Graeme starts off a new day with another fancy automated gadget which brushes his teeth, combs his hair and washes his glasses all at the same time. A yawning Bill appears with cups of tea for himself and Graeme, then Tim enters dressed up in a Guardsman's outfit, complete with bearskin hat. Bill suggests that Tim is going to a fancy dress ball as a "six-foot scarlet lavatory brush!", while Graeme reckons that he's "after some bird", but Tim eventually tells them "If you must know, it's Butcher" (to which a suspicious Graeme asks "Butcher than what?") Tim is off to the countryside for the weekend to visit his Great-Uncle Butcher Fitzsimmons and is dressed to impress in the hope that his rich old relative will leave him all the money in his will. Bill and Graeme find this concept despicable - but "a very good idea" - so they invite themselves along for the trip dressed in loud Hawaiian shirts (with Bill wearing a knotted handkerchief on his head and Graeme sporting floral shorts, sunglasses and a straw hat with "Kiss Me Quick" painted on the brim!)
Upon arrival at Butcher's country mansion Tally Ho Towers, the Goodies spot a horse peering out a second storey window and their trandem is led away to the stables by an attendant. Tim tries out the horseshoe doorknocker (which breaks off, so he throws it away, clobbering Bill on the head in the process!) and they are soon waited on by the gentlemanly butler Basterville, who is less than impressed with Tim's two "acquaintances". Tim dreads to think what his great-uncle will make of "you two yobbos", so Bill and Graeme offer to go and change their clothes if Tim agrees to share the will money with them (B: "Say, a third each?" T (aghast) "A third each?!" B: "He said it!" … G: "Very generous!") Flushed with success, Bill and Graeme disappear to get changed; taking the tea and crumpets and the two pretty maids with them (some extra crumpet for a gleeful Bill!) while Tim laments "And I didn't even get a cup of tea!"
Great-Uncle Butcher enters with a bow-legged walk and much loud bellowing as though he is riding an imaginary horse (an image perpetuated by Basterville clapping two coconut shells together to simulate the sound of horse's hooves!). After Butcher grumbles "By George, it's a long way from the conservatorrrry!" (in a stereotypical loud rasping upper-class 'old boy' voice rather like that of Sir Reginald Wheelbarrow in 'Gender Education') he is delighted to meet Tim and also wants to meet his "chums" (much to Tim's trepidation). At this moment, Bill and Graeme re-enter dressed in tweed suits and caps, and also proceed to bellow away; firstly about Tim's Guardsman outfit (G: "Good gawd, he's got a dog on his head!" … GUB (excited): "Basterville, fetch my twelve bore, would you? I'd like to take a pot at it!") and then about their own hunting exploits (G: "I once fell off a horse and broke my leg." B: "I once fell off my leg and broke a horse!").
Basterville tries to get Butcher's attention with a rather feeble attempt to blow a bugle (to which a sheepish Butcher exclaims "Ooh, dear, well I do beg your pardon!") and the cuckoo clock (with a horse popping out of it!) shows that it's time for Butcher's hunting practice. All of Bill and Graeme's tall hunting stories have greatly impressed Butcher and he happily tells Tim that he will leave him all the money in his will before he heads out the door (GUB: "Well I must be toodling along." G (bellowing): "How do you know?!" GUB: "I can feel my legs moving!").
The Goodies unsuccessfully assist Butcher with mounting his horse for hunting practice (despite several attempts at lifting, lowering and catapulting him) and he even ends up astride a cow at one stage (with his horse giving a cheeky giggle) before he finally lobs on his unsuspecting pony and gives chase to a black poodle. Butcher switches his horse for a motorbike (going after a lady wheeling a pram) before he eventually resorts to an army tank and sets off in hot pursuit of a rabbit that takes off from the long grass nearby. Butcher flattens his neighbour's fence and vegie patch in the chase and fires a shell from long range which successfully blasts the bunny to bits but the thrill of the chase is too much for him and he snuffs it from all the excitement; slowly sliding back into the hatch of his tank in the process.
