Bill and Tim are watching their favourite programme 'The Mysterious World Of Arthur C.Clarke'. As the end credits roll, the continuity announcer states it won't be back next week because its just been discovered that Clarke does not in fact exist!
Of course its Graeme, heavily disguised as the venerable British sci-fi author, out to fleece the gullible public by peddling a tie-in book. Tim decides to do a similar show, called 'The Quest For Arthur C.Clarke
Man Or Myth'. The Goodies travel to the Canadian Rockies which is
where Arthur was last sighted. But they find an even bigger mystery awaiting them, for Canada is the home of the legendary Bigfoot!
In 1981, the Goodies followed Tony Hancock and Morecambe & Wise by switching to I.T.V. at the height of their fame. London Weekend Television was no slouch when it came to producing hit comedy shows - being responsible for 'On The Buses', the 'Doctor' series, and the Stanley Baxter shows amongst others. But the move proved a disastrous one.
L.W.T. scheduled 'The Goodies' at 6.45 on Saturday evenings, a slot normally reserved for family entertainment shows. The Goodies had in the past refused to acknowledge their younger audience, preferring a latish starting time. For some strange reason, it evolved into the very 'kids' programme' they had always denied it was. The 'Bigfoot' episode is a good example; it begins well enough with a funny parody of 'Arthur C.Clarke's Mysterious World', in which the acclaimed author of '2001: A Space Odyssey' examined unexplained mysteries such as the Loch Ness Monster, but when the action moves to Canada it becomes annoying-silly rather than funny-silly, ending with the lads hopping about on gigantic feet, and cute Disney-style singing gophers.
The satirical edge which defined their earlier work was suddenly gone, so were the big name guest stars such as Beryl Reid and Stanley Baxter. Bob Spiers had replaced Jim Franklin as the Goodies' producer by this time, and his film sequences in no way begin to compare with Franklin's.
The L.W.T. series is currently being repeated on 'Paramount 2' on Sky. I hope no-one tunes in thinking they are in any way representative of the show as a whole. For fans of 'The Goodies', it was a rather sad finale to one of the best British sitcoms ever made.
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