Series 5 Episode 13 – The End
Summary: The Goodies struggle with living in isolation after their office is sealed in a block of concrete.
As Graeme works at Tim’s desk, Bill sits by the window and laments about the beauty of Kew Gardens and the birds. However, a few seconds later, he picks up a pistol and takes a few shots at one of them! Graeme tells Bill to be quiet, and explains that he has been commissioned by a Mr Harry Highrise to redevelop Kew Gardens. Unfortunately, Graeme’s design involves covering the entire area with concrete and massive buildings, eradicating even the slightest bit of green.
As he looks at Graeme’s scale model, Bill notices somewhat smugly that Graeme has forgotten to put doors and windows on the model skyscrapers. Graeme, just as smug, reveals that the tallest building is just a 350 foot high block of solid concrete, because no one will be able to afford its extortionate rent, and there are no doors and windows to stop the squatters moving in.
Tim storms into the room in a bad mood about the redevelopment scheme, planning to write to the queen. He dictates a letter to Graeme, whom he still doesn’t realise is one of the bad guys. He asks for Mr Highrise and the architect to be beheaded, and only realises that Graeme is involved several seconds after he has read aloud Graeme’s name (and informed Graeme that his own name is spelt G-R-A-E-M-E, forcing Graeme to scribble out what he has already written).
Tim is angered even further by this revelation, asking Graeme what he did that for; Graeme’s reply of ‘fifty thousand quid’ doesn’t help to calm him down. Still in a mood, Tim tries to storm out of the room, only to walk headlong into a solid block of concrete. They look out of the window and see the concrete rising up as the construction crew work remarkably fast. But rather than panicking, the three Goodies sit on the floor and sing ‘We Shall Not Be Moved’.
Sixteen days later, the Goodies watch a news item detailing their continued protest. They watch a clip of the queen, who speaks about how proud she feels that men are still prepared to die for their principles, which shocks and horrifies the Goodies, who thought they were going to try and get them out. Graeme telephones the Ministry of Works, only to find that they are on strike.
Six months after that, the strike has been resolved, and he gets a call back. Graeme informs Tim and Bill that it will only take 10.3 seconds for them to drill through the concrete and reach them. However, they will only do that once they have finished a whole list of construction works (that Graeme draws on a map of Britain and accidently plays a game of noughts-and-crosses with himself in the process), which will take 1 year, 7 months, 4 days, 3 hours and 5 minutes to complete. Understandably, the Goodies are worried by this news, and they all finally start to panic.
On their release day, a partially dressed and very drunk Bill and Tim are sat on the floor, singing. Bill keeps trying to burp and Tim gives him his ‘Turps for Burps’ to help him, which, although tasting disgusting, does work, and Bill lets out a massive burp. Graeme, who (in Tim’s words) is ‘not a happy Fuzzy-Chops’, is stressed out and annoyed by their behaviour, as he knows that the queen is going to arrive soon, and, whilst she will probably give Tim and Bill OBEs, he is probably going to get beheaded. A tearful Tim laments about how much he will miss Bill and Graeme when they are released, as he is planning to make sure he will never see either of them again.
However, when Graeme opens the door, they find that the concrete is still there. They switch on the TV, and learn from the news that work on the Brighton to Birkenhead freeway (and so their subsequent release) has been suspended indefinitely. Their phone line is also cut off as they haven’t paid their bill (and the phone blows up after Bill somewhat aggressively explains that they are unable to put it in writing either), and when they turn the TV on, the BBC announces that they are cutting back by 100%. When the screen goes black, the Goodies realise that they are totally cut off from the outside world.
‘A bit later’, the Goodies have a meeting, and Graeme talks about how basic civilisation is split into three groups: the ruling class, the scientific class, and the workers. He goes on to say how lucky they are to have, in their flat, representatives of all three of these groups. Even though the division seems obvious, Bill insists that Graeme explain which one of them fits into which category. Graeme explains that he represents the scientific class, Tim represents the ruling class, and Bill is left as the worker.
