» #89 May 2003
THE GOODIES CLARION AND GLOBE
THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF 'THE GOODIES RULE - OK' FAN CLUB
Issue No. 89 15th May 2003
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'The Goodies Rule - OK!'
P.O. Box 325
Chadstone VIC 3148, AUSTRALIA
THE LADS AND LASSES OF THE C&G
- Brett Allender
- Lisa Manekofsky
- David Balston
- Alison Bean
COOL C&G CONTRIBUTORS:
- Richard Nolan, Mark Turrell, Paul Curtis, Ian Greaves, Jo Madge, Daniel Bowen, Brad Dean, Ian Cleveland
WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO: Tim Brooke-Taylor
1. 'THE GOODIES-AT LAST' ...AT LAST! – welcome to our special DVD edition
2. BOFFO IDEAS - Club ideas and happenings
3. SPOTTED!!! - The latest Goodies sightings.
4. GOODIES DVD REVIEW – by Alison Bean
5. FURTHER DVD REVIEWS, INFORMATION AND FEEDBACK
6. 2001 AND A BIT - Tim, Graeme and Bill sightings post-Goodies.
1. 'THE GOODIES-AT LAST' ... AT LAST!
(by Brett Allender, with special thanks to Lisa Manekofsky)
Welcome to a unique edition of the Goodies Clarion and Globe in which many of our regular features like Quiz & Quote, Goodies Episode Summary and Cor Comic Synopsis have been held over to make room for all of the news that's fit to print (and quite a bit that isn't! :) on the most momentous Goodies development in many years – the release of the new DVD, 'The Goodies-At Last'.
'At last' indeed! At last there are some "new" Goodies episodes commercially available to long-suffering fans who have practically worn out their old video tapes of Kitten Kong and Beanstalk while waiting in vain for the BBC to release more episodes. At last these episodes are available on DVD uncut and fully restored with lots of bonus extras. And at last there will be renewed interest, enthusiasm and publicity for 'The Goodies' in the UK after the BBC's shameful neglect of this classic show for the past twenty years and hopefully it will now become a favourite of a whole new generation of comedy fans.
'The Goodies-At Last' is a 2 DVD set containing digitally restoredand unedited copies of the episodes "Tower of London", "Gender Education", "Kitten Kong", "The Goodies and The Beanstalk", "Kung Fu Kapers", "Lighthouse Keeping Loonies", "Earthanasia", and "Saturday Night Grease".
The DVD set includes:
* Storyboards from "The Goodies and The Beanstalk" (showing some scenes and opening titles that were planned but never filmed)
* Out-takes ("the record that wouldn't break" from "The End" and clips from "Politics")
* Approximately 8 minutes of surviving footage from "Broaden Your Mind". Here's the description from the inside of the DVD cover: "Very little exists from this 1968/69 pre-cursor to "The Goodies". Presented here are the 35mm film inserts to one show, which would have been seen at various points in the episode interspersed with other material recorded on videotape in the studio. As this presentation is directly from the original film the soundtrack is devoid of any studio audience reaction which would have been heard on the original broadcast."
* Commentaries by Tim, Graeme, and Bill on "Kitten Kong", "The Goodies and The Beanstalk", and "Lighthouse Keeping Loonies"
* Laughter-free track on "The Goodies and The Beanstalk". Descriptionfrom the inside of the DVD cover: "This episode was shot and assembled entirely on 16mm film. The finished show was later shown to a studio audience and their reaction added to the film soundtrack to create the broadcast version. The majority of the original "clean" film soundtrack exists and can be selected here as an alternative. On a few occasions the soundtrack returns to the broadcast version to complete the presentation."
* Digital restoration feature - a very interesting 4 minute segment about the process of digitally restoring the episodes. During the first minute they use sample footage with captions to succinctly show the problems with the original copies of the episodes and some of the techniques used to address these flaws. The rest of the feature shows split-screen comparisons of original verses restored footage (two opening title sequences are shown along with footage from "Kitten Kong" and "Beanstalk")
The DVD was released in the UK on April 28th and is presumably available or able to be ordered through most DVD retailers.
From correspondence between Brad Dean, an Australian-based Goodies fan, and Network Videos (the company producing the DVD in the UK), it appears as though there will be no Australian release.
Brad reported recently on Goodies-l that he had received the following correspondence from Tim Beddows of Network Video:
Thanks for your enquiry about the Goodies dvd. To clarify the situation as regards Australia: The BBC did approach us with a view to using our restored versions together with the other material featured on our dvd. Unfortunately we couldn't come to an agreement with them so the upshot is that "The Goodies - At Last" will not be available anywhere apart from in the UK (except by import).
Sorry not to be more positive but thanks for your interest and if the situation changes I will be in touch again."
Brad also received the following note from Katherine Adshead of Network Video:
"Network Video have no plans to release any of their titles inAustralia. However all of their dvd's and videos are in region 0 PAL format version, which will play on Australian equipment."
