The year is 2001 - and a bit - and an ancient Tim Brooke-Taylor (sporting the same weird boofed-up hairdo from 'Hype Pressure') is dozing at his desk until he is woken up by the arrival of his son (Bill B-T), who is dressed identically to him, but has his hair combed up into a ponytail at the top of his head. It's Tim B-T's umpteenth birthday today and he tells Bill B-T in a raspy old voice that "I've been running the firm for … years now and frankly, I'm knackered!" Tim B-T is therefore finally ready to hand the running of The Goodies over to young Bill B-T, who proudly gushes "Thank you Dad, thank you Sir … you're the best Dad that a son could ever have, Sir!", which prompts Tim to remark "Ah, you know, you're a credit to the Brooke-Taylors. A right little crawler!" (and for Bill B-T to reply in turn "I learnt it all from you Sir!")
However Tim B-T firstly demands that Bill B-T must "look every inch a top boss" and therefore remove the ponytail (amid Bill's protests that it's the "latest style") as "there's more to life than fancy hairdos" (disregarding the silly one that he is wearing himself!) Tim B-T also wants his son to "get rid of the old fungus" as he thinks that the facial fuzz makes Bill B-T "look uncannily like that useless hairy little gnome that used to work for me!" Tim B-T points to a portrait of Bill Oddie on the wall (as Bill B-T remarks "Oh, Graeme's father"), who was fired 25 years ago because "he kept biting people" and he comments that Bill O's departure was followed soon after by Graeme Garden ("Tim's father"), who was locked away for "having an unnatural relationship with his computer!"
Tim B-T wants to show his son "something I've never shown you before" and produces an old photo album which has a picture of the Goodies from 25 years ago (while praising himself for having "nice hair" back in those days!) An excited Bill B-T then crows "Cor, wallop, way-hey-hey" at the next photo (of a scantily-clad Raquel Welsh) only for Tim B-T to remark "That's your mother!" in deadpan fashion. Tim B-T admits that he "used to feel the same way myself" ("You never knew your mother, did you? No, well I did! Quite well actually.") and explains to Bill B-T that "the other two knew her equally well". When Raquel eventually produced triplets, "we weren't absolutely certain who was responsible, so we took one each", but the three Goodies just might have taken the wrong ones in hindsight! It also didn't help that she "insisted on calling the three of them after the three of us. Funny sense of humour, old Raquel!"
Tim B-T continues "Anyway, young Bill. Just remember, you're a Brooke-Taylor and therefore the bee's knees"; at which point young Tim Garden enters the office. Tim B-T immediately grumbles at Tim G to "smarten yourself up, you young scruffbag. And what do you call those? … yes those! (referring to Tim G's 'fuzzy chops' sideburns) You've got two hedgehogs crawling up your cheeks! You're as bad as your father and he was bad enough" before he strides out of the office (bellowing "Surrounded by idiots!" among other things.) Bill B-T takes the opportunity to deliver his first patriotic speech about the "golden age" that the new Goodies live in, only to burst into tears when Tim G spoils it for him by switching off the tape recording of 'Land of Hope and Glory' (because he finds Bill B-T's speech so "boring"!) Tim G (who is chastised by Bill B-T for not "inventing something" like his "great raving loony" scientist father) then repeats the interruption when Bill B-T fires up a second time about the new Goodies "righting wrongs … fighting lawbreakers" and complains that life was more enjoyable in their father's era because "everything was naughty back then".
