The Goodies – Cecily

Cecily

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.

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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.

Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Before The Goodies, Graeme, Tim and Bill worked together (with John Cleese and others) on the long-running radio show, "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" ('ISIRTA'). Tim had a semi-regular character that cropped up here and there, Lady Constance De Coverly (Mr Pixley will be along shortly to correct me if I've got that wrong). Tim used the crackly old lady voice for her. Very sadly, Tim passed away this year due to covid 19. You can see all three Goodies cameoing in a stage version of the radio show, "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again Again", earlier this year on Youtube. Tim gets to perform Lady Constance one last time.

    I'm so glad you're enjoying two of my very favourite programmes. I'm keen to hear what your think of "Bunfight at the OK Tearooms", with Bill's excellent "Workin' the Line" music and a joke I love revolving around a frying pan.

    Meanwhile, I'm dying to know what you think of B7 episode , and episode , and episode . Not to mention episode .

  2. H E Cooper

    Thanks for the enlightening info on Lady Constance – I'm aware of ISIRTA, but haven't ever listened to it. Interesting to read this was building on something.

    As my Goodies DVDs are the 'best of' range, I won't be covering every episode, though I am now planning to do them in broadcast order – hence the jump back from Gender Education to Cecily. I plan to see how I get on with those I've got before considering committing to a full set. Looking good so far.

    Lovely to hear there is anticipation for the rest of the B7 blogs! The next one is in progress, slowed down slightly for reasons that will become obvious. Elsewhere though, I've got another Back in Time for TV piece up over at Transdiffusion, where I've reached 1984.

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