David Balston also provided the following news to Goodies-l:
"The Australian release supposedly is being released by the BBC andRoadshow Video which is why it will not be the same as the Network Video. This
seems to be the reason why they are not using the Network remastered version which is a shame. I'm not even 100% that this Australian version will appear, why would the BBC suddenly be interested in being involved in a DVD release now?"
Why indeed, especially if the BBC couldn't come to terms with Network Video about an Australian release in the first place! Network Video has done Goodies fans around the world a huge service already by not only releasing episodes that were destined to remain in the BBC archives indefinitely, but also remastering them and adding extra features to them.
It is vital for this first DVD release to be a success so that more Goodies episodes will be released in the future, therefore the fan club strongly encourages our large Australian membership contingent to purchase the Network Video CD online or via post from the UK rather than waiting for the BBC to release a possibly inferior product here in Australia.
Lisa Manekofsky contacted Brits http://www.britsusa.com/, the US-based company thatsells NTSC versions of the two BBC Goodies tapes, to alert them to the release of "The Goodies - At Last!". She asked if they will be carrying NTSC versions of this new release and received the following response:
I was unaware of any new videos/DVDs. So that is pretty exciting. I will have to see if our distributor will be picking up that title. If they don't we could special order the video and transfer it for $49.95 plus S&H. Each order would be on a special order basis meaning we'd have to order one from Britain each time someone wanted to order one. We wouldn't be stocking them. Or anyone could order it themselves from Britain and we transfer for $15 per tape. I also have been advising people that they can buy DVD players that play all formats at barrel-of-monkeys.com. I think as low as $99. Then you wouldn't have to ever worry about format again."
We will report further developments as they come to hand.
The DVD is available online from various suppliers including:
It is region 0, sothe DVD can be ordered from the UK and they will play in Australia and other countries that use the PAL broadcast standard.
Fans in the US (and other countries that use NTSC) MOST LIKELY will be able to play the DVDs on their computers' DVD drives (which ignore whether DVDs are in PAL or NTSC).
The VHS version is also available from Blackstar:
AND NOW ...
A Walk In The Black Forest! Or at least a walk though a whole C&G devoted to all that you'd ever like to know about 'The Goodies-At Last' on DVD, with my special thanks to Lisa Manekofsky for the huge amount of excellent material that she has provided for this edition, Alison Bean for her awesome DVD review, Ian Greaves, Jo Madge and David Balston for their efforts in archiving several Goodies interviews for our enjoyment and all of the other contributors for their super efforts as well.
2. BOFFO IDEAS
You can make it happen here. Liven up the club with a boffo idea for bob-a-job week. E-mail <email@example.com> with your comments, ideas or suggestions - meanwhile these are the boffo ideas which our club has been working on this month:
GOODIES T-SHIRTS & MERCHANDISE
(by Richard Nolan)
The Goodies Rule OK is delighted to unveil a new T-shirt design - an image will be on the webpage in the immediate future. The shirt is yellow with red print 'The Goodies' on front and 'Anything Anytime' on the back. These shirts can be ordered now and are priced the same as the existing shirts.
The purple shirts (Design 2) shown on the website are being retired and we are now clearing our remaining stock. Price is A$15.00 per shirt + postage (UK £8.00 including postage / US $13.50 including postage). Multiple orders, please contact our Merchandise Officer, Richard Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE - We only have sizes Small, X-Large and XX-Large (plus 1 Medium) remaining.
Available in the immediate future will be an extremely limited run of glow-in-the-dark shirts - these will be black shirts with 'The Goodies' (front) and 'Anything Anytime' (back) print in glow-in-the-dark ink. These are a one off item - please contact club Merchandise Officer, Richard Nolan email@example.com if interested.
Finally, a Goodies cap will be available in the next fortnight. This is a high-quality black heavy cotton cap with 'The Goodies' embroidered on the front in red. Price will be around the A$15.00 mark each - an image will be on the website shortly. Contact Richard Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org for further details in the meantime.
FANS WANTED FOR NOSTALGIC TV SHOW
[as posted to the Goodies Rule - OK! website forum]
The BBC are currently making a new show called Stars Reunited, and we are looking for fans of the Goodies to come along and join our audience. We'll be bringing together Tim, Graeme and Bill, and we want you to come and ask the stars the questions they have always wanted to get off their chests.
We'll be filming at Riverside Studios in early June, and I would love to hear from anyone interested in popping down.
Please contact me at the number or e-mail below, look forward to hearing from you,
[editor's note] Anthony has told us that they'd like to have as many Goodies fans as possible in the audience. The show is still in the planning stages but, if it goes ahead, it will be on a Tuesday in June in London and free tickets will be available. He said it would be extremely helpful to be able to gauge the amount of interest in the show.
More exciting than getting your wig-spotters badge! If you've seen the Goodies recently, which shouldn't be too hard given all of the great publicity about the DVD release, e-mail <email@example.com>with the details. Here's where we've Spotted!!! The Goodies this month:
RADIO GOODIES ... BOOM!
