» Apr 2010
* THE GOODIES FAN CLUB CLARION AND GLOBE *
* THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF 'THE GOODIES RULE - OK!' *
Issue No. 173 12th April 2010
Newsletter enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
General enquiries: email@example.com
'The Goodies Rule - OK!'
P.O. Box 492
Rosanna VIC 3084, AUSTRALIA
THE LADS AND LASSES OF THE C&G
- Brett Allender <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Lisa Manekofsky
- Jonathan Sloman
- Daniel Bowen, Andrew Pixley, I&J, Andyt29, Ed Y, Jeff, Steve & Jane
1. QUIZ & QUOTE - Goodies brainteasers for you and you and you
2. BOFFO IDEAS - The latest club news and happenings
3. SPOTTED!!! - The latest Goodies sightings
4. 2001 AND A BIT - Tim, Graeme and Bill sightings post-Goodies.
5. FEATURE ARTICLE – Whoops Apocalypse and The Goodies
6. A COLLECTION OF GOODIES THEMES #16: Goodies Relatives & Ancestors
7. GOODIES WORD FINDER SOLUTION – from last month's edition
8. QUIZ & QUOTE ANSWERS
1. QUIZ & QUOTE
(by "Magnus Magnesium")
QUOTE: "We stand for shiny shoes, ties, smart tweeds, Union Jack waistcoats, tasteful hats and lots of spanking!"
(a) Which Goody says this quote?
(b) Which character is he supposedly saying it as?
(c) Which episode is this quote from?
QUIZ: This month's questions are from the special "Goodies Rule OK"
(d) Which song are The Bootles singing onstage when they get pelted with vegetables by the crowd?
(e) What are the names of the two Gumbies on Skid Row?
(f) Which clothing item do the Goodies borrow from the Bay City Rollers for their musical supergroup?
(g) What sort of weapon do the Goodies use in the St Valentines Day massacre?
(h) Which group of puppets does Bill have an all-in wrestle with?
The answers are listed at the end of this newsletter.
2. BOFFO IDEAS
You can make it happen here. Liven up the club with a boffo idea for bob-a-job week. E-mail <email@example.com> with your comments, ideas or suggestions - meanwhile these are the boffo ideas which our club has been working on this month:
GOODIES DVD PETITION
Here's the fuller explanation about the appeal:
Support the appeal for a new GOODIES DVD!
The aim for this rapid-response petition is to give the BBC real statistics, real feedback and a solid case for releasing a new Goodies DVD.
The timeframe is slim-but-possible to have a DVD produced by November 2010 - The Goodies 40th anniversary. With that said, I'm sure you agree that a new Goodies DVD for 2011 is an equally fantastic goal and would be received with much joy.
The petition will be submitted to BBC Worldwide Australia (and BBC Worldwide head office by proxy) on APRIL 26th. Please sign the petition right away if you can; if we can reach our target earlier, then it can be sent in earlier - and a day saved is a day left for processes to take place before November!
We encourage you to use your real name (rather than just a vague username) and to leave a personalised comment wherever possible! You can choose to keep your email address private.
Finally, you can help by telling others about the petition. Word of mouth is the key to our success here in showing a true groundswell of support for the release. The more people you can get to sign, the quicker we reach our goal - so please spread the word!
Last month's poll examined reasons why all three Goodies should receive their much-deserved and long-awaited OBEs for services to making our lives so much happier, and as much as we'd like to see the "Rolf option" ignored, it's quite appropriate that ridding the UK of a plague of Rolfs is an achievement worthy of getting a gong for.
In their TV show, The Goodies often tried to get OBEs. For what reason should they be awarded that honour?
- helping the Tower of London Beefeaters 8 votes
- inventing New Improved Snooze 3 votes
- Representing UK in the Winter Olympics 6 votes
- solving the pollution problem 4 votes
- stopping the Music Master 4 votes
- "saving" the National Gallery 0 votes
- starting Britain's space program 6 votes
- popularizing Ecky Thump 26 votes
- other 2 votes
- saving UK from a plague of Rolf Harrises 54 votes
Total: 113 votes
This month's poll is very topical with a great array of creative options which the bank executives and world should have taken heed of when looking to solve the global financial crisis. Bill, er Vanessa's campaign policy of selling the Queen off to Disneyland might well have raised a few quid, but these ideas are at least guaranteed to raise a chuckle anyway. So before Graeme spends all of your money on metal detectors and gold panning gear, you'd better take a stubborn mule ride to your nearest website polling booth and cast your vote today. You know it makes sense!
How could The Goodies solve the international financial/banking crises?
- Graeme's computer runs the world economy
- change gold standard to cream standard
- Radio Goodies spreads financial advice
- set Kitten Kong on naughty bankers
- donate Funky Gibbon profits to nation
- Masked Scout's 1 million bob a job plan
- charge not to release "Best of Rolf" CD
More exciting than getting your wig-spotters badge! If you've seen the Goodies recently, e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> with the details. Here's where we've Spotted!!! the Goodies this month:
GOODIES RULE OK BOOK GOING CHEAP …
(Daniel Bowen – 26th Mar)
For those in Melbourne, the "Dirt Cheap Books" shop in Elizabeth St (between Lonsdale and Little Lonsdale Sts) has Robert Ross's "Goodies Rule OK" book in the window for $5 a pop.
I did find a web site for them, though it's not very helpful.
(I&J – 29th Mar)
I got my copy from this ebay seller. Was about $8 including postage.
ANNIVERSARY RADIO SPECIAL
(Lisa Manekofsky – 29th Mar)
Thanks to Andrew Pixley for the following news:
"Just a quick note to let people know that BBC Radio 4 have commissioned a new documentary about "The Goodies" for transmission in November to mark the series' 40th anniversary. It will be presented by Ross Noble and recorded in May by the production company Wise Buddah, who were behind "Monty Python's Wonderful World of Sound" last year. The new programme will be entitled "Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere".
That's fundamentally all the information on the project at the moment as it's still in pre-production."
