Bill and Graeme quietly read their magazines as Tim hurriedly bursts through the door and into his room, and they cheekily note that he's running late ("for a very important date, no time to say hello, goodbye, he's late, " he's late, he's late, eek eek!") It's 6:45 on a Thursday evening and Bill and Graeme know all of Tim's hidden movements off by heart - "trousers off … nothing to replace them … rustle rustle … into the mack" (accompanied by an agonised yell from Tim for good measure!) and they vow that "Only this time, we take no notice!" They do however stare agape as Tim emerges from his room (clad in a long overcoat and wearing a black garbage bag on the top of his head) and tells them that he's "just going for a walk". A shocked Bill gasps that "this is not natural" behaviour and Graeme wonders "Where goes he go?!", as Tim has followed the same bizarre ritual every Thursday night for "the last sixteen years!" Graeme concludes that "Whatever he's up to, it's clearly an act of shame!" and Bill reckons "Well I don't care, next week we're gonna ask him!", but Graeme has an even better idea ("No, tonight we're gonna follow him!") and they hustle off out the door in pursuit of Tim.
Bill and Graeme track Tim along dimly-lit streets and alleyways as he sneaks around watchfully in a series of zigzags and loops and they also observe several other shadowy figures (dressed identically to Tim) in the process. Bill and Graeme ultimately follow Tim and the other figures into a tiny hall, where they are shocked to discover that Tim's strange getup at the office was to disguise the fact that he is still a Boy Scout. Bill and Graeme take great delight in mocking Tim's appearance and scout uniform ("Well you should be (ashamed) ... look at the knees! Woo hoo hoo! Where did you get that hat, where did you get that hat ...?!"), to which an annoyed Tim declares that it's this "sort of attitude that has driven the scouting movement underground" and he claims that no young people have the courage to wear a Scout uniform anymore (which is why his patrol consists of a bunch of bearded old men).
Bill decides to join Tim's patrol for the heck of it ("I have courage, Sir. I am young, I have courage!"), so he and and an amused Graeme leave the room to put on their new "togs" while the remainder of the Scouts "raise the flag" (a feeble effort with the tiny flag not even reaching half-mast despite much heaving of the rope to a very out-of-tune bugle call) to Tim's praise of "Well done, that's the fartherest yet!". To "Brown Owl" Tim's call of "Those two new bods ready yet?", Bill and Graeme re-emerge just in time for him to read aloud the "Scout's Oath", which declares that although a Boy Scout can "do remarkable things with two sticks", he is "not allowed to have any unclean thoughts" either. If he does however, he must "immediately take a cold shower" from the showerheads mounted directly above the stools that the Scouts are perched on, so numerous references to all sorts of naughty subjects during the oath cause Bill and Graeme to shiver profusely back at the office later after lots of icy drenchings!
Tim claims that his two chums have "no moral fibre" as Bill finds being a Scout no fun at all and threatens to" join the Guides" instead (with a randy smirk!) Tim manages to lure Bill back to the fold with a display of Scouting Proficiency badges, though Tim tells him that to earn a badge is "jolly difficult" and that no-one in his patrol has ever been competent enough to win one. Graeme changes all of that ("For the honour of your patrol, consider us reinstated.") and hands Tim a sheet of paper (with a command of "Read out the badges, Brown Trousers!") which features new and interesting slants on the traditional Courtesy, First Aid and Flower Pressing badges (at the expense of several little old ladies, one male cyclist and a florist's cart!) Some fresh new challenges are also set for the eager Scouts, like obtaining their Wig Spotters badges (with expert help from a Nicholas Parsons mask and other devious means) and the Initiative badge (by "stealing a pair of Margaret Thatcher's bloomers"!)
Not surprisingly, Tim is appalled at the dishonour that Graeme and Bill have brought to his Scout platoon with their "shameful" activities ("You were making those badges up!") and Bill's procurement of "Angela Rippon's suspender belt" sets off even more pandemonium (and extra cold showers!) among the Scout group. Graeme tries to justify their new badge initiatives as "merely boyish pranks" and "the way to get new recruits", but Tim threatens "Right, I'm gonna dress you down and give you a good wigging!" (setting off yet another round of cold showers in the process!) Despite Bill's claim that he and Graeme have "some boffo ideas for Bob-A-Job Week!", Tim decides to drum his fellow Goodies out of the scouts (thumping a drum located beside his seat as Bill and Graeme depart with a very silly march), but Graeme threatens that "we're going to start a platoon of our own!" as they leave the hall.
