The Time Bicycle - The Benny Hill Show - 14th December 1962 - 20:50
I have a recollection of watching this show in my early childhood. Benny Hill was very popular on television as far back as the early 1960s.
On reflection, I should imagine Benny Hill got this idea for this parody from the film, "The Time Machine" made in 1960, starring Rod Taylor, and the lovely Yvette Mimieux.
I remember the show being set, either in the late 1890s, or about 1900. The show starts with Benny Hill, dressed in a deerstalker cap, a checked suit with knickerbockers, being shown "The Time Bicycle" by the professor (who I think was played by that great actor, Graham Stark, who appeared throughout the series with Benny Hill). As Benny mounted the bicycle and started peddling, to the professor's surprise, he disappears.
In the next scene we see Benny cycling through a misty atmosphere, which would have been meant to suggest a mysterious "time cloud", during this time Benny is narrating the story with a voice over. He looks down at the "time monitor" on the handlebars and, to his amazement, he sees that the year is now: 1914.
I have a recollection of him touching down in this part of time and meets a young girl and her father.
The father affronts him, shouting:
'Why aren't you away fighting Germans?"
'I couldn't tell you. I don't know any!' (This is the line that gets the laugh).
The father, who is armed with a small, hand pistol, points it at Benny as he mounts his bicycle and, again, starts pedalling. Luckily, Benny disappears into thin air before the first shot is fired. The father ends up shooting angrily at an empty space.
The scene, again, shifts to Benny cycling through his mysterious "time cloud". As before, he looks down at his "time monitor" and sees that it is now the year: 1940.
When he sets himself down in this part of time, he finds himself inside a dilapidated house, with what we all know to be an Air Raid Warden, shouting at him to put the light out, and trying to remind him that there is a war on. Of course, Benny is totally perplexed by all of this, (at this point, the viewer has to remember that Benny is now far into the future, and his character would have no knowledge of a war in the year: 1940).
However, as soon as he hears the sound of bombing going on outside, he decides to back pedal the bicycle to his own time of: 1900.
The last part of the show that I remember, was Benny doing a voice over narrating about another invention that the professor has been working on. The voice over is accompanying Benny walking along a path away from the house, reading book as he strolls along, but this time he is invisible, and all you can see is the lonely image of a book, at arms height, making its way along the path.
This scene is supposed to remind the viewer of H.G. Wells's other science fiction novel: "The Invisible Man".
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