» Cut scenes from "Po...
POLITICS - CUT SCENES
(by Alison Bean)
(from C&G #100 April 2004)
Politics, broadcast on 14th January 1980, was the first episode of series eight. Largely a parody of the events of 1979, which saw Margaret Thatcher elected as Britain's first female Prime Minister, thanks in part to the advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi, this episode sees Tim and Bill running for the top job, helped by Graeme's advertising agency Snaatchi and Snatchy. The revised script, dated 25/10/79 (two weeks before the studio scenes were shot and probably after the outside filming had taken place) and the final revision (no date for this is available), contain several scenes and parts of scenes that were later removed, either prior to studio filming or in the editing process. The most interesting of these are presented below along with probable reasons for their removal.
The Brute Deodorant ad was to have been the first of three spoof adverts seen when Tim switches on the television at the beginning of the episode. Instead it was cut and we saw only the Keep Britain Tidy ad (with Graeme parodying Willie Rushton's chocolate bar campaign "It's crunchy. No it's chewy.") and the American Excess advert (featuring a flashing "Mr Frost"). It is likely that the Brute Deodorant spoof advert was filmed and shown to the studio audience as annotations on the script suggest that Tim provided the voiceover. It is not known who played the boxer, but Bill probably would have made a good fist of it. The likely reason that this ad was dropped was that it was thought to be the weaker of the three spoof ads.
SCENE: FILM (Insert 1A)
BOXER SPLASHING ON VAST QUANTITIES OF BRUTE OUT OF JARS, SPRAYS, BUCKETS, ETC.
V.O.: Splash it on all over.
CUT TO STEPS OUTSIDE A HOTEL. CAR DRAWS UP. CHAUFFEUR IN GAS MASK OPENS DOOR. BOXER IN EVENING DRESS GETS OUT. AUTOGRAPH HUNTERS PRESS FORWARD THEN REEL BACK FROM THE AWFUL SMELL.
V.O.: Brute makes you smell like you've just done ten rounds with Henry Cooper.
The Granny Rant
Following the adverts Tim and Bill get into an argument about the merits of advertising (Bill: "Advertising is the disease of capitalist decadence") and Margaret Thatcher. This amusing Oddie rant was cut from the revised version of the script, perhaps to reduce the length of the scene. The cut sections are in square brackets.
TIM: ...She is a nice woman, trying to make a nice country and we don't need any smutty pups like you, you, you worker.
[BILL: Listen brother.
TIM: Don't call me brother.
BILL: Oh alright, sister. Or would you prefer anti. Sorry auntie. No, no, Granny. Granny, that's you. No sorry grandmama. Yes, that's your language isn't it? Grandmama has parked her arse on the anti markarsar. Granny's plonked her bum on the settee. Oh sorry, not nice, not nice. Sorry. Raspberries.
TIM: You grubby little---worker.]
BILL: Oh, ho, ho, what a give-away. Power to the people!
A news flash comes on the television explaining that Prime Minister Thatcher has found "a splendid loop-hole in the governments new tax laws and has retired to the Bahamas." The cut sections, removed from the revised script, are in square brackets.
NEWSREADER: ...MPs immediately held an emergency session and voted themselves an enormous rise and have gone to join her. Since the rise applies to all politicians the opposition has gone too... Faced with the prospect of a country without any government [at all there has been great rejoicing in Trafalgar Square.
On the international stock market] the pound has risen dramatically.
GRAPH OF POUND AGAINST DOLLAR. LINE SHOOTING OFF THE TOP.
And millions of strikers have gone back to work.
FILM OF HAPPY WORKERS FILING IN FACTORY.
Following encouragement from the Queen, Tim has decided to run for Prime Minister. Following no encouragement from anyone, Bill has also decided to run for Prime Minister. They come separately to Graeme's advertising agency Snaatchi and Snatchy, Tim dressed as Margaret Thatcher and Bill dressed as Vanessa Redgrave, on the grounds that female Prime Minister are fashionable. Indeed, in another section cut from the script Graeme shows Tim and Bill pictures of former Prime Ministers Callaghan and Wilson in drag. Several good jokes about Bill not making a good woman were cut from the revised script, probably to tighten up the scene.