Tim (clad only in a Union Jack t-shirt and matching boxer shorts) busily washes his Scout gear in the Goodies' office (while happily singing 'Gingangooly'), as two masked Scouts appear (a taller one with distinctive 'fuzzy chops' sideburns and the other one with eyeholes cut into his hat, which is pulled right down over his head!) and seek a collection for "500 quid a job week" from him. Tim initially refuses their request as he doesn't want a job done, but the taller Scout threatens "No, no, moosh, you don't appear to understand! You give us the money or else we do the job!" Tim tries to send the two masked Scouts on their way ("Now listen, little boys! I am Brown Owl.") but the taller scout merely gives a derisive "Oh, hoot hoot!" as he and his offsider set to work and destroy Tim's "nicely-proportioned hat", "simply splendid Scout staff", woggle and "soft soaking shorts" in a campaign of intimidation. After Tim unsuccessfully tries to fob the masked Scouts off ("You can have Graeme's computer and Bill's binoculars – they won't miss them!"), he is finally forced to hand over the 500 pounds in cash when his" shiny shoes" are threatened with a Brillo pad. With their ill-gotten loot in hand, the renegade Scouts brand Tim's forehead with a 'Job Done' stamp, then flee out the door, leaving a shocked Tim to ponder "Who were those masked Scouts?!"
In no time at all, the "Lone Scout" (Graeme, "plus one" – Bill, who does his best Tonto impersonation before Graeme shoves him over and he rolls down a hillside!) is responsible for numerous robberies all over the countryside as he puts his knot-tying and stick-rubbing skills to evil use. A BBC newsflash announces that owing to the "recent outbreak of crimes attributed to Boy Scouts, the government has declared the Boy Scout movement an illegal organization" (with footage featured of a protesting young Boy Scout being nabbed by several burly coppers). A police van pulls up outside Tim's Scout hall and a group of officers swoop in and cart the old Scouts away, although a panicking Tim manages to avoid the raid and sneak away to safety camouflaged in his mack and garbage bag.
Back at the Goodies office, Tim desperately tries to burn his Scout gear (by rubbing two sticks together above it on his desk) as the poshly-attired Bill and Graeme arrive from their "penthouse lair" (which they supposedly purchased when their "premium bond came through"). Graeme chuckles "Ah, destroying the evidence, are you?!" and lends Tim his cigarette lighter to do the job properly (only for a rattled Tim to thank him and vigorously rub the lighter up against one of the sticks!) Graeme tells Tim "We're here tonight to give you the tip-off" (to which Tim innocently asks "The tip off what?!") that he is "about to be picked up by the fuzz", as Bill has told the police his whereabouts (T: "Why?" B: "So they'd know where to catch you!") as an act of revenge. Tim considers this betrayal by his fellow Goodies to be "less than chum-like behaviour", but Graeme replies "So was drumming us out of the Scouts! I mean, we'd no sooner sorted our 'dybs' from our 'dobs' and wallop ... out on our ears!"
Four police officers rush in and cart Tim away (as Graeme and Bill helpfully collect up Tim's Scout gear for the police and Bill chirps "Don't forget the evidence!") and he and his fellow Scouts are forced to front the intimidating Scoutfinder-General, who is in charge of "investigating Boy Scout-like activities". The Scoutfinder-General interrogates Tim ruthlessly before he extracts a confession out of the Scouts when they all burst into song (a rousing rendition of 'On The Crest Of A Wave') after he has drummed his fingers firmly on the desk. Bill and Graeme happily celebrate Tim's conviction back at the Goodies' office ("The look on his little face … !") but have to hastily hide their Scout gear when Tim bobs up there unexpectedly. Tim has supposedly been given a five year sentence for being a convicted Scout, but "the judge let me off because I went to a public school" and in a bid to overcome his shame, he then signs up to join "the only organization left for people like me" - the Salvation Army!
