* * Tales of Old Dartmoor * *
Series 6, Episode 21

Transcribed by Reed hedges. 11-24-96 and 1-4-96.
rescanned in by Reed June, '03. Further edits by Tony Wills June '03.

\ ... \ cut out of 27m34s version
/ ... / cut out of 21m22s LP version

Greenslade: This is the \BBC light programme\/Home Service/. And here is a photograph of me saying it.

Seagoon: Thank you, Friese-Greene (*1). Or as he came out of an icebox, deep-freeze Greene.

Greenslade: I don't wish to know that.

Seagoon: Stop those carefully rehearsed and written ad-libs and proceed with your task of announcing radio's answer to TV.

Sellers: (older voice) Namely the original lantern-slide type wireless Goon Show.

Orch.: Short brass note.

Seagoon: Try and get that on a long player! All right, so much for melody. And now, segregate the sinful sexes-­

Sellers: Wait! How many sexes are there?

Seagoon: Two.

Sellers: It's not enough I say, go out and order some more.

Seagoon: Mr. Sellers, throw away that fur-lined chin strap, and make a statement.

Sellers: (different voice) What is a jail break?

Spike: Answer - A brake used for stopping jails!

FX: Shot. Body falls to ground.

Seagoon: Wrong. A jail break has nothing to do with tonight's story, which is entitled "Tales of Old Dartmoor".

Orch.: short Dragnet tune-- you know, dum da dum dum duuum.

Greenslade: This is the story of a desperate man in prison.

Seagoon: Yes, it was I. I was the governor. Question: Why was I desperate?

Spike: Answer: Because your record hasn't reached the hit parade!

FX: Shot.

Seagoon: Wrong. I was desperate for a very different reason.

FX: Telephone rings: pick up.

Seagoon: Hello, prison governor here.

Super: (Sellers, over phone) Yes, this is the superintendent of county jails. We're stock-taking.

Seagoon: Really? How jolly for you!

Super: (over phone) How many convicts have you got in?

Seagoon: Well, let me see now, there's Jim the crazy vicar... hoo hoo oh no, no he escaped. There's um', meat-axe George .. oh no no no, no he bought himself out, yes. Then there's that confidence trickster... hno, he became an MP. Hmm. Number 34128 was released, Fred was transferred... You know, ha ha, I do believe we've run completely out of them.

Super: (still over phone, in case you forgot) Do you know what this means, Seagoon?

Seagoon: Yes, we're empty.

Super: Empty!? By the way Seagoon, are you standing at attention?

Seagoon: Yes.

Super: Good. Now look here Seagoon you can't walk around with an empty prison. Your job will be in jeopardy.

Seagoon: In Jeopardy? I don't want to go abroad!

Super: Seagoon, I'm giving you a warning. Get that prison full of convicts or you're fired underline fired!

FX: Phone down.

Seagoon: It's all very well for him to talk, but nobody's committing any crimes. Here I am working my fingers to the bone, sweeping out empty cells, oiling unused locks, polishing handcuffs and giving transfusions to blood hounds! And never a word of thanks. Where can I get convicts?

FX: Chicken squawk -- probably Sellers.

Seagoon: It's the front door. Coming!!! I'll be there in a moment (far off) Don't get broody.

FX: Bolts clank etc of heavy metal doors.

Thynne: May I come in?

Seagoon: Have you committed any crime?.

Thynne: I'm afraid not.

Seagoon: Then, you can't come in.

Thynne: Take off your hat... (aside) Now!

FX: Thunk!

Seagoon: OWOOO OW OW OWOWOOWO! Come in.

Thynne: Come in, Moriarty.

Moriarty: Ououooiiuiuou.

FX: Steel door dragged shut.

Thynne: Allow us to introduce ourselves. My card.

Seagoon: But it's blank!

Thynne: Business is bad.

Seagoon: That's funny so's mine. I haven't got a convict in the place.

Thynne: Perhaps we can help you Neddie ... For a consideration. Moriarty, explain the (whisper) *plan*.

Moriarty: Ou Certainment! ouioiuuuoiu. oiuoo. Listen: We will guarantee you a constant supply of convicts at our reduced summer rate of three shillings per head per day.