GOODIES FRIDAY MARATHON
(Lisa Manekofsky – 30th Mar)
Thanks to fan club member Andyt29 for letting us know The Comedy Channel in Australia is running a marathon of Goodies episodes this Friday, April 2nd.
It will include the specials "Superstar", "The Goodies Rule - OK?", and "Kitten Kong".
8:30AM Hospital for Hire
9:00AM The Race
9:35AM 2001 And A Bit
10:05AM The Goodies - Almost Live
11:05AM That Old Black Magic
12:10PM U-Friend or UFO?
1:45PM Lips, or Almighty Cod
2:20PM Hype Pressure
3:20PM Invasion of the Moon Creatures
3:55PM The Goodies Rule - O.K.?
4:55PM Radio Goodies
5:25PM It Might as Well Be String
6:00PM Kitten Kong: Montreux '72 Edition
THE GOODIES PODCAST
New Goodies Podcasts since last month's C&G:
#9: Interview with Mike Gibbs (The Goodies first music director)
#10: Commentary on "Hospital For Hire"
#11: Commentary on "Pollution"
#12: Interview with Jonathan Wood (BBC Goodies picture restorer)
#13: Interview with Jem Roberts (Author of "The Clue Bible") Part 1
4. 2001 AND A BIT
If you've sighted Tim, Bill or Graeme in a post-Goodies role, e-mail <email@example.com> so that we can tell everyone where to spot a Goodie nowadays. Large files (such as scans of articles or photos) for posting on the club's website can be sent to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Those of you seeking radio and tv alerts between issues of the C&G should consider signing up for the Goodies-l mailing list (more details available on the club website), as our crack (cracked?!) team of reporters attempt to post alerts as the information becomes available.
** (All items in this section contributed by Lisa Manekofsky, except where otherwise credited) **
Please note: BBC RADIO SHOWS listed below can be heard online via each station's website (www.bbc.co.uk/radio4 or www.bbc.co.uk/radio7 ) and then for a week after broadcast from the BBC iPlayer (aka Listen Again). Radio shows on the iPlayer can be heard worldwide.
If you can't find the programs you're looking for in the Listen Again portion of that link, you can use the Beebobodge (also listed on that page). You just need the day, time and station and it will create a link for you.
"Just noticed this, a movie from 2004, George and the Dragon, sometimes called Dragon Sword with Bill Oddie in a small part will be on Sy-Fy, Wednesday at 12 Noon in my time zone (Midwest USA). check your local listings. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0306892/ "
* Graeme will be on the panel in BBC Radio 4's "The Unbelievable Truth" next Monday, which is episode 1 in a new series. The show's broadcast will be available online from the Radio 4 website (www.bbc.co.uk/radio4 ); it will be available for a week after broadcast from Listen Again.
Here's a listing for this episode from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rv4db : "David Mitchell hosts another series of the panel game in which four comedians are encouraged to tell lies and compete against one another to see how many items of truth they're able to smuggle past their opponents. Marcus Brigstocke, Henning Wehn, Lucy Porter and Graeme Garden are the panellists obliged to talk with deliberate inaccuracy on subjects as varied as: Sleep, Beer, Childbirth and Sir Isaac Newton. The show is devised by Graeme Garden and Jon Naismith, the team behind Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. The producer is Jon Naismith, and this is a Random Entertainment production for BBC Radio 4."
I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T A CLUE (ISIHAC) and
I'M SORRY I'LL READ THAT AGAIN (ISIRTA)
5. FEATURE ARTICLE
WHOOPS APOCALYPSE AND THE GOODIES
(by Jonathan Sloman)
On Thursday 22nd December 1977 the BBC broadcast an unusual Christmas special - the final episode of 'The Goodies' seventh series, 'Earthanasia'. Continuing a long line of apocalyptic comedy, from' Beyond The Fringe' to 'Dr Strangelove', this episode saw the activities of Tim, Bill and Graeme late on Christmas Eve with the end of the world fast approaching. The show ends with the sound of an explosion, and the world (as indicated by the BBC1 globe ident of the time) blowing up.
But of course the Goodies inhabit a universe of cartoon logic and, in the same way Daffy Duck or Tom and Jerry can be demolished at the end of one seven-minute epic to then be fully intact for the next, the situation of 'The Goodies' is equally quick to be reset. This wasn't the first time the Goodies have been killed only to return in a different adventure (most famously in the 1975 episode 'The End'), and true enough the Goodies and their world was alive and kicking three years later for another series.
It wasn't until 1982 that a sitcom dared to seriously include the end of the world in its narrative, this time with no reset button. That sitcom was 'Whoops Apocalypse', a six-part LWT series from the minds of Andrew Marshall and David Renwick which evolved into a book, a live show and, in 1986, a feature film. The series and the film have, for the first time, been compiled into one set and will be released by Network DVD, after years of delays, on Monday 29th March 2010. Both film and series have strong connections with their apocalyptic predecessor 'The Goodies'.
The series 'Whoops Apocalypse' was produced by Humphrey Barclay, a long-time associate of the individual Goodies. He was a writer and performer in the Cambridge Footlights' 1960 to 1962 shows, written by and starring, among others, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graham Chapman, John Cleese and Bill Oddie. The following season Barclay turned his talents to producing, and that year's show, 'A Clump Of Plinths', was a huge success and toured worldwide under the new name 'Cambridge Circus' - it was, famously, the first time all three Goodies worked together. By the end of 1963 Barclay had produced the pilot of 'I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again' for BBC Radio, which launched the infamous comedy show into a a decade-long run.
Throughout his pre-'Whoops Apocalypse' television producing career (which started in 1968 with LWT's 'We Have Ways Of Making You Laugh') Barclay continued to work with his talented 'Cambridge Circus' cast. Tim Brooke-Taylor appeared in an episode of 'Do Not Adjust Your Set'; Garden and Oddie wrote for the 1969 Ronnie Barker vehicle 'Hark At Barker', and Cleese, Chapman, Garden and Oddie all wrote episodes of the long-running 'Doctor...' series - all of which were produced by Humphrey Barclay.
