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A Collection Of Goodies Themes
35. Goodies Deaths - Print Email PDF 
Posted by bretta 11/01/2010


» 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

In the 'Return of the Goodies' special in 2005, Bill makes a rather pertinent recollection that "Our theory was we're going to treat ourselves a lot of the time as cartoon figures.  That came from our love of Buster Keaton in particular, but silent comedy in general, and Tom and Jerry and that sort of violent cartoon which we were huge fans of and still are. We couldn't wait to do the sort of things that Tom and Jerry did." 
Tim further adds to this "human cartoon" theme in his various Clarion & Globe interviews by citing cartoon figures such as Bugs Bunny, the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote among his early comedy influences. One prominent recurring theme that the Goodies share with these Merry Melodies cartoon characters is their propensity to meet some kind of grisly fate at the end of an episode, only to bounce back again as good as new at the start of the next episode as though nothing has even happened and the concepts of time, logic and continuity are all totally irrelevant from one show to the next.
In the early series, the dangerous situations that the Goodies find themselves in generally result in a string of near misses, such as them having to rapidly flee from the enraged gun-toting Rupert Wynde-Cheater in 'Snooze', emerging blackened from the smoking ruins of the summer house at the end of 'Cecily' or almost drowning in the North Sea after the Saucy Gibbon is scuttled in 'Radio Goodies'; but in each case they at least survive their close call and are still alive and kicking at the end of the episode.
The first one that they probably don't survive is in the Series 4 episode 'The Stone Age' where they say a relieved "Goodbye Mr Tyrannosaurus rex" after escaping from its stomach following an interesting potholing expedition; only for a huge claw to menacingly stretch up out of the shaft as they all run for cover. The huge dinosaur then bursts through the ground and lifts the Goodies' disused railway station office high in the air with a huge roar before waving it overhead and smashing it to smithereens on the asphalt surface below.
Presumably the Goodies would have perished and the office wrecked beyond salvation in this onslaught; however the interior of the office seems intact for the next episode ('Goodies in the Nick') and the entire office is perfectly OK when converted to a car in 'The Race' two episodes later, so there was definitely some cartoon magic at play there!
The first confirmed Wile E. Coyote-style gruesome demise takes place in Series 5 episode 'Kung Fu Kapers' when Bill, with his planned Ecky Thump takeover of Britain foiled, tries to makes a quick getaway down the road aboard the tea trolley. Tim and Graeme pursue him and also jump on board, where a struggle ensues before the out-of-control tea trolley sails over a cliff and crashes heavily into a rocky quarry below. This is followed by a narrator's eminently sensible warning of "We would like to point out that Ecky Thump is the ancient Lancastrian art of self defence. If practiced by the untrained, it could be dangerous!"
Later in Series 5, the episode 'Bunfight at the OK Tea Rooms' features the memorable closing sequence of the Bunfight where Wild Bill Oddie and Texas Tim take on the might of Greedy Graeme in an epic duel with tomato sauce squirters on the near-deserted streets of Pennenink in Cornwall. To the menacing backing music of the 'Ballad of the OK Tea Rooms', the warring parties confront each other "face to faces" before Greedy Graeme (armed with his "pair of red ripe squirters") "pulls his master stroke" and suggests that Tim and Bill "turn their backs and walk eleven paces". The eleventh pace causes his opponents to crash headfirst into a wall, which gives Greedy Graeme time to strike, and after he squirts two lovers in a car and fells a policeman with a blast of ketchup, he lethally smears Tim in the face and then sends Bill toppling off a building to splatter onto the pavement below with a well-aimed stream of sauce. In the words of the backing song, "His chums lay in the ketchup and his gal ran to his arms, but even as they kissed she met her doom" and Bill musters one final dying effort to squirt the waitress with sauce as she embraces Graeme in the street. This causes a heartbroken Graeme to end it all by lathering himself with the contents of his own sauce bottle and he then launches into a spectacular death dive … flat onto his unpadded face rather than onto his padded side or rump, which Tim and Bill gleefully reminisce about in the various Goodies reunion shows many years later!
The next Series 5 episode – 'The End' – sees the Goodies trapped in their office inside a huge block of concrete for more than seventy years and an ancient Tim and Graeme (both with long grey hair and beards) remark that it is Bill's 106th birthday today. Bill (still looking as young as ever) bounds energetically into the room, but he falls over heavily on the floor as he celebrates his milestone. Two years later, Bill is "still going", but the other two Goodies are now merely skeletons lying 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 all excited at the prospect of being rescued at long last, but one peek sideways at the skeletal remains of his two chums causes him to have a heart attack and snuff it (as 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' that 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 some 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 inside the concrete block!
