The Goodies to be repeated on BBC Two

Just as I hit the publish button on my Goodies DVD review, I read some news on Twitter that almost makes one line redundant, or at least it will once BBC Two repeats an episode of the series on Tuesday 21 December.

Fan website The Goodies Rule – OK! has announced that an episode is due to air late on Tuesday 21 December (well, early into Wednesday 22 December, at 00.40), with another seven following until Thursday 30 December.

This is the first time the BBC has repeated The Goodies since their original transmission, and marks the end of a long campaign from fans to see the team back on the air.

I could complain about the late slots these are being given, but there’s a long history of series being tucked away in the wee small hours, only to gather an appreciative audience who stumble across it and embrace it. Something similar happened to me when Channel 4 repeated The Prisoner in the early 1990s, and I now rate it as one of my favourite programmes.

The excellent Goodies Rule – OK! also lets us know that the Bristol Watershed’s (which, as an aside, has some of the finest bar food in Bristol) recent celebration of The Goodies, which saw Sir Christopher Frayling interviewing Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor for well over an hour, is now online.

DVD Review: The Goodies – At Last Back for More Again

“I have an Uncle King Arthur. Well, when I say king, he’s not really the King Arthur, but he is a bit like him, and he is a bit king-ish, and his name is King Arthur. Well, Arthur King, but on his birth certificate it says King, Arthur.”

Whether that line of dialogue from a 1973 episode of The Goodies made you smirk, smile or simply get this far in the review, it’s typical of the kind of humour present in a show that the BBC appears to have done its level best to forget in the intervening 37 years.

The GoodiesThe Goodies stars Tim-Brooke Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie (yes, that Bill Oddie) in what could be dubbed Monty Pythons’ slightly loonier younger brother.

Running from 1970 until 1980 on the BBC, each week found the trio willing to work anywhere and for anyone, their need for cash and thirst for adventure seeing them get into various bonkers situations, including becoming nanny for a young girl whose family are trying to kill her, saving their house from being destroyed by killer diggers or stopping Tim’s Uncle King Arthur’s castle from being stolen.

Nothing much makes sense here, with slapstick a key component of the series, along with bad jokes and much reading of comics by Bill. Indeed, The Goodies could be seen as being a live action comic strip, escaping from the pages of Cor! on their trusty trandem to entertain the nation.

Thanks to the BBC never having seen fit to repeat the series, there’s an undoubted freshness about these episode which comes from not being shown to fill the odd scheduling gap for the last three decades. Whether eight episodes will be enough to satisfy your appetite for more Goodies remains to be seen, but you’ll certainly never be bored.

Network DVD November releases

Network DVD are at it again, announcing the release of more TV titles for November, which will keep fans of archive telly busy at least until December, and I thought I’d highlight a few I’m looking forward to.

Robin of Sherwood

Top of my list is the re-release of 1980s sword and sorcery series, Robin of Sherwood, Richard Carpenter’s classic interpretation of the Robin Hood legend, only this time it’s getting the Blu-ray treatment. The VHS and DVD versions have been prized possessions over the years, reminding me of Saturday afternoon viewing in the mid-80s, but I’ll be getting hold of these.

Forget the recent Russell Crowe version, and even the Kevin Costner movie, which ripped off various elements of RoS. Set one, the Michael Praed years, is out on 15 November.

This morning they tweeted that they’ll be releasing of more volumes in their superlative Look-Back on 70s Telly series on 22 November, those titles which offer a pick-n-mix style collection of TV episodes from existing sets alongside new-to-DVD gems.

Issue 3 kicks off with an episode of Richard Carpenter’s Catweazle, the story of a time travelling wizard brought forward to 1970s England, and also features episodes of nine other series not already on shiny disc, including Anything You Can Do, Soldier and Me and A Place to Hide.

Look-Back Issue 3Also out will be Issue 4, leading with the kids’ comedy The Ghosts of Motley Hall (I already have the complete set which came out a few years ago) alongside episodes of King of the Castle, Quest of Eagles and The Boy Merlin and another handful of series.

The 8 November sees a trio of releases celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Goodies, the British comedy threesome who may have ruled 1970s TV but who have been rather neglected by today’s broadcasters.

The Goodies (At Last), The Goodies (At Last) the 40th Anniversary and The Goodies: At Last – Back for More Again celebrate the various eccentric adventures of Tim, Graeme and Bill as they encounter giant kittens, kidnapped musicians and Dougal from The Magic Roundabout.

Also out in November is the Edward Woodward quiz show, Whodunnit? (having recently watched Woodward in Callan I can’t quite picture what this is going to be like, but any Woodward is worth owning); Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray; the intriguing sounding Scorpion Tales, six plays linked by the fact they each have a sting in their tale; and a bundle of episodes from Sunday Night at the London Palladium, featuring Bruce Forsyth and the late Norman Wisdom in some of the best episodes from the 1950 and 60s.

Take a trip over to the Network site for the full list of releases: apologies in advance if your bank balance suffers as a result.

I’ll be tweeting about many of these in the coming months, so keep an eye on my Twitter feed if you want to hear more.