A bunch of cyclists feverishly pedal along a narrow country roadway towards the finish line of the Tour de France (egged on by an excited French crowd in berets, red neckerchiefs and striped tops who are wildly waving breadsticks in the air!) while up ahead of them, the Goodies cruise along on the trandem in holiday mode (and in extremely lairy hippy-style clothing) but are forced to pedal furiously to escape the peleton of riders who rapidly descend upon them. The Goodies wobble across the finishing line just in front of the pursuing throng and are hailed as winners by the ecstatic crowd (even though they were initially only trying to cycle to Skegness, but ended up in France thanks to Bill's dodgy navigation!)
Back at the mobile office after this triumph, Bill enjoys a taste of fine French cuisine and eats a snail, shell and all, until a disgusted Tim tells him that he is supposed to scoop it out of its shell first! Bill chuckles "Thought it tasted a bit funny!" and duly removes another snail from its shell; only to throw the snail away and happily crunch on the shell instead! Tim fancies the prospect of a "nice holiday" while in France, but Graeme decides to enter the Goodies in more races (seeing as winning the Tour de France was "easy"!) to win more prizemoney. Bill asks "Can't we just go to the pictures?", but Tim agrees with Graeme, noting that "Now that the Common Market countries have been allowed to join the empire, I've noticed they've been getting a bit too big for their boots. They must be taught a lesson" Tim delivers another stirring patriotic speech about the need to "beat these cocky foreigners - them and their garlic bicycles!" (to rather puzzled looks from Graeme and Bill), and claims that the Goodies shall win for Britain, even if they have to cheat to do it!
Graeme's struggle with the French language and the ignorant race organiser over the telephone sees the Goodies entered for the "Lemons Vings Quaters Hurs Race" - the Le Mans 24 Hour Race - which happens to require a motor car and a licensed driver, of which the Goodies have neither. However Graeme is able to teach Tim how to drive (utilising the massive reference tome 'Learn To Drive In One Easy Lesson' by TS Elliott!) and a 'car' that consists of a plate, a spoon, a mirror, two chairs and Bill's feet as foot pedals (as Graeme explains (tapping Bill's right foot): "Accelerator and that's (touches left foot) the brake." Tim (eagerly, ready to plant his foot in between): "So that means that the clutch must be …!" Bill (horrified, squirming): "Don't you dare!"), and Tim soon receives his motoring licence after he drives this bizarre 'car' at the on-road examination.
Graeme "slaves away over a hot blueprint" and designs an absolute motoring masterpiece out of scrap metal and bits of furniture, which looks nothing like the sleek racing car in his plan on the wall (as he waxes "It's a dream, it's a gem, it's a work of art!", only for Tim to mockingly ask "Shouldn't it be a car?!") However the car works well once all of the obstacles are removed from under the bonnet (like Bill, who is getting up to shenanigans with his "French maid", and a stray cat which purrs louder than the engine until Graeme unceremoniously heaves it out of the way); particularly the patented Sudsy Wudsy windscreen washer with the unbreakable windscreen (because there is no glass!) which works a treat and drowns "little fusspot" Tim in a cascade of suds, as he has been strapped in so tightly by Bill and Graeme (who are tired of his whinging) that he is powerless to turn it off.
Bill reads out the list of race entrants for Le Mans, which includes other weirdly-named drivers from Spain, America ("Luke Lively in a Lotus", to which a surprised Graeme remarks "That's a flower!" and Bill responds "He's a funny fella!") and Japan, but the late entry of the "villainous French nobleman from County Cork", Baron O'Beef causes much concern to the Goodies. At the practice session, the Baron cruises by in a black car with an evil smile on it (which chokes the other entrants with a trail of exhaust fumes on the way past), then gradually proceeds to nobble all of the other cars during the practice session. He throws a match in the petrol tank of the tiny Japanese car (which is complete with 'Ever Leady' battery!) and forces Senor Gazpacho to brake suddenly and hurtle out of his car into a pile of tyres (after which the Spanish driver waddles away cursing while still wrapped up inside the tyre stack). Eventually the entire engine and interior of the Goodies car falls out onto the track (when Graeme and Bill try to tow it with the trandem) after lots of sly tampering from the notorious Baron.