After a massive recruiting campaign ("Feel the urge to wear a funny hat?! Then come and join us!") by Corporal Cleanly and her 'oppo's' Nobby and Ginger based around the interesting and challenging lifestyle of the Salvation Army (and also the associated Salvation Navy and Salvation Air Force!), Tim finds himself as the Field Marshal in charge of a troop of Salvation Army ladies and gives them a fearful spray of criticism for their sloppy appearance when they stand at attention (finishing up with a blast of "And if you lot turn out again on parade looking like a bag of mucky laundry I'll have you in that guardhouse quicker than you can say 'Halle-bloody-lujah'! Understand?!") However Tim's "lovely ladies" are soon back in his good books again after a rousing tambourine drill and upon proving his leadership qualities, Tim is ultimately given approval by the Scoutfinder-General to send his "fine body of persons" out after the "notorious masked Scouts" (telling the Scoutfinder-General that "It's a sort of personal thing to me, Sir!")
Meanwhile Bill finds that life as a millionaire criminal isn't all that it's cracked up to be ("Dodgy morning at the stately Oddie mansion … My quail's egg was hard-boiled, my flunky forgot to iron my Janet Reger y-fronts and I run out of that stuff to splash on to make me smell like Henry Cooper!"), but he and Graeme are spurred on by their goal to "earn every single scouting badge". The last one left for Bill and Graeme to achieve is the the ultimate scouting prize - the World Domination badge – and Graeme has made his very own atom bomb for the occasion (although Bill thinks that the design of Graeme's special 'Home-made Atom Bomb' badge looks more like it's for 'Mushroom and Toadstool Identification'!) Graeme fiendishly intends to plant his atom bomb underneath Oliver Reed, and if he is handed control of the world by the leaders of all countries, he promises to blow Ollie up!
However Graeme and Bill don't get very far from their hideout before they come under fire from a huge battalion of Salvation Army ladies, who fire guns and mortar shells (amid stopping for a cuppa in the thick of the action!), sling grenades (with one lady fainting upon seeing an explosion and needing to be revived by her fellow soldiers), drop out of aeroplanes in their droves, play brass instruments and (most dangerously!) rattle collection tins as they keenly pursue Bill and Graeme. The masked Scouts are eventually cornered and surrounded by Tim and his troops, and when Graeme's final ace – his home-made atom bomb - meekly fizzles out (as Bill covers his eyes so as not to witness the expected gruesome finale!), Tim orders them to "remove those disguises". Tim is rather shocked when he sees that it is his fellow Goodies hiding underneath the masks and big hats ("What?! I don't believe it! It was you all the time?!") and Graeme starts to nod to indicate his guilt. However Bill (with a charming mixture of defiance and innocence) utters "No!" and Tim naively believes him ("Oh well that's alright then. (laughs) If it had been, I'd be very cross!") and drives away with his troops (merrily singing "Come and join us …") before he eventually gasps "Wha …?!" and realises that he has been a bit too charitable!
* Tim (defensively, about being a scout): "Just because we want to uphold standards of niceness and decency and like a little clean healthy fun."
Graeme (mockingly): "Clean healthy fun?! Showing off your legs, you shameless hussies! You belong in the Sunday papers, you lot!"
Tim (indignantly): "Don't you ... don't you upset my lads!"
Graeme (looking at the ancient scouts): "Lads?! A job lot for the undertakers!"
* Tim (reciting the Boy Scout oath): "A Scout is always clean in thought, word and underpants! He is always polite and he can do remarkable things with two sticks ... (Graeme and Bill both stare at Tim, concerned) ... on the other hand he never has any unclean thoughts, and if he does, he immediately takes a cold shower!" (All Scouts pull shower chains above their head and get doused with cold water)
Bill (crankily): "Flippin' heck!"
Tim (continuing): "A Scout is always clean of mouth (with a disapproving glare at Bill) He is fond of his uniform and he likes his silly hat. He does not indulge in woggle jokes such as 'Have you seen his woggle? No, but it's a good trick if he can do it!' (all Scouts take another cold shower) A Scout does not think much of girls, preferring, as he does, the manly comradeship of his chums. He is kindly to little boys and cubs ... (all Scouts reach anxiously for the cold shower chain) (hastily) ... on the other hand, he is not a raving poofter, oh no!" A Scout does not wear make-up, except, of course, at the gang show, where, of course, he can also wear women's clothes which he enjoys very very much! (yet another cold shower for all present) Dyb, dyb, dyb!"
