The Goodies 9.4 – Bigfoot

I’m taking the day off to stay home with our son, who’s recovering from the flu, and asked him what he wanted to watch. Before he settled down with the second disk of Eerie, Indiana, he said “Hey, can we watch a new Goodies?” Glad he’s feeling better!

The seven episodes made for LWT sometimes get overlooked, and I only found the first three sporadically entertaining, but “Bigfoot” is pretty hilarious. It starts with Bill and Tim watching the latest episode of The Mysterious World of Arthur C. Clarke. I not sure whether we ever got this show in America, but we did get the uncannily similar In Search Of, so while our son was guffawing over the slapstick, I was roaring over the explanations provided for Stonehenge and frog rains and the Loch Ness Monster. An abominable snowman takes a bite out of Clarke’s overpriced tie-in book, and when Graeme insists that Clarke himself isn’t real and there’s no empirical evidence as to his existence, Tim goes off to make his own television series searching for any elusive proof that people may have seen Clarke in the wild.

Eventually, all three Goodies make their way to an Arthur C. Clarke theme park in the Canadian Rockies to find UFOs and other unexplained phenomena, and of course Graeme needs to be there if they’re actually to find Clarke. It kind of falls apart at the end, as the slapstick and silly costumes overwhelm everything else, but for those first fifteen minutes of seventies paranormal nonsense, this was as funny as The Goodies at its peak.

The Twilight Zone 1.13 – Night of the Meek / But Can She Type? / The Star

So last time, we looked at a remake of an episode that we hadn’t watched, and this time, we looked at a remake of a story that we really enjoyed. The ’80s version of Rod Serling’s “Night of the Meek” was scripted by Rockne S. O’Bannon and it’s… okay. The problem with remaking something that’s really well known and really, really good is that it’s always going to suffer by comparison. Richard Mulligan is fine as Henry Corwin, if tactfully less pathetic than Art Carney’s original, but poor William Atherton seems to have been cast specifically to replay his needlessly obstinate antagonist character from Ghostbusters. On the other hand, the scale of the production is a little larger and there’s a real sense of redemption when the grouchy department store owner finds a little happiness on Christmas Eve. Our son loved it.

He was a little baffled by the second segment, “But Can She Type?”. The first problem was that title. Obviously, to older viewers, this one’s about a secretary, but he asked “But why was it called that?!” Pam Dawber plays a mistreated and unhappy secretary in this segment, but with a little magic from a gigantic office photocopier – the comic that I used to draw when I lived in Athens was mostly printed on a beast this size – she can visit another world where secretaries are held in awe and esteem. For a comedy segment, it’s not bad, and it was fun to see Jonathan Frakes play a dude so out of his league that he can’t even talk to a secretary without spilling his drink.

“The Star” is based on Arthur C. Clarke’s story and it’s a really short segment, just about ten minutes long. Writer Alan Brennert hit the plot beats as quickly as the running time would allow, and Fritz Weaver and Donald Moffat, who passed away a couple of weeks ago, are very watchable as two old friends learning a surprise about the universe that sparks a crisis of faith. Our son had no idea at all what this one was about, though, because we’re not Sunday school types, you see. It’s a heck of a good premise for a story, and we explained what the revelation implied to general disinterest and shrugs. So this was an hour that he enjoyed a little less as it went on, basically!

Today’s feature was a gift from Marie’s brother Karl and we really appreciate it! If you would like to support this blog, you can buy us a DVD of a movie that we’d like to watch one day. We’ll be happy to give you a shout-out and link to the site of your choice when we write about it. Here’s our wishlist!