Graeme attempts to learn the guitar (with dubious assistance from the book 'Play The Guitar My Way - And Other Jokes' by Tony Blackburn!) but each jangling note he plays draws a complaint from Bill, who is desperately trying to write some more "number one, smash hit pop songs" without much success. Bill feels "so tired" from his writer's block (after three whole minutes, with Graeme telling him that he could normally dash off "eight or nine chartbusters" in that time when in good form) and he yearns to recapture the musical inspiration that came up with the likes of 'Black Pudding Bertha' Bill's line of thought is greeted with cutting sarcasm by Graeme (and backed up by Graeme's computer, who was the real writer of the 'Funky Gibbon'!) so a downcast Bill decides to "give up music" … and "become a folk singer" instead!
Bill prepares for his new singing direction with a note-to-self to "put one hand over your ear so you can't hear too loud", then starts up some horrible crooning. All the while, Tim has had his head buried in a copy of 'Variety', but is suddenly captivated by this "beautiful" music, to Graeme's incredulous disbelief. A surprised Bill asks Tim if he likes country and western (to which Tim replies "I have all their records! Mind you, they should never have split up.") and Graeme decides joins in the off-key wailing for the hell of it. A joyful Tim declares that the two of them will "be great on my new TV show", much to Bill and Graeme's surprise.
'New Faeces' gets underway and Tim (dressed like an undertaker all in black and sporting an odd-looking boofed-up hairstyle) gleefully tells the first performer Dennis Droll (an "up and coming comic" who is actually an elderly man dressed as a clown) that to "save everyone the embarrassment of sitting through your dreary little act", he will instead go straight to the judges for their scores. Composer and singer/songwriter ("You name it; he's been called it!") Tony Bitch describes the non-act as pathetic ("I'm sure he's a hopeless performer. His eyes are too close together and he probably smells!") while Tim actively encourages this abuse to keep coming. Tony Bitch continues on to say that the reason for Dennis coming on the show - needing money for his wife to have an operation – "shouldn't affect our judgement because we just heard she died half an hour ago" (much to Dennis's obvious distress) and charmingly concludes his summation with "He's a washout!"
Fellow judge, "family man and protection broker" Don Corleone, silently puffs on a cigar and stares ahead blankly, while "great old comic" Charley Chorley (a corpse with an orange wig) has his arm drop off, which prompts a callous Tim to comment that "there's life in the old boy yet, which is more than can be said for your missus, hey Dennis?!" Tim then asks Dennis if he is feeling sufficiently humiliated ("What a worm, ladies and gentlemen!") and asks the judges for their scores, which are handed out on all sorts of technical criteria (including "amount of bribe" offered.) Tony Bitch gives Dennis "No marks at all. Nothing", to which Tim remarks "Well that's quite generous for you Tony!", while Don Corleone raises his pistol and fires two shots at Dennis ("Okay, also quite generous marking from Don there, aiming below the knee!") and Charlie Chorley's head falls off for good measure.
After "the boys have finished taking Dennis away and mopping up", Graeme and Bill are the next act to perform onstage as 'The Two Folk'. Tim excitedly awaits another abusive blast from the judges for his fellow Goodies; however their tone-deaf warbling of 'The World Is Full Of Women And Men' has both Tony Bitch and Don Corleone in tears, with comments of "I was really moved by it" and "It was so pure" from Tony. Tim's angry shriek of "Shut up, you can't have liked it!!" sees him booed and pelted with vegetables by the angry crowd, after which he storms over to Bill and Graeme and hisses "I'll never forgive you for this! Never!" as he froths at the mouth in uncontrollable rage.
Back at the Goodies' office after being sacked as presenter, Tim sits on his throne with a stunned glare on his face, and none of a bottle of smelling salts, verbal abuse from Bill (a yell of "Speak to us, you stupid berk!"), Graeme burning a five pound note under his nose or Bill playing 'God Save The Queen' on the sax can make him snap out of his deep trance. Graeme is just about to belt him one when Tim starts to speak again and reveals that he's merely been thinking of a new gimmick – "going back to the golden age of rock 'n roll" in a revival of the 1950s. Bill and Graeme think that Tim has gone loony ("the shock has affected his mind … he's regressed to the age of 37!") but even though the revival of rock 'n roll has been done before, it's soon a case of "See you later crocodile, in a while alligator!" as the launch of the "Fifties Revival Revival" takes off.