TIM:...You don't look a bit like Vanessa Redgrave.
BILL: Yes I do, a bit. That bit. And that bit. It's just I haven't got the height for it, that's all.
[TIM: That's not all you haven't got.]
GRA: You're nothing like Vanessa. You don't make a very good woman.
BILL: Well, neither does she.
[GRA: If you're going to be Vanessa, you're going to have to have that off.
GRA: The beard.
GRA: Vanessa Redgrave does not have a beard!
Timita's Party Political Broadcast
Graeme has given Tim and Bill makeovers and transformed them into Timita and Che, respectively. Presumably to save money, Graeme fronts Timita's party political broadcast. This scene was filmed as scripted, but severely edited in post-production, causing great confusion amongst fans as to why there
is a strange edit immediately before Timita descends on her silver, glittery moon. Graeme's introductory speech is also cut.
SCENE 4: COSY STUDY
CUT TO CAPTION: "PARTY POLITICAL BROADCAST ON BEHALF OF THE TIMITA PARTY"
GRAEME IN QUIET SUIT SITS IN A WING-BACKED CHAIR BY THE FIRE.
GRAMS: QUIET 'LAND OF HOPE AND GLORY'
CAPTION: 'TIME TO CHOOSE'
[GRAEME: Oh, hello. Well, as this great nation of ours moves toward yet another exciting moment of decision, we pause for time to think, time to choose. And you know many of us still haven't made up our minds. So it makes sense, doesn't it, to find out what the candidates themselves are really like. So let's meet Timita. But before we do here's a word or two from Lulu, Rod Stewart and Engelbert Humperdinck.
ENGELBERT LEAPS UP FROM THE OTHER WING-BACK CHAIR IN WHICH HE WAS CONCEALED AND SINGS.
ENGELBERT: Well hello, Timita. This is Lula, Rod Stewart and Engelbert Humperdinck, Timita. It's so nice to see you up where you belong...
HE POINTS UP.]
TIM IS LOWERED FROM ON HIGH SITTING ON A GLITTERY CRESCENT MOON.
CANNED APPLAUSE, AS THE MUSIC FADES, THE MOON COMES TO REST OPPOSITE GRAEME'S CHAIR.
TIM: Hello, it's a pleasure to be here, but it will be a far greater pleasure to be at Number 10...
It is interesting to note that the sound of Engelbert Humperdinck* singing "Hello, Timita" was used in the final edit over the footage of Lula, Rod and Engelbert dancing out of shot as the moon descends. The line "This is Lula, Rod Stewart and Engelbert Humperdinck, Timita" is mixed down and is barely audible on the soundtrack.
* Bill Oddie sung the role of Engelbert Humperdinck.
The Returning Officer
On election night the Returning Officer announces the votes for Timita Brooke-Taylor (Timita Party) and William Che Oddie (Leftist Loony Party). The Returning Officer is dressed as a pantomime dame and arrives to present the results by being lowered in on a kirby wire. The results are one vote to each party and the Returning Officer declares the election a dead heat. In the original script, the pantomime theme was to have continued with that panto favourite, the audience sing-a-long. It is likely that this section was filmed, but edited out in post-production due to time constraints.
OFFICER: ...And I therefore declare this election a dead heat!
TIM AND BILL ARE FURIOUS.
[OFFICER: So bring on the words!
SONG SHEET IS FLOWN IN FROM ABOVE.
ALL SING: It's a hap hap happy day. Tooralooralooralay etc.
TIM: (SCREAMS) Recount! I demand a recount.
BILL: Me too. Recount! Recount!!]
The Plan To Televise Parliament
Tim and Bill are understandably unhappy with the election results. But fortunately Graeme has the solution. The cut lines were removed from the revised
version of the script, which is a shame as we lose another dig at Nicholas Parsons (who hosted Sale of the Century).