(by Lisa Manekofsky, with special thanks to Tim Brooke-Taylor for alerting 'The Goodies Rule OK' to most of these interviews)
In late April and early May, Tim, Graeme, and Bill made a series of appearances to promote the release of the new DVDs/videos. As subscribers to the goodies-l mailing list know, our "Goody Archivists" (Ian Greaves, David Balston, and Jo Madge) kindly made downloads of most of the interviews available for fans who were unable to hear the original broadcasts.
The following is the list of appearances, followed by links to the downloads (where applicable).
24 April: interview on BBC Radio 4's "Front Row"
25 April: interview on Christian O'Connell's Breakfast Show on XFM - 19:30 to 20:00. - download available at http://www.dmb.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk
Topical entertainment series broadcast live from a North London pub. Presenter Christian O'Connell delivers an irreverent take on the day's news, plus a lively mix of games, competitions and phone-ins. His guests are the stars of the 70s comedy show The Goodies - Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie.
25 April: interview on the David Prever Show on LBC 97.3FM - download available at http://www.dmb.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/
25 April: appearance on Channel Five's television show "Live with Chris O'Connell - an audio recording of the interview is available for download at http://www.excellent.addr.com/goodies
According to Alison Bean, "[The Goodies] were on ITV News this evening [25 April]. I only caught the last few seconds of that so I don't know whether it was an interview or just some clips."
26 April: interview on BBC London radio's breakfast show - available for download at
26 April: The Prince Charles Cinema in London hosted a Goodies Screening Plus Q&A. A copy of the Q&A session is available for download at http://www.btinternet.com/~ian.greaves5/ian/Goodies_pcc_260403.rm
27 April: Graeme appeared on "Breakfast with Frost". While he was on the show to go through the Sunday newspapers (along with Carol Thatcher), he did slip in a mention of the new Goodies DVD. - an audio-only copy of Graeme's appearance is available for download at http://www.excellent.addr.com/goodies/frost.htm
1 May: interview on BBC Radio 2's "Steve Wright in The Afternoon"
1 May: BBC Radio 4's "Front Row" announced the winner of its competition for signed copies of the Goodies DVD. The show included a short piece of footage of the Goodies talking about the answer to the competition question.
4 May: The Goodies appeared on XFM Hijack, playing songs selected by Bill and Graeme - download available at http://www.btinternet.com/~ian.greaves5/ian/Hi_Jack_Goodies_XFM_040503.rm
GOODIES NOT TOTALLY IGNORED BY THE BBC!
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 18th April)
The release of the forthcoming Goodies DVD is mentioned on the BBC website in the cult news section at:
Cult | News | 18 March 2003
Cult comedy releases
The Goodies and The High Life are coming to DVD and VHS.
Goodies, Goody-goody yum, yum. Coming out on 24th March on DVD and VHS is a remastered collection on the classic comedy show The Goodies.
Running from 1970-1981 The Goodies featured Graeme Garden, Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor as members of an odd-job agency - a premise that gave them the chance to explore an endless supply of mad situations.
The Goodies - At Last! features the classic Kitten Kong, The Goodies and the Beanstalk, Ecky Thump, Saturday Night Grease plus four more episodes.
Extras on the DVD include:
Surviving Broaden Your Mind footage
Commentaries (episodes 3, 4 and 6)
Laughter-free track on The Goodies and the Beanstalk
Digital restoration feature
A FEW GOODIES MEN
(Alison Bean - Goodies-l - 3rd May)
from Time Out London, April 23-30 2003
A few Goodies men
Steven Spielberg wanted to make a film with them! They're still big in Australia! The BBC has refused to repeat their shows for more than 20 years! They've been ripped off by three generations of comedians! We talked to three gods of British comedy - Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor - in the shadow of what used to be the Post Office Tower.
Interview: John Lewis. Photography: Tony Gibson.*
Time Out: Watching the BBC videos that came out a few years ago, I was amazed at how fresh, innovative and hilarious they still are.
Bill: We did the audio commentary for this new DVD, they played a couple of shows to us and we couldn't remember half of them!
Graeme: (adopting an old man's voice) Who's that one? Is he on their side or our side?
Tim: A lot of people only remember giant cats or singing Dougals. They forget Bill and Grame's scripts, which were quite brilliant.
TO: They all seem quite technically complex.
BO: What was fairly unique was how we unified each BBC department. We had these huge meetings to discuss effects, costumes, wigs, special effects, animations, editing, sets, everything.
TBT: Then we had to cost each joke!
GG: You'd sit at these meetings and there'd be an elaborate effect which involved costume, make-up, special effects, pyrotechnics, special camera tricks. So that's a £500 joke (laughter). You can have that or you can have three £200 jokes (laughter). As time went on you found that very often the simpler ideas are actually much funnier.
TO: The first three series went out at around 10pm on BBC2...
BO: We were from this Oxbridge mafia background, so they assumed it was going to be fairly adult, clever, esoteric.
TBT: And we inherited an audience from 'Broaden Your Mind' and 'I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again' who were twenty- or thirtysomething.