All Scouts (in reply): "Dob, dob, dob!"
Tim: "The meeting is closed."
Bill (cheekily): "Let's go to the pub! (laughs) Sorry!" (he and Graeme take another cold shower)
Bill (regarding being a Scout): "Fun? Fun? None of it's fun! You don't know what real fun is, you! Not real fun. Not real way-hey-hey, God Blimey, wallop, wow, I-should-say-so fun! Yeah, you don't know what that is, do you?!"
Tim (straight-laced): "Certainly not!"
Graeme (feeling left-out): "Neither do I!"
* Tim (reading out the revised badges): "Or you can go for your Wig Spotters badge ... (incredulously, after taking a second look) Wig Spotters?!"
* Bill (enthusiastically): "I've got a gap there (on his sleeve). I'm going for my 'Cheering Up Lonely Young Housewives Whose Husbands Are Away At Work' badge!"
* Tim (at second Scout meeting, disgusted with Bill & Graeme's new badges): "Margaret Thatcher's knickers, whatever next?!"
Bill (holds up prize, teasingly): "Angela Rippon's suspender belt!" (all Scouts take a cold shower)
Tim (annoyed): "Don't you ever say that again! Angela Rippon's suspender ... whooaah! (all Scouts take another cold shower) Right. I'm going to dress you down and give you a good wigging!"
(yet another cold shower!)
Graeme (firmly): "Now listen here, Brown Boots!"
Tim (flustered): "Ale! ... Owl!!"
* Scoutfinder-General (interrogating Tim): "Are you a Boy Scout?!"
Tim: "I refuse to answer on the grounds I may incriminate myself."
Scoutfinder-General: "Incriminate yourself! How?"
Tim: By letting on I'm a Scout. Ooh, no, no!"
(and a little later …)
Scoutfinder-General (quietly and slyly): "Dyb, dyb, dyb"
Tim: "Dob, d ... (hastily) shut up! (then babbles away)"
Scoutfinder-General (abruptly): "What was that!"
Tim (panicking): "Nothing."
Scoutfinder-General: "You said 'dob'!"
Tim (in damage control): "Only one dob! One dob though, not three dobs!
Scoutfinder-General (accusingly): "Hmm, if you ask me, even one 'dob' is a pretty scouty thing to say!"
* Tim (as Salvation Army Field Marshal, barking orders): "What have you got on your head, soldier?! Your bonnet is a disaster area. Call that a bow? It looks more like a pregnant butterfly having a crafty kip!"
* Graeme (about the World Domination badge) "There's only three people that have those. That was Alexander The Great, Julius Caesar and David Frost. Mind you, Frosty pinched his!"
* Graeme (on how to achieve the World Domination badge):
"Now I've written to all the world leaders saying that we're gonna plant this bomb under Oliver Reed. Then if they promise … if they promise to hand over control of the world to us …"
Bill (excitedly): "We promise to blow him up!"
Graeme: "Got it!"
* Graeme and Bill knowing Tim's strange Thursday night dress habits and disappearances off by heart, but waiting for sixteen years before finally following him along darkened streets. They track him by hiding behind a newspaper and inside garbage bins (with Graeme having a load of scraps dumped on his head and scaring the hell out of Bill, only to appear miraculously pristine and clean again in the next shot!) to follow Tim to his secret clubroom and reveal his "act of shame" - being a Boy Scout and flaunting his knobbly knees in a pair of Scout shorts, plus wearing the "silly hat" as well!
* The Scout meeting with Tim (as "Brown Owl") and all of the other ancient Scouts sitting on stools in washtubs with a showerhead above them, soon joined by Bill and Graeme (who is wearing extremely tight shorts which that embarrassingly split at the rear as he sits down!) The Scout Oath decrees that "a scout must always be clean in thought, word and underpants", with any unclean thoughts such as doing "remarkable things with two sticks", telling naughty "woggle jokes", being "kind to little boys", wearing make-up or dressing in "women's clothing" therefore being quickly aborted by taking increasingly frequent cold showers, leaving Bill and Graeme shivering afterwards and Tim accusing them of having "no moral fibre"!
