Tim and Graeme pack their gear for a nice relaxing holiday while singing "Oh I Do Love To Be Beside The Seaside" as Bill studies a map of holiday resorts, having already packed a tiny case while the others are packing far more methodically. However Bill is having trouble deciding on a destination because of increasing military activities all along the coastline. Little Bridlingsea is six feet deep in oil, prompting Graeme to enquire "How about Greater Bridlingsea? They got rid of the oil there." B: "I know, now it's six foot deep in detergent!" Other pleasant seaside resorts are also being used for atomic bomb testing and nuclear power stations, but Tim recalls a quiet, unspoilt childhood holiday destination at Penrudden Cove in Cornwall. As it appears to be OK according to the map, he and Graeme cruise there on the trandem as Bill runs feverishly behind carrying all of their luggage.
Upon reaching Penrudden Cove, they find that it looks completely deserted at first, however Tim soon has his sombrero shot off by the local Vicar, who aims his rifle at the Goodies and calls out "We don't welcome foreigners in these parts.", telling them that if they try to make him go from the village then he'll take one of them with him (as the Goodies worriedly point to each other and say "Take him!") The Vicar soon changes tune and apologises when he recalls that Tim has holidayed at Penrudden Cove before at the age of four ("You haven't changed a bit!") and he invites the Goodies back to the Vicarage which, as he is the only resident left, doubles as the local post office, tearooms, dentist, police station, massage and sauna and the Saucy Midwife Free House!
Amid frequent obscure biblical quotes (such as "He brought forth butter in a lordly dish. Judges 5, Verse 25."), the Vicar informs the Goodies that all of the other villagers have left following strange happenings in the neighbourhood at night and eerie noises and rumbling from up on nearby Penrudden Hill. The Goodies suspect that the secretive army barracks there (with a sign proclaiming "Trespassers will be experimented on") is the cause of the problem and when Graeme's long range bugging device needs a booster to work properly, he gets Bill spaced out on lemon sherbet and hooks him up to the Vicar's TV so that they can eavesdrop on a secret meeting at the War Office.
The army Captain details various dastardly army activities recently carried out across Britain (including ensuring there wasn't a dry eye in the house at the opening of "King Lear" in Stratford-on-Avon by testing tear gas in the audience!) and then reveals that they are setting up a guided missile testing range at Penrudden Cove. The Captain suggests knocking down the whole village for the testing site ("After all, it is a registered beauty spot!") but the Brigadier disapproves (because he lives there!) so the missile range is to be built on a site that had been designated for a childrens playground. The actual plans are just about to be displayed when Bill overheats and blows his mind (and the Vicar's TV, losing the video link), so the Goodies plan to sneak into the army base while the Vicar creates a diversion to distract the guards.
The Vicar is somewhat worried about breaking the law by protesting until Bill comes up with an apt biblical quote ("Let us do evil that good may come. Epistle to the Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 8!") to justify his actions. He manages to divert the attention of the guards with his 'Stop It' placard and the gentle throwing of a couple of eggs from his picnic basket which causes the guards to grab their riot shields and call for reinforcements. The Vicar throws another egg into one of the shields and the scared guards all run back into the barracks before lobbing tear gas canisters towards him. The gas drifts back towards the guards and the Goodies are able to sneak into the barracks amid all of the coughing and confusion.
The Goodies find that the first locked door with the "horrible secrets" and "disgusting things" happening behind it is actually the bog, but then find the 'Secret Projects' lab which has an open door Mad scientist Graeme quite likes the look of the evil experiments such as radioactive supermice that roar like lions ("Only the devil knows what appalling experiments those poor animals have been subjected to … heh heh heh!"), but eventually discovers the 'ever so secret' plans (including several girlie magazines, much to Tim & Bill's delight!) for the missile range and makes a few alterations. Army construction troops soon pour into the area, much to the Vicar's horror as he thought that the Goodies had put a stop to their activities. After some rather rapid construction work, the missile range ends up looking remarkably like a children's playground, presumably for camouflage purposes.
Ballistics experts from London are on their way to brief the Captain and Brigadier on how the new missile testing range operates, but they get distracted by a well-constructed young lass (who gradually reveals a few plans of her own with a striptease at the side of the road!) and the Goodies steal their van and disguise themselves as army experts instead. By various means including playing cricket with grenades, firing nuclear torpedos in a wading pool, launching rockets with a see-saw, using a swing as a missile interceptor and playing hopscotch to crack a computer code, they demonstrate the facility to the by now puzzled and slightly suspicious Captain and Brigadier. At the conclusion of the briefing, Graeme tells the army troops that they have new orders from the War Office – they have all been sold off to the blacks in South Africa as a trade for the weapons that had been sold to the whites there! As the dejected troops disappear, the Goodies change the 'War Office Missile Testing Range' sign to a new one for 'Reverend Rose's Children's Camp' and a busload of new recruits - needy children - are then brought in to test out the playground equipment, much to the bemusement of the foreign military spies watching through binoculars in the trees!
* Vicar: "Poor old Jed Treviddick climbed the hill to investigate, and gentlemen, he returned a mindless raving idiot."
Tim: "I remember old Jed Treviddick ... he always was a mindless raving idiot!"
* Tim (regarding Bill's lemon sherbet fixes): "He sees visions and sometimes he has incredible insights into the true nature of reality."
Vicar (slightly miffed): "I rather thought that was my job!"
* Captain (pointing to map of Penrudden Cove at possible missile testing site): "This area here is completely barren. Nobody lives there, nothing grows there, nobody wants it … there's obviously something wrong with it, so we won't go there!"
* Vicar (again waxing biblical): "Evil hands toil swiftly, so they may accomplish evil things." Bill: "Deuteronomy?" Vicar: (self satisfied): "No, I just made it up myself actually. Rather good, I thought!"
* After tripping on lemon sherbet to view the army base, Bill overheats; blowing his mind ("Wheee!") and the Vicar's TV set, forcing Graeme to tip a jug of water over him to cool him off.
* The report from the Captain to the Brigadier in the supposedly secret War Office meeting which details all of the fiendish activities that the army has been up to; including the tactical demolition of Carnarvon Castle (where they had even received thank-you letters from the Welsh Tourist Board for the huge number of visitors going to see the biggest hole in the ground in Britain!), the defoliation of the New Forest which has been designated as a limited nuclear weapons testing site (Captain: "The bag to date is 200 picnickers and a brace of ponies." Brigadier: "Anyone object?" Captain: "Only about the ponies, Sir!"), flattening Harrods with a Centurion tank (with Harrods ultimately making a soft landing on Aldershot) and dumping nerve gas into the North Sea.
* Bill bobbing up as the crazy Fairy Puff demonstrator in the ad break, going berserk and completely wrecking a housewife's kitchen before she exterminates him with a Westminster sub-machine gun.
* The method of diverting the military experts from London away from the test site (it sure diverted my attention too!!) and the following scenes cleverly proving how the playground / missile testing station works
George Benson, Richard Caldicott, Timothy Carlton, Pauline Devaney
Westminster Sub-Machine Gun
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
A good solid episode with cleverly-made comparisons between the seemingly incompatible themes of an army testing facility and a children's playground. One of the better offerings from the first series.