A COLLECTION OF GOODIES THEMES #34
THE QUICK CHANGE CABINET
One of the multitude of interesting features of the new office that Graeme has designed for the Goodies' use in the very first episode 'Beefeaters' is the Quick Change Cabinet. It is located on the opposite wall to the entrance door between the door with a large G on it (that houses the kitchen, games room and loo at different times when it is opened up) and the bookshelf and it is normally indistinguishable as part of the orange-brown panelled office wall, with a painting hanging on the side of it. When a button on the wall is pressed, the cabinet glides out from the wall on a set of tracks laid on the floor and the Goodies always enter it from the right-hand side. They then emerge from the left-hand side within a matter of a second or two in the different clothing or costumes that they require for whatever situation that they are about to head outside to face up to.
The first usage of the Quick Change Cabinet comes in 'Beefeaters' when Bill's lemon sherbet-fuelled rebus reveals that the Beefeaters' beef is being stolen so that an attempt can be made to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London and the Goodies receive a message from the Sergeant-at-Arms at the Tower to "Come quickly – things are worse." Graeme urgently declares: "Right, not a moment to lose." and presses the button to slide the cabinet out from the wall. Hustling Bill up from his chair, Graeme tells him: "Right, get in there!" and though a reluctant Bill protests: "What? No, what's it do?!", Graeme just replies "You'll see. Get in there!" and herds Bill and Tim inside the cabinet (with Bill emitting a worried "Oh gawd!" as he enters) before following them in too. There is a pause of a couple of seconds before all three Goodies emerge resplendent in their Beefeater outfits (with a suitably impressed Bill declaring "Oh, that's clever!") and ready to cycle off to the Tower on the trandem to stop the impending theft of the Crown Jewels.
In the third Goodies episode 'Give Police a Chance', the Quick Change Cabinet actually gets used on two separate occasions. The first of these comes just after Police Deputy Commissioner Butcher and his Sergeant offsider have left the office after roughing the Goodies up before asking them to help the police to change their poor public image. An annoyed Bill challenges the others to take a walk down the street without being hassled by the police, but insists: "Hang on one minute. Just want to get changed first". He emerges from the Quick Change Cabinet as a bovver-boy (or in his own words, "an ordinary member of the public") much to Tim's horror. Tim declares: "You know very well who go around with short cropped hair and big boots looking for trouble!", only for Bill to smugly reply: "Hmm, policemen!" and the Goodies eventually do take their walk down the street (after firstly having their office window smashed by the impatient Deputy Commissioner demanding the return of his gloves) only to find that they get harassed by the police every step of the way.
The Quick Change Cabinet doesn't actually come into view the second time around, but it gets used when the Goodies are given permission by the Deputy Commissioner to become police officers themselves. Tim declares: "Right. Police uniforms?" and Graeme replies "In there."; motioning towards the cabinet as they step out of screen shot. They can be heard opening the door to the cabinet while the camera is trained on the Deputy Commissioner telling Bill: "But you can't make people love policemen!" The Deputy Commissioner then tries to bop Bill with a baton; only for the Sergeant to intervene with a somewhat sarcastic: "Sir. Love!", which elicits an even more grumpy response of "Sorry Sergeant. Love!" with a sneer and accompanying eye roll The cabinet does a splendid job as the Goodies emerge as rather cool, sunglasses-wearing, flower tossing, dope smoking coppers who cruise around on the trandem revolutionising the previously nasty image of the police force.
The cabinet next appears in Series 2 episode "The Lost Tribe" when the Goodies decide to track down the missing Professor by following the notes in his twenty year-old diary, especially as it will take them away from a freezing cold Britain to a much warmer climate. Tim rouses the others; declaring: "Suntan lotion … and into tropical gear" as he activates the cabinet and they file in one by one. Not wanting to be left behind at the office despite the dire warnings from her father and Tim that "women always sprain their ankles at the vital moment", Hazel cries: "I'm coming too!" and follows them into the cabinet. There is a quick burst of the Goodies Theme Song before Tim and Graeme emerge in explorer gear complete with equipment-laden packs. Hazel comes out before Bill clad in just a towel and worriedly exclaims: "Excuse me, I don't think it's working properly!", but a smirking Graeme says "Oh, ho, yes it is!" as Tim chuckles along with him.
Graeme continues: "Anyway, you can't follow us like that.", so Hazel goes back inside the cabinet. Tim and Graeme get ready to go, but then realise that Bill still hasn't emerged from the cabinet, so they call out to him to hurry up. They hear Hazel give a little squeal followed by some giggles from Bill, who finally emerges in his explorer gear with a cheeky grin and a semi-apologetic: "I'm sorry, I was keeping her warm! She said she was cold."
