First broadcast: 13th December 1970 on BBC-1
The Goodies are struggling to find work and one does wonder whether ‘anything any time’ is just too vague for the general public. McCall’s newspaper advert in The Equalizer is similarly brief but at least he narrowed it down to helping people that had a problem with the odds against them. I think the Goodies may need some simple marketing support that conveys that they can do anything for YOU, any time that suits YOU.
However, I admire their persistence and the ‘anything, any time’ remit does feel like it’s started to stretch – I certainly hadn’t imagined them taking on babysitting duties. Of the threesome’s new roles, I particularly enjoyed Tim’s role as Nanny – it was the voice more than anything; it isn’t just high-pitched, but he’s got a crackly tone that ages it.
Part of me keeps expecting to have a fairly normal episode of a sitcom. The openings do give that impression to a degree when they set up the plot for each episode. We could easily just progress onto standard sitcom events, so I tend to experience a “What?!” moment midway through.
With so little set at their headquarters compared to the previous episodes I’d seen, I like how The Goodies feel part of the real world, despite the fantastical elements of it. While I disliked Tower of London‘s long, silent sequence, since then I’ve begun to love these sections of the episodes. I am still getting to know the limits of The Goodies‘ world so tigers in suburban gardens and plants moving of their own accord all take me by surprise. I enjoyed Graeme’s battle with the garden as well as the separate mayhem in the kitchen, and I liked how it came together when the garden began trying to invade indoors. This was a nice way of linking the location and studio scenes, helping them feel one and the same.
While all this is going on, we are still waiting to meet Cecily and are unsure what to expect after her aunt and uncle have made us trepidatious. She has a decent-sized role in the episode, despite so much happening before we actually see her. I liked the double twist that we first feel sorry for this lovely little girl, only for it to be flipped back later on.