» Index A Guest Stars
» Index B Goodies So...
» Index C Mock Ads
An introduction ... ee bah goom!
For any readers who are unfamiliar with pirate post offices, ecky thump, giant kittens, the disco heave and gibbon stuffing, 'The Goodies' is a British comedy program which screened on the BBC in eight separate series from 1970 to 1980, with an additional series made for London Weekend Television in 1982.
The stars of the show are three remarkable chaps who are in the business of doing "anything, anytime" (just as long as they earn a quid for doing it, of course!): Tim Brooke-Taylor, a very patriotic but cowardly upper-class twit with shiny shoes and trademark Union Jack waistcoat, Graeme Garden, an intelligent, middle-class loony scientist with distinctive 'fuzzy chops' sideburns who frequently gets carried away with his own inventiveness, and Bill Oddie, a short, hairy, scruffily dressed, commie-sympathizing worker who is prone to the occasional outburst of random violence.
With the assistance of numerous excellent and often very well-known guest stars, the superchaps three try to solve other people's troubles in early episodes, then gradually move to sorting out their own self-inflicted problems. These are frequently caused when one of the three Goodies flip their wig, which then requires the other two to stop him before things get totally out of hand.
This concept is carried out with an unparalleled blend of clever gags, puns and word plays, spectacular (often ground-breaking) stunts and visual effects, amusing slapstick humour, witty satire, biting celebrity character assassinations and cartoon-like mad chase scenes which are frequently backed by the appropriate strains of Bill's distinctive comedy-pop music. The finished product is an unrivalled comedy series of sustained excellence, the likes of which had not been seen before and will probably never be reproduced again by anyone else post-Goodies.
In addition to their television series, the Goodies also produced a number of music albums during the 1970's, with a compact disc titled 'Yum Yum - The Very Best Of The Goodies' released in 1997 which contains most of their best-known songs. They also appeared on contemporary music programs like 'Top Of The Pops', ironically after previously sending up the show in their 'Superstar' episode and frequently making jokes at the expense of hosts Tony Blackburn and Jimmy Savile, with songs such as 'Funky Gibbon' and 'Black Pudding Bertha' even reaching the top ten of the U.K. hit parade at the time. In fact, the Goodies had five top twenty hit singles in 1975 alone - a success rate unmatched by any other comedy-rock performers.
The Goodies also wrote several wickedly funny books in the 1970's which brilliantly demonstrate that their visual humour is just as potent in a written format. Coupled with their appearances in the much-loved radio comedy series 'I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again' along with David Hatch, Jo Kendall and a certain ranting John Otto Cleese, and numerous other TV, radio and stage comedies, the three Goodies have proved to be among the most versatile and consistent comedy stars over a period of many years.
So, why have I bothered putting together a lengthy and detailed account of the entire 75 episode run of 'The Goodies' when it is already such a memorable and well-known series? Am I a pathetic, obsessed fan who simply can't get used to the fact that the show finished some 30 years ago? Have I got absolutely nothing better to do with my spare time? Or am I just a raving loony? Well, yes, yes and yes ... but there's still another reason!!
Sadly, this wonderful comedy show had not been rescreened on the BBC since its original run until very recent times (and even then at an ungodly hour of the night) and had only been available on two BBC video tapes containing six episodes, plus a LWT tape with four episodes from the final series, to those in Britain without pay television until the release of 31 selected episodes on four DVDs from 2003 onwards. Australian fans like myself have been far more fortunate as the free-to-air ABC network screened many repeats of about 60 episodes of 'The Goodies', albeit with a heap of cuts from the censor's knife, between the late 1970's and 1993, but had not repeated the show either up until screenings on ABC2 in the past year. Until then, Pay-TV was the only medium available to watch repeats of 'The Goodies' on in Australia as well.
Therefore as a pathetic, obsessed raving loony ... er, Goodies fan who has been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to view virtually all of the 75 episodes, my aim in writing this collection of summaries is to attempt to convey some of the magical comedy of 'The Goodies' to those fans who have not seen a particular episode for many years or perhaps have never seen it at all. Each summary contains a description of the plot, some classic quotes and scenes where I often try to describe some of the amazing visual sequences (not an easy task), the mock advertisements which were a feature of the first four series, the guest stars, the songs which were used as backing music and finally, a rating on the infamous patented Black Pudding scale.
These ratings are purely my own judgement and have at times been the topic of some lively debate on the Goodies-l mailing list, so you can take them with a grain of salt (and some black pud, chip butties, tripe and a piece of parkin for afters!) if you wish. I've merely tried to be consistent with my ratings, and the proof of the black pudding is that just three of the 75 episodes failed the test and the vast majority rated as good to excellent, so it's a brilliant comedy show by any means of assessment.
As a new additional feature, each episode summary now also features a Goodies Gallery of photos to complement the written material and to provide a better insight for fans who haven't seen that particular episode before. I have also just finished rewriting my original episode summaries from 1997 and 1998 to expand the written descriptions and photo galleries for every episode
So until the ABC and BBC programmers finally wake up some day in the (not too distant, fingers crossed!) future to the realization that they are depriving a whole generation of comedy fans from enjoying an all-time Britcom classic by not rescreening the episodes regularly, I hope that these summaries at least provide a tantalizing taste of the masterful comic genius that is 'The Goodies'. Enjoy!
Brett Allender, (Earl.OBE!)
©: July 2012. Originally compiled in 1998
My own close encounters of the Goodie kind ...!
With Tim and a certain anonymous Queen at
Kitten Kon in Melbourne (2000)
With Graeme and Tim (and my sister Kristen) at
The Goodies Still Alive On Stage in Melbourne (2005)
With Bill at "An Oldie But A Goodie" in Melbourne in 2013