The Goodies 3.1 – The New Office

I was right. I said to myself that there are three episodes of The Goodies that Daniel will absolutely adore, and all three have had him howling. “The New Office,” which started their third series in 1973, began a little slow, but all the dopey visual gags and sped-up film had him roaring with laughter. At the end, he actually applauded! Then he begged to see the climactic battle a second time.

A screencap wouldn’t do the climax justice, but take my word for it: if you’ve got a kid who loves construction equipment, earthmovers, excavators, and bulldozers, they will also love this. The premise is that the Goodies lose their original office to some incompetent builders who destroy the place, so they construct a new one that looks like a disused railway station and tow it to “miles from anywhere.” But this part of England’s green and pleasant land is infested with sentient construction trucks that, thanks to the magic of film editing, howl like dinosaurs and charge like bulls. Some basic animation and miniature special effects add to the illusion, and you’ve got a sure-fire way to thrill young viewers as the Goodies wage a desperate and ridiculous battle against them. Just ignore the poster of the topless girl riding a Vespa that Bill uses to decorate his part of the office and maybe they won’t notice.

Incidentally, both the builder and the estate agent are played by comedian Joe Melia, who would later play the builder who threatened to knock down Arthur Dent’s home in the TV version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But sometime around when this Goodies episode was taped in ’72, Melia guest-hosted one of British TV’s pop music shows when Roxy Music was on to play “Ladytron.” In a delightful blooper, Melia had no idea who the band or the singer was, and thought the song was called “Try Out Girl.” We forgive you, Joe, because that estate agent character is hilarious.

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