Graeme and Tim analyse the rather disappointing end-of-year profits and expenses statements from the computer, and decide that "there is only one thing for it … Bill, you're fired!" Bill is naturally rather shocked by this snap decision, but Graeme rationalises it by saying that his computer suggests to "reduce our manpower by one-third" as the urgent solution to the Goodies' financial woes. Graeme immediately declares that "now that we've got rid of the little scruffpot", he and Tim should "modernise operations" by the use of automation, to which Bill strongly objects (only for Graeme to dismissively ask "Are you still here?!") Despite his own admission that he is "useless, irritating and lazy (and) an embarrassment to you" (to which Graeme and Tim agree - "Ooh, yes!"), Bill is sufficiently incensed to set up a picket line at the front door of the Goodies' office to protest at his redundancy due to automation.
Bill returns inside to pack up his belongings (shoving them roughly into a dirty garbage bin, though Tim mistakenly thanks him for "tidying up") and angrily vows that "I'm walking out of your lives forever and ever and ever!" However Bill is surprised to find that Tim's state of extreme anxiety is not from a guilty conscience over his own sacking, but rather because Graeme is "nearing his time" and when Tim stresses that he must go to Graeme (in the next room), Bill grumbles "Go to him then! Don't worry about me, for heaven's sake, you go to old blue-eyed, golden-boy Graybungles; always was your favourite wasn't he?! … I know why, that's cos he's got less hair than you, isn't it?! You two were always close!" Tim's panicked demand for "boiling hot water" (and quick impromptu "teapot" impression!) causes a shocked Bill to gasp "I didn't know they were that close!", as it appears as though Graeme is about to give birth - a prospect that draws a horrified "It's not possible! It's not natural! It's not very nice!" from Bill.
A loud pop and a hearty wail is heard in the background, then Graeme emerges from the next room with a blanket-clad baby in his arms and proudly declares "Congratulations, it's a robot!" as he shows off his newly-constructed bundle of metallic joy to Tim. An annoyed Bill snaps "Oh no, I'm not going to be made redundant by a transistorized tot! I mean, I'm warm and cuddly … that thing's got a tin head!", but Tim soppily says to a delighted Graeme that the robot has "got your eyes!" in response. Bill also remarks that the robot is "too little" to replace him, but Graeme's reply that the robot will soon "grow up" is too much for Bill ("You're both obviously entirely round the twist … !") and he walks out for good, seemingly never to return, while Tim starts to burble to the robot in baby talk. A serious Graeme states that "This apparatus is a self-augmenting, pseudo-psychophysical, cybernetic module. This robot is not a baby, Tim, it's a machine.", only to promptly lapse into a stream of baby talk himself as he and Tim shower attention and affection on their new arrival.
Graeme receives a rude awakening by the screaming robot at 4:30am and he attempts to tell a supposedly asleep Tim that it's "your turn" to feed it a bottle of oil (only for Tim to roll over and sigh "Oh not now, Maggie, not now!") and a heated argument ensues over who is responsible for tending to the robot. Tim reckons that Graeme is "suffering from post-robot depression" and Graeme wants an au-pair to help with the housework and the raising of the baby robot. Tim is initially very reluctant to hire some "foreign slag" to look after the robot (and "hanging their wet tights on my rubber duck!"), but the beautiful bunch of applicants soon changes his mind (as he greets them with an enthusiastic "Come in ladies and get 'em off!" before hastily correcting himself) However Graeme rapidly cures Tim's "naughty thoughts" by insisting that he must "choose the ugliest one" as "it's a well-known rule of life; never have a pretty au-pair, it always causes trouble."
Tim reluctantly agrees that "the job goes to the naff old tart on the end" as he tries to make out that the beautiful girl nearest to him is a "duff old boiler" ("Pull a paper bag over her head before I throw up!") and Graeme's protest that "She's not ugly. She's gorgeous!" is met with an eager "Eye of the beholder, matey!" from Tim. An annoyed Graeme tells Tim "Alright, alright! As you're obviously not to be trusted, I shall choose … and I choose that!" – which just happens to be the appallingly grotesque, bearded, big-knockered, funny-voiced lady at the other end of the queue (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Bill in drag!) Despite Tim's protests ("But she's … she's revolting!"), Graeme is unmoved and the new nanny introduces herself ("My name is Helga. I am coming from Sweden.") in a rather heavy and silly Scandinavian accent (that Tim takes great delight in mocking), as she is told that her duty is to "look after this little robot".
