Bill and Graeme are playing Strip Scrabble and Bill puts down a rather obscure word which Graeme challenges. Backed up by his rather dodgy definition appearing in the on-hand dictionary, Bill demands that Graeme peel off his shirt as penance for his unsuccessful challenge. Meanwhile Tim is more worried about the Goodies' desperate lack of finances and is therefore filling in a Tax Evasion Form, much to Graeme's horror. Tim's attempts at claiming for items such as Bill being a dependent and for wear and tear on bodies are also very dubious, but his claim for "a hundred weight of oats" causes Graeme to scurry to his computer as he can't recall any such purchase.
The computer replays footage of the Goodies exercising in a gymnasium (which is covered in detail in the Classic Scenes section) and it turns out that Tim has claimed the oats for the runaway bucking pommel horse, which Bill so cruelly blasted with a rifle to stop it from terrorising Tim, who was having a wild ride on the back of it! Talk of oats and hay only makes the Goodies think even harder about their impending starvation, but Tim remembers that he had previously purchased two items on sale which had been wrapped up for Christmas. The first package contains a piece of holly that Bill desperately munches on, but the larger parcel holds a big plum pudding. Graeme says "We can't eat that (because) It's not Christmas!", but an early festive greeting from a starving Tim and the sight of Bill fleeing out the door with pudding in hand convinces him to go after Bill and get his share of pudding too.
This leads to a rather surreal scene where the pudding is used by the Goodies and members of the public for various sports, including soccer (where Tim scores a doorway goal from a free kick on the street after a policeman has called a penalty against Graeme), basketball (with Bill in granny guise making off with the pudding after it has been slam-dunked into his shopping bag), rugby and skittles (Graeme scoring a strike by knocking over a congregation of nuns), before friction reduces it to the size of a cricket ball (for an impromptu match with Tim using a breadstick from a lady's shopping basket as a bat), and in turn a tennis and hockey ball. It eventually bounces along the top of a brick wall and ends up being swallowed by a smug-looking Bill, although Graeme then holds a magnet over Bill's mouth back at the office in a vain attempt to recover the eight sixpences which were originally in the pudding!
The next claim is for nine assorted dresses, three bras and eight pairs of cammy knickers, to which Graeme tells Tim that he can't claim for them because "You'll get arrested!" Bill remarks "That wouldn't be a bad idea. At least you get fed in prison.", but the computer is again consulted to reveal that the gear was used by Pan's Grannies in a very groovy performance for Engelbert and the Older Generation. These gyrating geriatrics have a wow of a time as they perform 'Dance To The Music' (even managing a punk-style instrument smashing session on stage at the end) before they sashay their way over a pedestrian crossing and eventually vanish into a deep roadside ditch.
Bill is busy sucking away on his lemon sherbet as Tim details his next claim for 15 babies bottles and 15 nappies (though Graeme just can't bring himself to say THAT word!) and it brings a reminder via the computer of the Goodies Baby Service. A busy Mum takes a rest while Bill throws 15 babies (out of a standard sized pram!) to Tim, who props them all up on Graeme's super-extendable leg! The babies are wheeled through a converted car wash and then pegged on a line before Bill dries them off (with a blowtorch!) and Tim puts them on a conveyor belt with automatic rotating milk bottles to take care of the feeding. Bill has to catch the babies as they sling off the conveyor (with a couple of very nice saves!) and burp them each in turn with the help of a hand mounted on a long pole. Finally he heaves them back to Tim, who puts them back in the pram, with a jazz blast of 'Rock A Bye Baby' from the three Goodies to finish the job in style.
Tim is all set to claim for multiple lots of child allowance, but Graeme rightly points out that Tim can't claim for anything because in order to get a rebate, the Goodies need to have paid some tax in the first place, and to do that they also needed to have earned some money. He figures that the easiest way to do this is to get into the entertainment industry, so the Goodies start at the top by performing to a queue of people lined up in the glitzy West End.
With the help of a change screen and a line of six pink-clad chorus girls, they put on a mighty show of street entertainment. Graeme blasts away on a trombone only for it and his arm to get longer and longer, Tim's attempt at blowing a French horn just unravels it like a paper party whistle, and Bill can't even lift his tuba to play it properly, so he takes to wrestling the tuba in a makeshift ring. A policeman walks along the beat and is just checking the Goodies out when the chorus girls flit past and he dances off with them, so the Goodies try a juggling act instead. This creates a hell of a mess and the policeman returns, so he is tossed around in all sorts of manoeuvres by the Goodies until the chorus girls go past once more.
Count Fearless's Performing Bushbabies are next on the bill (giving Graeme yet another chance to show off his "make a piece of fluff look alive" tricks!) and one bushbaby takes the high dive from a ladder into a bowl of water on the ground (thanks to a helping shove from Graeme!), another rides a tiny eggbeater-sized unicycle and a further one leaps through a flaming hoop, only to lay ablaze on the street, with Bill kindly stomping on it to put the flames out, then casually kicking it into the gutter! The bushbabies all escape from their cage afterwards and the Goodies have a tough time rounding them up again. The policeman stomps on one escapee bushbaby, but it runs up his trouser leg and ends up perched on the top of his head underneath his helmet. The policeman then has a net slammed over his head by Tim (who is trying to capture the bushbaby) and prances off with the dancing girls when they come by once again.
The Goodies pass their hats around in hope after their epic performance only to find that nobody wants to donate anything for their efforts, so they pull their hats on and slink to the end of the queue - which happens to be filing into the local unemployment office!