From the newspaper headlines, it seems as though the Baron will be the only entrant in the race after he has succeeded in nobbling all of the other race cars, but Graeme isn't done with yet. He claims to have converted the disused railway station into a car, but Tim and Bill merely humour him for starters (and Bill prepares to "ring the funny farm" to have them come and collect him!) before Tim takes the railway station for a drive around the track. The Goodies assemble for the start of the race, along with the evil, grinning Baron and one other entrant, so when the starter's gun goes off (with the Baron pulling a pistol and returning fire at the starter!) there is a mad scramble and the Baron and the Goodies engage in an enthralling battle as they swerve all over the racetrack. Both camps climb in and out of their moving vehicles in a bid to dispose of the Baron's hand grenade, which eventually detonates on the desk of the excited race commentator as the tight battle continues.
The Baron crashes into the rear of the third entrant's car (that is still stalled at the starting line), which puts him out of the race (and provokes a flood of tears from him as he sits in his crumpled wreck); however the Goodies are also out of the race as Tim has lost control and run off the track. Graeme's bitchy taunt of "Well that's absolutely typical, you always crack up under pressure! Can't even steer a disused railway station, hah!" gets Tim in a huff and he refuses to drive anymore. There is mass panic over whether Graeme has fitted a brake to the railway station as it hurtles out of control along narrow country laneways and even more panic when Graeme holds a disconnected length of metal up in the air and yells "Here's the blasted brake!", so the Goodies go outside and climb onto the roof, then attempt to throw a rope around something solid to pull the railway station up.
A men's urinal doesn't exactly do the trick (except for a busting gent standing beside the roadway!) and after they collect a poster man (who carries on sticking his poster up on the wall obliviously until he is transferred onto the front of a truck after a near miss at an intersection), crash against an overpass and scatter a troupe of can-can dancers, the Goodies and their railway station head out of control towards the cliffs. The 'emergency switch' that Graeme has installed is the Goodies' last hope and despite Graeme's long-winded speech ("Sufficed to say that pulling this switch will indubitably extricate us from our current predicament …"), his insistence on a precise 5-second countdown and the ruddy thing being temporarily stuck, it activates just in time for a huge set of wings to sprout from the railway station as it hurtles over the cliff and carry the Goodies off into the sunset to safety.
* Tim (annoyed): "That's the last time I let you navigate."
Bill: "What's the matter with you. Didn't you like France?"
Tim (unimpressed): "We were trying to get to Skegness!"
* Tim (in patriotic speech mode): "The British bulldog has not lost his teeth. Good old John Bull will never bow down to these greasy wops, frogs, krauts and Luxembourgians! Let them remember Agincourt, Cressy, Blenheim and Waterloo, passengers for Derby, change at Leicester! We shall beat these cocky foreigners - them and their garlic bicycles! (to a bemused look from Graeme) We are best, for we are British!"
Bill: "Oi, what makes you so sure we'll win?"
Tim: "We … shall cheat!"
* Graeme (on the phone to the Le Mans organisers): "We are the Goodies. Le Bon Bon."
Bill (indignantly): "That's the Sweeties!"
* Graeme (still on the phone, trying to explain that they are British): "Grande Brittania! No ... avec la football, la roast beef, Her Majesty La Queen, It's A Knockout, Eddie Waring ... (launches into babbling impersonation, frustrated) ... yeah, that Grande Brittania!"
* Graeme (giving Tim driving lessons): "First, the clutch is depressed."
Tim (sympathetically): "Ohh, cheer up little clutch!"
Graeme: "The gears are engaged"
Tim (excitedly): "Congratulations gears!"
(a little later, with the car stuck in first gear …)
Graeme: "Change the gear."
Tim (miffed, preparing to take off his vintage auto outfit): "I thought you said you liked it!"
* Graeme (on his car components): "Italian made ... German made ..."
Bill (randily): "French maid!" (ushering her out from under the bonnet!) …"Keep your engine running. I'll be up later to check your points!"
* The opening scenes where the Goodies are cruising along on their trandem in very hippyish clothing and have to pedal like hell to get out of the way of the Tour de France cyclists; winning the race themselves in the process and receiving the trophy from a crowd of sterotypically-attired and very excited Frenchmen.