Nowadays though, everything is so boring because all of the really bad activities have been legalised. Bill turns on the TV to "see what's new", only to find a banner of "Tonight's viewing same as usual" (including a promotion for "a group of sexual deviationists in 'And Mother Makes 22 and a Dog'"!) and a rather cranky announcement that "it's Sportstime again!" A bored and at times irascible Jimmy Hill (with Arabic headdress and long grey beard) crosses to the football scores ("Well come on, get on with it!") and announces that all of the matches have produced a nil-all scoreline ("and Everton didn't even bother to turn up!") A "fifteen foot-high concrete wall at Old Trafford erected between the players and the crowd" only leads to the bored crowd members smashing bottles over each other's heads and as well as the authorities "try(ing) a larger goalmouth, they're also considering introducing a ball!" As the bewildered soccer players try to fathom what to do with the ball that has been rolled at their feet (amid suspicious glances and several failed attempts to make contact with it), the camera cuts back to Jimmy (who is now ogling at a centrefold magazine) for him to introduce the "Fouls of the month" highlights (after which he yawns "Oh terrific!" and rolls over into bed with a sexy woman beside him!) and then announces "now for Rollerball"
Bill B-T strongly objects and turns the TV off (branding Rollerball as "sheer gratuitous violence"), only for the office door to be crashed down by a rampant Graeme Oddie (dressed in gridiron helmet and padding and riding on a set of rollerskates.) Graeme O proudly boasts "I have made the team!" (to which a wimpy Bill B-T chides him for playing "that nasty rough game") and declares that "There's nothing to match the thrill of trundling around that track on my rollerskates, a ruddy great metal ball under my arm, getting belted over the nut!" Tim G is happy to provide Graeme O with a bit of practice (by whacking him hard on the helmet with a mallet, much to his dazed delight) as Graeme O wants to "go out on that track and have my head knocked clean off. For Dad … it's the way he would have wanted it!" Tim G's claim that "Rollerball is boring" is challenged strongly by Graeme O, who tells "clever clogs" that there is a new sport of Rolleregg that is "twice as vicious"
Upon Graeme O's return to the office after his attempt at Rolleregg however, he also concurs "That was boring, wasn't it?" and suggests that "it's not violent enough" (with crazy suggestions of tanks on rollers, "great flamethrowers" and "Acid! We spray the crowd with acid!" to liven things up a bit!) Tim G's solution is to "go back to the good old days (when) people used to enjoy their sport", while Bill B-T reckons that "now violence is boring itself", the crowds need "Something genuinely boring – they've never had that, have they? Something authentically totally tedious – they're gonna love it! Something mind-bogglingly, rivetingly, excruciatingly pointless and dull!" … "Cricket!" as suggested by a keen Tim G (who is reading an "old" cricket magazine from 1976)
Bill B-T remembers that his "Dad used to tell me about it", but doesn't really remember how to play the game because he "fell asleep" with boredom each time, so he gives his father a call. Tim B-T quickly drops off to sleep on the other end of the line, but firstly mentions "something about Lords", which Tim G excitedly recognises as "that ancient temple at St. John's Wood" and looks up the MCC in a reference book (having firstly thought that they were just "Roman numerals") to discover that they are the near-extinct "tribe that hides from man" Tim G travels to the overgrown and dilapidated site of Lords (which was long thought to be for "some sort of primitive sun worship" with "green strips (of) rice fields" inside it!) to find the right equipment to enable him to play cricket with, while Tim B-T and Bill B-T meet up and don their power walking boots for a trek to the Slimbridge MCC Sanctuary (paying their entry fee with 5 pound notes that have Margaret Thatcher's face on them!) to observe the old cricketers in their last remaining natural habitat. Tim B-T and Bill B-T sneak into the pavilion, where an emotional Tim B-T ("After all these years!") reacquaints himself with Graeme G and Bill O, only for him to find that they have forgotten who he is some 25 years on and also have rather sketchy memories of what the Goodies used to do as well.
Despite being mistaken by the old timers as an "attractive sexy young gal", Bill B-T produces an inspiring cricket poem to revive the MCC to a rousing reception of "C'mon lads, we'll show 'em!" and the ancient cricketers march out to play a Test match again for the first time in over 22 years singing their battle anthem ("We are the lads of the MCC …!"). However the ancient cricketers only manage to bore the hell out of the crowd when they hardly even draw breath during two whole days of interminably slow play (with a passing pigeon providing the only moment of interest for the patrons) and even the commentary team of Bill B-T, Tim G and a robot (which initially spouts a series of very precise statistics before it starts to chant "What a load of rubbish!") are forced to admit that "It is boring!" as the crowd strike up a chorus of boos at the total lack of action.