A major long-time acquaintanceship Barclay had formed at Cambridge was with John Cleese, whose material Barclay had performed in the 1961 Footlights revue'I Thought I Saw It Move'. As well as being part of 'I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again' and writing for the 'Doctor...' series, Cleese has starred in three of Barclay's LWT productions: the 1977 Sherlock Holmes parody 'The Strange Case Of The End Of Civilisation As We Know It' (which Cleese also conceived and co-wrote), 1980's 'Peter Cook & Co' and 'Whoops Apocalypse'.
In 1977 Humphrey Barclay was made Head of Comedy at LWT, and explained in the Thursday 20th January 1977 issue of Television Today that he wanted comedy on LWT to return to what's often called "university humour", but with its style transferred from the sketch show into the format of a situation comedy. "Both 'Monty Python' and 'The Goodies' could perhaps be called experimental when they started on BBC2," Barclay said, "But we have a difficulty on ITV, perhaps it is even more noticeable on London Weekend, because we don't have places where we can experiment. It is possible that we don't try hard enough, we might be able to find corners that were safe enough to experiment with, late night or early afternoon". It was this influence from shows produced by his Cambridge cohorts that led to him to create a series with Andrew Marshall and David Renwick, the ingenious television-parodying sketch show 'End Of Part One'. (The Radio 4 precursor of which, 'The Burkiss Way', featured a cameo from Tim Brooke-Taylor as Lady Constance in its Monday 14th May 1979 episode). It was this show, and specifically its misguided scheduling in the aforementioned early afternoon slot, which led directly to 'Whoops Apocalypse'.
Humphrey Barclay left his post of LWT's Head of Comedy after five years on Friday 4th March 1983 to form his own production company, Humphrey Barclay Productions, but still kept strong ties with the Footlights team. Just over a month earlier Barclay devised, produced and directed a charity gala which reunited the 'Cambridge Footlights' cast. 'An Evening At Court' was held Sunday the 23rd of January 1983 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in order to raise money for The Adrian Slade Legal Costs Appeal. Slade was Barclay's cousin and had written and performed with the Cambridge Footlights in 1958 and 1959; years later in 1981 he was elected as first Liberal member of the Greater London Council. In 1982 Slade was taken to court by Conservative councillors after an accounting error made it look like he had misappropriated a tiny amount of money. The case was dismissed but Slade was left with legal costs approximating £40,000, which he simply didn't have. This charity benefit was put on in the hope that it would raise considerable funds to wipe out this debt.
The event also doubled as twentieth anniversary celebrations for 'Cambridge Footlights', and accordingly on the bill was Chapman, Cleese and the three Goodies, as well as other Footlights alumni Peter Cook, Eleanor Bron, John Fortune and David Frost, in addition to a number of well-known non-Footlights personalities - amongst them Alan Bennett, who'd been in the Footlights opposition, the Oxford Revue. (For more information on this show, and why it was never recorded, I point you to my article on John Cleese's association with Amnesty International: http://smarterthantheaverage.tumblr.com/post/60529661 ) Seven years later Barclay held a similar reunion on Radio 4, bringing the cast of 'I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue' together one final time for a 25th anniversary show, broadcast on Radio 2 on Christmas Day 1989. In addition to these special events Barclay produced (with 'Whoops Apocalypse' director John Reardon) a sitcom for Tim Brooke-Taylor, 'Me And My Girl', in 1984, and in the nineties hired Graeme Garden to write a number of episodes of 'Surgical Spirit'.
An interesting note about 'An Evening At Court' is that it didn't just reunite the Goodies in their 'Cambridge Circus' roles, but also marked the reunion of the Goodies as The Goodies, their last episode on television being nearly a year ago - around the time of 'Whoops Apocalypse'.
One big connection between 'The Goodies' and 'Whoops Apocalypse' is that they were both adaptions of scripts intended for the BBC. When the BBC turned both down, LWT snapped them up and gave them much higher budgets. 'The Goodies' came first, and was in production between May and October 1981 while 'Whoops Apocalyse' was still finding its shape. While the Goodies were off filming their Christmas special 'Snow White 2' in September 1981, LWT were out on location filming another project, the pilot of 'Whoops Apocalypse'. This 'Whoops Apocalypse' pilot was being edited on Monday 19th October 1981 - four days later was the studio recording of 'The Goodies' episode 'Holidays'.
'Snow White 2' and 'Whoops Apocalypse', incidentally, share a performer - George Claydon. Claydon (who died in 2001) was a dwarf stand-up comic familiar to comedy fans from roles in Marty Feldman's 1974 series 'Marty Back Together Again', and episodes of the Ronnie Corbett vehicle 'Sorry!' and LWT's children's sitcom 'Metal Mickey' - though he's probably best known these days for a mute role in in The Beatles' 'Magical Mystery Tour' in 1967 (boxing 'The Prisoner's Angelo Muscat) and being one of the Oompa-Loompas in Mel Stuart's 'Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory' in 1971. In 'The Goodies' Claydon is one of the Seven Dwarves in 'Snow White 2' and, according to Andrew Pixley's DVD booklet for the series, also inside the Cooker in 'Robot'. In 'Whoops Apocalypse' he is Admiral Blinsky, member of Russian Premier Dubienkin's Politburo, and described in the script as being dressed "in uniform and peaked cap, but is so small that only his head comes above the top of the table".
While LWT were airing 'The Goodies', 'Whoops Apocalypse' was in full production. The Christmas special 'Snow White 2' aired Sunday 27th December 1981; throughout the latter half of this month LWT were on location filming for 'Whoops Apocalypse', though on not this exact date - they had shot footage of John Cleese smuggling a giant cracker through customs for episode six at Northolt Airport on Tuesday 22nd before breaking up for Christmas, returning to location shooting on Tuesday 29th and recording the first episode in Studio One at Kent House the following day. Kent House was LWT's television studios on the South Bank, and indeed Studio One was the same studio in which LWT's 'The Goodies' were recorded.
