Graeme and Tim have decorated the office with banners and streamers, accumulated a substantial display of cards and presents, and prepared a very large cake with a massive number of candles crammed onto it. Bill's birthday has come around once again and Tim and Graeme wait with excitement as they hear him coming up the stairs. However the footsteps gradually get slower and heavier (which forces Graeme and Tim to firstly yawn and then nod off in boredom) until an exhausted Bill eventually staggers in through the door. Bill is extremely angry that Tim and Graeme have remembered his birthday ("Shut up, you nasty vicious little crumbs!"), as he would rather prefer to forget all about it ("OK, I admit it. Today is my birthday and today I am … old!") Tim's happy exclamation that "We're going to have a party!" causes Bill to yell out to the neighbours ("Bill here. I'm older, I'm older!") and dial the phone operator to advertise his more senior status in a very sarcastic fashion.
Graeme tries to play peacemaker and reassures Bill that "you must remember that not in any way is there any significance whatsoever in the number of candles on your cake", but Bill's quick count of 75 candles gets him fired up even more. Graeme tells Bill to blow all of the candles out and "make a wish", but Bill unsuccessfully huffs and puffs himself into a frenzy in the process and ends up wheezing into an oxygen pump. Graeme declares that there are "an awful lot of candles" on the cake and that it would be "difficult for anyone to blow them out" (then rubs salt into Bill's wounds by effortlessly blowing out all 75 candles with one tiny little puff!) and reads out the rather mean greeting in Bill's birthday card. This causes an irate Bill to go on a destructive blitz around the office that only ends when he dumps the birthday cake on top of his own head in a fit of rage before he finally calms down.
Bill complains that he feels "old" and "raddled", to which Tim initially shows some sympathy ("No, you're lovely … and raddled!"), then proceeds to ridicule the flabby "Oddie body" after Bill removes his cake-covered t-shirt. Tim and Graeme eventually get in on the act (after Tim dares "Tell you what, I'll show you mine if you show me yours!") in a belly-wobbling contest (during which Graeme tells Bill "See, you're not so much 'raddled' as 'blemished'!") and all three Goodies realise that their physical condition has slipped considerably (even with the 'helping hands' bra that Tim proudly wears to firm up his chest!) Graeme takes up a new role as "Doctor Grayboots - Beautician To The Raddled" and says to Bill that "You're only as old as you feel and you feel pretty old!" as he sizes Bill up for some rather radical plastic surgery ("You don't mind if your belly button moves up a couple of feet, do you?! You'll look like Kirk, Douglas, yeah!") and smears a mudpack all over Bill's face as "I just can't stand the sight of you!"
"Mister Tim" assists with Doctor Grayboots' treatment as the model inside the amazing new 'Autoplastomatorama', which displays various trendy new facial appearances (such as the "Glasgow Messiah Fu Manchu' look and "Barbara Cartland gossamer with Lew Grade cantilever hooter"). Graeme and Tim then decides that the three Goodies should have "a night out on the town with girls" to celebrate Bill's birthday, but Bill reckons that they are "daft" as "What girls are going to look at three clapped out old has-beens like us?", which draws a righteous "You speak for yourself … and possibly Tim!" from a rather miffed Graeme.
In order for the night out to be a success, Graeme feeds the Goodies' individual characteristics into his computer for it to select their own appropriately groovy new images and also to set up their hot dates. However the Goodies get quite a shock when their "ideal mates" turn out to be three old grannies who run them ragged as they drag the Goodies into a pub, over to a cinema to watch the 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (as a revolted Tim staggers out and throws up in a nearby rubbish bin afterwards!) and then into a disco. The lively grannies eventually race out into the street and take off with three young bikies as the exhausted Goodies lag behind and gasp for breath.
A sign on the door of the Goodies declares that they are 'Closing down due to old age' and Graeme prepares to jump from a window ledge to end it all, though his indecisiveness over the timing of his final plunge leads to taunts of "Chicken!" and clucking noises from Bill, Tim and the robot. Tim finds "our OBEs" and the sealskin hat (from 'Dodonuts') among Graeme's stuff, while Bill asks Graeme if he has made a will. As Graeme teeters, he announces an impromptu will and testament in which he leaves the sealskin hat to Bill (much to Tim's annoyance) but gives Tim his "set of clubs" (as a happy Tim says "Oh great, I can get my own sealskin hat!" as he swings a club wildly). Bill gets Graeme's "faithful childhood companion" (a teddy bear that growls at a shocked Bill, who says "That explains a lot, doesn't it!") and Tim proudly wears Graeme's "Union Jack posing pouch" on his head. Tim also gets possession of Graeme's prized "stamp collection" - an album full of caterpillars, kittens, rats and other little creatures that he has stamped on and flattened out!