Thankfully Graeme O and his Rollerball team inject some much-needed interest into proceedings and issue a challenge to the MCC team, but despite his extravagant padding, Graeme O cops a painful barrage of short-pitched bowling from the ancient Goodies and their teammates (who deliver one ball at a time in rotation) until his stumps are shattered to bits and he is dismissed for a duck (walking disconsolately off the field as the umpire's finger is raised). The hostile bowling forces the remaining Rollerball players to use a well-padded 'Trojan batsman' to stand inside, but it is far too unwieldy and the whole team is dismissed for a grand total of zero after some tricky bowling from the cagey old stagers in the MCC ranks.
The MCC lads soon get runs on the board with the help of their power-walking boots and some dirty tactics (such as repeatedly knocking Graeme O off his feet as he vainly tries to catch a skied ball) that escalate when Bill O delivers exploding cricket balls at Graeme O from a tank in the second innings. This prompts loud shouts of "How is 'e?!" from the MCC fielders, followed by a puzzled "Where is 'e?!" as a huge cloud of smoke envelops the ground. An angry Graeme O pelts the MCC players with cricket balls before he takes a wild ride through the streets on a runaway sightscreen. As the MCC players pursue him, Graeme O grabs a broken sightscreen board as a bat and slogs a mortar shell for six. He then deals comfortably with a hand grenade that Bill O bowls at him, but plays across the line of a rising atom bomb that Tim B-T lobs at him (after firstly freeing his false teeth which had stuck to the bomb when Tim B-T had tried to pull the pin out by mouth!) which detonates with a rather big bang. Out of the rubble and smoky haze marches the triumphant MCC team, to the narrated commentary of "And so it came to pass that the MCC were to inherit the earth and to retain the Ashes!"
* Tim B-T (on the fate of Graeme G): "I'm afraid he went a couple of years later. He was put away for having an unnatural relationship with his computer!"
* Bill B-T (pointing to photo of Graeme G on the wall): "This is your chance to emulate your father. Great man. Great man."
Tim G (aghast): "He was a raving loony!"
Bill B-T (reverently): "He was a great raving loony!"
* Tim G (to Bill B-T about childhood days): "You know, my Dad would get a lovely little guilty tingle just by locking himself in the loo and taking a quick peek at his 'Titbits'. When we were kids, we had Beano and Dandy, right? What have they got now? Porno and Randy! (displays comic books) They've given Biffo the bear a whole new dimension!"
* Tim G (about Jolly King Charles): "That buffoon! You wait 'til his program drops out of the Top 10. Then he'll be out on his ear. (chuckles) At least he'll have a soft landing! Ear, ear!"
Bill B-T (speaking to Charles' portrait): "Don't listen to him! My father will always be grateful for his OBE, thank you!" (Tim G's eyes roll in disbelief)
* Graeme O (pointing to photo of Bill O on the wall): "You think I'm mindless?! Look into those eyes. Look into them. Nothing! Not one single solitary thought ever crossed that mind ... except BASHING .. PEOPLE'S .. FACES .. IN!"
* Bill B-T & Tim G (elatedly singing the Goodies' old theme song in unison): "Goodies! Goody, goody ... (forgetfully) thing, thing!" (throwing their hands in the air)
* Tim B-T (reminiscing about olden times with the other Goodies): "The three seater bike. You remember, the good old days."
Bill O: "Ooh yes, the giant kitten."
Tim B-T: "The giant beanstalk."
Graeme G: "The Ministry Of Silly Walks!"
Tim B-T: "Yeah ....(reconsiders, puzzled) I don't remember that!"
Bill B-T (reading his cricket poem to the old buffies):
There's a deathly hush at Lords tonight
The pitch is covered in weeds
Willow and leather crack no more together
But that's what the country needs
We'll show them all with bat and ball
In spite of our lumbago
We're not caught out by frog or kraut
Nor greasy wop nor dago
If you're the one who plays for five long days
Trying desperately to draw
If you stop each ball like a concrete wall
'Til they let out a mighty snore
If you can run a gallant one
Between 10am and tea
But above all if you can bore 'em stiff
You're the pride of the MCC!