GRA: ...Television has put you where you are now, so what's the obvious thing to do? Televise Parliament.
BILL AND TIM: But...
[GRA: No wait. Now people don't want to watch you squabbling on the floor of the house. Your telly viewer is used to the thrills of Hawaii 5-0, the hurly burly of Crossroads, the wit and sophistication of Sale of the Century.]
Graeme's plans to televise parliament include political versions of The Generation Game, Sale of the Century, Call My Bluff and Blankety Blank. Blankety Blank takes place at the United Nations and ultimately leads to armed conflict. The original version of the Blankety Blank scene is slightly longer and better explains the reasons for the furore leading to war. It is likely that this scene was filmed as scripted and trimmed in post-production.
UNITED NATIONS BUILDING. (STOCK.) DRUM ROLL.
V.O.: And now from the General Assembly of the United Nations...
CUT INSIDE TO GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHOTS OF DIPLOMATS, TRANSLATORS, ETC. (STOCK.)
FILM: (U.N. SET)
A FIGURE APPROACHING THE HIGH DESK OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL. THE FIGURE TURNS. IT IS TERRY WOGAN WITH HIS WAND MIKE.
GRA: (AS TERRY): When Valery Giscard d'Estang jumped off the Eiffel Tower, he landed on his blank. Secretary General, Kurt Waldheim, I put it to you and why not what did he land on?
WALDHEIM IS FLANKED BY TIM AND BILL.
WALDHEIM: (LOOK ALIKE): On his Prime Minister. Ho ho ho.
SHOWS CARD. LAUGHTER. REACTION SHOTS OF DELEGATES.
GRA: That was a sausage. And Timita, me little darling, how about you?
Well, at first I wrote he landed on his dignity, but then I changed it to his bum.
[MUCH LAUGHTER. REACTION SHOTS.
TERRY: (GRA): Well, you're all too clever for me. And Che at the end here, on what did Valery Giscard d'Estang land?
BILL: Well I said he landed on his...]
GRAMS: BLEEP BLEEP.
[BILL HOLDS UP HIS CARD. BEFORE WE CAN READ WHAT IS SCRATCHED ON IT GRAEME GRABS IT AND TEARS IT UP.]
TOO LATE. SHOCKED GASPS AND SCREAMS. BOOS AND HISSES. SCENES OF DISORDER AT THE U.N. (STOCK).
What did you have to say that for? You've upset the lot of them this could mean trouble.]
DELEGATES GETTING FURIOUS (STOCK).
NEWS PLACARDS MONTAGE: "FURY AT U.N.", "U.N. ROW", "WAR LOOMS".
Guerre Sans Frontiers
Continuing the televised theme, the war is fought as a game of Guerre Sans Frontiers (a parody of Jeux Sans Frontiers, the inter-European It's A Knockout). Graeme plays the role of the real show's host Eddie Waring. Some of the dialogue in this scene is different to that in the episode and Eddie's commentary on the game is not scripted and was probably improvised in post-production. There is only one cut line, the final one, and strangely the final shot in the episode, of Margaret Thatcher returning to Britain, is not included in the script. Unless this ending was thought of in post-production, it is likely that the final page of the script is missing. The main reason for including this large section of script here is to show how a typical Goodies visual sequence was written up.
And, in case you're wondering, the script reveals that it is politician Cyril Smith's face on the joker card, held up Tim and Bill towards the start of this scene.
EDDIE: ...And of course they'll all be competing for the big prize, that's the domination of Europe. And what have they got to do? Well, I'll tell you. Here's a big cake, looking very delicious. Every country has to get as big a slice of cake as they can. Then they've got to make their way to the battlefield by crawling through the barbed wire, under heavy machine-gun fire...
BURST OF MACHINE-GUN FIRE.
