Bill looks out the window into the picturesque Kew Gardens ("A verdant oasis amongst the concrete jungle of the metropolis, wherein carefree birds blithely flit and sing their happy winsome little songs") only to callously pot one of the songbirds with a pistol! Graeme objects to Bill's racket (for he is doing some delicate, though even noisier, work of his own) as he has been commissioned by property magnate Harry Highrise to design a redevelopment scheme for the Kew Gardens. Graeme proudly shows Bill his scale model of the gardens in which the current lush oasis of greenery is to be replaced with a multitude of grey multi-storey office blocks and he reveals that the biggest skyscraper is just a 350 foot-high solid block of concrete as nobody can afford to pay the exorbitant rent to occupy it. The lack of rooms, doors and windows in the building is a deliberate feature to stop the squatters from moving in (as Graeme spruiks "I've thought of everything!" while making a loony signal)
Tim enters the room in an extremely cross mood over the proposed redevelopment scheme ("it's rape, sacrilege … I'm going to write to the Queen!"), while Graeme incriminates himself further as he writes down Tim's dictated letter of complaint to Her Majesty. Tim doesn't initially realise that Graeme is responsible for the architectural lunacy until after he has suggested to the Queen that the culprits be beheaded ("twice ... very slowly!") and requested three OBE's for the Goodies in the bargain; however he goes berserk at Graeme when the penny finally drops ("GRAEME GARDEN?!") and roars "What on earth did you do this for?!" (with Graeme's candid response of: "Fifty thousand quid!" annoying him even more.) An angry Tim marches out the door to have a word with Harry Highrise, only to crash head-first into a solid wall of concrete that covers the doorway. A peek out the window reveals that Harry's crew are very fast workers, and in no time the Goodies' office is entombed inside a 350 foot-high block of concrete as they sit on the floor in solidarity and sing "We shall not be moved!"
Sixteen days later, there is a news bulletin on TV about the Goodies' continued protest against the Kew Gardens redevelopment scheme inside the concrete block with a special message of congratulations from the Queen (after a quick microphone check ("Testing, one two, ooh") "Dear Tim, Bill ... (rather disdainfully) and the other one!") in which she praises them for being "prepared to sacrifice their lives for their principles", which is indeed news to them (as an indignant Tim grumbles "I thought she was gonna get us out!") Graeme rings the Ministry of Works for help only to find that they are on strike, but they ring him straight back as soon as their strike is resolved (after another six months have elapsed!) with a promise to get the Goodies out as soon as they have finished the new Brighton to Birkenhead Freeway. Graeme relays the news to Tim and Bill that it will take a mere 10.3 seconds for the Ministry of Works to drill a hole through the concrete to rescue them, but all of the other road construction work scheduled to precede it will take a further 1 year, 7 months, 4 days, 3 hours and 5 minutes to complete. Not surprisingly, the news that they are stuck in there until then doesn't go down particularly well with the three Goodies (with Tim's statement of "Hands up those who think we should panic now." getting a unanimous show of support) and the historic first performance of Tim's "I'm a teapot!" routine is an integral part of the ensuing mayhem.
After lots of chalk tally marks on the wall, release day finally arrives and the partially-dressed Tim and Bill sit on the floor in a rather sozzled state; with their merry singing punctuated by the occasional colossal burp from Bill (especially after Tim has given him a swig of "turps for burps" as further encouragement!) Graeme is far from impressed with their behaviour and appearance ("For heaven's sake, you two! If anyone saw you … you look ridiculous!") and (in Tim's words), he is "not a happy fuzzy-chops" because when the Queen appears at the Goodies' impending release, she will most likely put OBE's around the necks of Bill and Tim, but "she's going to chop my head off … clunk!" A maudlin Tim declares that he is going to miss Bill and Graeme after their release, as he's "gonna make damn sure I see neither of you ever again!" However the moment of release passes with no rescuers (or royals) in sight, and the Goodies find out from a BBC News bulletin that due to the increasing poverty of the nation, work on the Brighton to Birkenhead Freeway (and hence their subsequent release) has been suspended indefinitely.
The Goodies' phone line is also cut off due to them not being able to pay their bill and the phone is detonated when an enraged Bill rants "Look, we couldn't put it in writing because we couldn't get out to post it! … I don't care about your blasted computer!" When the BBC then announces that they are cutting back their service by 100% (and the TV screen goes totally blank) the Goodies find themselves completely cut off from the outside world. "A bit later", Graeme chairs a meeting and states that "all successful civilizations of the world have been composed of three basic groups – the ruling class, the scientific/technical class and the workers" (to which a bored Bill says "Cobblers!", which Graeme adds to the 'workers' category!) He continues on to say that the Goodies are lucky to have representatives of all three groups in their midst, only for an annoyed Bill to demand to know "Whom is which? … c'mon, name the names!" and Graeme's claim that Bill is just wasting time is met with a surly "Time?! We have enough to waste, you four-eyed git!" Graeme declares that he represents the scientific class ("Only because you wear glasses!") and Tim is a lord of the ruling class (to Bill's riposte of "Just 'cos you've got poncy blond hair and no chin!"); which leaves Bill as the worker, who agitates for an even distribution of labour without much success (apart from Graeme declaring that Lord Tim would have to "clean the shoes" too).
