An old lady walks past the South African Tourist Office in London and is suddenly ambushed by two burly officers, covered with a net and dragged inside the building. Moments later, the Goodies arrive and head into the Tourist Office, as Tim reads aloud a sign that instructs them to go "through door and turn white"! Inside, the Tourist Officer (who sits playing solely on the white keys of his piano while singing the chorus of "White Christmas") shoves the old lady into a wooden crate; then Tim and Bill are promptly shoved into a crate upon entry as well. When Graeme objects to the rough treatment of his chums, the Tourist Officer orders his two goons to "Kill him!" and suspects Graeme of being a black ("You've got very fuzzy hair!", to which Graeme quickly replies "I've just washed it!") Graeme also has his skin colour checked by the Tourist Officer (who licks a finger and rubs it on Graeme's face – "You never can tell!") and his brown 'I'm a Goody' tie is summarily painted white by one of the goons upon orders from the outraged Tourist Officer ("Aaargh, Hendrik, the tie!"), as Graeme cheekily tells the officer that "I admit I've got a sister named Topsy and I quite like reggae music ... and Daddy was a bus conductor!", but that that he is not the "least smidgeon dusky" himself.
The Goodies have been sent for by the Tourist Officer to make a film that encourages more people to go to South Africa. It currently has very few immigrants ("that's because of all the nig-nogs living there", according to the officer; hence the enforced "package tours" in wooden crates for unwary passers-by!) and the officer's squirrel grip on a screaming Bill inside the crate is enough to convince the Goodies to take the job. The Tourist Officer provides the Goodies with a camera (as Graeme asks "Black and white?" and receives a firm reply of "Just white!") and their film shows the wonderful opportunities for immigrants in "Sarth Efrikker", who can be free, own a luxurious house and be their own boss – the one problem being that the successful 'immigrant' in the film is Tim dressed up as a black-and-white minstrel! The furious Tourist Officer smashes the camera and film in disgust (roaring "No no no, you can't show that!") as he only wanted to attract more white immigrants to his country, but Tim has already sent copies of the film out to TV stations and cinemas, which soon causes South Africa to be flooded with Britain's black immigrants.
Tim wants to get" as far away as possible" from the enraged Tourist Officer, who talks him into emigrating to South Africa (by wrapping a poker around Tim's neck with brute strength), along with Bill and Graeme, to increase the number of whites there. Upon arrival in South Africa, the Goodies find all of the well-educated blacks in South Africa leaving for Britain, and instead of receiving a welcome at customs, Tim is biffed with a truncheon by the Tourist Officer (Tim: "What are you doing here?" Officer (sourly): "Hitting you!"), who has been flown home in disgrace by the South African government. After the Tourist Officer demands Tim to "Show me your papers" (to which Tim produces the latest newspapers and he barks "Good, I'll read them in the bog!") and reads aloud a rather bizarre poetic declaration, he angrily tells Graeme that "It's all your fault!" as the visiting blacks from Britain have told their South African counterparts how good life is there and" now there's not a single black left in the whole of South Africa" (only to then unexpectedly sob "I miss them!" afterwards)
The Goodies settle into a ranch on the edge of the jungle, but find that life in South Africa is tough without a "jigaboo houseboy" to do all of the cleaning work. The Tourist Officer swings in on a vine for a visit (bellowing like Tarzan until he lands off-screen with a loud crash) and goes berserk when an apron-clad Graeme offers him a cuppa (raging "That it should come to this – a white man serving tea!" as he angrily swats the tray and cups out of Graeme's hands) and complains bitterly that "It's got so's a man has to peel his own grapes!". The Tourist Officer then explains that the government has introduced a new form of segregation now that the non-whites have left the country – Apart-Height - which Bill initially endorses wholeheartedly until he discovers the finer details of it.