Seagoon: Three shillings eh?

Moriarty: Yes.

Seagoon: The government give me five that leaves two, take away the convicts you first thought of... mheh heh... You're on! When do they come in?

Thynne: Open that door.

FX: door open.

Grams: (enter marching convicts singing - ?????).

Thynne: There you are Neddie, eleven hundred and eighty two of them.

Seagoon: Wonderful! Who said Britain was finished as a criminal nation? I'll address them in the mess hall.

Moriarty: Where's the mess hall?

Seagoon: Here.

OMNES: crowd noises: conversation, some Goony foolishness thrown in...

Moriarty: Right, address them!


Moriarty: What do you mean they're not wanted? These men are wanted everywhere.

Seagoon: Really'? Who the devil wants this lot?

Moriarty: The police.

Seagoon: Well they're safe here.

Moriarty: Good.


Throat: Goodbye.

OMNES: crowd noise etc.

Greenslade: Yes, once again Dartmoor prison was chock full as of old. And the prison yard rang to the happy sound of rock breaking, mailbag sewing and warder bashing.

Seagoon: Yes, and as governor I was receiving congratulations from every corner of the circular globe. Look at this telegram here: "Good luck Seagoon, a full prison is a happy one. Signed Home Secretary". And this here: "Good work Seagoon, please find enclosed three OBEs. Try and get a shot at the other two, signed minister of OBEs, P.S. How would you like to be a peer?" Yes. Yes. I'll be a peer. Moriarty?

Moriarty: yes?

Seagoon: I've just made myself a peer.

Moriarty: Good, I'll get down the end of it and start a concert party.

Seagoon: Come back here... It's not that kind of peer,

Moriarty: What?

Seagoon: 'P' double-'E' 'R' not 'P' 'I' 'E' 'R'!

FX: splash!

Moriarty: (far off) Oh you swine you...

Seagoon: Good heavens! He's fallen in the wet-type water!

Thynne: Yes, you're a very short peer, Neddie. /In fact hardly enough room for even a Max Geldray type Max Geldray to play his nylon dot cardigin (???!!) plastic mule race./

/Minnie: Ohhhh./

/Interval: Max Geldray plays - ?/

/Greenslade: That was Mr Max Geldray. And, if I were he, I wouldn't let it generally be known. (raspberry). And now 'Tales of Old Dartmoor' part two./

ORCH.: some music-- quite dramatic and mysterious.

FX: pen scratching.

Seagoon: Entry in prison diary. January twenty second: Convict Eccles fell into a bucket of wet cement and looks like becoming a hardened criminal. hup!

Orch.: Ta daa!

Seagoon: Thank you, thank you! Second entry. Convict Grytpype­Thynne made a strange request today.

Thynne: Neddie, do you mind if I sit down?

Seagoon: Pull up a bollard and sit down.

Thynne: Thank you.

Seagoon: Make yourself at home.

Thynne: Neddie, ...

Seagoon: Treat the cell as your own.

Thynne: I will, I will...

Seagoon: Needle nardle noo.

Thynne: Have you any more brandy'?

Seagoon: All gone.

Thynne: Sorry. Do you mind if I have a strange request? It's this: (heavy whisper) I really want... (whisper whisper whisper) ...

Seagoon: Of course! I'll do it at once!

FX: chains, lock, bolt. roll open door. steps retreat into distance. open & close distant door.

FX: open & close distant door. steps. bolt, lock, chains, door.


Seagoon: What was it you asked for?

Thynne: Never mind, I'll smoke one of my own. Now Neddie, the prisoners are getting restless.

Seagoon: Whatwhatwhatwhatwhat? They had Sabrina for the cabaret last night!? I mean ....

Thynne: Yes I know culture's all very well Neddie, but, what the lads really need is a holiday.

Seagoon: Holiday, where?

Moriarty: We-l-l Well, well, I um, I've spoken to the lads,

Seagoon: Nice of you.

Moriarty: and they all had their hearts set on the south of France.

Seagoon: But I can't let them out of prison...

Moriarty: What?!

Thynne: 'Course not Neddie, we'll take the prison with us.