After Tim gives a patriotic speech in which he urges his fellow Goodies to "strive together to create a new society" (only for a destructive Bill to smash his 'Land of Hope and Glory record to smithereens in a "silent revolution"), he is horrified at the notion that he won't be able to exercise his right of fatherhood while trapped inside the concrete block (especially with Bill's observation that they are all "doomed to be bachelors gay" for the next three years) and he also goes off at Bill about his silly name ("Well it's not as silly as Oddie. Od-die! Bill Oddie! Bill-Oddie stupid!") after Bill has insulted the name of Brooke-Taylor in turn.
Graeme retreats to the lavatory and emerges two weeks later to declare "That was a unique experience" and to reveal that he has become a monk during his time in solitude. In the mean time, Tim has turned Jewish (and is building a synagogue out of matchsticks whittled from a chair leg) while Bill has commandeered the boot polish and rejected his unholy name to become Rastus Watermelon; a "black Muslim". Tim reckons that Bill only wants to "do a Cassius Clay, become a boxer and belt people", but it's an agitated Graeme that threatens to belt Bill ("I'll do you for starters!" after Bill has accused him of having done nothing of note to write a monastic autobiography about), only for Bill to reply "Don't mess with the Muslims, baby!" and cheekily smear his boot polish onto the advancing Graeme's face. Graeme gets in a huff and undertakes a vow of silence, which only lasts for a few seconds until he inadvertently replies to a remark from the others, much to their amusement.
A year later, there is finally no food left and Tim even toys with the idea of eating his pet mouse Gilbert ("One step closer and the mouse gets it!") before Graeme gently talks him out of it, then pops Gilbert into his own mouth momentarily! In desperation at there being "not enough food for three, but there might be enough for two", Tim and Graeme consider cannibalism (especially when Bill draws the longest straw to lose after some cheating by Graeme) and they have much debate about how to do Bill in (with Tim not wanting to chop his head off in case the rest of him runs around the room like a dead chook!); although Tim is not being able to eat Bill anyway as "he's not kosher!" They shove an apple in a frightened Bill's mouth (and sprigs of parsley behind his ears for good measure); but fortunately for Bill, he comes up with the bright idea of cooking the furniture to ward off everyone's impending starvation. However hallucinations soon strike, as Tim and Bill start to see imaginary friends(Bruce and Charlie respectively) at the dinner table and Graeme sees all sorts of non-existent objects (including a pen and notepad which he uses to record Tim's hallucinations), before he carelessly steps in Tim's imaginary bathtub!
Seventy years later, an ancient Tim and Graeme (both with long grey hair and beards) are playing 'Eye Spy' with just a lone chair ("something beginning with C") left in an otherwise-empty room; hence the drawn scoreline! They reminisce about long-forgotten pleasures like umbrellas and women (although not exactly in the right order!) and that it is Bill's 106th birthday today. In comes Bill (who still looks as young as ever), but he falls over heavily on the floor as he celebrates his milestone. Two years later, he is "still going", although the others are skeletons laying beside him on the floor (Graeme still with his glasses on and Tim in his Union Jack waistcoat) Bill hears a long-awaited knock on the door and he gets excited at the prospect of being rescued at long last, but one peek sideways at the skeletal remains of his chums causes him to snuff it (and the skeletons pull a sheet up over the three of them!) Three futuristic space-suited Goodies enter though a freshly-blasted hole in the door, including a Spock-like Graeme with pointed ears and a space-age Tim (who plays a recording of 'Land Of Hope And Glory' which is activated by pressing a button on his chest), but they discover that they are "too late" to rescue their predecessors after a delay of over 75 years. The tunnel then collapses behind them during Tim's patriotic speech, which sets off a whole new round of "I'm a teapot" and assorted panic, as the new Goodies also find themselves trapped in the concrete block!
* Graeme (in response to Bill criticizing his architectural design of the buildings as plain blocks of concrete): "That's the whole point, you fool. Look, do you realise that the rent on that place is going to be 4000 pounds per square foot. And that's per minute!"
Bill (taken aback): "Nobody can afford that, can they?!"