Series 6 episode '2001 and a Bit' ends in a rather strange situation where the MCC team (featuring the three ancient Goodies and their sons Bill Brooke-Taylor and Tim Garden) survive a major atom bomb explosion at the cricket match, but Graeme Oddie and his Rollerball teammates appear to perish. As the MCC players pursue him, Graeme O grabs a broken sightscreen board as a bat and slogs a mortar shell for six. He then deals comfortably with a hand grenade that Bill O bowls at him, but plays across the line of a rising atom bomb that Tim B-T lobs at him (after firstly freeing his false teeth which had stuck to the bomb when Tim B-T had tried to pull the pin out by mouth!) which detonates with a rather big bang. Out of the rubble and smoky haze marches the triumphant MCC team, to the narrated commentary of "And so it came to pass that the MCC were to inherit the earth and to retain the Ashes!"
The closing episode of Series 7 – 'Earthanasia' – has the world being blown up at midnight that evening (which just happens to be Christmas Eve) in an unprecedented display of international military cooperation to put an end to various unsolvable problems like overpopulation and pollution. The episode deals with the various activities that the Goodies attempt to undertake when they realise that they only have half an hour of life remaining before everything goes boom and dark humour abounds as Graeme considers calling the insurance company to make a claim before lamenting that he has "already done everything" as a loony scientist, Bill plans a final "Oddie-sey" of self-gratification involving Mars Bars, Wembley and Jane Fonda, while Tim worries about finishing the ironing and the fate of the Muppets in the impending big bang!
Christmas celebrations are brought forward to 11:56pm and are graced by the bizarre sight of a bald and beardless Bill in a suit and shiny shoes trying to be "the mother that (Tim) never had", while Tim is now fully cured of his inhibitions (proudly wearing a t-shirt with a gaping hole and prominent arrows showing off his shameful belly button for all to see!) and gives Bill and Graeme (who is dressed in Santa Claus garb) a real earful of abuse as the presents are handed out. 
As the clock ticks down to the final few seconds before midnight. Tim and Bill cower under the table, only for Graeme to chuckle fiendishly as he approaches them ("To see your little faces … the world ends at midnight!"), as there is no explosion at midnight after all. Bill curses "You've played a silly joke, haven't you?!" (no doubt worried that his extreme makeover has all been in vain!), only for Graeme to reveal that he has merely put the clock forward by "about half a minute". Then, BOOM ... and not even any episode credits afterwards … as the world does duly get blown to bits.
Series 8 episode 'U-Friend or UFO' sees a trombone-wielding Bill making an inspiring speech after successfully making friendly contact with the "sole surviving aliens in the universe" aboard the huge spaceship that has flattened Knutters Knoll Knite Spot, when he is rudely interrupted by something which plummets through the sky and back to Earth. Members of the crowd call out "It's a bird ... It's a plane ... ", but Graeme astutely observes that "It's a nun!" – Tim as Supernun in fact, who has earlier been fitted with a nuclear warhead by Graeme ("That there is a five megaton nun, son!") in a bid to wipe out the aliens. The terrified Supernun hurtles through the atmosphere and crashes back to earth; detonating upon impact with an almighty explosion that puts an end to all life in the universe in the process.
'Animals' in Series 8 is the final example of the Goodies being bumped off at the end of an episode and this occurs after the Goodies and various wildlife presenters are forced to disguise themselves as rabbits to enable them to escape the BBC studios after an audience of animals on the 'Rabid Frost Show' violently objected to Bill boiling up a bunny and eating it in the studio. 
When the rabbits wake the next morning after covering a considerable amount of distance under the cover of darkness, they all go in search of "Bell-amy", who has found a beautiful flower to destroy ("Ooh, terrific blossom … and look at those little …!"), as a line of camera lenses jut out of a grassy bank and train their sights on him and the other presenters. The Goodies call "Look out, it's a trap. Stop! Don't trust those cameras!", but they are too late and the cameras blast all the rabbits with artillery fire (to the haunting sounds of 'Bright Eyes' as backing music). From the crumpled skins on the ground, numerous white baby rabbits emerge and a cartoon rabbit that jumps against a painted sunrise is also popped with a gunshot. This is followed by an announcement from a white Labrador that "That is the last in that series. Next week, a brand new series - The Doggies" The new show features three small dogs sitting on the trandem - a poodle in a Union Jack waistcoat at the front (for Tim), a terrier with glasses in the middle (for Graeme) and a rather scruffy, shaggy pooch at the back (for Bill)
ABC TV in Australia always used this episode as the final one in each run of repeats back in the 1980s and 1990s in reverse order with 'War Babies' – most likely because of the final scene with 'The Doggies'. With me not having an episode guide or knowing about the LWT series at the time, the killing sequence to the haunting sounds of 'Bright Eyes' always seemed like such a cruel and sad ending to a great comedy show. Even though I now know that the Goodies made further episodes afterwards, I still find this ending to be the saddest of any Goodies episode, though the various other fatal endings detailed in this article have more of a sense of comedy (albeit dark comedy in many cases) attached to them that are certainly in keeping with the cartoonish approach to the show.
4/4 The Stone Age

