Change of Life (The Goodies)
"Change of Life" The Goodies episode Episode no. Series 9
Episode 74 (of 76)
Produced by Starring Tim Brooke-Taylor
Original air date 30 January 1982
(Saturday — 6.45 p.m.)
David Rappaport as
the (voice) of the Robot
Series 9 episodes 27 December 1981 – 13 February 1982
- Snow White 2
- Football Crazy
- Big Foot
- Change of Life
- Animals Are People Too
List of The Goodies episodes
As always, the episode was written by members of The Goodies.
It is Bill's 40th birthday, and Tim and Graeme intend to celebrate it in grand style. An angry Bill, annoyed that he's getting older, arrives at the office and screams at his fellow Goodies to stop reminding him of his birthday. After Tim and Graeme ignore him and present him with a card and a cake (with no less than 75 candles), Bill flies into a rage, and accidentally ends up dumping the cake onto himself. A miserable Bill cheers up a little bit after catching a glimpse of his out-of-shape body in front of the mirror, and Graeme (assuming his doctor alter-ego "Dr Grayboots") offers to give Bill a makeover.
Tim models the wildly over-the-top new looks available for Bill to choose, and after Bill decides on Graeme's Barbara Cartland look-alike option, he's told he will have to settle with what he's given. Graeme then decides that they all could use a makeover and enters their details into the computer, which also organises dates for the trio for the night.
The Goodies hit the town to show off their new looks. Tim is sporting a curly blonde wig, beauty spot and false teeth. Graeme is given curly mop hair, a hairy chest and Groucho Marx-style glasses, nose and moustache. Bill sports a bouffant hairdo, platform shoes and ridiculous false chin. The Goodies wait to meet up with their dates, and soon discover that the computer organised three elderly ladies to be their companions for the night. The Goodies are led on a night of fun by the ladies - firstly to a pub, then a screening of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, then a disco. The weary Goodies eventually stagger from the disco, only to see the old ladies leave them and head off with a group of motorcyclists.
The trio decide to close down their business due to old age, and Graeme stands on the office balcony threatening to commit suicide. Tim and Bill demand he make a last will and testament before he goes, and with all of his possessions given away, Graeme jumps. Tim is horrified and runs over to the ledge. As he's leaning over the ledge lamenting on "that little face stone dead looking up at me", Graeme emerges, revealing that he only jumped a couple of feet, and right onto Tim's dead tortoise Gilbert.
Stating that it was just a test run, Graeme reveals his elaborate "doomsday machine", a Rube Goldberg-style execution machine, replete with a giant blade, a 200,000 volt trap, spears, a shotgun and tripwire, a noose and a 1 ton weight, designed to end it all. Graeme blindfolds himself and prepares to end it all, but as he's about to enter the machine, the telephone rings, but the call is for the Goodies' resident Robot.
The Robot states that the Goodies is under new management and he's taken over. He accepts the job on offer, which makes the Goodies realise that they still want to carry on. The Robot states that they are not what they used to be, and Graeme says they can prove it by undertaking the "Goodies Standard Test", designed to see if they are still capable of carrying on as Goodies. The Robot will take over if they fail, but must do the test as well.
Arriving at the testing centre, the Goodies and the Robot must jump hurdles and then change into their trademark Goodies costumes. Their first task is to make a patriotic speech, Tim does nothing but faint. The Robot fires off fireworks from the top of his head and plays a recording of Land of Hope and Glory, winning the task.
The next task is to make a hit record. The Goodies fail again, with the Robot winning by doing his version of Funky Gibbon. The "Giant Kitten" from the Kitten Kong episode makes an appearance and chases after the Goodies, but as they are chased by the cat, the wires and crew members pulling it along are revealed, with the Goodies computer admonishing the lads for revealing how the special effects were achieved.
The next task is Ecky Thump from the Kung Fu Kapers episode, Tim and Graeme prove no challenge for the Robot. Bill decides to blow up his black pudding to ridiculous size, but it soon explodes all over him, meaning the Goodies lose another task. The Goodies then flee the Golden Goose from The Goodies and the Beanstalk episode. The Goose drops a golden egg bomb, and the computer tells the crew to bring in the Goodies stunt dummies and to get the real Goodies out of the shot. The egg bomb hits the ground and blows the dummies into the air. Trademark jump cuts see the Goodies' dummy selves being replaced by their real selves, but the effect is ruined when Bill appears on the opposite side of the screen to his dummy. The computer orders "get the dummy out" and Bill promptly walks off screen. A crew member brings him back, with the computer saying "No, the other dummy!". The Goose appears again, and it's revealed the phony goose is attached to a crane and being driven along. The Robot blows up the goose, and then the Goodies are attacked by a cardboard cutout Nicholas Parsons. Making their escape on their trademark trandem bike, the Robot blows up Parsons. The Goodies crash their bike into a brick wall and a group of autograph hunters descend upon the Robot.