After the distribution of his possessions, Graeme announces that "My work is at an end. I can die a happy man." and launches a spectacular dive from the ledge. Tim runs to the balcony and wails distraughtly "Oh it's horrible, I can't bear to look! Stone dead, that little face looking up at me!" Graeme has landed on Tim's pet tortoise, Gilbert, on the level below, (squashing it as flat as a tack, as Bill callously remarks "I'll put him in the stamp collection!") but he then unveils "Plan B" (after kicking the cheeky chicken-clucking robot on his way past) - his ominous Doomsday Machine, which will kill him by any one of a number of gory methods. Bill prefers an infinitely more peaceful departure and merely steps into an upright coffin with "Bill Oddie - Good Riddance" emblazoned on the front (which Graeme locks for him), while Tim also doesn't want to witness Graeme's gruesome ending, so he puts cotton wool in his ears and closes his eyes until it's all over.
A blindfolded Graeme is just about to end it all when the phone rings, but as Tim can't hear the phone and Bill can't reach it, he goes to answer it instead. Graeme steps straight through the middle of his Doomsday Machine (setting off the axe, voltage surge, guns, spears etc, which all just miss him by centimetres as he walks too quickly!) only to find that the call is for the robot anyway (as Graeme is then promptly squashed beneath his one-ton weight). The robot has surreptitiously taken over the Goodies' business ("Under new management. Yes, I do anything, anytime!") as Graeme desperately calls out "Bill, stop him, quick, he's nicking our job!" (to Bill's grumpy response of "Get out, there's people trying to die around here!") The Goodies resent this "tin tyrant" and his attempt to replace them, and Graeme crossly claims that "you are not capable of doing what the Goodies used to do!", but the Robot makes the riposte that "Neither are you!"
The only way to resolve the impasse is for the Goodies to "press the red button" on Graeme's computer and perform the 'Goodies Standard Test' (along with the robot) to prove that they are "still capable of carrying on as Goodies". The Goodies and the robot venture to the 'Goodies Test Centre' and are required to leap over hurdles (though the robot kicks his way through them after Tim faints upon hearing the starter's gun!), get changed into their 1970s costumes (and hair!) which barely fit anymore, and produce a patriotic speech within 30 seconds. Tim falls backwards off the podium before he can utter a word, while the Robot sets off a burst of fireworks, Union Jack flags and 'Land of Hope and Glory' music from inside its head, which earns it the first 10 points on offer. The Goodies then grab their famous G-embossed dungarees from a rack and are given another 30 seconds to "make a hit record", but they can hardly even muster a coordinated "ooo" for the 'Funky Gibbon' (as the robot performs a very boppy rendition to collect another 10 points), and then get trounced by the hard-headed robot in a ferocious Ecky Thump showdown.
The Goodies' fitness is put to the test, as they have to dodge the giant kitten (and the associated wiring and stagehands which are dragged into view by the clumsy robot!), "head up the beanstalk" as the kitten chases them and "look out for the goose" (as a giant goose drops an explosive golden egg on them, requiring them to "get out of shot" as the dummies bear the brunt of the big bang). A temporary rest is soon interrupted by a return bout with the giant goose (as the Goodies flee from a crane which has a large goose dangling from it!) and a cardboard cutout of Nicholas Parsons on a trolley ("Run, run! Nicholas is after you!") Tim is penalized five points for "overacting" (when he expresses his horror at such a terrifying sight approaching!), but the robot spectacularly disposes of the goose and then Nicholas with some well-aimed missiles as the Goodies take off on the trandem (having already fallen off the now-blue trandem in identical fashion to that in 'Beefeaters' all those years ago).
It seems as though the robot will defeat the Goodies easily (especially when the autograph hunters run straight past the Goodies and mob the robot instead), but the final score from the computer gives the robot 53 points and the Goodies end up with a combined total of 54 points (Tim 24, Graeme 28 and Bill 2!), so the robot concedes "OK lads, you've got the job". Graeme asks what the job entails and exclaims that it "looks familiar" when he reads the little card that the robot prints out. It is a position at the BBC for "Three Goodies. Three fit young men", but a guard immediately comes along and places a 'job taken' sticker over the advertisement on the vacancies board. There is a honk of a horn and three robots ride up the road on the blue trandem as they gurgle "Goodies, goody goody yum yum ... !"
* Graeme (reading Bill's birthday card aloud): "Your birthday's here, so give a cheer. You've lasted through another year. Be sure you have some birthday fun. You might not get another one!"
* Tim: "Listen Bill, maybe you're not what you used to be …"
Bill: "What, young?"
Tim (bluntly): "No, middle-aged!"
* Tim (teasing Bill about his fat stomach): "I am not looking at your body! (laughs) Oh yes I am! ... Moby Dick! Thar she blows, Captain Ahab! ... Jelly on a plate, jelly on a plate, wibble wobble wibble wobble, jelly on a plate (as Bill finds it very hard not to crack up with laughter!) Here come the elephants ... ba boom ba boom ba boom ba boom! ... Sorry Bill, sorry!"