Seagoon: But but you can't move the prison! People will talk!

Thynne: Neddie, we're going to leave a cardboard replica.

Seagoon: Oh, I see, yes. Ah but wait a minute-- where are we going to stay in France?

Thynne: Ah. I've made arrangements with one of the French governments for our prison to be the guest of the Chateau d'if, the historic Gaelic penitentiary.

Seagoon: Well, I must say-, is all sounds very attractive indeed.

Thynne: Yes.

Seagoon: Yes. I'll agree to it!

Thynne: Good! Then unchain our visas and we'll all be off!

Moriarty & Various: Get up there! Get up there! (Whip) Hah! (Horses and wheels on cobblestones...)

Seagoon: It was a wonderful experience to be jogging along the Queen's highway in one of her Majesty's prisons on this fine morning. Get up there! (horses ) (sings rather badly) A gypsy am I! I travel the rooooad! Whoooo cares! The lark in the sky skyyyy! To bid you goodbye! I travel the roooooooad! Aloooooone!

Thynne: You silly twisted governor you!

Orch.: (long, tiresome journey music).

Seagoon: Entry in prison diary. February the second. At sea. (hurl). Coast of France visible through the bars of F-block.

Bloodnok: Eh good morning, Captain Seagoon.

Seagoon: Good morn ... Wait a minute! You're not one of my convicts!

Bloodnok: No, no, no I'm a stowaway.

Seagoon: Well you'll have to get off. You'll have to get off. STOP THE PRISON!!

FX: ship signal bell..

Seagoon: ON YOUR LEFT!!... ETC...!!!...

Bloodnok: No no look, look...

Seagoon: ... STOP THE PRISON!!... ETC!!!...

Bloodnok: Don't stop it just for me, I'm not complaining, old man I-I...

Seagoon: That's not the point! That's Not the point sir!

Bloodnok: ...I-I-...

Seagoon: We're full up. Look here, we are full up! We've a maximum complement of convicts! Two thousand one hundred and eighty three.

Bloodnok: What what what what what! Two thousand one hundred and eighty two if you don't mind. One was drowned this morning.

Seagoon: Drowned? How?

Bloodnok: Poor lad, he tried to tunnel his way out.

Seagoon: Fo-o-o-l. Very well. You can have his cell. That will be three shillings please.

FX: cash register.

Bloodnok: There you are, three shillings in kosher maragruite.

Seagoon: Good, I'll spread it on my chequebook at once. (aside) I wonder why this man wants to join our prison.

Bloodnok (aside): Little does he know that I have reason to believe that the that the Chateau d'if contains the clue to the treasure of the count of Monte Christo.

Moriarty: Finished?

Bloodnok: (whispers) Yes.

Moriarty: (whispers) Right.(aside) Little does Bloodnok know that I also know that the Chateau D'if contains the clue to a treshure.

Thynne: Do you mind?

Moriarty: Yes.

Thynne: Thank you. (aside) Little do either of these Charlies know, that I've planned this whole move to bring down our prison bring it into direct contact with the Chateau D'if precisely to obtain the clue to the aforementioned treasure. Little do they know...

Seagoon: Finished?

Thynne: (off) Yes.

Seagoon: Great heavily whispered asides! (aside) Little do they know how little I know about the littles they know. If only I knew what the littles that they know, I'd know a little. I'll have to keep my little ears open you know. (HAUU!). End of long, boring asides!


FX: big crash! splash.

Eccles: I shoulda said that sooner, shouldn't I?

Greenslade (French accent): Ahh, mesuir ~~~ englase ~~~~~ , welcome to the Chateau d'if.

Seagoon: Shahh, what an honour! It is none other than Wallace Greenslade playing the part of the French prefect of police! And playing it very badly!

Greenslade (normal): Don't-- don't give me away-- it was this or making tea for John Snagg.

Seagoon: Thank you and good bye-- and so began a happy day at the Chateau d'if. By evening, each convict had dismantled his old cell, carried the bricks into the Chateau, wrapped in brown paper and labelled accordingly, donned the traditional French convict's red white and blue trousers, and waltzed the whole night though!