BO: We knew at the start that it had family appeal, because it's mainly visual. After a few years, the BBC went the other way and labelled it a kid's show, putting us on really early! No! No! It's the same problem with 'The Simpsons'...
TBT: It was a few years before we got the right balance, which ideally was 9pm, BBC2, with a repeat just after 'Top Of The Pops'.
GG: Rhona Cameron said that bright kids were 'Goodies' fans because they got the jokes.
TBT: Did she say that? What a great woman!
TO: Do you see your influence on much comedy today?
BO: All the good programmes were influenced by us, of course! It would be really embarrassing if there was someone we really hated who said they really liked our show. Luckily, we like all of the performers who are 'Goodies' fans - 'The League Of Gentlemen', Simon Pegg, Vic and Bob, Stewart Lee...
GG: 'The Young Ones' were the student 'Goodies'...
TBT: Mike Myers said that 'The Goodies' were a very, very specific influence, which I was very happy about...
BO: There's that 'Big Train' sketch about pop stars in the wild which looked like, let's say, an homage to our safari episode...
GG: I watched that tribute to 'Last Of The Summer Wine', all exploding bikes and baths sliding down hills, and it was just a geriatric 'Goodies'!
TO: There's a huge 'Goodies' presence on the Internet...
GG: Bill's got a cyberstalker.
BO: It's f...ing weird. People on the internet will write 'Bill Oddie was in Regent's Park today looking at a sparrow.' Who's stalking me?
TBT: Maybe the website is run by sparrows.
TO: Bill, you co-wrote the series' very credible big band funk music with the Rhodesian avant-jazz arranger Michael Gibbs...
BO: I'm a big jazz freak, and was a huge fan of Mike's work with Gary Burton. We had a fantastic band, led by Mike and then his keyboard player Dave McRae from Matching Mole. It was heartbreaking for me to put it on film, 'cos they covered it up with sound effects and audience laughs. Don't laugh! There's good music going on there!
TO: Bill once played a black Muslim who rejected his 'slave name' of Bill and called himself Rastus P Watermelon...
BO: Sometimes I think: Oh no (head in hands) that's me, doing that ridiculous voice and everything... But none of my black friends have said they found it
offensive. The only people who have are white liberals.
TBT: A lot of black people loved 'The Goodies' because I was the British twit. You can't get more obvious than that...
BO: 'Rastus P Watermelon' is so blatently ridiculous that you can't really take offence...
GG: It's a good name, though, isn't it? (laughter)
BO: We specifically did several programmes about racial prejudice. There's one about South Africa which the BBC censored. I'll never forget them saying we'd been 'too hard' on the South African police!
GG: Watching these episodes again, we often had an undercurrent of social or political satire going on.
* The photograph accompanying this interview features Bill, Tim and Graeme standing in a street in London's Fitrovia, with the structure formerly known as the Post Office Tower in the background.
IT'S DVD TIME, MR WOLF
(from information contributed by Paul Curtis - Goodies-l - 19th April)
For those who haven't seen it yet, Mr. Wolf has posted a review (with screenshots) of The Goodies' double-disc extravaganza at:
CULT TIMES INTERVIEW
(David Balston & Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 7th May)
There is a double page spread with the Goodies publicising the new DVD in an interview by Paul Spragg in the May edition of Cult Times (issue 92) out now. This magazine can be purchased on-line at: http://www.visimag.com/culttimes/c92_display.htm
EASTER EGGS FROM BIG BUNNY
(Jo Madge - Goodies-l - 9th May)
Found a couple 'Easter Eggs' (undocumented, hidden extras) on the new DVD. I won't explain it here for those who might prefer finding them on their own. Click the link for a description of where they are:
GOODIES MOST MISSED COMEDY
(David Balston - Goodies-l - 14th May)
This from Chortle.
Oldies but Goodies
Survey names most-missed comedies
The Goodies is the most-missed comedy show on TV, according to a new survey.
Electrical store Dixons asked hundreds of its customers to name their favourite shows that they hadn't seen for at least five years, including terrestrial repeats.
Doctor Who was the clear favourite, followed by Dallas and Blake's Seven. Then came Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor (pictured) and Bill Oddie's classic comedy.
The top five comedies were:
The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin
Just Good Friends
Not The Nine O'Clock News
Mork And Mindy
Eight classic episodes of The Goodies have recently been released on DVD, which is still a top 20 bestseller.
4. GOODIES DVD REVIEW
'The Goodies - At Last!' on DVD
(by Alison Bean)
This DVD is excellent. It's the kind of DVD that does the technology proud and it more than makes up for the BBC's long-term disinterest in 'The Goodies'. I do not make the latter point lightly, as the lack of repeats in the UK and the poorly-marketed videos that no one ever seemed to be able to find in the shops infuriated a great many people. However, it may have been a good thing. Had the BBC put this DVD together we wouldn't have the beautifully restored episodes and the numerous and wonderful extras. The "Special Feature" would be "Scene Selection", as on 'The Young Ones' DVD, or "Artist Profiles" as on the 'Yes, Minister' DVD. Imagine the disappointment.
