GOODIES RESCREENINGS IN AUSTRALIA
(by Brian Labza)
(from C&G 148 – March 2008)
The most recent showings of The Goodies in Australia on free-to-air television were :
ABC in 1979 to 1985 several runs (usually with Dr Who!!), then in 1987, 1988 and 1993.
Channel 7 in Feb/April 1986.
Channel 10 in Jan/March 1991.
Channel 7 Melbourne weekly on Fridays 7.30 pm in late 1983 and 1984 repeated 7 pm, then Mon-Fri in 1986 after their BBC run, then later sporadically in 1989 on weekday afternoons.
Prior to 1989 screenings were usually not networked around regional Australia, so this information (especially in relation to Channel 7 screenings) probably only applies to Sydney and Melbourne.
None of these runs showed all episodes - Hype Pressure and the black & white episodes of Playgirl Club, The Commonwealth Games and Come Dancing were universally ignored, others were sporadically missed and Double Trouble (with Patrick Troughton) only ever turned up on Channel 10 in 1991. All runs were from Monday-Thursday (ABC) or Monday-Friday (Channel 7 and 10 and sometimes ABC). All runs after the final ABC screenings in 1993 have been on pay-TV stations - UK-TV (from 1996 onwards), then recently on the Comedy Channel. Most recently these have been for series one and two only.
All showings on Channels 7 and 10 were cut to accommodate ad breaks, but the LWT episodes weren't cut by as much as they were only 25 minutes long to start with.
Many episodes on ABC were censored copies, but some that were cut earlier were shown uncut from 1987 (e.g Rome Antics).
The special editions of Superstar, Goodies & The Beanstalk and Goodies Rule OK were never shown on Channels 7 or 10, and their last showings were on ABC in 1984 (Superstar and Goodies & The Beanstalk) and 1985 (Goodies Rule OK). I think there is a rights problem with Goodies Rule OK and probably also Superstar as it has some Led Zeppelin on the soundtrack, but this would need to be verified.
The Greenies (series 1) was only shown in colour on ABC in 1993 (but not on Channels 7 or 10) but it had previously been shown in the 1970's as a black and white film print at the time. The last showing of the black and white Goodies film print trilogy of The Greenies/Come Dancing/The Commonwealth Games was on ABC in 1979 and 1980. The colour version of The Greenies was found/made available well after Channel 7's run in 1986, but I have no idea why Channel 10 did not run it in 1991. There was supposed to be some kind of scratch on it.
It was particularly gratifying for the colour version of The Greenies to re-emerge in the 1990's, as the black and white film print was censored, as was the habit in the 1970's. The black and white film print of The Commonwealth Games is also censored. The sound and picture quality on the black and white film prints is fairly ordinary.
Similarly, no idea when "Playgirl Club" was last played but it has not been screened in Australia since 1974 - I only ever saw it at Kitten Kon!
Hype Pressure has only ever turned up on pay TV, post-1996. Double Trouble was only shown in 1973 on ABC, 1991 on 10, then on pay TV post-1996.
Apart from community standards, the main driver to the change in censorship was that until and including the early 1980's all imported TV material was classified by the Federal Government Office of Film and Literature Classification, then from about 1985 onwards this was deregulated and censorship decisions were made by the TV stations themselves.
Programs were not usually reclassified every time they were shown on the ABC, so that is why they habitually ran censored prints of Doctor Who and Goodies until well into the 1990's, because they were using their original tapes , unless the copy of the episode in question (e.g The Greenies) was in fact not shown before, so it was classified according to the standards of the day.
As I understand it, it is only when new copies were ordered from the Supplier (e.g. pay TV obtaining The Goodies in 1996) that uncensored prints showed up.
Apparently Channels 7 and 10 ordered new prints of series 5 onwards in 1986 and 1991, so that is why they were shown uncensored (albeit highly cut for ads), but used the ABC prints for series 1 to 4, so no new material was shown there. That probably explains why neither Channels 7 or 10 showed The Greenies, but fails to explain why the ABC *did* show Gender Education.
Why the ABC did not run Double Trouble in 1993 will go down as one of fandom's enduring mysteries, but it is instructive to note that both the series 2 episodes of Double Trouble and Gender Education were originally classified AO (Adults Only, equivalent to M today) in 1973, shown once late at night then disappeared until 1991 and 1986 respectively.
People used to joke that whenever anyone (Channels 7, 10, ABC or pay TV) ran the Goodies in Australia, no two runs over 20 years were ever identical or comprehensive and the list of anomalies/missed episodes was always highly confusing! And of course, for most of that time, no one anywhere else in the world ran them at all!