The Goodies – Gender Education

Gender Education

My next episode of The Goodies moves us swiftly further along to series 2, episode 11. At the Goodies’ headquarters, a well-turned-out, mature woman with glasses sneaks up on Tim and Graeme. She’s instantly recognisable as a faux-Mary Whitehouse and I must admit I was surprised that I saw this so quickly, yet she really did have a distinctive look. It’s confirmed that she is a Mary Whitehouse figure when we learn Mrs Desiree Carthorse represents the Keep Filth Off Television Campaign – similar to Whitehouse’s well-known Clean Up TV Campaign.

It’s an extreme caricature, with her horrified at anything not perfectly prim and proper, particularly anything to do with sex – to the point that she won’t even spell it out and just mimes writing the ‘x’ in the air. That the Goodies all take this up as well is great.

Mrs pretend-Whitehouse has sought out the Goodies because she wants them to make a ‘clean’ sex education film. We get to see the results of this and there are some marvellous touches. A naked man and woman are covered with white sheets, and after reference to “the birds and the bees”, we cut to shots of tiny white cloths covering hovering pairs of birds and bees.

I was fond of Bill as a television mogul, who heads off to make things with lots of violence because he knows it’s what the people want. I loved how power-mad he had gone. The comedy is maximised by using Bill as the shortest chap with an absurdly massive cigar, like all good moguls should have.

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We again get plenty of time on location when Tim and Graeme take Mrs Carthorse to Bill’s latest shoot. It feels like real evidence of their enthusiasm for filming out of a studio because this is exactly the sort of thing they could have more easily done in a studio! Yet it means we are perfectly placed for the manic fun that follows. Unlike Tower of London‘s lengthiest location sequence, I adored the extravaganza on Bill’s set here. It has another lengthy run-around but there was more variety watching both the Goodies pelting around the set as well as some of the supporting cast.

I had been impressed by The Goodies‘ music previously but enjoyed it even more on this episode and by the time I had finished Gender Education, I was in love with the style.


  1. Anonymous

    Bill Oddie was heavily involved on the musical side, composing, playing and singing. There are some great pieces of music in various shows.

  2. Barbara Elaine Kirk

    The ‘Berserk’ track from the Gender Education episode did eventually turn up on the Cricklewood Tapes CD.

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