A wall chart is pinned up on the ranch veranda post and while Graeme and Tim measure up to the required height mark, Bill comes up short and is told "Congratulations, you are one of the lucky new band of second-class citizens. All rules previously applying to non-whites now apply to you." Bill and Tim rehearse their new roles (from pamphlets marked Little'un and Big'un respectively) and Bill no longer has any rights, so is promptly ordered to do all sorts of grotty and demeaning jobs (such as licking out the pigsty and mowing the jungle) for his Big'un masters, much to the delight of the Tourist Officer ("It's just like the old times!") A loud siren signals curfew time for the Little'uns to go to their compound outside town, but Bill objects stridently and runs away in minstrel-like fashion ("Feet, do your stuff!") into the jungle. Bill leads the apart-height police (who carry height-measuring devices to check citizens in the street) on a merry chase through a shopping centre and despite the use of various tricks and disguises, he is eventually captured after he falls in a swimming pool and is barely able to stand afloat in the shallow end. The apart-height police carry Bill to the compound, where he is unceremoniously heaved over the gate to join the other short people under lock and key (chiefly the local population of jockeys after the 'Cape Town Races Doo-Dah Doo-Dah' have been cancelled!)
Meanwhile Graeme and Tim enjoy their new-found lifestyle of hunting during the day (proudly displaying their mounted trophies of a meerkat and their hunting boy Scobie, who was mauled by the meerkat before its own demise) and are waited on at evenings by their jockey houseboy Lester, who gets slapped around the head by a callous Tim for his trouble ("Got to keep them in their place, you know") as they frequently swat pesky flies that annoy them. However all is not well, as the jockeys have become restless and Bill is spotted playing the jungle drums in the distance. Graeme and Tim join in the rhythm, but suddenly all goes deathly quiet and Tim becomes hysterical, although Graeme calms him down by slapping him across the face (and swatting a fly in the process, for which Tim thanks him!) Graeme suspects that Bill is behind the militant "votes for jockeys campaign" (to which Tim scoffs "Good grief, you'd have thought it was simple enough. They get half a vote because they're half the size! Seems fair to me.") and he receives a message on the drums (thrown at him with force by Bill – "evens favourite"!) that the jockeys want independence tomorrow.
Because "jockeys never attack at night", Graeme and Tim decide to head back to the safety of town at first light, but their trek across the plains is watched closely by a large posse of jockeys who sit high in the trees, and also by Bill, who sneaks around behind a single leaf frond as camouflage. The two Big'uns are soon surrounded by Little'uns, and after various exchanges with blowpipes, Tim plays a winning game of croquet using the jockeys as hoops, which wins applause from Bill before he summons his troops to attack. Tim and Graeme are tied to a totem pole and launched like a rocket (with a spectacular tumbling crash upon landing) and they scramble into town, only to be arrested by a swarm of tiny cops on tricycles after the declaration of a police state due to the jockeys' uprising. The police can't reach up high enough to handcuff their wrists, so Tim and Graeme are chained by the ankles and carted off to the police station, where there is a jubilant gathering of Bill and his fellow Little'uns.
Bill turns down the Little'uns kind offer to make him "King of South Africa" and instead introduces their tiny "new Prime Mini-ster" ("I hope you'll all look up to him!"), who threatens to chop the legs off the "two political prisoners, enemies of state and nasty big bullies", Tim and Graeme, to "cut them down to size". At this point Bill shows some mercy and decides that the three Goodies all should head back to Britain; however the mounted head of the Tourist Officer on the wall warns them that "Things have changed since you left." Upon their arrival home by boat, the Goodies find a line-up of black citizens who expect the Goodies to carry their luggage for them ("Hey you there boy, you take these cases!") and Tim proudly salutes the approaching royal limousine, but is perplexed when a black, bangle-clad hand emerges to wave to the masses who line the streets. The sight of a black Enoch Powell on a TV screen urging people to "Keep Britain Black, that's what I say!" makes the Goodies all reach for the shoeshine to darken their own faces with.
* Tim (reading sign): "South African Tourist Board. Through door and turn white."
* Bill (impersonating a black person): "Howdy do dere honey. Zippety doo dah!"
Tim (turns away and adjusts his fly, embarrassed): "Oh I'm sorry, I didn't know it was undone!"