Bill: "It's alright, I've gotten used to it. Girls always laugh at my body."
Tim (sympathetically): "Oh no, that's impossible. (then sarcastically) Can't be just girls, everybody laughs at it!" (cracking Bill up even further!)
* Bill (concerned): "Tim! Graeme's out on the ledge and I think he's gonna jump!"
Bill: "Because I'm gonna go BOO!" (causing a startled Graeme to teeter on the brink!)
* Bill going berserk after Graeme reads out his cheeky birthday card; ripping down banners, knocking all of his cards onto the floor, upending furniture, despatching a rather stuffed-looking dog and finally grabbing his large cake and dumping it on his head as he slumps backwards into his lounge chair. Graeme and Tim have sensibly donned hard hats for protection at the start of Bill's rant and Graeme very smugly asks a cake-covered Bill "Who can't take a joke then?!" and tells him that losing his sense of humour is a sure sign of old age.
* Bill removing his shirt and flaunting the "Oddie body", sparking some very funny verbal exchanges with Tim (see quotes section), the sight of three raddled Goodies shamefully wobbling their 'spare tyres' in harmony, and Tim wanting to squeeze Bill's nipple, thinking that it's a pimple and telling Bill that his nipples are "not bad, you know. With a cross-your-heart bra you could be a right little cracker!"
* "Mister Tim" expertly modelling Dr.Grayboots' various hair and face transplant styles in the window of the 'Autoplastomatorama' revolving booth; including the poncy 'La Rue pompadour', the reggae 'Rastamop', the 'Grease topping and Healey's fly-traps' (a slicked hairdo with monstrous shaggy eyebrows), a 'Kojak pate with matching Prince Charles accessories' and a 'Punk thatch with Jimmy Hill jawline'. Also the Goodies' incredibly daggy getups when they go out to meet their blind dates (three old grannies who leave the Goodies gasping for breath as they try in vain to keep pace!), with Tim in a blond curly wig, baggy suit and a shirt with an enormously wide collar, Graeme with curly brown locks, a humungous nose, thick chest hair, black shirt, denim jacket and flared jeans, and Bill with crested-up hair, a lairy yellow jacket, checked vest, pink shirt and platform moccasins with pink laces!
* Graeme explaining the features of his Doomsday Machine, which is supposed to finish him off by any one of a number of grisly means, including a swinging axe ("slice!"), electrocution by 200,000 volts ("frizzle frizzle!"), spears ("kachunk!"), shotguns ("boom boom!"), a noose ("urk!") and failing that, a one-ton weight dropped on his head ("splat!"), then having to answer the phone, as Bill has been locked in his coffin and Tim has his eyes closed and ears blocked so as not to witness Graeme's horrid demise. Also Graeme walking blindfolded through his machine with the various booby traps going off one step behind him along the way, then finding out that the call was only for the robot anyway, after which he gets squashed by his one-ton weight for good measure! Also Tim removing his cotton wool earplugs with a query of "Anybody dead yet?" and preparing to shoot Graeme with a pistol seeing as Graeme's "Plan B" obviously hadn't worked either!
* The entire 'Goodies Proficiency Test' (a wonderful trip down Memory Lane with some great in-jokes), with the superchaps three having to prove that they are still capable of being Goodies, especially them and the Robot tripping over the wires dragging the giant kitten along (despite the computer's instructions telling them to "mind the wires … and don't go too far to the left, stupid boys!"), the hilarious Ecky Thump battle with Tim and Graeme bopping the Robot with their black puddings, only for the puds to bounce away off its hard metal head (and the Robot then despatching them with its pudding like Bill did way back in 'Kung Fu Kapers'), Bill trying to become t' Grand Master again by blowing his 'Big Pud' up like a balloon, only for it to explode (showering him with a spray of sticky black gunk to the chuckles of the robot) and the Goodies working with the dummies which are placed near them and blown to bits by a falling golden egg ("Get the dummy out" as Bill walks away – "No, the other dummy!") Also the Robot despatching the giant goose swinging from a crane and a cardboard cutout of Nicholas Parsons with mortar shells fired from a gun in its belly, with the Goodies cheering with delight as they flee on the trandem instead of staying to fight these evil creatures!
Kitten Kong (brief clip)
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
An interesting episode which is a strange sort of parody of the Goodies real-life status at the time; ie getting older, drawing near the end of a 12 year run and perhaps not as physically capable of doing the sort of manic stunts that they were performing in the early to mid-seventies. The reminiscing of various former glories like the Funky Gibbon, Ecky Thump, giant goose and kitten etc, along with the brilliantly less-than-subtle sendups of how these visual effects were achieved, actually would have made this a very fitting and satisfying final episode, and it's a pity that it wasn't left until the end of the series to be screened.
BLACK PUDDING RATING