sea, solidify and create a cross-channel road which would also double as a landing strip for Concordes. These giant planes would then be used to spray concentrated insecticides up and down the country and the noise pollution generated would also allow the government to establish earplug factories, which would be geared to overproduction and the surplus earplugs would be burnt as domestic fuel. The extra smoke in the air would turn day into night and employees then would work more productively around the clock because they wouldn't be able to tell what time of day it is, while nobody would want to take holidays, as the beaches and other leisure places would be too polluted to use. Once the country reaches this diabolical state, the Ministry would then set its "Department for Putting Everything Right" into action to clean up the mess and create millions of new jobs, while making a fortune in the process (After all, "Effluence means affluence." according to the Minister.)
Back at the office, all three Goodies (suffering sore noses from wearing the clothes pegs for too long!) canvas various other ways which the government can make money other than by polluting the whole country (such as Graeme's suggestion that "Prince Charles could do a turn at the Palladium!" while making a 'big ears' gesture). An annoyed Tim promises that he's going to "speak to (the Prime Minister) like he's never been spoken to before" and rings the PM to demands that he put a stop to the Ministry of Pollution and their evil scheme. However when he does actually have the Prime Minister on the other end of the line, Tim goes all shy and wimpy and he gets such an irate response from the PM that the phone explodes. The Ministry of Pollution heavies knock on the door to frighten the Goodies off (feebly calling "Boo!" and saying that the PM will be "ever so cross" before Bill chases them off) followed by the Prime Minister himself who clobbers Bill with a big mallet.
The Goodies decide that they must take on the Ministry of Pollution themselves, so Graeme cleverly devises a magic purifying mixture of seeds, fertilizer and aftershave which is to be sprinkled into the clouds so that when it rains, the whole countryside will be covered with a layer of sweet-smelling grass and flowers. Tim and Bill declare "That's just silly!", but they are soon sitting with Graeme aboard the trandem which dangles precariously beneath a hot air balloon. Bill is supposed to activate the seeding apparatus at the back of the trandem but doesn't know how it works, so he and Graeme change places in mid-air (causing the trandem to wobble violently and a panicked Tim to moan "We're all gonna die!) The Minister of Pollution is watching these goings-on from ground level and shoots a hole in the balloon, which causes Tim to consider evacuation ("Abandon ship. Women and me first!") and Graeme to demand that they reduce the ballast by heaving Bill overboard ("We are going to crash. It's either you (B) or us (T & G) and as far as I'm concerned, it's you!") Bill starts to cry at this thought and a bossy Tim claims that he is still "captain of this ship", so he and Bill instead toss the bags containing the superconcentrated seed mixture overboard and all into the one cloud, much to Graeme's horror as the seed is supposed to be spread sparingly over a large number of clouds instead.
Graeme anxiously charts the course of the cloud via the shipping forecast and after it initially appears is as though the cloud will end up somewhere reasonably remote ("Ooh dear, that'll mess up their coal mines!") he is horrified when the final part of the forecast is "Thames. Dead calm." as the shower settles right over London and dumps its entire load in the West End. Graeme's statement of "That stuff will grow on anything!" soon proves correct and in no time, the entire city is covered in thick fragrant grass and everyone sports a luxuriant green coiffure which forces the hairdressers to use scythes and hedgeclippers instead of scissors (as Tim sports a bird's nest on his head and then later has a little 'Keep Off The Grass' sign!) Only a royal wave is visible from a slow-moving grass-covered limo along the street and the police are forced aboard ride-on mowers to patrol the beat. Bill chuckles "To think Euston Station is somewhere under that lot!" as Tim adds "That's what a capital city should look like!"
The green-plaited Minister arrives at the Goodies office, but he is far from upset with them spoiling his pollution plans as he is making a fortune from nationalizing the sale of lawnmowers. He also tells them that the beautiful new meadowland outside their window is the perfect place for London's new airport, to the roar of a huge plane passing immediately overhead.
* Tim (picking up phone): "I'm going to make a complaint to the very highest authority."
Graeme (shocked): "Not ..."
Bill (also shocked): "... David Frost?!"
Tim: "No, not that high ... no ... no ...!"
* Tim (getting an earful on the phone from the Prime Minister): "Well, I've never been called that before!"... "Yes, I know you've been called that before, but I haven't!"
* Bill (answering knock at door): "Hello. Oooh, it's the Prime Minister. Hello sailor..." (then promptly gets belted on the head with a mallet!)
* After being showered with a flock of dead birds while standing in a freshly sprayed meadow, there is a loud and rather sick "BAA!"; with Tim and Graeme deftly catching a falling airborne sheep in a joint effort before it squashes them.
* Tim hanging up the phone during an animated conversation with an irate Prime Minister, but the PM keeps babbling away, with the phone cord rising slowly like a cobra towards the retreating Goodies before the receiver detonates in a big green flash.
* Graeme and Bill changing seats on the trandem while it is precariously hanging from a balloon in mid-air, with Tim at the front moaning "We're all gonna die!"
* The cops wobbling down a grass-covered freeway on their ride-on mowers with sirens blazing away.
Ronnie Stevens, Corbet Woodall, Peter Davidson, Eric Kent, Gordon Hann
Beanz Meanz Heanz - "What I Like"
The Dodo Sensation
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
A rather slow build-up in the initial stages which is compensated for by the excellent concluding stages of Graeme's inventive concoction and the chaos that it causes. The convoluted yet insanely logical 'Planned Pollution Scheme' and 'Department For Putting Things Right' sound like the sort of money-making, job-creating rort that just might appeal to a real government somewhere one of these days!
Pretty Polly's feeling poorly ...
Pollution strikes the BBC News bulletin
Oh I don't like to be beside the seaside!
Graeme's glasses shatter from noise pollution
Tim's umbrella is under attack from acid rain
The Ministry Of Pollution sprays a gardener's marrow
Nice catch fellas!
The Goodies infiltrate the Ministry Of Pollution
An irate Prime Minister on the phone to Tim
Ministry of Pollution heavies pay a visit
Bill gets clobbered by the Prime Minister
The Goodies airborne with Graeme's magic mixture
Graeme charts the course of the cloud
A grassy Bill after being rained on
Out with patrol cars, in with mowers for the police
The city centre is at a standstill
The Minister is still quite pleased at the sudden turn of events