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I’ve been waiting for this release for quite sometime for many reasons, but mainly because the first Goodies release was simply gob smackingly stunning. It was a considered release containing plenty of extras with each episode restored to better than broadcast standard thanks to a time consuming restoration process.

Goodies…At Last A Second Helping, The
This second compilation contains eight more comedy classics from one of the most under rated comedy shows the BBC have ever produced. Always in the shadow of Monty Python, The Goodies (Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie)  took surreal comedy to the masses and introduced us to some memorable shows. Though incorrectly labelled as a kids show, it was originally broadcast after 9pm on BBC 2 and contained some swearing so be prepared as The Goodies were not as cosy as legend has you believe. They tackled satire and social issues with a surreal touch that would go over the heads of many youngsters.

The eight episodes contained on this 2-disc set are:

Radio Goodies: After their application arrives too late, Bill, Tim and Graeme’s plan to establish a radio station is rejected and The Goodies take to pirate radio with Radio Goodies.

Originally shown on December 20 1970 and recognised as the first really surreal episode, this treat from Series 1 is the one that signals the shows direction. It contains many of the ingredients that shaped the show.

Goodies…At Last A Second Helping, The
Come Dancing: Tim’s allusions about Come Dancing are shattered when a competing team in the semi-finals collapse after being drugged.

Also known as Wicked Waltzing and shown on November 19 1971, this was considered lost for a long time as it was a victim of the BBC’s mass junking which saw countless Dr Who and Steptoe and Son episodes wiped. This has been re assembled as best it can from off air recordings and a black and white version discovered in Australia.

Movies: Britain’s film studios are being closed down; The Goodies purchase Pine Tree Studios and become film producers in a bid to save the British film industry.

The first episode from Series 5 and shown on February 10th 1975, this was the series that saw them at their creative peak with an opener that would go down as an all time classic piece of comedy television.

South Africa: The Goodies are recruited by the South African Tourist Office to make a film encouraging people to enter the country.

The Goodies most controversial episode was originally shown April 21 1975 and was miss-interrupted by many viewers. It’s a blatant attack on South Africa’s treatment of blacks and mocks racism to such an extent that it turns into biting satire.

Goodies…At Last A Second Helping, The
Bunfight At The OK Tea Rooms: The Goodies’ search for wealth leads them to Cornwall and a mine of Cornish cream, which Graeme is keen to exploit at the expense of Tim and Bill.

Another gem from Series 5 originally broadcast April 28 1975, this comedic turn on the American gold rush, which was now Cornish cream, is remembered mainly for Graeme riding a stuffed donkey something that became a main part of forthcoming title sequences.

The End: Graeme’s concrete city designs for an unscrupulous property developer end in disaster when the Goodie’s office is encased in a 350-foot block of concrete.

This episode, again from Series 5 and shown May 5 1975, is different to what’s gone before. It’s totally self-contained, never moving away from the office set, but it’s a marvellous piece, covering aspects such as greed, cohabiting and madness.

Scoutrageous: Boy Scouts are on the run as The Goodies have them declared illegal by the Government.

A classic from Series 7 shown November 22 1977, once again taking a subject and combining it with a surreal outcome. It also has the classic version of theme to enjoy, what bliss.

Punk Business: The punk phenomenon grips Britain as grannies reject niceness and The Goodies take to the streets in search of the latest fad.

By mocking TV phenomenon Rock Follies, The Goodies took lampooning to an extreme. Another show from Series 7 and broadcast November 29 1977, it’s a very polished piece, with an hilarious opening number.

Most episodes have some quality guest stars such as June Whitfield and Phil Madoc, each performing with some quality comic timing. As for the super chaps three well Tim, Bill and Graeme, through the material especially in the Movies episode, indicate their influences, which is many with a high reliance on silent cinema. Some of these episodes have already been made available on VHS some years ago, but they were nowhere near this quality and thanks to these DVD’s I’ve binned the old cassette releases.

The special effects, though basic, are interesting to see and you appreciate the show more now that you’re older as you'll appreciate just how much work went into each show. But it’s the witty wordplay that Garden and Oddie wrote that will capture your attention. Just listen out for the many arguments and statements they make and you’ll appreciate just how talented these guys are.

Fingers crossed there’s more to come, and while we’re at it why not lets have the LWT series from 1981/82, which would be made very welcome in my DVD collection.

Goodies…At Last A Second Helping, The
Image is 1.33:1 and, putting my head on the line here, has to be one of the best transfers I’ve seen for a classic television series. Seriously I kid you not, Network have had each episode cleaned up and restored to better than broadcast standard results. Each image is colourful and solid, grain is evident during filmed sequences but this will be due to the film unit using 16mm film in the first place. Obviously the Come Dancing episode looks poor at times but as I explained before this is due to the source material used for its reconstruction.

Sound is the original mono mix, which again seems to have been through the remastering process. Each episode is clear and sharp with the various versions of the theme sounding as good as you’ll remember. Dialogue is good on the ear and much sharper than the VHS versions of some of these episodes. A downside has to be that some of the commentary tracks are very quiet and you'll have to keep adjusting the volume to hear Graeme, more of that in the extras section.

The extras section kicks off with the option of three commentaries that Tim, Graeme and Bill have recorded for the episodes, The Movies, South Africa and The End. Each has their merits with Bill and Tim making the most of their time. Graeme is a little more subdued but does on occasion come out with some quality information. All are worth listening to even if you have to turn the volume up a bit to hear it.

Next are three short sketches culled from various TV shows from this era. The first, Gymnasium was originally broadcast as part of the Engelbert Humperdink Show and is an excellent piece. It’s basically the boys trying to get fit with everything going wrong in the traditional silent movie with sound effects style. Next is a song from Crackerjack (CRACKERJACK!) in 1972, which has the team singing their famous song, “A Man’s Best Friend Is His Duck”. A bizarre tune indeed but a well researched extra.
The next classic Goodies sketch is from the 1972, A Christmas Night With The Stars. Here The Goodies try to impress a young kid with their “Christmas In 5 Minutes” service. Very inventive and clever using their inspired take on silent comedy to huge effect.

The Restoration Feature which follows this is a short piece that shows just how much effort goes into restoring this kind of release. Although running at only a few minutes you can appreciate how much time this process takes. If you have time check the PDF’s which are includede here.
Come Dancing, Earthanasia, Saturday Night Grease, Movies, South Africa, Bunfight At The OK Tearooms, The End, Punky Business and Scoutrageous scripts are all here with the original amendments written on them. An excellent collection that detail each scene with how they were to be shot. Another fine extra is the The Goodies In Conversation
piece. Here the trio go into detail about events during their time as The Goodies. Why they re-recorded Kitten Kong, about producers and why the BBC labelled it as a “kids show”. It lasts only twenty minutes and I could have listened to it for much longer. By the way, listen at the end about O.B.E. stiffeners!

Network has once again delivered a first class release. Surely this should send a signal to the BBC to let them release full seasons now, for the care and attention Network have spent on this 2-disc set makes it one of the best releases of the year so for. An instant “must have” that comes highly recommended.