So, what's on this magnificent two DVD set then? For starters, eight episodes: 'The Tower of London' (1.1), 'Kitten Kong' (Special 1), 'Gender Education' (2.11), 'The Goodies and the Beanstalk' (Special 4), 'Kung Fu Kapers' (5.7), 'Lighthouse Keeping Loonies' (5.8), 'Earthanasia' (7.6) and 'Saturday Night Grease' (8.2). These episodes are a good mix of well-know favourites, popular classics and not-so-obvious choices.
'The Tower of London', whilst not a brilliant episode, serves as a good re-introduction to the series for those who've gone without for so long. 'Kitten Kong' and 'The Goodies and the Beanstalk' were on the aforementioned videos, and have perhaps suffered from over-exposure as a result, but they look so good on this DVD that I can't really complain. 'Kung Fu Kapers', 'Earthanasia' and 'Saturday Night Grease' have been long overdue for commercial release, whereas 'Lighthouse Keeping Loonies' is one of the lesser-known "three men trapped in a room" episodes, much loved by many fans. 'Gender Education' seemed at first an odd choice, the disappointing 'Berserk' sequence in the second half of the episode being a marked contrast to excellent studio scenes in the first half, but this episode, along with 'Kung Fu Kapers' and 'Saturday Night Grease', is representative of the satirical side of the series, something often over-looked by media types who can think only of giant kittens.
All the episodes have been digitally re-mastered by Bryan Bath and Jonathan Wood, who are to be congratulated for making the scratchy episodes we're used to look better than ever. A short digital restoration feature on disc one shows the difference between the originals and the restored episodes, with enthusiastic commentary from Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie.
The trio also provide commentaries for 'Kitten Kong', 'The Goodies and the Beanstalk' and 'Lighthouse Keeping Loonies'. Sadly the commentaries are a bit of a disappointment, but it is perhaps not surprising that the team seemed unfamiliar with the shows after 30 years. They have fairly good memories when it came to the locations and anecdotes about filming the episodes, but there are too many moments of "dead air", particularly in the commentaries for 'Kitten Kong' and 'The Goodies and the Beanstalk'. More successful was the commentary track for 'Lighthouse Keeping Loonies' where the trio abandoned talking about the episode fairly quickly, instead discussing the process of writing and making the series. This proved to be far more interesting and entertaining. Perhaps on future releases there should be commentaries from production staff too, such as producers John Howard Davies, Jim Franklin or Bob Spiers?
Other extras on the discs are an (almost) laughter-free track on 'The Goodies and the Beanstalk', together with Franklin's storyboards of edited or un-filmed scenes from the episode, plus the surviving footage from 'Broaden Your Mind' (the late-60s BBC sketch series written and performed by Brooke-Taylor and Garden, with Oddie) and two hidden extras, aka "Easter Eggs".
The laughter-free track on 'The Goodies and the Beanstalk' may not seem a particularly exciting extra at first, but it turned out to be well worth watching. With the majority of the laughter track removed a number of lines previously obscured by audience laughter can finally be heard. A particularly good one is the revelation that the second recipe in the 'Giant Book of Tasty Recipes' is Sweet and Sour Chartered Accountant.
The storyboard also provides an insight in to what an un-tampered with 'The Goodies and the Beanstalk' would have been like. Unfortunately there is no explanation as to why these edited or un-filmed scenes were edited or un-filmed and it is a shame that there is no commentary track for this section. Also I found the way in which the storyboard is presented a little annoying. It is presented like a slide show, with the storyboarded frame and the accompanying notes appearing on screen one after the other. Unfortunately there are no manual controls for the slide show and when the accompanying notes are brief you have to wait for the next frame. When the accompanying notes are lengthy you have to read quickly before the next frame appears. This section would have been better presented like most DVD photo galleries, with manual controls allowing you to look at each frame for as long as you wish.
Perhaps the most exciting rarity on this DVD is the surviving 'Broaden Your Mind' footage, which hasn't been seen for over 30 years. 'Broaden Your Mind' was in many ways a bridge between the radio series 'I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again' (ISIRTA) and 'The Goodies'. Mostly written and performed by Brooke-Taylor and Garden, it was a gentle sketch comedy series based around the idea of televised learning. The entire series was wiped in the infamous BBC video tape purges of the mid 70s and it was thought that the show only survived in the form of off-air audio recordings made by fans in the UK and Australia, so the discovery of this footage caused a great flurry of excitement.
The footage in question is from episode 2.5 (22/12/69), the second to last episode of the series. By this stage in the development of the programme Oddie had become increasingly involved in both the writing and performing, although his most notable contributions were his songs, which he performed in the studio. For this reason Oddie is not in the footage on the DVD. The surviving footage consists entirely of sketches and the credits sequences, shot on film prior to the studio recording in front of an audience.
The surviving footage lasts for about 10 minutes and begins with the credits sequence, which was inter-spliced in each episode with several quick sketches. In this case the sketches concern a revelation about policemen and an examination of medieval military technology. It is interesting to note how ISIRTA-esque these quick sketches and indeed the theme music are.