Nanny Helga takes the robot for a walk in the pram to a construction site-like playground with lots of evil chuckles along the way, as 'she' intends to take revenge on it for replacing 'her' in the Goodies. However the robot gets the better of Helga in the playground and gives her a torrid time (including pouring wet concrete on her head and then busting open the wooden crate that she is trapped in with a big wrecking ball) until she sends it off to sleep with a quick burst of 'Rock-a-bye Robot' on the saxophone. Helga then dumps the dozing robot at a scrap metal yard (with a sign reading "Please take care of this robot") and cackles nastily as she flees up the road.
Tim is appalled by Helga's complete lack of care for the robot (which gives him an excuse to put her over his knee and constantly spank her white frilly knickers!), but Graeme is more concerned that the robot has disappeared yet again ("Twenty-five times in the last two weeks"), although it is "programmed to come home" each time, (which unknowingly thwarts Helga's frequent attempts to get rid of it!) Graeme is also worried that the robot is staying out late on its own, and although Helga (who by now has lost her Swedish accent and sounds just like Bill!) tells him that "the robot is growing up – it's not a baby anymore", it will "always be a baby" to Graeme. The frequent screenings of Graeme's home movies prove this, along with the revelation of sneaky video evidence that Helga hates the robot with a passion and has been desperately trying to get rid of it for ages. The robot has "never been out this late before" though and a worried Graeme wonders "What if it's got in with the fast set?"
Graeme and Tim argue over whether the robot is a male or a female (with Graeme adament that the robot is male and Tim replying "But I've always wanted a little girl!"), while an incredulous Helga is of the opinion that "robots are totally without sex". This draws a derisive "Not for much longer, sweetie!" from the robot, who has finally returned home with his automated girlfriend in tow (to Graeme's irate questioning - "Where have you been?! …and who is that tin trollop?!") and he appreciates Tim's command to "get up to your room immediately" as an opportunity to kick off some way-hey-hey! Graeme starts to ponder "Where did we go wrong? My baby!" as Tim tries to pass the robot's bad behaviour off as being "only natural" (to which Helga retorts "Natural?! Two heaps of scrap iron having a bit of … !" until a horrified Graeme intervenes!) Helga chides Tim and Graeme for having "got rid of that nice furry little bloke Bill"; for the robot is "ruining your life … and your ceiling!" (as it bangs and clunks around upstairs with its girlfriend) and Graeme's bid to put a stop to the robot's antics with several raps of a broom handle on the ceiling only causes another shower of plaster to tumble down on top of him!
Graeme wants to give the robot "a jolly good talking-to" but he disappears into the kitchen after Helga suggests that he instead needs to "set a good example", which leaves Tim to complain that "You always leave me to do the difficult things!" as the robot comes downstairs. Tim's stern fatherly speech is essentially ignored by the rebellious teenage robot and Helga claims in frustration that "you posh parents" don't understand that "you spoil him, but do you ever put any real time into him? … no, you farm him out to a nervous little Swedish kid like me!", which explains "why he turns into a hooligan". Graeme re-emerges from the kitchen, but his attempt to dress up as a "good robot" fails miserably when the randy robot takes a fancy to him ("Wallop, wallop, nookie, nookie!"). Tim laments that the robot is now "only interested in sex and playing loud music" (as the 'Funky Gibbon' blares noisily from its speakers!) and when it suddenly grows long hair and a beard, a shocked Graeme gasps "Wait a minute! I know that face! Oh, what have we done?! We've turned him into Bill! Ugh, horrible ugly hairy Bill!"