When the six-episode series of 'The Goodies' aired over January and February 1982, it was on Saturdays. 'Whoops Apocalypse' episode two onwards was recorded the following Tuesday; when its respective 'Goodies' episode aired the 'Whoops Apocalypse' cast would have been nearing the end of about a week's rehearsals. 'Whoops Apocalypse' was recorded out of sequence and with a week's break, so though the 'Whoops Apocalypse' episode following the Saturday 9th January 1982 airing of 'Robots' was episode two, the one following next week's 'Football Crazy' was episode four. Reasons for the switch are unsure but it could be due to studio size (LWT started using the smaller Studio Two for 'Whoops Apocalypse' recordings following this) or John Cleese's unavailability (he was in Barbados cobbling together what would become 'Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life', then coincidentally going under the title 'Monty Python's World War Three').
No show was recorded the Tuesday after 'Big Foot' aired on Saturday 23rd January 1982, but on that date the Sun printed the first official preview of 'Whoops Apocalypse', an article titled "Is Britain Ready To Laugh At Nuclear Warfare?" by the newpaper's TV critic Margaret Forwood. "I think it is one of the bravest comedy ventures ever attempted," she wrote, "but many viewers will probably find it tasteless". The next Tuesday, after 'Change Of Life' aired on Saturdary 30th January 1982, was the recording of 'Whoops Apocalyse' episode three, and the pattern contunied followed the final two 'Goodies' episodes, with episodes five and six of 'Whoops Apocalypse' being recorded on Tuesdays 9th and 16th of February.
The final episode of 'The Goodies', 'Animals', aired on Saturday 13th February 1982. 'Whoops Apocalypse' was supposed to begin the following weekend, on Sunday 21st February 1982. However, LWT informed them there would be a two-week break between episodes one and two so as to screen both the live snooker final on Sunday 7th March, and a documentary about one of its finalists, Steve Davis, a week earlier on Sunday 28th February. In an attempt not to upset the writers over scheduling the same way it had with 'End Of Part One', LWT moved the show's launch to the week after the snooker, and the series had a complete run in the same timeslot running from Sunday 14th March 1982 - with a lot of extra publicity.
The week after the final episode of 'Whoops Apocalypse' aired, LWT proved that they regarded both it and 'The Goodies' as major financial assets. They took both, amongst many other shows, to the MIPTV market in Cannes, held Friday 23rd to Thursday 29th April 1982, in an attempt to sell them to various international channels. (In fact this year was a first as companies were also trying to sell their product to the then-still-experimental satellite and cable channels.) London Weekend's international wing – unsurprisingly called LWT International – had taken out a full-page advert in the MIPTV issues of both Broadcast and Screen International to alert everyone that they could be found at MIP Stand No. A413 on level four, and that they had available a number of their latest series, including sitcoms 'Holding The Fort' and 'A Fine Romance' (for which Judi Dench and Michael Williams had come to Cannes to promote), dramas 'The Gentle Touch' and 'We'll Meet Again' (the latter of which had already been pre-sold to the U.S.), and 'The Goodies' and 'Whoops Apocalypse'. In this advert all of these shows were illustrated by a small still in a rounded television screen shape - in 'The Goodies' case it was a picture of the trio ballet dancing in 'Football Crazy'.
At the MIPTV market LWT officially launched their video label Weekend Video, having announced it at the Vidcom festival in Cannes six months earlier. They were to release selected episodes of their most popular programmes via Thorn EMI, a company having already distributed the product of another ITV company's video arm Thames Video, and amongst these planned releases were 'The Goodies' and 'Whoops Apocalypse'. Four episodes of LWT's 'The Goodies' were released on this label in 1983, and was sadly one of the videos from Weekend Video range which didn't sell too well - the company blamed the videos' high dealer price of £32.50, which meant that the customer price was pushing £50 a tape. 'Whoops Apocalypse' was therefore released a year later on a different label, Palace video, who had already been releasing Granada titles for the lower dealer price of £20.
While all this was going on, Andrew Marshall and David Renwick were hard at work adapting their television series into a feature film. In 1983 producer Brian Eastman had seen the series as it aired and decided it would work better an an uninterrupted feature. So in 1983 Eastman purchased the rights to the series and raised money from the National Film Development fund to finance Marshall and Renwick to write new script. After a few years jumping back and forth between production companies, the film wasn't shot until November and December 1985 at EMI Elstree Studios and various London locations (and Beachy Head), followed by two weeks further shooting in January 1986 at the Florida Everglades. It supplies a further link between 'Whoops Apocalypse' and 'The Goodies' in Graeme Garden, who plays the twin role of "Man Who Takes A Long Time To Walk To The Phone" and "Man Who Takes A Long Time To Walk To A Different Phone". The brief, silent role is an elaborate joke used to introduce the audience to the calm, naive (some would say gormless) attitude of the film's British contingent, an extremely slow sequence in sharp contrast to the mania which opens the film.
The question arises, though, did Marshall and Renwick write the part(s) specifically for Graeme Garden? As they revealed in the Thursday 12th June 1980 issue of Television Today, if they didn't know who would be performing their roles Marshall and Renwick wrote the lines as if they were to be performed by their comedy heroes, for example Woody Allen or the various Pythons. In the case of the 'Whoops Apocalypse' television series John Barron is specifically named as playing the Deacon in the pilot script, and in the Xmas 2001 issue of Publish and Bedazzled, the official "fagazine" of The Peter Cook Appreciation Society, David Renwick revealed that the moment he and Andrew Marshall realised the lunatic Prime Minister would work as a character was when they mentally cast Peter Jones in the part. It was also this thinking that got John Cleese cast in the series. (The part Peter Cook plays in the film was also written for Cleese, to be played like he played Robin Hood in 'Time Bandits', but he turned it down. The recasting caused no problems regarding script changes since John Cleese's upper-class voice, for which it was written, was in turn inspired by Peter Cook's performances in 'Beyond The Fringe'.)