The first full-length sketch involves Garden as (the regular character) Dr Findish, a mad German scientist employed by the British Institute of Applied Science and Technology and Not Germ Warfare. In this sketch Dr Findish discusses Turgonitis, a new disease developed at the Institute which causes Brooke-Taylor to fall over - and apart. This is a nice piece of physical comedy from Brooke-Taylor and involves plenty of special effects and stop-frame filming techniques. What with the mad scientist character and all, it's hard not to notice that the team were becoming 'The Goodies'.
The second full-length sketch is a parody of the ground-breaking documentary 'Royal Family' (which had been screened six months earlier), famous for being the first programme to show the British Royal Family "behind-the-scenes". The subject of the parody is Ex-Queen Gladys of Streatham, a woman so far down the list of those in line for the throne that she needs to wait for roughly the population of Birmingham to die before she becomes Queen. The Ex-Queen is played by ISIRTA cast member Jo Kendall, with Brooke-Taylor as her Consort, Prince Fred of East Ham. Garden plays Fred, the official representative of Silo Dairies (ie. the milkman) who calls to enquire which type of milk the Ex-Queen would like. There are lots of ISIRTA-style jokes in this sketch, the best one concerning the Ex-Queen giving Fred a signed photo of herself.
The final 'Broaden You Mind' sketch is a quickie about coughs and sneezes spreading diseases, which again is very ISIRTA-esque. Overall this footage is enjoyable and amusing; the quality of the film is amazing – it looks better than the Goodies episodes, and the restoration team are again to be congratulated. It is sad that this is all that remains of 'Broaden Your Mind', other than the audio soundtracks; it would have been wonderful to see some studio sketches from the series, including Oddie's songs. But until the rest of the series turns up in someone's shed, this will have to do. And if you're interested in hearing the studio sketches from this episode the audio soundtrack is available at http://broadenyourmind.tripod.com/
As for the Easter Eggs, they are both on disc 2. One is the timeclock which proceeded 'Army Games' (1.5), an episode not on this disc. This features a member of the crew explaining the purpose of the timeclock – and some frightened yelps from Oddie and Brooke-Taylor. The second Easter Egg is the station ident preceding a repeat of a first series episode on BBC1 (the first person to identify which episode this ident proceeded should probably be given a very large, real, chocolate Easter Egg for their trouble!). Information on how to access the Easter Eggs is available at http://www.excellent.addr.com/goodies/eggs.htm
So, that - very un-succinctly - is what's on the DVD. I thoroughly recommend that you go out and buy a copy right now. And if you enjoyed this DVD the good news is that volume 2 is on the way. Volume 2 will reportedly feature the special 'Goodies Rule - OK?', but I'm also hoping for 'Radio Goodies' (1.7), 'The End' (5.13), 'It Might As Well Be String' (6.5) and Rock Goodies (7.5). As for extras (and besides the afore-hoped-for commentaries from production staff) how about the footage of The Goodies rehearsing for the Amnesty concert 'A Poke In The Eye (With A Sharp Stick)' and the extracts from the documentary 'How On
Earth Did They Do That?', showing the filming of special effects for 'Rome Antics' (5.9) and 'Cunning Stunts' (5.10)? Or how about some of the 'Top Of The Pops' appearances? So many possibles, so little disc space - whatever's on it, volume 2 is bound to be a Superstar.
Episode choice - IIIII Superstar
Episode restoration - IIIII Superstar
Commentary tracks - III Goody Goody Yum Yum
Extras/Easter Eggs - IIIII Superstar
Menus/Technical Stuff - IIII Officially Amazing
OVERALL - IIIII Superstar
5. FURTHER DVD REVIEWS, INFORMATION AND FEEDBACK
(A) GOODIES DVD REVIEW
(by Ian Cleveland)
What can you say about this DVD collection? I`ve seen both discsnow and it is everything a Goodies fan could wish for. It has obviously been put together with the fan in mind. The selection of episodes has been intelligently thought out, with no weak links and the digital remastering (especially the earlier episodes) is outstanding. Watching the episodes knowing that they have never been seen as good as this anywhere is quite something. Watching them uncut is a rare treat too, you just don`t realise how much is spoilt by just hacking willy nilly to get adverts in.
On the minus side for me, the commentaries are a little disappointing as they are mixed in with the original sound, so sometimes it`s a struggle to hear what the Goodies are saying, also the "Broaden Your Mind" footage just wasn't funny, although if you are interested in the development of university comedy at the time then I suppose it is valuable.
All in all you would have to give this double DVD pack 10/10 and a rare treat for all us long suffering waiting in the wings Goodies fans.
Episode choice IIIII Superstar
Episode restoration IIIII Superstar
Commentary tracks II Fair-y Punkmother
Extras/Easter Eggs II Fair-y Punkmother
Menus/Technical Stuff III Goody Goody Yum Yum
OVERALL IIIII Superstar
There was so much more in extras to put on: the Englebert shows, Top Of The Pops, interviews etc, but as an overall package the three lower ratings can`t alter the fact that this release is Superstar.