* Graeme and Bill creating their own interesting set of Scout Proficiency badges; earning a Courtesy badge for herding old ladies across the road (by belting them with Scout staffs), before sending an old dear in a wheelchair careering into a cyclist, allowing them to practise for their First Aid badge! Also their Flower Pressing badge exercise after usurping a florist's cart (and stomping wildly on bunches of flowers before flattening them even more with a cricket pitch roller!); using bellows, a fishing rod and (most cruelly) a Nicholas Parsons mask to chalk up their Wig Spotters badge by scaring the hair off everyone (with Graeme almost throwing up after taking a peek at the mask himself!) Finally, earning their Initiative badge by stealing a pair of Margaret Thatcher's bloomers (the very pair she is actually wearing at a conference!) as a Scout hat makes its way along the desk past the dignitaries in the background to where she is speaking (and is then followed by loud sawing and twanging noises before the bloomers are held triumphantly aloft to a round of applause!), leading to much castigation from Tim afterwards, and many more cold showers for all of the Scouts too!
* Graeme and Bill disguising themselves as 'Scoutlaws' (in masks and oversized Scout hats) and terrorising Tim in the Goodies' office; firstly by Bill trying to set fire to Tim's "nicely proportioned hat" by rubbing two sticks together, then Graeme whittling Tim's "simply splendid Scout staff" away to kindling with the aid of an "ill-disciplined pen knife". Graeme follows up by knocking a packet of starch into the tub containing Tim's "soft soaking shorts" (making them as stiff as a board before ruthlessly smashing them to bits) and then makes an offer to give Tim's shiny shoes (which shine so much that you can see a shocked photo of Tim's face in them!) a "special finish" with his Brillo pad, all in the name of "500 quid a job week". Tim reluctantly coughs up the money (from inside the front of his Union Jack boxer shorts!) plus a bonus Jubilee mug thrown in (when Bill manages to finally set his Scout hat on fire!) but still has no idea who those masked Scouts were after they have left!
* Graeme and Bill, as the "Lone Scout, plus one", committing a series of dastardly robberies as part of "1000 quid a job week", aided by devastating use of their knot-tying skills. A lamppost and a businessman's legs are the first items to suffer as Bill and Graeme extort briefcases of money from their victims, followed later (after the Scouts have threatened to rub two sticks together at a petrol station, to the terror of the attendants – "Look, he's got two sticks! Not the petrol!") by a very tangled snake, elephant's trunk and giraffe's neck as they snaffle all of the coins from the zoo entrance box. Finally, the barrels of two security guard's guns are rendered useless by having knots tied in them (as the scouts progressively upgrade their getaway vehicles from a cart hauled by Bill to the trandem, a motorbike and a flashy red car) and the bank teller tries in vain to climb into the back of the car as it takes off on the getaway run, only to be forced to let go and tumble neatly back onto the road after a 'Job Done' stamp is planted firmly on his forehead.
* Tim and his fellow Scouts fronting the stern Scoutfinder-General, who relentlessly interrogates them about their "Boy Scout-like activities". He almost traps Tim with a sly "dyb dyb dyb" (getting a single "dob" and a babbled "shut up" from a jumpy Tim) before barking "Hmm, if you ask me even one 'dob' is a pretty Scouty thing to say!" His next interrogation trick is to rap his fingers rhythmically on the table, and encourage the Scouts to loosen up and sing "We're riding along on the crest of a wave, and the sun is in the sky ...". Tim belatedly realizes his group's folly with a shocked "AARRGGHH!!", which draws a gleeful "AHA!" from the vindicated Scoutfinder-General.
* Tim going berserk as a Salvation Army Field Marshal, haranguing his female troops about their crooked seams, "disaster area" bonnets (with bows that look like they have been tied with the soldier's teeth), and dirty tambourines ("There is enough muck in there to grow my spuds!"), before leading his "lovely ladies" in a hearty chorus of "Come and join us", then shouting "Hip, hip, hallelujah" as the Scoutfinder General gives them permission to go after the "notorious masked scouts".
Frank Windsor, Michael Barratt, Iris Jones, Peggy Mason, Pat Montrose, Norman Bacon, Ernie Goodyear, James Muir
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
An all-time classic comedy episode linking the unlikely combination of the Boy Scout movement and Salvation Army together brilliantly, with hilarious sendups of the best and worst aspects of both organizations. One of 'The Goodies' finest moments without doubt as it is packed with laughs and highlights from start to finish.
BLACK PUDDING RATING