Tim tries to make a patriotic speech about making a new world for their children, only to get his record smashed by Bill and informed that they will be unable to have children. He isn’t impressed by Bill’s suggestion that they will ‘be doomed to be bachelors gay’, and takes to insulting Bill’s surname. Bill also takes a few shots at his surname in return. Graeme informs them that now they are stuck together, they need to respect each other’s privacy, and goes and locks himself into the lavatory.
Two weeks later, Graeme emerges from the lavatory talking about his ‘unique experience’ and informing Tim that he has become a monk. Tim is unimpressed, telling him that he ‘got religion’ days ago, and is now Jewish. Graeme asks where Bill is, and is met by Bill, who, after covering his face in boot polish and talking in a stupid voice, tells him that he has become a ‘black Muslim’. After getting wound up by Bill, Graeme gets into a mood and takes a vow of silence, which only lasts five seconds before Tim goads him into speaking again.
A year later, the Goodies have finally run out of food. Tim even considers eating his pet mouse, Gilbert, but Graeme persuades him not to – only to shove Gilbert into his own mouth until Tim protests. In desperation, Tim and Graeme consider cannibalism, choosing Bill after rigging a draw of straws. They debate about how to kill Bill, even though Tim can’t eat him because he isn’t kosher. Luckily for Bill, who is totally oblivious to what the other two are plotting, he comes up with the idea of eating the furniture, inadvertently saving his own life.
However, Goodies have started to hallucinate, something that Graeme says is normal considering their living conditions (as he reads aloud from an imaginary text book). Bill and Tim have hallucinated imaginary friends, and Graeme starts seeing a whole lot of imaginary objects, which ends up with Bill and Graeme running up the imaginary stairs and walking into Tim’s imaginary bath.
Seventy years later, a very aged Tim and Graeme are playing Eye Spy with a lone chair, but they don’t seem to find it repetitive. They talk about the long forgotten pleasures of umbrellas and women (getting them muddled up in the process) and mention that it is Bill’s 106th birthday. A very young looking Bill comes in, but immediately collapses, and the exact same thing happens a year later. A year after that, Bill is lying on the floor between the skeletons of his friends, and he hears a knock on the door. However, Bill dies before he can see who comes in.
Three space age Goodies blast their way through the concrete and enter the office. Graeme has Mr Spock like ears, and Tim plays Land of Hope and Glory by pressing a button on his chest. However, they quickly find that they are too late to save the Goodies, and are about to leave when the tunnel caves in, leaving the new Goodies panicking as they get trapped in the concrete block themselves.
Tim: [Dictating his letter to the queen] May I suggest that they both be locked up… no, that they should have their botties soundly smacked, no, no, that they should both be beheaded… twice… very slowly!
Tim: Graeme? You don’t mind me calling you Graeme, do you, ’cause you’re the only friend I’ve got in the whole world.
Bill: Oi oi, what about me?!
Tim: And you. Anyway, we’re going to be released soon and you know something? I’m going to miss you two… I’m going to miss you two because I’m going to make damn sure I see neither of you ever again!
Tim: We shall build a fine life, a better tomorrow, a finer world for our children.
Bill: What do you mean children, what do you mean children? We’re not going to have any children, are we? I mean, thing about it . . . Let’s face it, for the next three years we three are doomed to be bachelors gay. [Bill and Graeme stroke Tim’s hair and put their hands on his shoulders]. That’s a, that’s an idea, innit?
Tim: [Slapping their hands away]. Get off! And you!
Bill: Hey, hey, I don’t mind shaving, you know. Underneath this lot I look a bit like Liza Minelli.
Tim: I’ve often wondered why you grew it.
Bill: You bitch!
This is my all time favourite episode of The Goodies. Despite a few problematic jokes, including one very cringy racist ‘joke’ (which is unfortunately to be expected when watching a 1970s TV programme), this episode is full of laughs and witty humour, and ultimately goes to show that Bottle Episodes can be just as good, if not better, than the higher budget episodes.
Therefore, ‘The End’ gets a 10/10.