Tim and Bill return to the office after a busy day and go to open the door, only for an alarm to go off and a "Red Alert" recording by Graeme which tells them that it's a top-secret area. They are asked their authority for entry (to which a bemused Tim replies "We live here!") and are only allowed access after giving the correct password (which just happens to be "Let us in, ya great 'nana!" from a rather annoyed Bill). Graeme has been appointed by the government to oversee 'Project Moon' and has converted the office into a control room for the new British lunar project now that the US missions to the moon have been completed. Seeing as, in Graeme's words,"we've got to start somewhere", the first space mission involves sending rabbits to the moon rather than humans; a prospect which Tim gets rather soppy over until Graeme firmly tells him "There is no room for sentiment in scientific research." (only to take his rabbit back from Tim's grasp with "Come back to Dada …" and other baby talk!)
Graeme subjects his rabbits to some rather cruel preliminary tests before the space flight (with able assistance from Bill) and the intrepid astrobunnies Flopsy and Spiro are placed in the rocket, which is about to blast off from the Goodies' front lawn. Graeme asks Bill to "help prepare the launch" (to which Bill cheekily replies "I shall peel the potartoes!", much to a bossy Graeme's disgust) and the lift-off is a success, with Tim grumbling "Now can we have a cup of tea?!" once the bunnies are on their way to the moon. Graeme eventually despairs that he has lost contact with the rocket (six months ago!) and his last hope of communication – a radio telescope - is smashed to pieces by Bill, so he decides that the Goodies must go on the next space mission themselves, as it is too dangerous for the rabbits. Initially Tim is to be left behind (as "he's so wet", according to Graeme), but after Tim tries to hide his cowardice by pretending that he would really like to go, he soon finds himself strapped in the rocket alongside a protesting Bill, as Graeme madly gives orders ("Shut up and fasten your seatbelts … oooh I am enjoying this!") from the safety of Mission Control in the office.
Bill and Tim soon want to get back down to Earth; especially when they find out that Graeme doesn't know how their ruddy rocket works, and they have all sorts of trouble trying to eat and drink and move around inside the cabin. Somehow they manage to land on the moon (albeit upside down!) and they take dust and rock samples, sing, play golf and fool around (just like the Americans have done beforehand) before they make the stunning discovery of primitive vegetable life ("lettuces and carrots") flourishing in the lunar landscape. Flopsy and Spiro had made it to the moon after all and have spent their time there doing what rabbits do best: eating and breeding merrily. Even more worryingly, the hundreds of bunnies that mill around the vegetables soon turn ferocious and overpower Bill and Tim, then drag them away as prisoners.
Inside the space burrow, Tim and Bill are strapped to a couch with carrots stuffed in their ears for good measure (to Tim's lament of "Ooh this is humiliating! Two grown men overcome by a bunch of bunny rabbits!") and an image of Flopsy appears on a video screen. Thanks to Graeme's nutty experiments, Flopsy has now proclaimed himself as "Big Bunny" and with being "an 'ickle pet no longer", plans to "conquer space" and "boldly go where no rabbit has gone before!" in a Star Trek-like manner. Flopsy demands that Tim and Bill help him by returning to Earth as the rabbits' spokesmen and he orders for them to be given an electric charge when they refuse to speak the only bunny talk that humans will respect ... "Nyaaah. What's up Doc?!"
A horrified Graeme watches these dastardly events unfold on his monitor and tries to alert the British authorities ("This is an emergency! Get me the police, the army, Jimmy Savile, anybody! Help!"), but they dismiss his desperate pleas and prepare to cart him off to the funny farm instead! Tim and Bill return to Earth in the landing capsule and squash Graeme on Clapham Common (despite him having a group of soldiers and boffins manoeuvre a bathtub into position for a splash landing!) then deeply shock him when they reveal themselves as furry rabbits after they remove their spacesuits. The rabbit space virus starts to spread, as Patrick Moore (with big buck teeth and a carrot telescope) and a cotton-tailed Prime Minister soon fall victim among others, and several hutches of rabbits drop out of the sky from space and start to breed up very quickly.
After they initially refuse to tell Graeme what their secret plans are (with continual rebuttals of "Nyaaah!" to all of his questions), Tim and Bill head out on a Clockwork Orange-style road trip armed with large carrots for "a touch of way-hey-hey and a spot of bunny fun!" They manage to terrorise everyone in sight with gratuitous violence or mischief, especially a lady dragged into her rabbit's hutch who happily survives the onslaught from Bill and Tim (and the ABC censors rather miraculously too, for that matter) In desperation, Graeme calls in the Queen's Highland Ferrets brigade when the rabbits go to ground into a network of burrows in the sand dunes and he eventually captures the badly-behaving bunnies when he plugs their burrows with carrot corks. Graeme dishes up piles of carrots and lettuces to Big Bunny's two "sworn disciples" in the office afterwards, but suspects that their rabbit urge is finally wearing off when Tim craves for fish and chips instead. He tempts Tim and Bill with a yummy pie, then reveals that it is a rabbit pie, much to their horror (and to Tim's upset wail of "You've made us cannibals!"). Big Bunny appears at the door and urges them to stop, but Tim and Bill instead yell "DINNER!!" and chase him up the street with knives and forks at the ready!
* Tim (sheepishly, upon hearing that there is a Saturn V rocket at the front door for the rabbit moon trek):
"Oh that's what it's for. I've just posted two letters in that!"
* Graeme (about the rocket, talking in correct space protocol by finishing each communication with a beep): "Well I don't know how the ruddy thing works, do I ? ... beep"
Tim & Bill (inside the rocket; in unison, shocked): "WHAT!! ... beep!"
