The Goodies: Invasion of the Moon Creatures
I have had the box set of The Goodies for some time - it replaced the previous Network individual discs - and have been prompted by a comment on Instagram to crack it open.
I have chosen this episode because it is totally barmy - there doesn't seem to be that much on the internet about it, so let's loud pedal it. The Goodies were incredibly popular when the show was broadcast in the seventies, and I see they achieved up to 15 million viewers. I like the humour a lot - it is more like, say, Monty Python, than the more cynical alternative comedy of the eighties, which I also like. I like that it feels very much like young intelligent people just coming up with jokes and making a TV show out of them! Of course the Goodies were university friends of the Pythons, and in fact parodied the show a number of times. However if it comes to a competition we would have to go for The Goodies because it has the ultimate Pythonesque accolade of having someone die laughing while watching it.
This episode can be summed up as being about the moon and rabbits. Amd that's about all you need to know. It's as if these subjects have invaded your conversation and taken it over.
Visual gags abound, as you would expect. I particularly like Edward Heath with a bunny tail photoshopped on to him. I love the scene where they all keep disappearing for sexy stuff in a rabbit hutch. Actually I quite fancy the idea of being a rabbit myself now. And what's not to love about Patrick Moore suddenly turning into a rabbit during The Sky at Night? Nor are the cultural references lacking, and a comprehensive list includes Doctor Who, Star Trek, Bugs Bunny, 2001 A Space Odyssey, and I really like the parody of Clockwork Orange, which as you can see becomes Transistorised Carrot. Rabbits going round in Clockwork Orange outfits menacing people with carrots is of course very much out of the same stable as Monty Python's menacing old ladies.
One of the minor pleasures of this show is that the location for the scenes towards the end of the beach ferrets was Camber Sands in Sussex. I have never been there but happen to know that it is the only beach in Sussex guaranteed to be sandy with no pebbles at all, because of the sand dunes. The period shots of Camber Sands are gorgeous, and I was forcibly reminded of the sheer SIZE of tobacco advertising in the 1970s, before successive governments decided the existence of tobacco should be hidden from youngsters to stop them smoking. This is of course guaranteed to set them off smoking.
It would be churlish to be overly critical of such a masterpiece. There is just one thing which I am wondering, which is whether the show couldn't have been restored to have a sharper picture? You will see from the stills here that it is still rather blurred. I have no idea what is involved in restoration or whether it would even be possible with the age of the original, but I just think other shows and films and TV shows of this age have been restored to have a sharper picture.
A rare accolade coming from me - but this is stonking good television.
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