GOODIES COR COMICS SYNOPSIS #9
(by Linda Kay)
3rd March, 1973 No. 32
(from C&G 80 – August 2002)
It was not uncommon for The Goodies to take two very different subjects and combine them in a unique and humorous way. Thus seemingly unconnected ideas, such as dog shows and Frankenstein ... Cinderella and the punk movement ... ballroom dancing and mafia wars, were incredibly transformed into interspersed gems of comic inventiveness.
Cor!! employed the idea of taking two separate entities and combining them into one in the comic we will review in this issue ... leading to a very unusual vacation experience for The Goodies indeed!
Header: THE GOODIES PROVIDE A REAL TONIC AT A HEALTH FARM!
The opening panel sees Bill, Tim and Graeme watching telly, specifically an advertisement or program featuring a beautiful blonde holding a (presumably) alcoholic drink with the words "Holidays 1973" in the background. A banner with the words "We Do Anything - Any Time!" is in the upper right hand corner of their office.
BILL: Holiday! We'll be lucky!
TIM: (eyeing a broken teacup sadly) This is the only break I've had! Gloom!
GRAEME: (looking at Tim with a scowl): Very funny - that's MY cup!
A man bursts into their office (oddly enough visitors always enter from the left instead of the right as they do in the series). He's an older, portly gentleman wearing a plaid jacket, knitted cap and swinging a walking stick / cane over his head. He looks excited and energetic. The TV screen is now showing a bikini clad woman wearing a cowboy hat standing in front of a hotel with "Wigan" above her. Tim is standing in the background smiling.
MAN: Goodies ... I've got a job for 'ee! I'd like 'ee to sample my HEALTH FARM HOLIDAY! I couldn't persuade any of they experts to come along!
BILL: Coo! Consider us picked ... YIPPEEEE!
The Goodies are seen exiting the boxcar of a cattle train (a not so happy looking bull is occupying a car behind theirs) with a blackface porter waving a flag and standing nearby. Bill is wearing a stocking cap and carrying a tennis racket and luggage. Tim and Graeme are also carrying suitcases and Tim has a bag of golf clubs on his back. The man is showing them off the train.
MAN: Here we are! This holiday will make new men of you!
BILL: When do we eat? Where's the bus to the farm?
Another far shot of the train yard sees tiny silhouettes of the Goodies and the man standing outside the station (identified by a sign as being in Upper Gumtree) as the train is pulling out. A couple of cows watch from a nearby pasture.
TIM: Where's the bus then?
MAN: Aaaar! There ain't no bus! We walk - only ten miles as the crow flies!
The Goodies start sprinting back to the train station in earnest. The man stands smiling behind them and a sheep watches from behind him.
TIM: "WALK TEN MILES? Not likely! When's the next train back?"
The Goodies are cut off by a shepherd wearing a long smock bearing the name "Pigswill Health Farm" and carrying a crook. He blows a whistle which prompts four sheep dogs to run circles around them. The Goodies huddle together nervously.
BILL: Eeek! Sheep dogs!
The Goodies are now being herded by the dogs to run, following the man (who is proceeding at what seems to be a leisurely pace for him) across the fields while the shepherd follows, continually blowing his whistle.
MAN: Only another FIVE MILES! Oi bet you feels better already!
FIVE MILES LATER:
They are at the Pigswill Health Farm, which looks like nothing more than a regular farmyard. The Goodies are herded into a pen with a sign above that reads "Reception Pens Book In 'Yur" and an arrow pointing down into the circular area. The shepherd slams the gate closed on them. They look completely knackered, Bill draped over one side of the fence and Graeme and Tim barely holding each other up. The dogs are sitting and panting happily outside the pen and the man stands nearby looking pleased.
MAN: We'll start right away to get you fit! First you must get rid of those thick, unhealthy
clothes .. !
An Aussie appears (complete with cork-adorned hat) wielding a large pair of shears. He grabs Bill by the back is his vest, lifting him slightly from the pen as Graeme and Tim watch apprehensively.