The final scores are revealed. The Robot scored 53 points. Tim scored 24 points, Graeme scored 28. Bill scored just two, but their combined tally of 54 is enough to beat the Robot. Conceding defeat, the Robot gives the job he received to his rivals. It is then revealed the job is a BBC vacancy looking for "Three Goodies". Suddenly a job taken notice is placed over the job advert and the Goodies notice a trandem bike go past with their replacements - a trio of robots who have become the newest incarnations of the Goodies.
Spoofs and cultural references
- The "Glasgow messia Fu Manchu" look, briefly modelled by Tim, is a reference to Billy Connolly.
- Tim's other impersonations include Denis Healey and Barbara Cartland, as well as a 'cuddly toy' in reference to The Generation Game.
- The grannies drag the Goodies to the cinema to see The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, a film refused a British certificate by the BBFC until 1999, but which was widely released to cinemas anyway after local town and city councils (including the Greater London Council) awarded it an X-certificate (the equivalent to today's 18 certificate).
- The 'Goodies Standard Test' references several other episodes of The Goodies, including Kitten Kong, The Goodies and the Beanstalk, Kung Fu Kapers and The Goodies – Almost Live.
- The final shot was originally intended to have been the Not the Nine O'Clock News team cycling into the BBC headquarters on a four-seater bike.
DVD and VHS releases
This episode has been released on both DVD and VHS.
- ^ Light Entertainment Production nomination — official BAFTA website
- ^ Best Light Entertainment Programme nomination — official BAFTA website
- ^ Information is given, by the BBC, about the BAFTA-nomination on the back of the "The GOODIES ... At Last ... Back for More, Again!" DVD cover.
- "The Complete Goodies" — Robert Ross, B T Batsford, London, 2000
- "The Goodies Rule OK" — Robert Ross, Carlton Books Ltd, Sydney, 2006
- "From Fringe to Flying Circus — 'Celebrating a Unique Generation of Comedy 1960-1980'" — Roger Wilmut, Eyre Methuen Ltd, 1980
- "The Goodies Episode Summaries" — Brett Allender
- "The Goodies — Fact File" — Matthew K. Sharp
"2001 & A Bit" · "Alternative Roots" · "Animals" · "Animals Are People Too" · "The Baddies" · "Big Foot" · "Black and White Beauty" · "Bunfight at the O.K. Tea Rooms" · "Camelot" · "Caught in the Act" · "Cecily" · "Change of Life" · "Charity Bounce" · "Chubbie Chumps" · "Clown Virus" · "Come Dancing" · "Commonwealth Games" · "Culture for the Masses" · "Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express" · "Dodonuts" · "Earthanasia" · "The End" · "Farm Fresh Food" · "Fleet Street Goodies" · "Football Crazy" · "For Those in Peril on the Sea" · "Frankenfido" · "Gender Education" · "Give Police a Chance" · "The Goodies – Almost Live" · "Goodies and Politics" · "The Goodies and the Beanstalk" · "Goodies in the Nick" · "The Goodies Rule – O.K.?" · "The Greenies" · "Holiday" · "Hospital for Hire" · "Hunting Pink" · "Hype Pressure" · "Invasion of the Moon Creatures" · "It Might as Well Be String" · "A Kick in the Arts" · "Kitten Kong" · "Kung Fu Kapers" · "Lighthouse Keeping Loonies" · "Lips, or Almighty Cod" · "The Lost Tribe" · "The Movies" · "The Music Lovers" · "The New Office" · "Pollution" · "Punky Business" · "The Race" · "Radio Goodies" · "Robot" · "Rome Antics" · "Royal Command" · "Saturday Night Grease" · "Scatty Safari" · "Scotland" · "Scoutrageous" · "Snooze" · "Snow White 2" · "South Africa" · "The Stone Age" · "Superstar" · "That Old Black Magic" · "Tower of London" · "U-Friend or UFO?" · "Wacky Wales" · "War Babies" · "Way Outward Bound" · "Winter Olympics" · "Women's Lib"
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