Bill and Graeme are ready to go back to the office, but Tim (who is now wearing riding gear instead of his Guardsman outfit) stays put as he intends to carry on the fine hunting tradition of the family. The others are horrified and describe hunting as "immoral, degrading (and) cruel", but Tim declares "it's fun!" He not only refuses to hand over Bill and Graeme's promised share of Butcher's will, but gives them their marching orders as well before he has a change of heart and offers them a week's trial as servants to maintain his large and rather dusty mansion.
Tim sits at the end of a massive dining table and gives his servants the hurry-up as he is impatient for his breakfast. Bill and Graeme have prepared the food at the opposite end and it's too far to anyone to walk, so Tim reels in his kipper with a fishing rod and has his coffee delived to him by a pipe that runs along the underside of the table and ends up in his lap. Tim complains that the coffee is cold, only for Graeme to tell him that it was hot when it started out from his end of the table. Bill tries to deliver Tim's eggs with a ping-pong bat (and a rather messy result), though Graeme has more luck sending them down later via a shanghai and Tim's nonchalant pot shot at his piece of toast is even more successful - "right through the middle!"
The hunting bloodlust quickly goes to Tim's head as he plans to make the upcoming hunt "bigger and better and rottener and crueller – I'm sure it's what my Great Uncle Butcher would have wanted"; a sentiment seconded by Butcher's head mounted trophy-style on the wall, to which Tim exclaims "My God, there's life in the old boy yet" and fires a pot shot at him to snuff out what is left! An appalled Graeme remarks "You've turned into a cad!" as Tim declares that he intends to "make Tally Ho Towers the blood sports centre of the world" specialising in small game targets such as "international bunny hunts, squirrel trapping, vole baiting and a budgie pit with fighting budgies." A grand fundraising hunt has already been planned for that afternoon with hunters coming from all over the country and Tim also drops the bombshell that he is about to get married. Tim's fiance enters the room clad in her new wardrobe (a large wooden one which hides her from view from the waist up) and Tim declares that "the hunt starts in half an hour. Come, my dear, we must go and get mounted!"
Graeme gets all panicky and starts to babble about how to stop Tim's planned hunt, until he finally gets the words out that "We've got to nobble the horse"; a task made much easier when Tim reappears soon afterwards and tells them that he can't ride and is afraid of horses as well. Graeme promises to provide Tim with the perfect mount, so he and Bill disguise themselves in a pantomime horse outfit. After a swinging start (where Tim and the other riders play the 'Bugle Call Rag' on brass and drums while seated aboard their horses), Tim's panto mount is the last horse away when the rabbit is released and it breaks in half during an unsuccessful hurdle of a fence; tipping him onto the ground.
Bill and Graeme then dress as rabbits to attract the attention of all the other hunters and spread glue in front of a steeplejump before they go behind the brush panel and give cheek to the riders. When the horses try to leap over the jump, their horseshoes get stuck in the glue, the dismounted hunters sail over the hurdle and Bill and Graeme sell the horses off to a grateful American Indian. However they still have to flee an enraged Tim, who chases them on the trandem (skittling a policeman in the process) and gives triumphant V-for Victory salutes in all directions after he effortlessly clears a hurdle! Tim then rips off Bill and Graeme's rabbit suits and the furious horseless hunters eventually corner them, but are chased off by a tribe of American Indians on horseback.
Back inside Tally-Ho Towers, Graeme declares that "we must destroy all memory of the events of this unfortunate weekend" and enlists Bill's help to cure Tim of his bloodlust. Bill squirts oil into Tim's mouth to bring his silly raucous voice back to normal, while Graeme pops Tim's padded posterior with a large pin. Bill has much pleasure in smashing Tim's wardrobe fiancé to smithereens with a big lump of wood, while Graeme uses aversion therapy to put an end to Tim's love of fox hunting. He and Bill repeatedly ask Tim "Do you like fox hunting" and they respond to Tim's answer of "Yes" on the first two occasions by giving him a couple of heavy whacks on the head with wooden mallets. Bill snaps "Look, as long as you say 'yes' you'll get clobbered 'cos fox hunting is nasty and vicious and cruel and brutal!" as he rains a volley of blows on a cowering Tim, whose eventual response of "No" is still met with a series of thumps from Bill and Graeme because "it ain't half fun!"