When Marshall and Renwick acquired the clout (and the money) to cast who they want suddenly the idols they were writing for became available to them, and so in this film you get Rik Mayall playing an outrageously Rik Mayallesque SAS Commander and Alexei Sayle as a character named on the credits as "Alexei Sayle in a Hawaiian Shirt". Which leads one to wonder if they were familiar with Graeme Garden's old man walk - as demonstrated so beautifully in the Luchino Visconti parody "Death In Bognor" in the 1974 episode of 'The Goodies', 'The Movies' - and suggested his casting.
Marshall and Renwick had once before used the joke of a slowly shuffling old man forced to make too many pointless journeys in an episode of their anthology farce 'The Steam Video Company' - this series was produced by Thames in 1984, the year between them writing the 'Whoops Apocalypse' screenplay and it being filmed. Here the old man was played by Graeme Garden's long-time 'I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue' teammate Barry Cryer, a regular in the series. (Indeed in one episode he appears on a spoof game show as one character while William Franklyn on the same game show plays Barry Cryer, introduced as "the man who's done for game shows what Oscar Wilde did for a fiver".)
In episode four, 'The Spirit Of Plankton Lodge' (broadcast on ITV on Thursday 9th February 1984), Montague and Deirdre Plankton (played by Anna Dawson and William Franklyn - respectively, if you can believe that) ring for their cobwed-strewn butler Enzyme (Cryer) to pour them a sherry. After the long walk there and back the Montagues ring the bell again to call their butler back to pour a sweet sherry instead of the dry, causing Enzyme to take another long walk to and from the door. Mrs Plankton complains to her husband about the state of their marriage, and says she wants to be kissed - so Mr Plankton rings the bell again. The butler gives the the kiss (not before asking "Sweet or dry, sir?") and is then asked to go upstairs with Mrs Montague: "Usual form, if you would". Dusty, croaky and lying exhausted on the floor, Enzyme then begs his master for the night off - it is, after all, his twenty-first birthday.
6. A COLLECTION OF GOODIES THEMES #16
(by Brett Allender)
GOODIES RELATIVES & ANCESTORS
A recurring plot line particularly in the early series is for the Goodies to go and visit one of Tim's seemingly plentiful and somewhat eccentric relatives for a relaxing time that inevitably ends up being rather frenetic instead. In later series there is also the chance to see the Goodies ancestors in "Alternative Roots" and their descendents in "2001 And A Bit, plus there are a number of other cameos involving relatives of the Goodies in various episodes of the show.
Right at the very start of the first Goodies episode "Beefeaters", the Goodies enter their new office with Tim and Bill being most impressed with Graeme's handiwork. T: "It's fantastic! You've done a wonderful job." G: "Yes I think I've spent your money pretty well." T: "Thank you … Aunty.", looking up at the large portrait of his dear departed (and very fancily dressed) Aunty which has pride of place on the wall of the office.
In "Give Police A Chance" the Police Commissioner has the Goodies office surrounded by cops because he has left his gloves behind in the office and is determined to get them back by force if necessary. After getting the local vicar on the loudhailer to plead to the Goodies to give themselves up (or give the gloves up at least) the police get "Tim's mother" to make a brief appearance before Tim throws the gloves out the window, causing everyone to duck for cover as if he has thrown a far more lethal object. As the police leave, a somewhat sheepish Tim calls out the window: "Bye Commissioner. Bye bye Mum!"
After the Goodies endure a horrible meal of tasteless canned, frozen and processed food when dining out at Ye Olde Shepherds Restaurant in the Series 2 episode "Food", Tim suggests that they visit his Uncle Tom's farm to sample some decent fresh farm food. He also suggests that they should wear frocks and large straw hats like all simple country folk do, but they get quite a surprise when they find Uncle Tom (John Le Mesurier of "Dad's Army" fame) dressed like a scientist in a white lab coat and rather bemused at their strange get-up.
Uncle Tom's farm is basically a room filled with computers that enable farm chores such as feeding the hens and milking the cows to be performed at the press of a button. The animals are all kept in battery pens (apart from a few hens that run off the mains!) and there are a number of experiments being carried out such as the production of square eggs and boneless chickens that the Goodies find quite disconcerting.
The Goodies are given a huge list of chores to perform, but after more than four days at the farm they are far too revolted to eat any of Uncle Tom's vile food, so they set about stopping the demand for it by taking up waiters jobs at Ye Olde Shepherds Cottage, who are the main purchasers of Uncle Tom's produce. Uncle Tom's comment regarding the waiters jobs of: "You'll get four quid a day and your meals thrown in." draws a disgusted riposte of: "You mean thrown up!" from Tim. After changing the wiring to feed gunpowder to the hens, concrete to the cows and rubber to the bullocks, they serve up food which explodes, pies which run around on the plate and steaks which stretch to the size of a tablecloth. The customers all either faint or leave in disgust and both the Ye Olde Shepherd and Uncle Tom's battery farm are soon put out of business.
After starving for ten days, Bill is ready to sacrifice the first happy naturally grown chicken, but is stopped by Uncle Tom who has seen the light, and actually seen his animals, after having them in cages for 25 years. He had always wanted to be a zookeeper and now wants to look after 'Esmerelda' (who now has a name rather than just a number) and his other animals by playing them music and feeding them fresh country produce, much to the horror of the ravenous Goodies. To placate their demands for food, Uncle Tom puts the Goodies in the battery enclosures and feeds them grain, which leads to loud clucking noises and three big eggs sliding out the chutes below.
In "Gender Education" the Goodies are sifting through all of the correspondence following the release of their controversial sex education film for Mrs Desiree Carthorse and Tim reads out one of the letters: "Call yourselves Goodies? Baddies is more like it. You must be sick. I only hope that a great big burglar breaks into your homes, steals your ill-gotten gains and smashes your ugly faces in. Much love, Mummy. … (horrified) Mummy?!"