* Graeme trying to enter a race over the phone; following up a stream of French gibberish with "yes, we are foreign", then having great difficulty in explaining that they are from Great Britain (even resorting to a quick burst of Eddie Waring!), and singing a little bit of Maurice Chevalier to the unimpressed race organiser before eventually entering the Goodies for the Le Mans 24 Hour Race for motor cars, despite them not having a car and not being licensed to drive one either.
* Graeme teaching Tim to drive using kitchen implements and chairs, with a prostrate Bill having his right foot used as the accelerator and his left foot as a brake, and being horrified when Tim thinks about planting his foot on the "clutch" in the middle! After some terrible jokes from Tim (for which an unimpressed Graeme slaps himon the glove on multiple occasions), rapid gear changes which give a moaning Bill "cramp in my clutch!", and some "basic road sign recognition" (Graeme:" Recognise this?" (holding up a roundabout sign) Tim: "It's a road sign!"), Tim receives a licence from the French driving examiner and zooms off up the road in the makeshift 'car', with Bill still laying on his back and having his feet used as pedals.
* The indicators on Graeme's specially designed car with an outstretched hand extending from either side for "turning right" and "turning left", and a hand with a two-finger salute raising in the air in the centre of the windscreen for "turning nasty"!
* The final ad in the 'Heenz Meenz Beenz' series (apart from the send-up in 6/5 It Might As Well Be String) where the kid finally gets his lines right after so many past failed attempts, only to have the backdrop crash down heavily onto his head, which makes him start crying once again.
* Any of the multitude of visual clips from the practice session and the actual race, set to the thoroughly infectious 'Motorway Madness' tune; especially the Baron exploding the Japanese competitor's tiny car and nobbling the others with much evil grinning and cackling along the way, Bill trying to wind up the crankshaft (only to spin around wildly after the shaft whirrs back in the opposite direction with him still holding onto it), Graeme taking several tumbles trying to get a short air hose to reach the tyres (only for Bill to have a go and get knocked out cold when the whole air tank comes loose and clobbers him), Graeme pumping up his pants instead of the car tyre, which eventually explode with a big bang (and force him to hide behind the car door in his undies), the Baron and the Goodies having to pull up suddenly mid-race to let a pedestrian amble over a crossing (with the Baron shaking his fist at the pedestrian in anger), the multiple exchanges of a hand grenade between the Baron and the Goodies (which involves some brilliant stuntwork with the moving car and railway station), the poster man working away oblivious to the fact that the wall he was working on has been demolished by the railway station (which he continues to decorate until he is shunted off onto the windscreen of a truck) and the grand finale of the railway station sprouting wings as it sails over the cliff edge and flapping off into the sunset.
Heenz Meenz Beanz - "What I Like Best To Eat"
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
A constant stream of brilliant visual effects throughout and some very funny dialogue combine to make this episode a Goodies' classic. A great lead-in to their excellent 5th series.
BLACK PUDDING RATING
The Goodies on a cycling holiday in France
The Goodies cross the finish line first
Bill crunches away on a snail shell
A perplexed Graeme after Tim mentions "garlic bicycles" in his patriotic speech
Graeme teaches Tim to drive, with Bill providing the foot pedals
Tim passes his driver's licence test
Graeme's new motoring masterpiece
"French maid" under the hood with Bill!
The "turning nasty" indicator on Graeme's car
Tim strikes trouble with the Sudsy Wudsy windscreen washer
The Japanese entrant and his tiny car
Baron O'Beef at the practice session
The Baron nobbles the Goodies' car while they're not looking
Bill spins around on the crankshaft
Some artistic car servicing takes place
Graeme pumps up his pants instead of the car tyre
The Spanish driver stuck in a pile of tyres
Tim takes the office for a drive just as Bill is ringing the funny farm
to have them collect Graeme!
Tim and the Baron at the pre-race gathering
The Baron and the Goodies out on the track
The Baron puts a grenade in the chimney
A gobful of grenade for the Baron after Graeme has hit it back at him
with a tennis racquet!
The race commentator after the grenade has exploded on his desk
The Baron in tears after crashing out of the race
"There's the blasted brake!" - disconnected, of course
The poster man is still unaware of his plight
A quick can-can to keep the locals happy
The railway station heads over the cliff
Flying safely off into the sunset