GRAMS: Waltz, with chains. under -

Thynne: Neddie, you look divine. Might I have the next dance?

Seagoon: I'm sorry I promised it to 9 2 4 3 7 8.

Thynne: oh, But he's in solitary.

Seagoon: Then he'll have to dance by himself.

Thynne: Ah hah ha ha.

Frenchman: Ahhh, good evening mister governor.

Seagoon: 'ello mate.

Frenchman: What? The prisoners want the band to play a special request-

Seagoon: What?

Frenchman: - unchained melodies!

Seagoon: Right!

/Seagoon: Convict Ellington release your pianist and play those chains./

/Interval: Ray Ellington plays ...tender trap...?/

Orch.: some transition-type music, buddy.

Greenslade: Tales of Old Dartmoor, part three. That night, in the deepest dungeon of the Chateau D'if, two figures are at work.

Thynne and Moriarty: Grunt and groan.
FX: Hammer and chisel repeatedly. Clang!

Moriarty: Oh! dropped it. Sapristi look! Here it is. A black box! La box noir!

Thynne: hwwhh yes. Lift it out and unroll it.

FX: Grunt, thud.

Thynne: Oh! Just as I anticipated.

Moriarty: What?

Thynne: I don't know what it is.

Moriarty: Wait! It's an old long playing wax cylinder gramophone record.

Thynne: Then play it!

Moriarty: But there's no gramophone.

Thynne: Well we must dig for one.

Moriarty: Right.

FX: Grunt, groan fast digging sounds.

Moriarty: Got it.

Thynne: Put it on.

Moriarty: (Grunt) It doesn't fit me at all!

Thynne: Then play it!

Moriarty: Very well. Here goes...

Gramophone (Scratchy, Greenslade): This record is the clue to the treasure of Monte Christo. Go to the prison yard, where you will find, wrapped up in brown paper parcels, another prison. Re-assemble it, and you will find the treasure buried under the floor of cell number six two six, in the basement.

Moriarty: (gasp).

Thynne: Good, good.

Moriarty: Sapristi.

Thynne: Come on Moriarty and we'll get..

FX: door.

Seagoon: Grytpype! Dreadful news!

Thynne: What?.

Seagoon: Our holiday is over as somebody has stolen all the bricks to our prison! What's more, it was to have sailed home tomorrow on the tide.

Moriarty: AHonoinonino! iouoiu!! oiu! We're homeless!

Thynne: Yes, and someone's found out about the treasure.

Seagoon: Come on now, who's hiding our prison. Hands up all those who know anything about this!


Bluebottle: Me and Eccles know where it's gone captain.

Eccles: Yah, we know.

Seagoon: Splendid, lads. Tell me where it is and I'll reduce your sentence from two years to four.

Bluebottle: Well it, a went, um... Thinks, Where did it went?... It wented, mm,... Eccles?

Eccles: Yeah?

Bluebottle: Do you remember Eccles?

Eccles: Yeah, I remember Eccles!

Bluebottle: Well does he know where it wented?

Eccles: I'll ask him. (achem.) Do you know where it wented?

(long pause)

Bluebottle: What does he say, Eccles?

Eccles: He hasn't answered yet I think he's out.

Seagoon: Curse! What bad luck!

Bluebottle: What bad luck.

Eccles: What bad luck! What bad luck! What bad luck...

Seagoon: Yes, what bad luck-- Shut up Eccles!

Eccles: Shut up Eccles!

Bluebottle: Shut up Eccles!

ALL (SG, BB, E): Shut up!

Seagoon: SHUT UP!!

Eccles: shut up.

Seagoon: We can't wait for him to come back. We'll have to give chase in the Chateau d'if. ALL HANDS ON DECK!! CAST OFF!! FULL SPEED AHEAD!!

Omnes: (mumble etc.)

FX: ships engine bells, chains etc.

Omnes: (mumble 'ouoiuotuuu', rhubarb etc).

Seagoon: An Eccles,

Eccles: Yes?

Seagoon: Shut up.

Eccles: Shut up!

Bluebottle: Shut up!

Eccles: Shut up.