(B) DVD VS VHS RELEASES
– HOW THEY COMPARE
(by Lisa Manekofsky)
A lot of attention has been focused on the new DVD set, since this marks"The Goodies" long-awaited first appearance in this format. However, we shouldn't overlook the fact that the Network set is also available on VHS tape. The DVDs and their contents are being reviewed elsewhere in the newsletter so, in this article, I want to focus on the differences between the VHS and DVD sets.
While the 2-tape set doesn't contain the DVD bonus features, it does include the same digitally restored versions of the episodes as the discs. Two of the episodes ("Kitten Kong" and "The Goodies and The Beanstalk") were previously on the BBC Video label but you'll definitely notice improvements in the picture quality in the Network release. The other six episodes are making their debut on home video.
The cover artwork is almost identical to the DVD set, except that the VHS cover obviously doesn't include DVD-specific information (such as a listing of the DVD bonus features). One other difference is a typo in the title for "The Goodies and The Beanstalk", which is mistakenly listed as "The Goodies and Beanstalk". Fans had noticed this error in an early version of the cover artwork when it was posted to the Mausoleum Club website. It appears the error was fixed on the DVD cover but slipped through on the VHS cover (oops).
While I'm discussing packaging I will mention that I was slightly disappointed by the VHS labels which, compared to the colourful DVDs, are quite plain. The tape labels simply say "The Goodies" (not even the full title of "The Goodies - At Last") as well as "Tape One" or "Tape Two", the running time and catalog number in plain black ink on a plain white background. However, this is really more of an observation than a complaint; if you're like me, other than the first time you open the case you're just going to pop the tape into the VCR without paying much attention to the label.
I did notice something interesting about two of the episodes on the tapes compared to the DVD versions of the same shows; they are slightly longer! The DVD versions of "Tower of London" and "Kitten Kong" end just a split-second before the video fades out completely. The VHS versions do wait for the full fade-out, resulting in the viewer hearing a bit more of the closing theme tune. The VHS version of "Tower of London" only runs a second or two longer than the DVD version (and you hear one more line of the Goodies theme). "Kitten Kong" however, runs 4 seconds longer on video than DVD with two lines of the theme tune being sung after the picture has completely faded to black. I didn't remember the final line ("All you need's a little love"), so I checked the BBC video version of this episode. Sure enough, the Network video is slightly longer than the BBC video version (which does not contain the "little love" line). So there's a little bonus for the people who are buying the VHS instead of the DVD versions of the episodes.
(C) DVD FEEDBACK
(by Daniel Bowen)
I've watched most of it. My thoughts: brilliant restoration. Andterrific to finally see all these episodes in their uncut form. The ABC's version of Earthanasia in particular has cuts throughout – it truly shows what an adult show The Goodies really was.
The out-takes are enjoyable, even though the episodes they are from aren't on the DVDs. The Broaden Your Mind stuff is interesting, though IMHO has aged much worse than the Goodies, and although it raised a smile, isn't a patch on The Goodies.
Haven't checked out the Easter Eggs yet!
So any Aussies doubting whether they should buy it because they still have scratchy old VHS tapes sitting in their bookshelves: get it anyway. It's worth it. I hope they release the same version here - I think it would sell like hot cakes and encourage further releases.
(Note that it's currently Amazon UK's 38th highest selling item. Blackstar has it at number 22, Bensons at number 6!)
(D) FURTHER FEEDBACK
There has also been considerable comment made about the DVD release in the Main Forum on the GROK website at: http://www.goodiesruleok.com/forum.php?msg=821&forum=1&numpage=1&total=131
6. 2001 AND A BIT
If you've sighted Tim, Bill or Graeme in a post-Goodies role, e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> so that we can tell everyone where to spot a Goodie nowadays. Those of you seeking radio & tv alerts between issues of the C&G should consider signing up for the Goodies-l mailing list (more details available on the club website), as our crack (cracked?!) team of reporters attempt to post alerts as the information becomes available.
* "Live from Dinosaur Island" is being repeated on 30 April on UK Horizons from 10:05 to 11:00 and UK Horizons Plus 1 from 11:05 to 12:00
Here's the listing: "Series following the progress of archaeologists working on digs across the Isle of Wight, looking for fossilised dinosaur remains. With Adam Hart-Davis, Bill Oddie, Edwina Silver and Simon King."
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 18th April)
* Bill Oddie will be one of the presenters of a new show called "Wild In Your Garden", which will be broadcast on BBC2 starting 26 May. There's a webpage for the show at http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/programmes/tv/wildinyourgarden /; it has a nice photo of Bill.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 25th April)
* The May 2003 issue of The Londoner, a newspaper published by Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, features a short article about urban wildlife by Bill Oddie.
Bill goes wild about London
by Bill Oddie
Gardens all over Britain, and most certainly in London, constitute an extremely important wildlife habitat.
This is partially because some creatures are moving out of intensely farmed countryside and into suburbia, and also because more garden owners these days are actively encouraging wildlife.