"Hunting Pink" in Series 3 sees Tim dressed up as a guardsman (or a "six-foot scarlet lavatory brush", according to Bill!) as he is off to visit his Great-Uncle Butcher and wants to impress in the hope that his great-uncle will leave him all his money in his will. Bill and Graeme find this rather despicable - but a very good idea - so they invite themselves along for the ride as well.
Upon arrival at the country mansion Tally Ho Towers, the Goodies soon discover that Great-Uncle Butcher is the horsey type, thanks to a horse peering out of a second storey window and their bike being covered with a rug and led away to the stables. Great-Uncle Butcher (a rather grey and grizzled-looking Tim wearing riding gear) eventually greets Tim inside, bellowing raucously and walking bow-legged as if riding upon an imaginary horse, to the tune of his butler Basterville clapping two coconuts together to simulate horse's hooves.
Bill and Graeme re-enter the room wearing tweed suits and bellowing just as loudly about their own riding and hunting exploits ("Well, I fell off my leg and broke a horse!") which greatly impresses Butcher and he leaves Tim all the money in his will. The Goodies unsuccessfully assist Butcher with mounting his horse for hunting practice and he eventually resorts to an army tank, demolishing his neighbour's fence and vegie garden in hot pursuit of a rabbit before snuffing it from the sheer excitement of blasting the bunny to bits with a well-aimed shell from the tank. The Goodies are then required to perform the sad duty of carrying both the rabbit and Butcher back to Tally Ho Towers dangling from hunting poles and it seems that the hunting is over until Tim inherits Butcher's bloodlust – (the next hunt will be) "bigger and better and rottener and crueller – I'm sure it's what my Great Uncle Butcher would have wanted" – forcing Bill and Graeme to try to put a stop to his fiendish plans.
In "Camelot", Tim awaits an important letter from his Uncle King Arthur ("Well, Arthur King!") who lives at Camelot along with Queen Doris, Uncle Sir Lancelot and several other royal relatives. Naturally Bill and Graeme think that Tim's uncle must be a loony, especially when the letter arrives as a parchment scroll delivered by several of the King's men. Tim politely tells them "We thank you. ... Push off!" and reads the letter aloud in a rather regal tone: "Hear ye. Hear ye. Hear ye. This missive writ on the 12th day of Aprilie in the year of our Lord Nineteen Seventy-Thrillie by the hand of his most gracious Majesty King Arthur of Camelot, 33 Acacia Road, Solihull to his most loyal kinsman Lord Timothy Le Goodie of London Town. (changes to a common accent) Dear Tim, Me 'n the Missus is off to the seaside for a coupla days so hows about lookin' after the old parlour for us til we get back. The key's under the drawbridge, there's a couple of frozen stags in the fridge, please feed the bloodhounds and don't forget to give the bear a bit of a dance every night. Nice one Tim, ol' son. All the best, Uncle Arthur King (B (interjecting): "And loony!") PS We've been having a bit of bother with the local planners lately. Scare 'em off and I'll make you Earl Of Northumbria."
Tim has never been to visit his Uncle King Arthur ("Not likely, he's a raving loony!") but the Goodies are soon aboard their trandem and off to save Camelot. To their amazement, amid a street of ordinary houses, they find that number 33 is a huge medieval castle complete with moat and drawbridge. Uncle King Arthur and family leave Camelot for their holiday, as they don cloth caps and board the bus to exotic Bognor, while the Goodies are left to duel with the devious town planner who wants to bulldoze the castle in order to build "the Camelot Highway providing a totally unnecessary eyesore miles away from the Stonehenge power station, the Warwick Castle supermarket and the Buckingham Palace cement factory!" At the end of the episode, Uncle King Arthur and his family return refreshed from their holiday to their castle that remains unchanged from centuries past … except for the prominent fluorescent 'Bingo Tonite' sign, which glows brightly on the raised drawbridge thanks to Graeme's attempt to turn it into a tourist attraction.
"Kung Fu Kapers" has Bill refusing to "commit Harry Corbett" by telling Tim and Graeme the secret behind the subtle Lancastrian martial art of Ecky Thump that he happens to be a master of, so the others try to rile him by bragging that their own relatives are masters of martial arts that are vastly superior.
T: "Well if he's not going to tell us the secret of Ecky Thump, I shall not after all tell him about my Uncle Taffy, who practices the even more deadly martial art of Yach-y-daa." B: "I don't wanna know!" G: "In that case you probably don't want to know about the mysteries revealed to me by my cousin Pierre; master of the French martial art of Oh-hoh-hee-hoh!" B (rather scornfully): " What's that?! What's that all about?!" T (with French accent): "Nevair you mind!" G: "And I shan't even allude..." T: "Allude not!" G: " … to my wee cousin Hamish who has a black sporran in the Scottish martial art of Hoots Toots Och Aye The Noo!" T: "Mention him not Grae, as indeed I shall not mention my Uncle Izzy who is the Golders Green Oy Vey champion!" B (annoyed): "Aw come on, you're makin' em' all up!" T: "Oh no we're not." B: " Well I don't care. I could lick the lot of 'em, I could!" T&G: "Oh yes, how?" B (very annoyed): "All right, all right, right you've got me going now, you really have! But on your own heads be it. I challenge you two and all your relations to a trial of martial arts tomorrow at dawn on Primrose Hill, and I trust they'll all be there." G (caught off-guard): " Not all at once!"
Of course it doesn't matter, as Bill's lethal black pudding is more than a match for the United Nations parade of Kung Fu Tim, Graeme's African boxing cousin, Tim's breadstick-wielding French relative, Aussie Graeme with his boomerang and finally Scottish Tim and his wailing flailing bagpipes, that may not have floored Bill, but did famously manage to cause a viewer to laugh himself to death while watching it.
The episode "2001 And A Bit" gives us a fascinating view of the future by introducing the three sons of the Goodies: the grovelling namby-pamby Bill Brooke-Taylor, fuzzy-chopped clever clogs Tim Garden and scruffy violent destructive Graeme Oddie. An ancient Tim BT has run the firm on his own since Bill O was fired 25 years ago because "he kept biting people" and Graeme G was "put away for having an unnatural relationship with his computer!". However Tim is knackered and finally ready to hand it over to young Bill BT, especially now that he has proven to be "a credit to the Brooke-Taylors. A right little crawler!"