* Tim (to Bill & Graeme, annoyed): "Look! We are faced with desperate financial disaster and all you two can do is play Strip Scrabble!"
* Graeme (to Tim): "Ah, that's good actually; I see you've got Bill down as a dependent."
Bill (sucking his lemon sherbet; offended): "A dependent! A dependent is a helpless liability!"
Bill (in agreement): "Mmm, see your point!"
* Graeme (holding magnet over Bill's mouth): "Now look, there were eight sixpences in that plum pudding and you swallowed them. We need the money!"
Bill (muffled): "Oh get off ..."
Tim (bluntly): "It's no use Graeme; you'll get no change out of him!"
* Tim: "Fifteen babies; that's five babies each, so five child allowances each ... (chortles) ... well at least that's one claim that's legitimate."
Bill (smirking): "Ah, no, no, I'm afraid they weren't actually."
Tim: "What, none of them!"
Bill: "No! (giggles)"
* Graeme: "I have an idea. It's the easiest way to make money!"
Bill: "Steal it?!"
Graeme: "Yes ... No! Entertainment ... but you were close!"
Graeme (enthusiastically): "So that's what we do. Singing, dancing, telling a few jokes."
Bill: "Like Des O'Connor?"
Graeme (flatly): "Not much!"
* The entire gymnasium scene with the blue tracksuit-clad Goodies coming to grief on a variety of gym apparatus, including:
- Graeme dropping a medicine ball onto Tim, who is laying on a bench, only for it to crash straight through his stomach and onto the floor, with Graeme then reaching through the hole in Tim's stomach in a bid to pick the ball up and then popping his head up through the hole from underneath the bench, only for an annoyed Tim to push him back down again!
- Tim pulling on a set of Roman rings, with the ropes lengthening and dumping him on his rear on the floor.
- Graeme stretching out a wall-mounted muscle spring, with it rebounding and bouncing him back and forward through a hole in the wall a few times before he crashes out into the street
- Bill climbing up a series of bars on the wall to near the top only to fall off and hit the deck with his arms stretched all the way from the floor up to where he is still hanging on tight to the railing!
- Tim pulling on a climbing rope and ringing a bell, with a second tug of the rope bringing a gigantic bell down on top of him.
- Bill climbing a similar rope to find that the rope isn't tied to anything at the top, with the swishing of his hand in thin air followed by a worried look and a heavy tumble to the ground in a scene straight out of a Road Runner cartoon!
- The Goodies preparing to spring over a vault only to hear knocking inside, with the removal of the top piece seeing a series of POW's carrying picks and shovels escape from within and a further knock revealing a commandant ready to shoot, who is pushed back inside again. Bill vaults through a window and Tim springs into a basketball net, with Graeme then deciding to lower the vault, removing piece by piece, and encountering the gun-wielding commandant again, until there is only the top piece left, then falling flat on his face when trying to hurdle over it!
- Tim getting a wild ride on a "bucking bronco" pommel horse until Bill comes to the rescue with a blast from a conveniently located gun!
* The sensational sight of Pan's Grannies bopping away to a groovy 70's disco tune in their pink dresses, flowing shawls and cammy knickers; with a wild concert seeing them repeatedly fall off stage and ultimately smashing their instruments; then dancing out along a fence (which collapses from under them) and over a pedestrian crossing before coming to grief in a roadside culvert; no doubt to the bemusement of anyone who happened to be watching at the time!
* The whole Street Entertainers clip where the Goodies try all sorts of entertainment (from wrestling their instruments and getting a cop to join their line of chorus girls to a performance by Count Fearless and his bushbabies) to impress a queue of people at the West End without raising a cent, only to find that the people were lined up to enter the local Labour Exchange!
Catch Me If You Can
Dance To The Music
What Do I Have To Do To Make You Love Me?
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
An interesting compilation of five visual sequences which were filmed separate to the show (for screening on Englebert & The Young Generation) cleverly woven together by the central theme of the Goodies filling out their "tax evasion" form. Two of the segments (Gymnasium and Street Entertainers) are comparable to any Goodies visual scene for their inspired lunacy, while Pan's Grannies is fun, though it does drag on a bit long (pun intended!) and Good Deed Day has OK visuals without being great. The Plum Pudding sequence is a bit indulgent and pointless by comparison to the other sequences, but on the whole it's a collection of goodies indeed.
While a copy of the original screening of this episode has surfaced in Britain and been screened occasionally on pay-TV, this special (to my knowledge) has never been screened free-to-air in Australia. As with 'Playgirl Club', it would be great if it could be broadcast some day so that more Goodies fans could have the opportunity to see one of the few 'missing links' of the show - and a very good one at that!
BLACK PUDDING RATING
Bill and Graeme play Strip Scrabble
Tim fills out the Goodies' Tax Evasion Form
Graeme drops a medicine ball right through Tim
Can I have my ball back?
Graeme strikes trouble with the muscle spring
The bell tolls for Tim
It's the end of the rope for Bill
An unexpected visitor from the vault
Tim has a wild ride on the pommel horse
Tim takes a penalty shot with the plum pudding
Playing nun skittles
Graeme tries to recover the sixpences from the pudding that Bill has devoured
The ravishing Pan's Grannies
Graeme has trouble nursing all of the babies, even with an extendable leg
Bill burps the babies
Graeme and his extendable arm and trombone
Tim's French horn starts to unravel
Bill has a wrestle with his tuba
The policeman joins in with the dancing girls
Count Fearless and one of his bushbabies
A casualty of the flaming hoop
Bushbabies on the loose