News bulletins soon announce that "that troublesome trio, the Goodies" are leading the new trend back to the haircuts, music and fashions of the 1950's (as announced by genuine '50s guest broadcasters McDonald Hobley and Mary Malcolm), with big baggy shorts returning to the soccer scene, Concordes being replaced by the 'Flying Bedstead', the royal coronation being re-enacted every day at 2:30pm and a broadcast of 'The Oh Boy Special' which features the Goodies in a wild rock 'n roll performance and causes a range social problems (most notably Graeme slashing all of the sofa cushions while being corrupted by the Goodies' own 'music of the devil' on the TV until Bill stops him!). Not content with influencing fashion and music trends, Tim goes even further and alters the TV schedules (with Bill complaining that Tim has taken off 'Porridge' and 'Fawlty Towers' and replaced them with 'Prudence Kitten' and 'Muffin The Mule') and has also turned into a fluorescent sock-selling spiv ("Spiv today, television director tomorrow") who brings back National Service while he sings songs and spouts advertising jingles from the 1950s (for the likes of Pepsodent toothpaste) as he gads about the office. Bill threatens to kill him, only for Tim to reply "I shouldn't do that, tosh. They've just reintroduced the death penalty!" (and gags as he yanks at his tie like a mock hangman's noose)
Graeme and Bill have been called up for two years of National Service, but Bill shows up at Tim's studio as a '60s hippy and talks about peace and love instead of war. Tim describes the '50s revival as "a load of old cobblers" and wants to "drag rock 'n roll screaming into the 70s", so he bombastically demands that Bill perform a horrid "death song about "a blind kid, a learner, with one arm, on a motorbike, who is flattened by a steamroller in full view of his pet hamster Percy." Bill would rather offer Tim a flower instead (though Tim callously crushes the flower, only to get kneed in the groin by peace-loving Bill for his trouble!) and he insists that he will only appear on "vicious little loony" Tim's show if he can "sing a song of peace". Tim eventually agrees, but gives a fiendish smirk as the hippy "William and Grayfunkel" enter the recording studio to record ' Flower Love'. As the host of 'Superficial' in the guise of a white-haired TV director (sending up Mike Mansfield from 'Supersonic'), Tim initially cues for flowers to be dropped on Bill and Graeme, but he gets increasingly loony as the song progresses and orders them to be doused with flour, water, wind, balls, fertilizer and furry toy animals.
Tim also cuts to other studios and interferes with various other TV programs (including the BBC News where the weatherman gets a heavy shower of snow dumped on him as he gives the forecast) and eventually orders "Cue the landmine", which blows up the recording set and finally "Cue the dynamite" which destroys the entire ATV building. Bill and Graeme flee for their lives, but amid the rubble, Tim decides to revive World War 2, and cues up Lancaster bombers and doodlebugs. Back at the office again, Bill rings the War Office ("It's the Goodies here … no, not him!"), but Britain's entire armed forces have already been hired by Tim as extras for his film. As the bombs start to rain down on the Goodies office ("He certainly goes for realism!") Graeme concludes that the only way to combat a loony director is with "another loony director" and tries to ring Ken Russell, but unfortunately Ken is otherwise occupied (with Vanessa Redgrave and a wasteful number of carrots!) Similar requests for help from Peckinpah and Fellini also go unanswered, so Graeme decides that "We'll do it ourselves!"
Bill takes on the role of Ken Russell (sitting in a director's chair and sporting a long white beard and straggly hair) and cues Vanessa (in a nun's habit), who succeeds in scaring off Tim's armed forces as they try to storm the beach by running amorously towards them. Meanwhile Tim has cued the Luftwaffe and Hitler himself, but Alfred Hitchcock is on the Goodies' side and cues his birds to defecate all over Hitler instead, which severely disrupts his warmongering speech. Tim cues a scrawny Kitten Kong (which again tips over the Post Office Tower while giving a plaintive meow in the process!) and Bill counters with the giant Dougal puppet from 'The Goodies Rule – OK?', before an increasingly cranky Tim calls in armies of troops and Indians. Bill and Graeme finally pull their masterstroke and "cue party political broadcasts", with the sight of Margaret Thatcher's face on multiple TV sets being enough to make Tim cower and send the troops and Indians running for cover!
* Bill (wistfully): "Oh where is the muse that brought me the poetry of Black Pudding Bertha?!"
Graeme (sarcastically): "Black Pudding Ber... , what, bah goom, shake your boom! Poetry?! (laughs and makes silly hand gestures) Eat your heart out Lord Byron! Move over Percy Bysshe! The Poet Laureate rules OK!"
* Graeme (again sarcastically about 'Funky Gibbon'): "And who wrote it?! My computer wrote that. My computer! (calls out to his computer) C'mon, give me an ooo!"