Graeme (forcefully): "Well of course they can't, so there's no point wasting money putting doors and windows in, is there?! Goodness me! As a matter of fact, there's no rooms in there either and that's so the squatters can't move in ... (makes loony signal) I've thought of everything!"
* Tim (dictating his letter to the Queen about punishment for Harry Highrise and Graeme): "May I suggest that they both be locked up, … no, that they should have their botties soundly smacked, no, no, that they should both be beheaded … twice … very slowly!"
* The Queen (concluding her speech on TV): "Goodbye."
Bill (casually): "Oh well, au revoir."
The Queen (sternly): "No, goodbye!"
* Bill (drunkenly trying to burp): "Won't come!"
Tim: (full as a boot too): "Have another swig of this. That'll bring it up."
Bill (takes a swig): "Oooh that's horrible! What is it?"
Tim (grinning): "Turps! Turps for burps!" (sings with Bill) "Please release me, let me go!"
(monster burp from Bill)
Tim (delighted): "Thar she blows! That's my boy! Nobody light a match!"
* Tim (drunk, talking to Graeme): "Well I know we've been stuck down here for one year, seven … (mumble) … for a hell of a long time, and I know that I've not been easy to live with!"
Bill (also drunk, interjecting): "No you haven't, that's absolutely correct, he hasn't, you know!"
Tim: "Pay no attention to him. He's pissed."
Graeme (surprised): "Oh, has he?!"
Tim: "Yes! … (becoming maudlin) Graeme?! You don't mind me calling you Graeme, do you, 'cos you're the only friend that I've got in the whole world."
Bill (put out): "Oi oi, what about me?!"
Tim: "And you. Anyway, we're going to be released soon and you know something? I'm going to miss you two ... I'm going to miss you two because I'm going to make damn sure I see neither of you ever again!"
Graeme (annoyed): "Oh, shut up!"
* Tim (yelling): "YOU SNIVELLING LITTLE COMMIE!!"
Bill (also yelling): "YOU ELITIST FASCIST PIG!!"
Graeme: "This is good. This is very good. Political discussion, a healthy thing."
Bill (puzzled): "This isn't political discussion. We were just shouting at one another."
Graeme: "Same thing!"
* Tim (pleading, while the Goodies are trapped): "I want a son. I must have a son. Graeme, you're a doctor!"
Graeme (looking stunned): "Sorry, it can't be done!"
Tim: "But a man isn't a man unless he exercises his right to fatherhood!"
Bill (chuckling): "You can exercise it all you like, but you won't find much use for it here!"
* Tim (about Graeme finding religion): "And he's become a monk"
Bill: "Oh, has he gone into a monastery?"
Tim: "No, a lavatory!"
* Bill: "Is it anything to do with food, hey? Am I getting warm?"
Tim (getting ready to cannibalise him): "You soon will be!"
(and shortly afterwards)
Bill: "Oh dear, I'm dying for a good meal."
Tim (smugly): "You will be, yes!"
* Tim (seventy years on): "Goodness, I've almost forgotten what an umbrella looks like."
Graeme: "You know, I've almost forgotten what a woman looks like!"
Tim: "Women, yes! And umbrellas, hey."
Graeme: "Many's the evening you'd dance the night away with an attractive young umbrella"
Tim: "And if it rained on the way home, you just popped up your woman...!"
Graeme: "That'd keep you dry all night!"
Tim: "I used to have a big black woman with a cane handle...!"
* Tim writing a letter of complaint to the Queen over the redevelopment scheme, but having to look her address up in the phone book under Queens ("Grayson, La Rue, Park Rangers ... Regina, oh of course … Buckingham Palace!") then dictating the letter to Graeme to write out, while not realising that Graeme is one of the baddies! Especially where Tim complains about the evil plans of Harry Highrise's so-called architect "Mr Graeme Garden. That's G-R-A-E-M-E!", followed by a frustrated curse from Graeme as he spells his own name wrong!
* Graeme plotting the various planned roads and tunnels on a map of Britain after phoning the Ministry of Works; only to find that the markings ("Croydon Ring Road, M91" etc) form a game of noughts and crosses, with the Brighton to Birkenhead Freeway (the last road to be finished before the Goodies can be released) forming a victorious line through the diagonal row of noughts! Also the following panic attack among the Goodies, with Tim doing his famous "I'm a teapot!" performance for the first time on the show.