Tim BT produces an ancient photo album and opens it up to a photo of the scantily clad Raquel Welsh. Bill BT (excitedly): "Cor wallop, way-hey-hey!" TBT (deadpan): "That's your mother." BBT: "Oh sorry, Sir." TBT: "Don't worry, I used to feel the same way myself – whoa wallop hey ooh yeah!… (composes himself) … You never knew your mother, did ya?" BBT "No I didn't, Sir" TBT: "Yeah well I did. Quite well actually Trouble is, the other two knew her equally well. We sort of realised that when one day these three arrived. (shows BBT photo of newborn triplets) Well to be perfectly honest we weren't absolutely certain who was um, responsible, so we took one each. (Looks at BBT then a photo of BO on the wall) Sometimes I think we may have made a little bit of a slip, yeah. It didn't help your mother insisting on calling the three of them after the three of us … heh, funny sense of humour, ol' Raquel!"
Young Tim Garden enters the office just in time to spoil Bill BT's first patriotic speech, and complains that life was more enjoyable in their father's era because everything they did back then was naughty. Nowadays though, everything is so boring because all of the really bad activities have been legalised. Bill tells Graeme that he should be inventing new things, pointing to a photo of GG on the wall, saying: "This is your chance to emulate your father. Great man. Great man." TG (aghast): "He was a raving loony!" BBT (reverently): "He was a great raving loony!" Shortly after they view even more widespread boredom on television, the office door is crashed down by a rampant Graeme Oddie, dressed in gridiron gear on a set of roller blades after playing rollerball. After a terse conversation with the others, Graeme points to photo of BO on the wall and forcefully says: "You think I'm mindless?! Look into those eyes. Look into them. Nothing! Not one single solitary thought ever crossed that mind ... except BASHING .. PEOPLE'S .. FACES .. IN!"
The only solution is to return to the good old days and give the crowds something really mind-bogglingly, rivetingly, excruciatingly dull and pointless - by reviving cricket- which leads to some fun interaction between the young and old Goodies, including BBT & TG singing the old theme song in unison only to get stuck half way ("Goodies! Goody, goody ... thing, thing!") and TBT greeting his old chums BO and GG at the MCC, only for them to forget who he is, even to the point of mistaking him for Nicholas Parsons and pelting him with fruit!
Having seen the Goodies' sons in "2001 And A Bit", the focus shifts to their ancestors in the first episode of Series 7; "Alternative Roots". We firstly get to see the portraits of a couple of Tim's ancestors; namely the rather sissy St. Giles Brock Tayeux. (T: "He came across with William the Conqueror" B (looking at St. Giles' poncy portrait): "Yeah, he'd come across with anyone, wouldn't he?!") and Beau Brooke-Taylor who is also notable for his huge chin, which runs in the family - causing Bill to dryly remarks that noses run in his family! In fact Tim comments that as his family became more upper class, his family trait has been bred out to the point that he is the perfect chinless wonder!
Tim's family coat of arms supposedly represents a field quartered, the family initials, the fat stag of Cheltenham and various other impressive things, only for Bill to provide an alternative interpretation by turning the crest sideways to display a robber's mask, a dead sheep, prison stripes and a set of gallows (B: "And this isn't a fat stag rampant in a field of goolies! No way, that's a dead sheep, that is!"), revealing that Tim's ancestors were actually sheep stealers!
Graeme makes an appearance at this point unrecognisably clad in tartan gear and telling of the search for his ancestor Celtic Kilty's heritage in 'Hoots', featuring lots of appalling Scottish place name puns like Loch Jaw, Ben Doon, Glen Campbell, Firsdgree Burn and Dunghill, and even worse people names, like his ancestor's parents Angus Turabitters and Flora MacKitchen! Graeme also highlights the lifestyle of the primitive village folk (with their TVs, table tennis sets, computers, etc), Celtic Kilty's total immersion in porridge (with the young maidens of the village having the pleasure of licking it off afterwards!) and the traditional haggis hunt which ends when Celtic Kilty knocks the haggis out of a tree with a well-aimed rock.
Bill then relates the tale of his own ancestors who descended from Johnny Applefarm in a tale called 'Froots' which tells of the 'Oo ar' tribe of fruitgrowers, where lads become men as soon as they can suck a piece of straw and do the funny voice! His ancestor (aptly named Kinda Kinky!) spends his time singing and dancing until the fateful day when the tourist traders arrive at his village. All of the fit young men are rounded up by the evil Tourmaster aboard a bus which then heads north to Dunghill and rounds up Celtic Kilty and his fellow Scotsmen, before it snaffles Tim's ancestor County Cutie and his fellow sheep stealers on the way back to London. After all sorts of communication problems and being herded all over London by the cruel Tourmaster, the young men are delivered to their final terrible humiliating destination - the BBC Studios!
In "Earthanasia" Tim needs to be cured of his inhibitions about his belly button, which is covered with an A-string (G (demandingly): "And WHAT is an A-string?!" T: "It's a G-string, but a little higher up!"), so Graeme hypnotises Tim so that he reverts to his childhood as a ten year old lad in short pants coming home from school to his Mum – played by Bill wrapped in a shawl. B: "When are you going to leave that posh school 'ey, and get yourself a proper man's job down t'pit!" T: "But mother, mother dear, you know that I want to be a hair artiste and become a credit to Brooke-Taylors." B (annoyed): "Taylors lad, Taylors! That's t' family name! Don't give me any of your Brooke hyphen airy-fairy airs and graces, I mean, honestly that a son of mine could have turned out to be such a flaxen-haired, namby-pamby, niminy-piminy … oooh!"
