I won’t swear that this was the best episode to show our five year-old, because he hasn’t had time to experience very many of the people mocked or celebrated in this one. These include Glenda Jackson, Andy Warhol, Mae West, Ken Russell, Francois Truffaut, Franco Zeffirelli, Buster Keaton, Richard Harris, Laurel and Hardy, Samson and Delilah, Macbeth, Stanley Kubrick, Charlie Chaplin, and so on. I certainly giggled, though I also cringed and winced, afraid that the nun in the Ken Russell parody was going to take off all her clothes. (She didn’t. That probably happened in a real Ken Russell movie, though.)
All’s well in the end, of course, because it climaxes with a rather brilliant slapstick battle between Graeme’s cowboys, Tim’s legionnaires, and Bill’s silent film comedians. It’s not just very funny, it’s probably the most technically complex Goodies sequence that I’ve yet seen. About two-thirds of the way through, the characters are projected on a screen in a theater and begin interacting with other characters in the audience, and then it pulls back to reveal that this audience is also being projected, with a second audience watching, and interacting, with it. I didn’t double-take, I triple-taked.