MAN: .. My sheep shearer from Australia will help you!
AUSSIE: Hi there, Cobbers!
The Aussie straddles Bill and sets to work shearing him, starting with his trouser bottoms.
AUSSIE: (Singing) Tie me kangaroo down, Sport! Keep still, Cobber! I'm only shearing down to your vest and pants!
A dejected Bill, now wearing only a t-shirt and polka-dotted boxers, walks away from the pen, leaving a very nervous-looking Tim and Graeme to face the Aussie glowering over them.
AUSSIE: Right! Who's next?
The man is directing Bill with his walking stick to somewhere off panel.
MAN: Now ... how about a swim in the farm's outdoor pool?
A very buff looking jock wearing a life guard uniform abruptly pushes Bill into a large trough-like tub.
MAN: ... or as they call it here - the sheep dip!
LIFEGUARD: Come on, son! You'll enjoy yourself once you're in!
All three Goodies have now been stripped down to their underclothes and duly dipped (Tim is just now climbing out of the tub) and stand waiting to see what will happen next.
MAN: Grub up in the kitchen, Goodies!
The Goodies race into the kitchen, arms outstretched, where they spy the cook holding up a carrot.
TIM: A CARROT! We're starving! Give ... give .. !
The cook throws the carrot to a waiting rabbit as Bill leaps hurdle-style over the table going after it (knocking the table over in the process).
COOK: Not so fast! Here we combine meals with a cross-country run! You have to catch that rabbit before he eats the carrot!
The Goodies are now running across the field after the rabbit and leap over a stone wall only to see the rabbit disappearing down a hole. Bill has dived head first over the wall, Graeme is leaping over it, his glasses flying off in the process, and Tim has fallen over the wall and face planted on the ground. A crow watches this from a fence post and a litter bin which says "Keep Britain Tidy" has a trail of garbage leading to it.
GRAEME: Oh, no! Please don't go down that hole, please!
BACK AT THE HEALTH FARM:
The Goodies return to the farm exhausted and barely able to walk. The man (with a chicken roosting on his head) awaits them at the gate.
TIM: Ooh! Gasp! I'm whacked!
GRAEME: All I want to do is sleep!
BILL: Where's our bedroom?
MAN: Over here, Goodies!
He leads them to a tall haystack where they have to climb a ladder to get on top. An owl watches with interest as they make the ascent.
MAN: Up you come! Bed down in the hay - you'll soon be asleep!
Now wearing their pajamas, Bill and Graeme are buried in the hay, but Tim is shooting out of the top of the haystack looking pained and clutching his rear.
MAN: (watching from the top of the ladder) Wow! Aren't you the lucky one! You've found the NEEDLE IN THE HAYSTACK! That means you've won an extra week's holiday ENTIRELY FREE! Your pals, too!
The Goodies race away from the health farm, still in their pajamas and with their luggage and accessories in tow (Tim's losing a golf club along the way).
TIM: AN EXTRA WEEK - no thank you!
BILL: It's not healthy!
GRAEME: It'll be a holiday to get back to work!
MORE ZANY FUN FROM OUR TV FUNSTERS IN NEXT WEEK'S COR!!
RATING (using the BLACK PUDDING RATING SYSTEM):
III - Goody goody yum yum.
A funny outing with some clever pokes at both holiday health farms and Australian sheep stations. However, in Goody terms this comic would be similar to one of their first season episodes, in which things *happen* to them instead of the humor originating *from* them. The Australian bloke who owns the health farm would be akin to one of the big name guest stars who literally steals the show while the Goodies stand around and react. Granted the situations they are subjected to are quite funny, but they are powerless in this particular piece, not responding in any way except to protest or run away. There is no opportunity for their characters to have any impact on the story whatsoever. If the jokes and situations weren't as humorous as they are, this would rate much lower. But the situation is a good one and deserves some merit on its own.