* The scenes two minutes prior to the Goodies' supposed release after nearly two years of being trapped, with Tim and Bill both sitting on the floor wearing paper hats (and as drunk as skunks) singing "Born free, as free as the wind blows!", followed by a massive burp from Bill. However Bill soon finds that his burps "won't come" until a big swig of "turps for burps" from Tim unleashes another corker. Graeme is disgusted by their piggish behaviour as he is "not a happy fuzzy chops" due to the impending arrival of the Queen to chop his head off for his part in the monstrous Kew Gardens redevelopment scheme. However despite Graeme saying "Goodbye old friends", donning a blindfold, bowing his head and yelling "C'mon, get it over with. Chop it off!", Bill wearing a tie over his Goodies t-shirt and Tim with a flower pot on his head as a hat (and wearing torn pants that Bill has been cleaning his sax with), there is stunned silence as neither the Queen nor anyone else has come to rescue them.
* The various scenes where the Goodies are determining their social ranks, with Bill calling Graeme a "four eyed git" before Graeme finally divulges that he is a member of the scientific class (as he wears glasses), Tim is a member of the ruling class (because of his "poncy blond hair and no chin!") and Bill is one of the workers ("Cobblers!"). This is followed by Bill and Tim's shouting match which passes for political discussion, Bill smashing Tim's Land Of Hope And Glory record to bits ("Silent revolution, M'Lord Timbo!"), and the hilarious sequence where Tim wants to exercise his right to have children, but Bill is more interested in them being "doomed to be batchelors gay! - That's an idea, isn't it?", with his camp petting prompting a very hasty "Get Off!" from Tim Also Bill suggesting with a coy look at Tim that "Hey, I don't mind shaving, you know. Underneath this lot I look a bit like Liza Minelli", with Tim's unimpressed reply of "I often wondered why you grew it!" causing Bill to hiss "You bitch!"
* The Goodies' discovery of different religions, with Graeme emerging from two weeks of solitary confinement in the loo to reveal that he was "not alone in there" (to which Tim replies "How very embarrassing!") and has become a monk, whose later vow of silence is broken almost immediately. Meanwhile Tim has become Jewish and is whittling a chair into matchsticks to build a model of a synagogue ("Pass me a knife, would you?!" which initially gets a shocked gasp from Graeme), for which he later asks Graeme "Do you want to buy it!" Tim is then unable to clean their shoes because it's the Sabbath and even though Graeme swaps him a Saturday for a Sunday, Graeme then finds that Bill has swiped the boot polish to turn himself into the "black Muslim, Rastus Watermelon", who seems intent on punching the others lights out ("Sting like a butterfly, float like a bee!")
* Tim and Graeme preparing to cannibalise Bill once he draws the longest straw in Graeme's rigged competition; with Bill thinking that he has won a great prize ("Is it anything to do with food, hey? Am I getting warm?") and Tim and Graeme agreeing that he "soon will be"! With Bill out of earshot, a sympathetic Graeme says to Tim "How are we going to cook poor little Bill?" before adding "Do you want him boiled, roasted, fried, stewed …", only for a seemingly mortified Tim to huff "Really Graeme!", then add "Fried, of course!" Also Graeme reckoning that Bill will be "a bit tough and hairy" (with Tim suggesting that they would need to "pluck him and hang him for four or five days"), Tim thinking that Graeme was going to do the awful deed and kill Bill, only for Graeme to declare "Oh no, I'm doing the sauce!" and Graeme suggesting that Tim either chops Bill's head off (with a horrified Tim saying "No, I'm not having the rest of him running around the room like a dead chicken!") or makes "Bill kebabs" with the aid of a huge skewer and Tim ultimately declaring "I've gone off the whole idea. Anyway I can't eat him … he's not kosher!" Although Bill has an apple shoved into his gob and sprigs of parsley behind his ears by his ravenous so-called chums, he later brags that they were lucky that he came up with the "bright idea of cooking the furniture", to which Tim replies "Not half as lucky as you, mate!"
* The Goodies' hallucinations after such a long time in a confined space, with Tim insisting that he can see his friend Bruce sitting at the table, Bill enjoying Charlie's company, Tim mockingly introducing Bruce to Charlie as if Bill is loony and Graeme trying to treat their problems with the help of an imaginary notepad, pencil and couch, while tripping over non-existent obstacles and telling imaginary people to shut up. Also Graeme and Bill jogging up a flight of imaginary stairs, with Graeme stepping into Tim's supposed bath and then wringing out his supposedly wet trouser cuffs while grumbling "I can't take much more of this!"
* The 'Teddy and Freddy' routine from 'I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again', with an ancient Graeme and Tim playing 'Eye Spy' in a near empty room, where the clue of "Something beginning with C" just has to be a lone chair standing right in front of them, and also their fading memories about the long lost joys of women and umbrellas on rainy nights.
Corbet Woodall, Sheila Steafel
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
The definitive proof that The Goodies is far more than just slapstick visual effects and speeded-up chase scenes, with a wickedly funny verbal script turning the idea of being trapped inside a block of concrete into one of the finest half hours of 'black comedy' ever seen on television.
BLACK PUDDING RATING