* Tourist Officer (to Tim, angrily): "Hey you! It's all your fault. You made it look as if South Africa were full of black people."
Bill: "Worse than that, it looked as though it were full of black-and-white minstrels!" (laughs)
Tourist Officer (grabs Bill by the jacket menacingly): "In South Africa we have white-and-white minstrels!"
* Tourist Officer (reading his poem out): "I wandered lonely as a cloud. That floats on high o'er veldts and jungle. When all at once I spied a crowd. A host of lovely daffoldungles! (pauses and gets emotional) See ... we are human!"
* Bill (about political prisoners Graeme and Tim): "How shall we cut them down to size?"
Prime Mini-ster: "Chop off their legs!"
Bill (intrigued): "Chop off their legs!"
Tim (horrified): "You wouldn't dare!"
Bill "Oh yes we would!"
Tim & Graeme: "Oh no you wouldn't!"
Tourist Officer's head mounted on wall (blandly): "Oh yes he would!"
Bill (turns to officer): "What do you think of it so far?"
Tourist Officer: "Ruggish!"
Bill (angrily): "Chop off his head! (looks again) Oh, we already have done!"
* The multitude of blatant and subtle swipes at apartheid in the South African Tourist Office; including its 'Through the door and turn white' entry sign, completely white furnishings and crockery, the Tourist Officer playing only the white keys of his piano (which are segregated from the black keys in any case!) while singing the chorus of 'White Christmas', Graeme's brown tie being urgently painted white upon the Tourist Officer's roar of disapproval, dark sunglasses being smashed in disgust and replaced with white glasses and the coffee being made from two jugs of milk poured together into a white cup.
* The Goodies film encouraging more immigrants to come to "Sarth Efrikker" by using Tim painted up as a black and white minstrel (complete with a big "Howdy do dere!" greeting, quick burst of "Swanee" and minstrel-style shuffle) to show how wonderful life is for black people there; including owning a posh car and fancy house, a huge company building (Sambo Enterprises!), a swimming pool (complete with sharks circling!) and going on safari (with a Labrador dog cheaply disguised as a lion) and "you can shoot the game ... with a camera of course!" with Tim holding his camera aloft and blasting a springbok to smithereens on the horizon.
* Tim doing the housework at their ranch in the jungle and getting cross with Bill for continually using awful derogatory terms about black people (such as "nig-nogs", "jigaboo houseboy" and "sambo servants"). He starts to deliver a proud speech about racial equality ("A man's colour of skin makes him no less a man. Nature's finest creation."), but then admits that he is only doing the menial chores himself because "all the nig-nogs have gone", before sheepishly realising what he has just said.
* The introduction of apart-height, where Graeme and Tim pass the height test, but Bill comes up short of the mark and has to fill the former role of the blacks according to the Little'uns script provided by the Tourist Officer ("It will be an honour, Bwana!" – though his reference to Tim as "Oh great white queen" has them both checking the script carefully afterwards!), and doing all the grotty jobs, including licking the officer's boots, scratching Tim's head, allowing the officer to sit on him, having his bum kicked by Tim ("Thank you Boss for that most agreeable kick on the bum!") and being called over by the smirking officer for "Nothing!", with Tim reading out "My guest is now much refreshed and would like to beat you to death" and Graeme crowing "This should work out rather well. We can leave all the nasty grotty little jobs to our nasty grotty little houseboy!" Also Tim asking Bill to bring him a copy of the paper because "apparently there's a very good article on censorship", only to peer through a big hole in the paper where the article has already been removed from.
* Bill's epic attempt to flee the height detector-wielding cops( to the wonderful strains of 'Run (I'm Coming To Get You'), especially his pipsqueak 'pitstop' between two burly police officers in the Big'uns toilet, racing around the streets inside a mannequin from Big'uns Fashions before eventually crashing into a lamppost, climbing on the back of a man peering through a knothole in the pool wall only for it to look like his legs have detached from his upper body when the other fella walks away, getting slammed heavily when hanging onto the back of the pool gate as police and patrons enter the pool enclosure and the understated visual gag at the start of the sequence which has posters of performances by Ronnie Corbett and Snow White & The Seven Dwarves stamped with 'banned' and 'cancelled' under the new legislation.
