» 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
» 27. Foreigners
» 28. Targets: The Ra...
» 29. Graeme falling ...
» 30. Targets - Royal...
» 31. Tim Crying
» 32. Baddies & Villa...
» 33. Targets: Ken Ru...
» 34. Quick Change Ca...
» 35. Goodies Deaths
A COLLECTION OF GOODIES THEMES #33
GOODIES TARGETS: KEN RUSSELL & OLIVER REED
Henry Kenneth Alfred "Ken" Russell was born in England in 1927 and died in 2011. He was a flamboyant and controversial film director whose films and television programs often looked at adaptations of the lives of famous composers or were based on other works of art with sexuality as a prominent feature. Russell is best known for his Oscar-winning film 'Women in Love' (in 1969), but his other films such as 'The Devils' and 'The Boyfriend' (both from 1971) also attracted the attention of The Goodies for some good-natured ribbing.
Robert Oliver Reed was born in England in 1938 and died of a heart attack during a break from the filming of Gladiator in 1999. Reed was well known for his alcoholism, hellraiser lifestyle and macho on-screen roles, but despite his many notable roles in films such as The Trap, Oliver!, The Devils, The Three Musketeers and Gladiator, he was never nominated for an Oscar. With being such a larger-than-life character and at the height of his popularity in the early 1970s, he was certainly prime fodder for The Goodies to send up as well.
Russell and Reed both receive their first Goodies namecheck in Series 5 episode; "The Movies." The Goodies have taken over as film producers at Pinetree Studios and are reviewing the films that the various studio directors have put together. Graeme is about to play the next film up for review and Bill asks: "Whose is this one then." Graeme replies: "Russell.", only for Tim to enquire: "Jane, Ken or Bertrand?" (with Jane being an American actress and Bertrand being an English philosopher!) Bill smirks: "Let's hope it's the one with the big knockers, hey?!", only for Tim to reply: "Yeah, Bertrand!" in deadpan fashion.
The next movie for review is in fact 'The Life Of Pablo Casals' by Ken Russell and it features a robed nun slowly doing a striptease; causing the old violinist accompanying her to gradually overheat to the point where flames are leaping from his violin and smoke is pouring from his ears. The nun is then revealed as a white-faced clown to chants of "What a load of rubbish!" from Bill and Tim and when Graeme pretentiously utters "No, no, no. Didn't you feel that it had a certain surreal symbolistic quality, just captivating the very futility of life, death, indeed the very existence of God himself, indeed reflected in the microcosm, didn't you feel?"; a taken-aback Bill snorts: "Load of old cobblers!" as Graeme fiendishly adds: "Certainly!"
After a tedious 18 hours of review, the Goodies are so appalled at the boring and pretentious nature of the films (with them booing at some movies and refusing to even start watching 'Kung Fu with a Bucket of Blood and a Bathful of Giblets'!) that an angry Tim decides to fire all of the directors in one hit. Immediately after delivering this bad news to the waiting gathering of directors, Tim says "If you're going to cry, Russell, can't you go outside and do it?!" and then bursts into tears himself upon returning inside to Bill and Graeme when they agree that he might have been a bit hard on the directors after all. Bill consoles a bawling Tim by saying: "Fair enough, they deserve (being fired). It's just old Ken (Russell). He did do 'The Boyfriend' with Twiggy and the dancing … that was nice." A dismayed Tim laments: "He also had Oliver Reed burned to death!" (in 'The Devils'); only for Bill to keenly reply: "Yeah, so he can't be all bad, can he?!"
In 'Scatty Safari' later in Series 5, Bill is toiling in the stables at the "Star Safari Park" and although he initially enjoys tending to the stars ("Down, down, get off! Oh my God, Eartha Kitt's a bit frisky this morning …I'm happy to say!"), he soon finds it all a bit too much hard work. This is manifested as he feeds Oliver Reed (by calling "Ollie, up you come! Beg!" and heaving a bucket of slops into his stable) and leads to him eventually throwing a bucket of water at Little Jimmy Osmond to stop him from singing.
Russell also receives a brief mention in Series 5 episode 'Kung Fu Kapers' as one of Bill's stream of "full length, full colour, gratuitously violent and very badly dubbed Ecky Thump movies titled 'Ecky Thump Meets Mary Poppins' is credited as a Welt Disney film "directed by Ken 'Wong' Russell!"
Series 6 episode 'Hype Pressure' features Tim in various crazy and shifty roles, but his final one is as a film director who is seeking to revive World War 2 with considerable realism including the hiring of Britain's entire armed forces as extras. As the bombs start to rain down on the Goodies office, Graeme concludes that the only way to combat a loony director is with "another loony director" and places a phone call: "Hello, get me Ken Russell ... He's doing what?! ... Oh, lucky old Vanessa (Redgrave), but what a waste of carrots!"
Similar requests for help from Peckinpah and Fellini also go unanswered, so Graeme decides that "We'll do it ourselves!", so Bill takes on the role of Ken Russell (sitting in a director's chair and sporting a long white beard and straggly hair) and cues "Vanessa" (reprising her role as a nun in 'The Devils'), who succeeds in scaring off Tim's armed forces as they try to storm the beach by running amorously towards them.
At this point Ken Russell slips off the Goodies' radar, but Oliver Reed still receives a couple more barbs; firstly in the Series 7 episode Scoutrageous. The last badge left for rogue Scouts Bill and Graeme to achieve is the ultimate scouting prize - the World Domination badge – and Graeme has made his very own atom bomb especially for the occasion. Graeme fiendishly tells Bill: "Now I've written to all the world leaders saying that we're gonna plant this bomb under Oliver Reed. Then if they promise … if they promise to hand over control of the world to us …." Bill excitedly interjects: "We promise to blow him up!", as Graeme confirms: "Got it!"
Reed's final mention comes in Series 8 episode 'Animals' when Tim pleads for the phone to ring with a job offer for his animals at Brooke-Taylor's Beast Boutique. They are all supposedly "talented artistes, great stars in the making", with Tim wistfully declaring: "Today's warthog could be tomorrow's Oliver Reed!"
Ken Russell and Oliver Reed may not have received quite the same pasting that the likes of Tony Blackburn, Rolf Harris and Nicholas Parsons did from the Goodies, but they were still the choice target of several great moments of Goodies-style humour all the same.
5/1 The Movies..
Scenes from "The Life of Pablo Casals" by Ken Russell
"What a load of rubbish!"
"Load of old cobblers!" ... "Certainly!"
Tim fires all of the directors.
"If you're going to cry, Russell, can't you go outside and do it!"
"It's just old Ken, that's all. He did do 'The Boyfriend' with Twiggy and the dancing, that was nice!"
"He also had Oliver Reed burned to death!" ... "Yeah, so he can't be all bad, can he?!"
5/6 Scatty Safari..
"Ollie, up you come, beg!"
5/7 Kung Fu Kapers.
Bill's Eckythump movie directed by Ken "Wong" Russell
6/2 Hype Pressure..
Graeme tries to ring Ken Russell
Bill as Ken Russell combating Tim
"Vanessa" the nun chases Tim's troops on the beach
Graeme plans to detonate his home-made atom bomb under Oliver Reed
"Today's warthog could be tomorrow's Oliver Reed!"