Thank you without dropping the cake. And over there you can see some tanks manned by members of the opposing teams, and the competitors will have to climb the Butter Mountain, while the tanks try to slow them down a bit by blowing their heads off. Down the other side, then it's over the Wine Lake on the greasy pole, through the minefield, over the Berlin Wall, and all they have to do is activate a nuclear attack...
PRESSES BUTTON ON ONE OF SIX PODIUMS RELEASING AN INFLATABLE MISSILE.
Then the first one to burst all the balloons without dropping the bomb wins. And the winner, don't forget, gets six points, and the domination of Europe. So, if you're ready, Arthur... (WHISTLES)
TEAMS DO AS INSTRUCTED.
1. BARBED WIRE AND MACHINE-GUN FIRE.
2. BUTTER MOUNTAIN AND TANKS.
3. CONTESTANTS CROSS WINE LAKE (Sign says 'Wine Lake')
THEY WALLOW AROUND, TRYING TO GET OUT.
A PERISCOPE APPEARS BESIDE THEM. THE OTHER CONTESTANTS HAVE REACHED THE MINEFIELD.
IT IS SIGNED: "MINEFIELD DANGER MINES ACHTUNG SKULL
AND CROSS BONES"
THEY CREEP CAUTIOUSLY ACROSS, FINGERS IN EARS.
TIM AND BILL ARE CHASED AROUND THE POOL OF WINE BY THE PERISCOPE.
CONTESTANTS HAVE ALMOST CROSSED MINEFIELD.
TIM AND BILL TRY TO SPLASH WINE LAKE OUT TO EMPTY IT. BILL TRIES DRINKING IT. TIM FOLLOWS SUIT, WITH A STRAW.
CONTESTANTS ALMOST ALL ACROSS MINEFIELD.
TIM AND BILL EMPYTING WINE LAKE.
ONLY TWO CONTESTANTS LEFT TO FINISH MINEFIELD.
TIM AND BILL FINISH THE WINE, NOW WITH GLASSES, AND CLAMBER OUT OF POOL, SLOSHED.
ALL CONTESTANTS HAVE CROSSED MINEFIELD, LOOK BACK TO SEE BILL AND TIM, AND JEER.
BILL AND TIM STAGGER UP TO OPENING OF MINEFIELD AND BOW.
BILL AND TIM STAGGER INTO MINEFIELD.
MINE GOES OFF.
BILL AND TIM THROWN THROUGH THE AIR.
CONTESTANTS LAUGH AS THEY SEE THEM GO, THEN LOOK WORRIED AS THEY FOLLOW THEIR FLIGHT PATH.
TIM AND BILL ARE BLOWN OVER THE MINEFIELD, OVER THEIR HEADS, OVER THE WALL, AND LAND BY THE NUCLEAR BUTTON.
THEY PRESS IT TIPSILY AND LAUNCH THE MISSILE.
THE CONTESTANTS ROAR WITH ANGER AND RACE AFTER THEM.
TIM AND BILL, KEEPING THE MISSILE UP, START BUSTING THE NET BAG OF BALLOONS.
THE CONTESTANTS RACE UP AND LAUNCH MISSILES, THEN START BUSTING BALLOONS.
TIM AND BILL BUST BALLOON MADLY.
"LAND OF HOPE" BUILDS UP BEHIND THE ACTION.
TIM AND BILL IN SLOW MOTION BUSTING BALLOONS MUSIC SWELLS AND REACHES A CLIMAX AS THEY BURST THE LAST BALLOON.
THEY LEAP UP TRIUMPHANTLY. THEY LOOK AROUND.
THE PLACE IS DESERTED, OTHER PENS FULL OF BROKEN BALLOONS, EVERYONE HAS GONE HOME.
DOLLY BIRD (IN NIGHT ATTIRE AND CURLERS) PUTS "1" ON SCOREBOARD.
Great Britain: one point.
TIM AND BILL LOOK SHEEPISH.
But don't worry, you may not have won the game, but you do get a bobby prize. Britain wins, not a wooden spoon, but look over there...
[TIM: Our prize?]