* The night-time scenes at the ranch where Graeme and Tim (clad in white jackets and black bow ties) chat about their fine day's hunting; including proudly displaying their mounted trophies of a "rogue male (that) put up a hell of a fight" (a tiny meerkat) and their hunting boy Scobie (who was mauled by the meerkat, and about who Graeme remarks "What a funny little nose!", only for Tim to slap him and for him to then thank Tim for swatting the fly on his face!), Tim almost knocking servant Lester's block off for no good reason, Graeme's manic killing of a tarantula that had crawled up Tim's leg after a frenzied pursuit and heaps of whacks, stomps and even a couple of rifle blasts once it had been removed from Tim's trousers (then yelling "Lester, get that mounted, would you? All of it!"), all the while swatting pesky flies on their faces and on each other's faces as well.
* A number of cameos including Tim commenting "Look at those stars. Like hundreds of tiny pairs of eyes", followed by a long and uneasy silence before Graeme remarks "They are hundreds of tiny pairs of eyes!", Graeme receiving a "message on the drums", with a drum being thrown by Bill and almost knocking him off his feet, Graeme's blowpipe effort where he lobs a heap of fruit on a sleeping Bill to form a 'smiley face', and the scenes of how much things have changed when the Goodies return to England, especially the black, bangle-covered hand waving from the royal limo.
Philip Madoc, Oscar James, Albert Wilkinson
Run (I'm Coming To Get You)
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
A terrific piece of deeply satirical and quite brave comedy, especially given that it was made when the apartheid issue was an extremely hot potato causing trade sanctions and strained diplomatic relations between South Africa and other nations worldwide, and even more so because the BBC banned the initial recorded version of this episode from going to air at the time, requiring substantial reworking before it could be broadcast. Much of the racial terminology is rather uncomfortable to listen to nowadays (even ignoring the straightjacket of modern-day political correctness) but it was necessary to include it to highlight the horrid depth of racism that the South African regime was mired in at the time. The great humour of this episode tends to get lost a bit amid the racist dialogue and frequent nastiness, but Philip Madoc's guest role as the South African Tourist Officer is an inspired mix of hilarity, authority and brutality which is perfect for what the Goodies are trying to highlight with their send-up of apartheid.
BLACK PUDDING RATING
Another "package tour" customer for South Africa
A sign of the times
"I'm dreaming of a White Christmas ...!"
Graeme has his dark-coloured tie painted white
Aaarrgghh!! ... that's better!
A cup of coffee, South African-style
Calling all immigrants ... Howdy do dere!
Off to work at Sambo Enterprises
"And you can shoot the game ... with a camera of course!"
"In South Africa we have white-and-white minstrels!"
"Have you ever thought of emi ... emi ... emigrating?!"
All the black people leaving South Africa for Britain
Tim gets a not-so-friendly welcome to South Africa
The Tourist Officer swings in for a visit to the Goodies' ranch
Bill joins the ranks of second-class citizens under apart-height
Tim and Bill rehearse their new roles from the scripts
Tim finds that the article on censorship has already been got at
Bill on the run from the apart-height police
Bill disguises himself as a Big'un after a visit to the fashion shop
Hello hello hello, something's not quite right here!
Bill gets thrown into the Little'uns compound
Mutual fly swatting time
Graeme takes care of the tarantula
Graeme receives a message on the drums
Bill's 'fruit face' thanks to Graeme's blowpipe
The totem pole takes off with Graeme and Tim tied to it
"Giddy up, giddy up" after the Big'uns
The police try to arrest Graeme and Tim
The Tourist Officer's head on the wall
South Africa's new "Prime Mini - ster"
The Goodies are loaded up with black peoples' cases upon their return to England
The new Queen gives Tim a royal wave
If you cant beat 'em, join 'em!