Helga conducts a passionate defence of Bill ("He was misunderstood, a rebel, a child of his time. I personally think Bill was rather fab!") as Tim remarks "Knocking you off too, was he?! Randy little maggot!", before she finally reveals that she is actually Bill in disguise. Tim is rather pleased to see Bill again and wants him to come back to the Goodies as the two of them make a stirring speech which denounces robots for ruining the country and being useless compared to humans ("When Shakespeare wrote Hamlet, he didn't get Metal Mickey to walk on in the middle, did he?!"), and demand that they all should be destroyed ("melt down C-3PO and K9!" … "R2-D2 for scrap metal!"), to Graeme's worried concern. This impertinence causes the robot to order "OK lads, all out!", as all of the other kitchen appliances go out on strike and Tim has to chase after them (to the tune of 'Come Back') as they race along the street. Tim is bombarded by toast fired from the toaster, gets a punch in the face from a boxing glove inside the robot's head and battles a vacuum hose (which rears at him like a cobra, spits a stream of chocolate milk in his face and tries to swallow him whole), before he is surrounded and charged at from multiple directions by the robot (who calls out "You've had it now!"), Graeme's computer, a kitchen stove and other appliances.
Tim appears to be trapped and about to be sandwiched by the machines, but Graeme throws him a large magnet just in the nick of time. After Tim accidentally pulls all of Graeme's magnetic robot gear off (which causes Graeme to make a quick dash for cover in just his undies!) he is able to use the magnet to latch onto a steel girder held high above on a crane. The machines all crash heavily into each other below and set off a large explosion, as pieces of metal fly in all directions while Tim laughs at the carnage from his lofty vantage point. Later, Graeme is using Bill (upside down on a stand with a hose in his mouth) as a vacuum cleaner when Tim comes to the office door and admits that all of the household appliances are still "a bit broken" (that is, still in a large crumpled pile of scrap metal at his feet!) The now-mangled robot says a contrite "Sorry mummy!" to Graeme; who no longer needs automated help now that he has been able to "send in the clones" by mass-producing several copies of Bill, who expertly imitates numerous household appliances like a mixer, stove, computer and record player!
* Bill (angrily): "All right, I'm going. But I'm going to take industrial action. And I'll tell you, you've got right up my nose!"
Tim: "And what are you gonna do?"
Bill (with a big smirk): "Picket!"
* Tim (excitedly): "You might as well be the first to know. We're expecting a little visitor, a little stranger, the patter of tiny feet."
Bill (indignantly): "You're gonna replace me with a midget?!"
* Bill (angry, after being sacked by Tim and Graeme): If you want me to go, fine, I'll go" ... "I mean, I know when I'm licked ...(excitedly) cos it feels lovely … !"
* Tim (crossly, when the doorbell rings): "Probably some au-pair in answer to our advert and you know how I feel about that. Some foreign slag mooning around the house, playing her Swedish punk records and hanging her wet tights on my rubber duck!"
(and a bit later …)
Tim (bossily): "Yes, and don't hang your wet tights on my rubber duck!"
Helga (in a silly voice): "It's all right. In Shveden ve know all about the kinky!"
* Tim (spanking Helga's frilly-clad bottom on his knee): "Helga you're a very, very naughty girl and must take greater care of the robot ... (smiles and continues spanking) ... botty, botty, botty ...!"
Graeme (crossly): "Oh, stop that at once! Helga, I said stop that! (puzzled look from Helga) You're wilfully arousing Mr Tim! Yes I know your type - coming over here breaking up respectable families, flaunting your frillies, tantalizing vulnerable old men who should be past that sort of thing!"
Helga (in Bill's voice): "Don't worry, he is!"
* Bill fervently picketing the front door of the Goodies office, holding up a placard reading 'Support Your Striking Mate', then having to take shelter under it as a shower of rain starts to fall. The rain washes away some of the ink, altering the message to 'Up Yours Mate', with Bill being thumped back through the door of the office by a burly passer-by who takes offence to it!