Computer (with lights flashing and tape reels spinning): "Oooo!"
* Bill (lamenting): "I can't write a decent tune. My lyrics are lousy and my voice is knackered! … I'm gonna give up music. I'm gonna become a folk singer!"
* Bill (enthusiastically): "I'm gonna write music ... music from my heart, music that's in my blood, gut music, music you can feel in your intestines, sounds that grab your giblets, rhythm that sends you tapping your bowels, swinging your pancreas, bursting your bladder!!"
Graeme (revolted): "I'm gonna be sick!"
Bill: "Just wait 'til you hear the music!"
* Graeme (happily): "I enjoy Muffin the Mule."
Bill: "You can get locked up for that, you know!" (then cracks a cheeky smirk and hides his face in his newspaper!)
* Graeme (on the phone): "Hello, get me Ken Russell ... He's doing what?! ... Oh, lucky old Vanessa, but what a waste of carrots!"
* Bill trying to come up with some new sure-fire chartbusters, but suffering a severe dose of composer's block - even toying with the ideas of "Eek eek eek, funky ferret!" and "Tomorrow. All my troubles seem so … that's been done, hasn't it?!" Bill then lamenting that he just can't find the muse that brought Black Pudding Bertha merely provokes a very sarcastic outburst from Graeme, and his seeking to "recapture the merest smidgeon of inspiration" that produced the 'Funky Gibbon' only leads to the revelation that it was written by Graeme's computer anyway!
* The entire 'New Faeces' talent show hosted by Tim; especially the disgracefully obnoxious treatment of the first act Dennis Droll (who didn't even get to perform!) by the judging panel (in particular the nasty Tony Bitch), with Tim actively egging them on to give maximum criticism and abuse. Bill and Graeme's out-of-tune and off-key folk song (with Bill on accordion and Graeme on guitar, but unable to reach his harmonica to blow it), which should have received a blast but instead moves the judges to tears with its folksy purity, and Tim's mad stare and frothing at the mouth followed by his stunned state back at the office are also highlights; with even his own fiver being burnt under his nose by Graeme not being enough to snap Tim out of his deep shock!
* The Goodies reviving the fifties trends; complete with all sorts of awful visual puns about beehive hairdos and fashion looks, including their own wild performance of 'One Note Rock' which degenerates into Bill using a hammer on the drums and Tim (who is blacked-up and screaming crazy incomprehensible lyrics) using a chisel and a paint roller to play the piano with. In a surreal twist, Graeme and Bill are watching this performance on TV in the office and "all that crazy rhythm" causes Graeme to jump up and down on the couch yelling "Nobody understands me!" and "I'm hip, Daddy-o" while slashing the cushions to bits with a razor blade. Bill tries to calm him down and turns the TV off, with a contrite Graeme saying "I really shouldn't be doing this, should I?!" Bill comments that the music "turned us both into beat-crazed teenagers." with Graeme turning the TV back on a little later and leaping madly onto the couch again for a seat-slashing encore before Bill rapidly switches the TV straight off again!
* The two hippies 'William and Grayfunkel' gamely performing the groovy 'Flower Love' in a psychedelically-painted recording studio despite them copping a barrage from Tim the loony TV director, who cues for them to be showered with all sorts of objects, including flower petals, foam, flour, wind, water, fertilizer, swinging monkeys, and finally, a landmine which blows the entire set up.
* Parts of the final showdown between the loony directors; especially Moira Anderson singing 'Bless This House' in Stars On Sunday, only to be flattened by a load of bricks dumped on top of her at Tim's command and BBC newsreader Corbet Woodall having a shower of money rained down on him (as he announces that "the pound has fallen") and then his desk taking off like a rocket as he reports on rising inflation. Also Tim cueing a rather anaemic-looking Kitten Kong to flatten the Post Office Tower again, only for Bill to send the giant Dougal crashing through the wall of Chequers once more to chase Kitten Kong away, with the camera panning back to reveal that the whole scene is just a puppet show propped up by the stage crew.
McDonald Hobley, Mary Malcolm, Corbet Woodall, Jake Anthony, Richard Pescud
One Note Rock
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
A long-lost episode which only resurfaced on pay TV in the mid 1990s, having never been screened on the ABC, and well worth a look just to see Tim in his most obnoxious and loony series of roles in the entire show. There is much to like about this episode, especially in the early part where Bill and Graeme lampoon The Goodies' own success at that point in time, though it does get a bit disjointed at times.
BLACK PUDDING RATING