|The Goodies episode|
Episode 7 (of 76)
|Directed by||Jim Franklin|
|Starring||Tim Brooke-Taylor |
|Original air date||
20 December 1970 |
(Sunday — 10.00 p.m.)
This episode is also known as "Pirate Radio Station" and as "Pirate Radio Goodies".
Written by The Goodies, with songs and music by Bill Oddie.
The Goodies want to start a radio station, but Tim's and Bill's dreams of 'groupie girls', and also Graeme's only line in their jingle – "BOM!" – are soon put on hold; their application is delayed in the post, so they miss out on a licence to broadcast from the BBC. The trio decide to start a pirate radio station and, based on a disgruntled suggestion from Tim about the postal service, Graeme is inspired to start a pirate post office at the same time.
'Radio Goodies' is later launched from a huge submarine, with entry through a hatch which, working on the ice berg principle, has been disguised as a small rowing boat called "The Saucy Gibbon" with the words "Not a Pirate Radio Station" painted on the side.
Unfortunately, things are not off to a great start when Tim discovers that they only have one record ("A Walk in the Black Forest"), because Bill has not had enough money to buy any other records for their radio station. An embarrassed Tim announces on the radio: "Yes, friends, that was number 1 in The Goodies Hit Parade, and now number 2 and, incidentally, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 ..... "A Walk in the Black Forest".
The Goodies Post proves to be very successful — too successful, in fact, and Tim and Bill are soon swamped with post to sort and deliver. Tim's efforts to close the post office down come to nothing, however, as Graeme (remodelling himself as a totalitarian despot, complete with eyepatch) has become obsessed with dreams of ruling the world. Graeme rants: "This is your Leader speaking. Here is an important announcement. It has been put about by back-sliding revisionary paper hyenas that The Goodies Pirate Post Office is closing down. This is a lie!" (thumps table). "Our glorious Post Office gallantly continues to function! We will get your letters through! These are dark days and the storm clouds gather around us. But never fear! I pledge that I, your leader, will see you safely through to a better world! And now ..... A Walk in the Black Forest."
Graeme wishes to start a pirate bank, a pirate bus service, and a pirate Church of England, all outside Britain's 5 mile (9.3 km) limit, as well as having also planned a fiendish scheme to tow the whole of Britain outside the 5 mile limit and become leader of a pirate state, but his plan is ruined when Tim and Bill – having finally had enough – leave him to it. Unfortunately, Graeme's efforts to tow the whole of Great Britain away single-handedly only cause "The Saucy Gibbon" to sink. Graeme, who is standing up, begins to 'go down with the boat', and Tim suggests that they leave Graeme to his fate, feeling that Graeme would have wanted it that way. Bill, however, disagrees, saying: "No he bloody wouldn't!", and he and Tim decide to rescue Graeme from the sea.
Later, as the three are sitting, wet and shivering, in their office, with their feet soaking in hot water after the rescue, it seems that all is lost; although Graeme has recovered from his momentary bout of megalomania. The pirate radio station and post office have gone belly-up and has bankrupted the Goodies, and Tim and Bill are understandably annoyed with Graeme. However, the Post Office — inspired by the Goodies' methods of delivering the post — have mailed them a royalties cheque, and when the Statue of Liberty can be seen moving past the window behind them, it soon becomes apparent that Britain has been towed much further than Graeme had ever envisaged.
- The episode was made at a time when the problem of pirate radio stations (which were illegal) was rife in Britain.
- The 5-mile-limit indicates that Britain has no legal authority more than five miles from the British coast.
- "A Walk in the Black Forest" was a popular instrumental recording when the episode was made.
- The words "Not A Pirate Radio Station" can be seen on the back of the boat when Graeme attempts to tow Britain away.
- The Melbourne-based Australian rock group the Plastic Spacemen took their name from the spoof advertisement for 'Plastic Spacemen' - with a free cornflake in every packet.
- Graeme's snooty remark about "the already disastrous course of adolescent culture" provokes a "thank you, Malcolm Muggeridge" from Bill.
DVD and VHS releases
This episode has been released on DVD.
- "The Complete Goodies" — Robert Ross, B T Batsford, London, 2000
- "The Goodies Rule OK" — Robert Ross, Carlton Books Ltd, Sydney, 2006
- "From Fringe to Flying Circus — 'Celebrating a Unique Generation of Comedy 1960-1980'" — Roger Wilmut, Eyre Methuen Ltd, 1980
- "The Goodies Episode Summaries" — Brett Allender
- "The Goodies — Fact File" — Matthew K. Sharp