"Tim's Mum" insists that she scrapes his belly button clean for the big parade on Belly Button Sunday, but Tim doesn't want her to attend because he is ashamed of her, causing her to start bawling. T: "I'm sorry, but it's true. I'm ashamed of her. G: "Stop it, stop it! Tim, that's not really your mother, it's Bill playing an irresponsible prank. Wake up, Tim, Tim, is that anything like your real mother?" (He looks at Bill, who peeks out from the shawl with a silly look on his face) T (upset):"Yes it is, it's just like her!" B (shocked): "Eee!" T: "The voice, the clothes, but above all, the beard! It was the beard that really used to shame me. All the lads used to pass remarks like: 'Hey Curly Tops … whose Mum's got jowl-to-jowl carpeting!' My young life was misery." B: "Tim, I'm sorry, I'm really sorry." G (displeased): "You're supposed to be getting rid of his inhibitions – you've made them worse!" B: "I know, I'm sorry, I'm sorry."T: "It's not my fault I didn't grow up big tough and hairy like my Mum!"
The final BBC episode, "War Babies", looks at the year of 1939 with the storm clouds of war gathering over Europe, but on the home front, all eyes are on a simple Lancashire lady who is about to give birth. As her belly gets bigger and bigger, the newspaper headlines speculate on an increasingly higher number of babies for her (twins, triplets, etc - eventually to 'Blimey It's A Football Team!'). This leads to the ambulance crew whacking her stomach on the top of the door frame as they try to stretcher her into hospital, the chain-smoking father nervously pacing the floor with the clock whizzing round and round until he belts it in frustration and a team of doctors flying out the door while trying to perform the delivery tug-o-war style. After all of that drama she produces just one baby - a fully grown ten stone tot Bill complete with bushy beard – who causes his father to faint in shock after he utters "Hello Daddy!", then starts bawling himself.. His birth then produces headlines such as "Cor, what a whopper!", while a tiny article at the bottom of the page informs that war has been declared.
Baby Bill soon tests his parents out with his ravenous appetite by pounding on the table demanding a huge bottle of milk, scoffing it down rapidly, being perched upon his father's shoulder and then billowing the curtains out the window with a gigantic burp. He also blows out the candles on his second birthday cake with a big deep breath, only to send the cake splattering onto the head of his poor hapless father.
The final, though rather weird, instance of a Goodies relative comes in the ITV episode "Robot" where Bill has been given the sack for being "useless, irritating and lazy" by his own admission. He returns inside to pack up his belongings, shoving them into a dirty garbage bin, but is shocked to find that Tim's state of extreme anxiety is not from a guilty conscience over his own sacking, rather because it seems as though Graeme is about to give birth! (B: "It's not possible! It's not natural! It's not very nice!") After a loud pop and a hearty wail is heard in the background, Graeme proudly appears with a blanket-clad baby robot (that even has his eyes!) which will eventually grow up to replace Bill (who leaves in disgust, supposedly never to return), but Tim and Graeme soon have problems tending to it during the night. Graeme tries singing "Rock a bye Robot" and bouncing it up and down on Tim's bed because he is too selfish to take his turn getting up, then pulls Tim's Union Jack pyjama top open and demands that he breastfeed the robot (G: "You know it'd have your nipples off!" T: "Why don't you do it?!" G: "I am not ruining my figure for anyone!"). Graeme also snipes at Tim for never oiling it or draining its little sump, while Tim groans "Gordon Bennett! What oil did you use?!" at Graeme after the robot loudly breaks wind, so they decide that they need a nanny to look after it - the hideous "Helga from Sweden" (Bill with beard intact and a blond wig, makeup, white fur stole, pink top, mini skirt, knee-length white boots and an enormous pair of cone-shaped knockers!)
Graeme's home movies of the robot's early years show it growing up mainly in the care of Helga, who hates it with a passion and deliberately mistreats it and tries to dump it in various locations, only to be constantly thwarted because Graeme has programmed to return home each time. Graeme and Tim's lack of involvement in the robot's formative years (apart from indulging it and spoiling it rotten on the odd occasion), sees them ultimately have real troubles when it reaches its teenage years. Graeme and Tim argue over whether the robot is a male or a female, while Helga is of the opinion that "robots are totally without sex", which draws a derisive "Not for much longer sweetie!" from the robot, who has returned home with his "tin trollop" girlfriend. He appreciates Tim's command to get up to his room immediately and Graeme starts to ponder where he and Tim went wrong. The robot ruins their lives - and the ceiling - as he bangs and clunks around upstairs having "wallop wallop, nooky nooky!" with his newly-found love interest. Tim tries to deliver a fatherly speech to the robot, who merely blows off and yells "boring!" as Tim tries to think of something suitable to say, while Graeme's attempt to set a good example (when he dresses up as a good robot in tinfoil and kitchen implements) fails miserably when the robot takes a fancy to him. The robot is now only interested in sex and loud music (as the 'Funky Gibbon' blares from its speakers!), and when it grows long hair and a beard, Tim and Graeme are shocked to realise that it has turned out to be just like Bill!
Regardless of whether the relatives were real or imaginary, uncles or aunties, past or future, human or robotic, they added an enjoyable dimension to the adventures of the Goodies in quite a number of different episodes.
Website article & photo gallery:
7. GOODIES WORD FINDER SOLUTION
(by Brett Allender)
From last month's edition:
Two words (7 and 3 letters) - clue: "The end result of a rather odd(ie) experiment"
8. QUIZ & QUOTE ANSWERS
(b) Margaret Thatcher
(d) She Loves You
(e) John & Eric
(f) Big baggy trousers
(g) Custard pies
(h) The Wombles
8 Mastermind Of The Year
7 Goodies fan supreme
5-6 Clever clogs
3-4 Goody Goody effort
1-2 Time to watch some more episodes
0 Are you sure you're not Rolf Harris?!
NEXT C&G EDITION:
- #174: 12th May 2010.
- May / June: Goodies Music Review – Charles Aznovoice
- June / July: A Collection Of Goodies Themes – Tim's Patriotic Speeches
Updated to C&G 162 (May 2009)
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