In the 'Montreux '72 - Kitten Kong' special, there are a few slight alterations to the Quick Change Cabinet and seemingly some changes to the office decor in general. The cabinet no longer has the painting on the side of it (a different painting is now on the wall to the left instead) and it extends outwards with no tracks built into the floor. It plays quite an important part in the storyline when the Goodies need to get close enough to giant kitten Twinkle to inject it with antidote from a huge syringe. Graeme declares: "Don't worry, I have a plan. Into the Quick Change Cabinet!" and the three Goodies emerge (after another short burst of Goodies theme music) in mouse costumes. A nonplussed Bill asks: "Graeme … Graeme, come here, c'mere, c'mere … I expect this is a silly question, but why are we dressed as mice?" Graeme bluntly replies: "Because cats eat mice!" and Bill replies "Oh!" A little later when they are outside preparing to ride the trandem, the penny drops and Bill objects "Oi oi oi, whaddya mean cats eat mice?!", but by then he is well on his way to becoming live bait for Kitten Kong!
'For Those In Peril On The Sea' in Series 3 comes a few episodes after 'The New Office' where the Goodies build their own disused railway station as their new headquarters, so there is a new Quick Change Cabinet as well. It is now situated on a corner wall in the space between 'Chez Tim' on the left (with throne, desk and Union Jack) and 'Graeme's Den' on the right (with microscope and telescope) and has proper doors leading in and out on the two corners.
Graeme's replica Viking boat is at Southampton ready to be launched and he proclaims that they are to "sail with the morning tide … But first, into seafaring gear." Tim enters the cabinet after Graeme, but comes out first in smart naval attire before Graeme emerges in traditional Viking attire complete with a horned helmet. Tim looks suspiciously at Graeme and asks: "Why are you done up as a cow?", to which an offended Graeme replies: "I am not a cow! Look, this is a voyage of scientific enquiry. We must experience it as the Vikings experienced it!" Tim is not keen on the idea and complains: "Well I'm not going if you're gonna wear silly clothes!"
At that moment Bill finally exits the cabinet dressed in pirate garb with a patch on his eye, a vulture on his shoulder, a crutch under one arm (having nicked Tim's desk leg as his wooden leg) and a hook (full of unpaid bills) in his hand. Tim sees Bill and is a bit stuck for words; stammering "I said I'm not … I'm not going if you're gonna wear silly clothes!" before being even more horrified at the sight of Bill's vulture and blurting out "What's that on your shoulder?!" Bill's rueful (and classic) reply of "Oh, he hasn't done it again, has he … ?!" is followed by Graeme asking with a hint of surprise: "Aren't you supposed to have a parrot?"; only for him to laughingly retort: "I have. It's inside the vulture!"
At the end of Series 3, 'Way Outward Bound' has the Goodies unsuccessfully trying to recruit schoolchildren for the Loch Jaw School and its outdoor adventure course. With the school under threat of closure, the Goodies therefore decide to dress as schoolchildren themselves in a bid to keep the fine outdoor school tradition going (and to pocket the 25 quid bounty per new recruit!)
Bill activates the Quick Change Cabinet and is the first to emerge in typical British schoolboy garb of shorts, blazer, tie and cap, while Tim is next out dressed like a nursery school boy with a curly wig and huge teddy bear. Tim claims that he will "really enjoy it" at his new school, but Bill looks at Tim's poncy outfit and says: "Dressed like that, I wouldn't bank on it!" Both Tim and Bill then stare with open-mouthed amazement when Graeme emerges from the cabinet looking like a St. Trinians schoolgirl in a tunic, with hair in long plaits and a hockey stick in hand – later to be known as "Amazing Gracie" when they get to the boarding school and have to introduce themselves to Ex-Sergeant Major Bullcock.
As the Goodies gradually went away from their original format of helping a guest star to solve a problem and increasingly began to create wild adventures of their own to sort out, the Quick Change Cabinet was no longer used after Series 3. It was a neat device to further a number of plot lines in the early episodes however; and another great example of Graeme's inventiveness that Tim and Bill also put to good use on various occasions as well. If only doing a full change of clothes really was as quick and as easy as that in real life!
Graeme opens the Quick Change Cabinet
The Goodies file into the cabinet
Tim and Bill emerge as Beefeaters
1/3 Give Police A Chance
Bill enters the cabinet
Bill comes out the other side as a bovver boy
Three cool cops after a trip through the cabinet
2/4 The Lost Tribe
Tim activates the Quick Change Cabinet
The Goodies enter the cabinet.
Exiting the cabinet as explorers
"Excuse me, I don't think it's working properly!"
Special - Montreux 72 - Kitten Kong
Graeme opens up the cabinet
The mice emerge from the cabinet
Three mice ready to catch Kitten Kong
3/5 For Those In Peril On The Sea
The Quick Change Cabinet in the new office
The Goodies seek some seafaring gear
"Why are you done up as a cow?!"
"What's that on your shoulder?!"
3/6 Way Outward Bound
The Goodies are about to become schoolkids
Tim and Bill are stunned at the sight of "Amazing Gracie" Graeme when he emerges