Graeme "Well, you can't expect me to know everything ... beep"
Bill (annoyed): "You creep! ... beep!"
* Bill (to Tim, bemused): "I used to have a pet rabbit once, you know, when I was a little kid, and at no stage did he ever strap me to the couch and stick carrots in my ears!"
* Big Bunny (menacingly): "You will return to Earth as our spokesmen. So now you must learn the only bunny talk that humans will respect"... watch and copy. Say it after me. Nyaaah. What's up Doc?!"
* Graeme's initial tests to ensure that his rabbits can "stand up to the rigours of space flight"; including a rabbit that sails high in the air from a mini see-saw after he thumps the other end heftily with a mallet (drawing a beaming smirk of approval from Bill!), another rabbit crushed in a pressure chamber by a heavy weight to Tim's cry of "That could hurt!" (Graeme: "Not if you keep your fingers out of the way!"), Tim slyly remarking that a rabbit kept in solitary confinement for three weeks probably can't hear Graeme anyway (to which Tim soon gives up when he realises that Graeme doesn't get the joke!) and Bill wielding a tennis racquet to bat away the rabbits that are zooming rapidly in his direction from the high-velocity wind tunnel.
* Graeme produces a radio telescope to track down his lost space rabbits and it starts playing 'The Archers' theme. Bill grabs it and smashes it to bits, with Graeme lamenting "You fool, now we'll never know what happened to them!". Bill is most helpful in telling him that "Walter Gabriel's just having a bit on the side...!"
* Graeme being horrified at Tim's suggestion of sending more rabbits into space, saying that they are "like children to me" and that "I couldn't send them on a trip like that" – only to proclaim "No, I have a better idea …" and then hurl his boxful of rabbits callously over his shoulder to a heavy crash landing on the floor!
* The epic space voyage to the moon, with Tim and Bill considering calling the fire brigade to rescue them from the phone box 'Doctor Who' TARDIS drifting past, having conversations ending with 'beep' with Graeme, who is enjoying himself immensely from the safety of mission control, experiencing great difficulty with eating (as the food in the locker drifts away out of Bill's reach), drinking (Tim dislikes the tube for the tea – "How unhygenic, I'd rather have it in my mug." - and ends up wearing tea all over him) and moving around in magnetic boots (with Tim and Bill getting their boots stuck together), then getting showered with meteorites after Bill unintelligently opens the window to get a better view.
* Graeme filling out his captain's log after the spaceship crashes on the moon and suddenly stopping when he realises that it's 10:15. He quickly turns on his TV monitor, which shows the theme of 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' and turns it off just as quickly in disgust, muttering "Blast. Missed Moira Anderson!"
* The various moon exploration scenes, including Bill climbing out of the upside-down lunar module and proclaiming "One small step for a man, but baaa ..." upon slipping and falling heavily to the ground below, the goldfish swimming in his helmet visor, the collection of moon dust with a vacuum cleaner (and Tim grumbling "What a terrible mess those Yanks left, dear oh dear …!"), Bill floating away with a huge helmetful of oxygen before Tim heaves a flag javelin-style to bring him down and the rabbits overpowering Bill and Tim, then dragging them off to Big Bunny's space burrow where they are tortured to make them behave like rabbits.
* Graeme honestly describing to the authorities how Tim and Bill have travelled to the moon where hundreds of rabbits have attacked them and Big Bunny is forcing them to say "Nyaaah. What's up Doc?!", which leads to him having a 'Loony. Handle With Care' sign hung around his neck and a box marked 'To the Funny Farm. This side up' placed over his head. Also the silliness of Graeme getting a couple of soldiers to run around the otherwise-dry Clapham Common carrying a bathtub for the re-entering lunar module to make a splash-landing into and the moment when he shakes hands with one of the astronauts and recoils in horror when he removes their space glove to reveal a huge hairy paw.
Roland MacLeod, Patrick Moore
Do The Bunny
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
The first two-thirds of the episode is some of the Goodies finest material, with brilliantly funny verbal and visual outer-space effects and also Graeme being the slightly loony one for starters before Tim and Bill flip out in a big way. Unfortunately the latter visual and chase scenes are rather bland by comparison and drag on too long, which just takes the edge off an otherwise top quality episode, though the ending itself is one of my favourites.
BLACK PUDDING RATING
Graeme has turned the Goodies office into a space lab
Bill is impressed with Graeme's space tests
A spot of tennis, anyone?!
Intrepid astrobunnies Flopsy and Spiro
Graeme in Mission Control
Bill destroys Graeme's radio telescope
Graeme is enjoying the lunar launch
Let's pop out to the phone box and call the fire brigade
"WHAT?! ... beep!"
There's something fishy going on here!
Tim cleans up the mess that the Yanks left behind
Time for a bit of a singalong
Lettuces and carrots to feed the rabbits
Tim and Bill are overpowered and taken captive
Trapped in Big Bunny's burrow
"NYAAAH!" ... Big Bunny dishes out some shock treatment
Graeme has trouble convincing the authorities
The landing of the module on Clapham Common
Graeme freaks out at the sight of a furry paw
Big Bunny's disciples are up to no good
Patrick Moore succumbs to the space virus
"James! Speak to me James ...!"
Time to demonstrate some "Wabbit Power!"
All set for "The Transistorized Carrot"
Out for "a touch of way-hey-hey and a spot of bunny fun!"
Graeme has a near miss
The Queen's Own Highland Ferrets on patrol
The ferrets chase the rabbits among the dunes
"DINNER!!" after rediscovering the delights of rabbit pie