* The superb efforts of the three Goodies in acting out the roles of their respective 'sons'; with Bill Brooke-Taylor wearing a Union Jack waistcoat, making patriotic speeches and acting like a "right little crawler", Tim Garden wearing a brown corduroy suit and taped-on fuzzy chops and being a "clever clogs" scientific boffin, and Graeme Oddie in padded gridiron gear behaving like a "useless hairy little gnome" with a violent obnoxious streak, just like his dear old 'Dad'!
* Tim B-T preparing to show Bill B-T "something I've never shown you before" (by rummaging suspiciously around in the front of his trousers, to Bill B-T's somewhat embarrassed reply of "Please yourself!") before producing an old photo album, Bill B-T's excited cries of "Cor blimey wallop!" at a photo of the barely-clad Raquel Welsh before Tim B-T bluntly informs him "That's your mother!", and Tim B-T's interesting explanation of how the triplets came about and how the Goodies just might have got them mixed up after birth.
* Bill B-T claiming that Graeme O's father would be ashamed of his "really mindless" Rollerball exploits ("Don't even look at him Mr Oddie!") and subsequently turning around a photo of Bill O hanging on the wall, only to reveal a photo of the back of Bill O's head on the other side!
* Graeme O playing Rolleregg and getting shot out of an ejector seat and trying to balance a spoon and egg held in a black glove with metal spikes on it, while travelling at breakneck speed on roller skates. His job is made increasingly difficult when he is creamed with a custard pie which sticks in his visor, blocking all vision, and also by two guys with spears who miss him as he sails past (spearing each other fatally instead before both toppling backwards into caskets). After crashing through a brick wall and a hedge (rediscovering the dodo in the process only to have it immediately rendered extinct when a hunter blows it away with a shotgun) Graeme O heavily headbutts a truck at an intersection and his rollerskates slowly trundle back into the Goodies office, with him walking behind shortly afterwards (with just a couple of Bandaids on a sore nose as his only injury) complaining how boring it all was.
* Tim G entering the overgrown pavilion at Lords, removing the sacred urn from its cabinet and tipping the Ashes all over the floor, then having all sorts of amusing trouble figuring out how to wear the protective gear; eventually emerging with pads on his arms, wicketkeeping gloves on his feet, a jumper around his legs and a box on his head.
* Tim B-T greeting his old chums Bill O and Graeme G at the MCC after 25 long years ("Hello old friends …"), only for them to forget who he is, even to the point of mistaking him for Nicholas Parsons and pelting him with a barrage of fruit for his trouble. After Bill O and Graeme G do finally remember him, they ask "Who's that attractive sexy young gal over there?", to which a partially hidden Bill B-T (still with silly girly hairdo) embarrasingly gasps "Gosh!" and Tim B-T's remark that "He takes after his mother" draws a cheeky "Weren't we all!" from the others (followed by TB-T: "You knew his mother?" BO: "Often!" GG: "I don't think he was an orphan!") Also Bill B-T's inspiring cricket poem speech (featuring lines like: "We'll show them all with bat and ball, in spite of our lumbago. We're not caught out by frog or kraut, nor greasy wop nor dago!") which revs up the old cricketers for one final Test match.
* Graeme O trying to take a catch off a very high ball, only for the two power-walking batsmen (Tim B-T and Bill O) to keep upending him continually on the way past, with his protective gear slipping to a different spot each time, and the ball finally bouncing high in the air off his helmet before cracking him a painful blow on the head when he removes his helmet too early after the first impact.
* Graeme O sailing down the street on a cricket sightscreen, only to have a car crash right through the middle of it as he hurtles across an intersection, with him still managing to hang on for dear life afterwards until the sightscreen crashes into a brick wall and splinters to bits.
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
An interesting concept with the three Goodies acting out the roles of 'sons of the Goodies' and each of them taking on the personalities and dress habits of their different fathers, but a difficult one to rate as much of the show is subtly and cleverly written but perhaps not as exceptionally funny as it could have been. There are enough classic scenes and quotes to make it a really good episode, but also enough quieter patches, especially a lot of the visual material, to make me reluctant to rate it a great one.
BLACK PUDDING RATING