Archive for the ‘Goon Show’ Category

Who and How to complain to the BBC about the Goodies?

I’ve been wanting to do a post about the Goodies and their connection to Monty Python. For those not  in the know, the Goodies are also classic British Humour, although it was more visual than Monty Python. The show was sort of like the US’s Rocky and Bullwinkle in that it played to all ages. There is a belief that the controller of the BBC during the 1980s did not personally like the series. John Howard Davies has stated, on the ‘Return of The Goodies‘ reunion programme that he did not want to broadcast any Goodies repeats.

The BBC has issued DVDs of select episodes, but the BBC was never enthusiastic about promoting them when it released two videos of the series in the 1990s. The cast finally took matters into their own hands and arranged with Network Video for the release of digitally-remastered “best of” selections.

I know a similar effort of public appeals to the Beeb’s powers that be produced a set of the Colditz Series.

I should add that there is a bootleg issue out there as well of the Complete Goodies:

While the bootleg may be for “a good cause”, these are bootlegs with the poor quality associated with such disks. Not to mention the artists (and the Beeb) don’t see any royalties from these disks.

Maybe, we can get the Beeb to see sense even if they dislike the series!  After all, they need to get some revenue for these programmes.

So, if we can get the name(s) of the powers that be who make these decisions, maybe they can be persuaded to get their act together.

See also:

Jones and Palin

I have to admit that as someone who grew up with British humour, such as the Goons, Monty Python, The Goodies and other Oxbridge humour that the names Terry Jones and Palin have certain connotations to me.

The Terry Jones I am familiar with is an intelligent person and we share a lot of interests (e.g., medievalism and politics). There is a yank, who shares the same name as my Terry and is some form of sick comedian. He is a weird parody of a Christian preacher. His routine is rather disgusting.

Michael Palin as far as I know is no relation to Sarah! Although Michael is nearly as funny. The problem is that Sarah ISN’T trying to be funny. She is just a sick joke version of a politician.

Between Michael and Sarah, I am not sure who looks better in lingerie! My vote is with Michael since Sarah is like a bad drag act. She should learn to dress from Eddie Izzard and Danny LaRue. The worst part about Sarah is that Tina Fey does her so much more effectively.

Personally, I prefer British humour far more than I do US humour.  The problem is that US humour has invaded the territory of Comedy.  This is due to the fact that Ronald Reagan acted as the vanguard for thespians and humourists invading US politics, which had been pretty much a joke to begin with.  Since Reagan has opened the door, the tone of US politics has become more and more bizarre.

I wrote something when I was in School that the US elections were to vote for the village idiot.  That vision from a 16 year old seems to have become a prophetic piece of writing.  The lunatics have taken over the US, which leave me wondering where are the sane US citizens?  Do they exist?  Why do they not have a voice?

There are those who predict that the world will come to an end on the 21st of May.

Lucky escape for Arsenal if it did.

Raiding the BBC Archives: DRM, iPlayer, and other things

Anyone familiar with UK TV knows that the powers that be were terrible about archiving shows. It was common UK television practice up until the late 1970s to destroy videotapes because of agreements with actors’ and musicians’ unions that limited the number of repeats. Fortunately, the policy of wiping recordings ceased in 1978. When Peter Cook learned the series Not Only… But Also was to be destroyed, he offered to buy the tapes from the BBC but was refused because of copyright issues. He then suggested that he purchase new tapes, so that the BBC would have no need to erase the originals, but inexplicably this was also turned down. We are fortunate that some series managed to survive this dark period of ignorance. I believe that some programmes, such as Doctor Who and the Goon Show managed to survive because the tapes were shipped to other countries that were more enlightened regarding archiving (e.g., Canada and Australia).

This wasn’t just a UK problem since Lathe of Heaven had various issues regarding its rebroadcast, this was despite it being the most requested PBS programme of all time. Even the remake had to have the Beatles “A Little help from My Friends” redone to enable the show’s rerelease. WNET has not said how much it cost to re-release Lathe of Heaven, stating simply that it “wasn’t cheap,” and that hopefully royalties would help recoup the expense.

Anyway, This comes from one issue I have with iPlayer: they don’t archive the shows for very long. The 7 day limit is annoying: especially when they rebroadcast the show. Also, the rebroadcast of Hamlet was in standard def rather than hi-def. The good folks at the Beeb have said that they are making the quality of standard programmes better, which they are. But, hi-def is indeed much clearer, which is important when you are watching the programme on a 1080p 37″ LCD-TV! Also, some of the later archived versions of iPlayer vids are signed.

Being signed is acceptable if you are deaf, but it’s a bit like watching someone playing charades for those who do not sign. This is especially true since the interpreters tend to emote whilst signing. It could be worse, the described programmes for the blind are a bit annoying as well. The Goons used to point out the advantage of the radio for using your imagination. As they would say “try doing that on Television” after some bizarre description of their activities.

You can find Goon Show Scripts here:
If you are too cheap to buy the books.

The next annoyance is DRM, which isn’t limited to iPlayer. Neither is it really relevant since there are ways to get around that nonsense. It seems to me that these people could make more money by allowing people to subscribe to the iPlayer service and download away. Better yet, get rid of the geographic restrictions on this material anyway since that can be circumvented as well.

It’s a bit like the cartoon where the person is saying “Not many people pirate CDs of Buxtehude” (although I did hear that Tallis’s Spem in Alium was pirated as Spam in Allium, or Spam in Garlic in translation–not sure if that was a joke or not after this reference). How many people are going to pirate Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys? Anyway, it seems that regional encoding has gone the way of the Dodo with blu-ray since people who want to watch programmes such as Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys will do so.

Never underestimate a determined Anorak!