* Tim nervously pacing the floor like an expectant father and wishing he could be with Graeme, who is "nearing his time" (much to Bill's incredulous disbelief) and Bill then accusing Tim of always being closer to Graeme (because Graeme has less hair than Bill does!), but exclaiming "I didn't know they were that close!" in a shocked voice when Tim races off to be with Graeme! Also Tim's frantic reappearance looking for "boiling hot water" and his brief 'I'm a teapot' panic performance, before there is a big pop and a newborn scream, with Graeme appearing holding a little white bundle and proudly declaring "Congratulations! It's a robot!"
* Graeme and Tim having problems tending to the baby robot during the night, especially Graeme singing "Rock a bye, Robot" and bouncing it up and down on Tim's bed while feeding it a bottle of oil because Tim is too selfish to take his turn getting up, Graeme responding to Tim's comment that him feeding the robot is "nature's way" by pulling Tim's Union Jack pyjama top open and telling him to breastfeed the robot (G: "Different story now, isn't it?! You know it'd have your nipples off!" T: "Why don't you do it?!" G: "I am not ruining my figure for anyone!"). Also Graeme sniping at Tim for his lack of assistance ("Tell me, when did you ever drain its little sump?!") and Tim groaning "Gordon Bennett! What oil did you use?!" at Graeme after the robot loudly and unexpectedly breaks wind!
* The selection process for the new au-pair, with Tim getting rather randy over the bevy of beauties before him until he comes across the hideous Helga (Bill with beard intact and a blond wig, make-up, white fur-trimmed jacket, pink top, mini-skirt, knee-length white boots and an enormous pair of cone-shaped knockers!). An appalled Tim firstly goes "Ugghh! What?!" (and gives a little grin; hopelessly cracking Bill up afterwards!), then hastily comments "Oh don't worry dear, I'm sure you've got a beautiful mind!" while Graeme gives a very curious wide-eyed stare (but somehow manages to keep a straight face amid the mayhem!) Also Tim's choosing of the "naff old tart on the end" upon Graeme's orders, but going over to a pretty girl at the other end of the queue to Helga and desperately trying to make out that she looks like a "duff old boiler" in an unsuccessful bid to get Graeme to hire her.
* Helga's walk to the playground with the robot and her fiendish attempts to dispose of it, including sending it hurtling down a very long slide only for it to bounce off a trampoline, spin around on a swing and come flying back at her (knocking her off the top of the slide ladder and substantially rearranging her cleavage in the process!) Also Helga nailing the robot inside a wooden crate on a construction site only to find the gleeful robot somehow at the control of a crane, then dropping the crate on her, filling it up with cement and smashing it with a wrecking ball. Helga then takes a small measure of revenge by sending the robot to sleep with a blast of the sax and dumping it at a scrap metal yard before running away cackling wickedly, only to ultimately find that clever-clogs Graeme has programmed the robot to always automatically return home.
* Graeme's home movies of the robot's early years, especially Helga deliberately letting it hit the ground when Tim playfully throws it over to her (with Tim using this an excuse for some more nanny spanking!) and her drowning the robot with a pile of suds in the bathtub until it sprays her in the face with a huge jet of water. Also Tim holding the robot over a potty, then proudly displaying the nuts and bolts that it has passed out (a bit tacky and yucky, all the same!) with praise of "Good bubba", and the robot delivering a disgusting blue-grey spew all over Helga's head and face after Graeme has stuffed its little face with far too many ice creams while on a holiday!
* The teenage robot returning to the house with his "tin trollop" in tow for some "wallop wallop, nookie nookie!" in the upstairs bedroom much to Graeme's despair, with Graeme desperately wondering where he went wrong as a parent and leaving Tim to deliver a fatherly lecture to the robot, who merely blows off and yells "Boring!" as Tim tries to "have a serious word" with it. Also Graeme returning dressed up as a "good robot" (in tinfoil and kitchen implements), but only succeeding in heating up the printed circuits of the sex-crazed teenage robot instead!
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
Definitely the cream of the LWT crop with heaps of hilarious visual scenes, some very funny (and often quite rude) dialogue and great character roles from all three Goodies, especially Bill as the ridiculously hideous bearded Swedish nanny Helga.
BLACK PUDDING RATING