Mind you, by no means all gardening is environmentally friendly. You won't attracted birds, animals or insects if you favour chemicals, decking, non native plants and cats!
You *will* attract wildlife if you feed the birds, have a 'natural' pond (I don't mean a 'water feature' or a concrete goldfish bowl!), plant British (or at least European) flowers and bushes, and leave a few 'messy' corners to go to seed to provide food, shelter and nesting places.
One of the great things about wildlife gardening is that much of it invovles leaving things alone!
On the other hand, if you fancy creating your personal 'nature reserve', there are plenty of books and leaflet that will tell you how. What's more, it works.
So, what can you expect to move in? Well, it's going to vary from area to area and season to season, but let's take my modest patch (barely 10 metres square)
in 'lower Hampstead' (not the posh bit) as a pretty typical example.
My tiny pond is literally seething with tadpoles - mainly frogs, but also newts and toads - and any day now I'd hope to see the first dragonfly of the year.
I've already seen several difference species of butterfly, and there are lots of bees and hoverflies.
The local urban foxes often pop in, as do several squirrels, and lately a delightful little big-eared, twitchy-whiskered Wood Mouse has taken to nicking the birdseed.
Oh yes...the birds. In various boxes and hidden in the Ivy, there are nests of Robin, Blackbird, Wren and Blue Tit: whilst other regular visitors include Great, Coal and Long Tailed Tit, Dunnock and Song Thrush - but not, alas, any House Sparrows.
They have gone from my garden, just as they have from much of inner London and other cities. No one really knows why.
I certainly miss them, but at least I have the consolation that there are other birds that seem to be becoming ever more frequent and - with all due respect to the Sparrows - some of them are real dazzlers.
Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers often pass through, as do Jays. They make a horrible noise, but look fantastic.
It's a fair bet that whenever a neighbour reports an 'amazingly colourful bird' in the garden...it's a Jay. Or is it? In fact, they now have a serious rival. A bird that sounds even more objectionable but looks even more exotic. Ring Necked Parakeets. They are native to India, but years ago a few escaped from an aviary, and now there are thousands of them. Especially in and around London.
They don't seem to be doing any harm, and they frequently visit gardens, especially if you put out a few strings of in-the-shell peanuts.
They clearly feel at home, and have indeed become honorary 'Brits'. Maybe we should start calling them 'the lovable cockney parrot?!'
(Alison Bean - Goodies-l - 28th April)
* Bill is scheduled to appear in the broadcast of The RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Here's the listing:
"Alan Titchmarsh, Diarmuid Gavin and Rachel de Thame present coverage from the Chelsea Flower Show. The latest trends in garden design and plants are revealed. Bill Oddie gives a tour of his garden. And Wesley Kerr reports from Bonterra in California on a totally organic garden."
It is scheduled to air on Thursday 22nd May on BBC 2 from 20:00 to 21:00.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 9th May)
* Here's a puzzler. I just found a listing for a show called "BillOddie's Best of British". It's listed as an entertainment show (not a nature show) but, other than that, there's no info about the content.
Episodes are scheduled to air on BBC 2 on Monday 26th May from 20:30 to 21:00 and on Tuesday 27th May from 20:30 to 21:00. The listings service I use provides info for up to two weeks in advance so it's possible other episodes of the show will be airing that week; we'll know if that's the case in another few days.
Does anyone have any idea what this show is about?
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 14th May)
* "The Hudson and Pepperdine Show", on which Graeme Garden is the script
editor, has returned to BBC Radio 4 on Thursdays at 18:30. The show
from last week (which is still available on Radio 4's Listen Again
service) as well as this week's episode are repeats from previous
series; a new series starts next week (8 May).
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 28th April)
* An interview with Graeme in Metro:
(Ian Greaves - Goodies-l - 2nd May)
* In the 8 May episode of BBC Radio 4's "The Hudson and Pepperdine Show"the closing credits were done with a Star Wars theme. Graeme's credit was read as "the Script Editor was Dark Lord of the Sith Graeme Garden", followed by the cast singing "Baddie, baddie baddie yum yum" to the tune of the Goodies Theme.
The show can be heard on Radio 4's Listen Again feature http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/comedy/hudsonpepperdine.shtml until the next episode airs on 15 May.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 13th May)
I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T A CLUE
* A link to Graeme Garden and Barry Cryer's 'Hamish & Dougal' skit:
(contributed by Mark Turrell)
* It's time for another week of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue on BBC7 starting this Saturday April 26th and continuing Monday to Friday in the usual 12pm and 7pm slots. Saturday's show is from 1991 and features Willie Rushton and Monday's show is from 1997 and features Paul Merton.
(David Balston - Goodies-l - 22nd April)
* "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" begins a series on Monday 26th May on BBCRadio Four at 18:30.
Here's a listing for this episode of the show, "The perennial antidote to panel games. Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor are joined by Tony Hawks. Chairman Humphrey Lyttelton ensures that disorder prevails."
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l – 14th May)
NEXT C&G EDITION: #90: 12th June 2003.
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