* Graeme (regarding Tim, who is dressed as a Guardsman): "He's going to a fancy dress ball."
Bill (to Tim): "Don't tell me, you're going as a six foot, scarlet lavatory brush!"
Graeme: "No, I know why he's all dressed up. He's after some bird!"
Tim (huffily): "If I was after some bird, I wouldn't need to dress up as a Guardsman."
Bill: "Nah that's true. Must be after some fella!" (chuckles)
* Butcher: "Tell you something else … I could ride before I could walk!"
Bill: "Well I could ride before I was born!"
Graeme: "In our young day, you weren't allowed to be born unless you could ride!"
Bill: "Used to have to pass a riding exam before they'd let you out."
Butcher: "That's true."
Bill: "No it isn't."
Butcher: "No it isn't, it's a pack of lies!"
* Tim: "I am going to get married."
Graeme (shocked): "What!? Who to?"
Tim: "The Honourable Lady Amanda Barrington Phipps Ponsonby Ponsonby Paddington Waterloo Charing Cross Crewe Alexandra Accrington Stanley Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich Carruthers Carruthers Smythe Junior. Known to her friends as Big Knockers"
Graeme: "Is she pretty?"
Tim: "Pretty? Hmph! She's hideous! She is Horsewoman Of The Year - more horse than woman, but then ... looks aren't everything and in her case they're nothing! We're gonna get married and breed horses!"
Bill (incredulously): That's impossible!"
Tim (bluntly): "You haven't seen her!"
* Tim: "It's gonna be a traditional hunt wedding. We're gonna slaughter a rabbit, hang the giblets around her neck, paint her cheeks with blood and slap her round the kisser with its bladder. All very sloppy and sentimental, I know. But I love it ... the blood ... aaahahaaa!"
* Graeme and Bill changing into loud-voiced, tweed-suited, horse-loving hunters in a successful bid to impress Tim's Great-Uncle Butcher with their one-up riding and hunting tales – (GUB: "I was born in the saddle!" B: "I was born in Sidcup!" G: "I was born … (singing) … under a wandering star, a wandering star …") - which have a distinct ring of Tim's (and Monty Python's) 'Four Yorkshiremen' sketch about them.
* Uncle Butcher blasting a fleeing rabbit from the seat of his army tank which he had just demolished his neighbour's vegie garden with, then carking it from the sheer ecstasy of his success, leading to both he and the rabbit being carried back to Tally Ho Towers dangling from hunting poles to the tune of the John Peel hunting song.
* Tim asks for some new domestic staff and Graeme and Bill come charging into the room to oblige. Graeme accidentally slips on the rug and almost knocks Tim off his feet, with Bill cannoning into the back of them. Graeme manages to keep his mirth to a smile, but Bill has to bury his face in his hat to hide his laughter. This is probably the best 'blooper' actually left in an episode during the entire show.
* The breakfast scene where Tim is seated at one end of a massive table and Bill and Graeme have to send the food all the way down to him, including the use of a fishing rod to haul in a kipper, coffee pumped through a tube which spills into Tim's lap ("Oooooh, I've wet myself!") and eggs delivered via a ping-pong bat and shanghai. A fed-up Bill eventually wants to belt Tim one, but "can't walk that far" to the other end of the table and boards a little tricycle to pedal along the table until Tim shoots at him and he falls through the table top onto the floor below.
Ride My Pony
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
A very enjoyable episode where Tim goes loony for a change and the other two have to try to stop him before he goes too far. The exaggerated send-ups of the horsey hunting-type folk provide plenty of humourous scenes and dialogue and Tim does an excellent job of playing the role of his Great Uncle Butcher.
BLACK PUDDING RATING