The T. rex destroys the Goodies office
5/7 Kung Fu Kapers

Aboard the runaway tea trolley

Over the cliff

Crash onto the quarry rocks below
5/12 Bunfight at the OK Tea Rooms

Tim, Bill & Graeme smeared with lethal tomato sauce

The aftermath of the Bunfight
5/13 The End

Bill "still going" on his 108th birthday

"Oh no, we're too late!"

The next generation of Goodies are trapped too
6/6 2001 and a Bit

Graeme Oddie slogs an atom bomb


The MCC inherit the earth and retain the ashes
7/6 Earthanasia
Graeme has played a silly joke ... and put the clock forward by 30 seconds

BANG ... the world ends at midnight
8/4 U-Friend or UFO

"It's a bird, it's a plane ..."

"It's a nun!" Supernun, in fact.
That nun was loaded!
8/5 Animals

The cameras shoot

The rabbits are dead

New life begins among the carnage

Well done and very thorough!

Can't wait to read the rest of the themed articles.

Fun for us to read and terrific concentrated background information for the newly enlightened (so to speak).
Posted by:the end

the end

date: 12/08/2007 19:10 GMT
I'm rather looking forward to the lads going loony article.

Well done with the first one by the way as i'm looking forward to reading more.
Posted by:RatDog


date: 15/08/2007 10:19 GMT
What a great article for Goodies turn Baddie, thanks Bretta.  I always felt that Tim never got as much of a chance to be a loony as the other two although as you have demonstrated he did have his moments!  However for me I think the ultimate Goodie goes loonie has to be Graeme in Radio Goodies
Posted by:wackywales

wackywales WWW 

date: 07/12/2007 16:50 GMT
Thanks for those kind words, Wackywales!  I had also felt that Tim's character was generally the most serious of the three with being the posh establishment figure while Graeme had the loony scientist persona and Bill had his violent scruffpot streak.  However when it came to finding major examples of Goodies turning baddie (and loony) it was a nice surprise for me to find that Tim got to flip out every bit as much as the other two.
Posted by:bretta


date: 12/12/2007 05:50 GMT
re goodies in love;
i've always thought that whoever played mildred makepeace must have been a fantastic actress
imagine being able to pretend to be able to resist Graybags without the glasses- especially as such short range (swoons thinking about it)
Posted by:walrus in my soup


date: 23/01/2010 19:36 GMT
Regarding Nicholas Parsons as a target -- I've listened to quite a lot of Just A Minute now, and I'm ashamed to say I've grown quite charmed by him. Not because he's some sort of swoon-causing dream-come-true, though, but because he seems so...well, ditzy. His ham-handed attempts at chivalry are often so blatant that they're laughable in their clumsiness, and yet charming in a childish way. I just can't imagine that he realizes that he short, he seems so much like the male version of a blonde bimbo. Tim's comment of "I don't think it occurs to him that we were being rude" sums it up so well.

About the actual series of articles -- well-written, enjoyable, and all-around lovely. Looking forward to the next explorations of themes!
Posted by:Notebooked


date: 13/02/2012 19:12 GMT
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