Seagoon: Send a message to the rock (?) saying we've only borrowed the Chateau temporarily.

Eccles: I thought it was the Chateau d'if.

Seagoon.: No, it's the Chateau Temporarily. We're in disguise.

Eccles: Oh.

Seagoon: Mister Christian,

Throat: Yes?

Seagoon: Issue cheese to all hands! Cast divits (?) to the wind, and unlatch the keel!

Someone: Burma mile (Bernard Miles ???) surrah!

Orch.: rumble ... seagoing sunrise type music.

GRAMS: waves, seagulls.

Seagoon: Log of the French prison Chateau d'if. At sea. (hurl) No sign yet of Her Majesty's prison Dartmoor.

FX: Bosuns whistle.

Seaman: Prison on the starboard bow surrah!

Seagoon Gad it might be the Dartmoor! Get my telescope out of it's cell. Thank you. By gad yes it is!

Moriarty: Sapristi yes! Look at that flag! It's flying the skull and crossbones.

Seagoon: Wrong. It's a photograph of David Nixon with his arms folded!

Someone Captain he's heaving to!

Seagoon: Well, don't stand there, heave to back at him!

FX: boom!

Seagoon: He's opened fire! Duck!

Eccles: Why?

Seagoon: There's a cannonball coming.

Eccles: Right, I'll see you after the ball is over.

FX: boom!

Seagoon: OHOAOO OOAUOOOA O. Stricken. OHAOOO OOAHOO O OOOAOU. I've been stricken. Grytpype, call the doctor.

Thynne: Not likely, I'm next in line for admiral.

Seagoon: Wait! This- this isn't blood.

Moriarty: What is it?

Seagoon: It's custard. The swine! He's fired Christmas puddings!

Thynne: Yes, you know what this means, Neddie. It's the twenty fifth of December.

Seagoon: Really?

Thynne: Yes.

Seagoon: Merry Christmas.

Thynne: Thank yon.

Seagoon: Gad, I'll teach them to fire the afters before we've fired the main course. Men, load all guns with roast turkey. With the parson's nose outwards!

Moriarty: Sapristi you devil! With the parson's nose outwards! If you hit him with those he'll go to the bottom!

Seagoon: FIRE!

FX: boom!

Seagoon: Dash it! Missed! Load another salvo of turkeys.

Eccles: Aye aye.

Seagoon: This time with bread sauce.

Thynne: No, I have a better idea. Eccles?

Eccles: Shut up Eccles!

Thynne: I haven't said it yet. Eccles, put that big iron ball you have chained to your leg into that cannon.

Eccles: Ok.

FX: roll... clunk.

Eccles: Right.

Thynne: FIRE!

FX: boom! chain playing out...

Eccles: Oh yaa! There it goes with the jghglaahh--!

Seagoon: Eccles, come back! After him! He's deserting!

Greenslade: Meanwhile, aboard Her Majesty's prison Dartmoor ...

Bloodnok: Ohohhoh, they're gaining on us! Curse these French frog eating prisons, much speedier than ours, I say.

FX: boom!

Bloodnok: Ohhow! Struck by a-­

Eccles: Hallo!

Bloodnok: Convict Eccles,

Eccles: Convict Eccles...

Bloodnok: Just the man I'm looking for. I want you to take a message to the Chateau d'if. Tell them I shall never surrender.

Eccles: But they're two miles away! I can't swim all that...

Bloodnok: Never you mind. Get in here.

Eccles: Right.

Bloodnok: FIRE!

FX: Boom!

Bloodnok: There he goes. Let that be a lesson to them-- they can't get rid of their surplus idiots on me you know. Great Scott! They're closing in! Stand by to repel boarders!

Someone: How do you repel boarders?

Bloodnok: Stop changing the bed linen.

Bloodnok: Look out, they're coming along side.

Seagoon: Right men, cutlasses out. (??) Board her!

OMNES: (The goons board with lots of noise and shouts of Rhubarb! Custard! CustardMacCustardMacRhubarb! and other such nonsense.)

Thynne: Come on Moriarty- while they're all occupied let's go down and get the treasure. Now remember it's under the floor of cell number six two six. Quick, down these stairs.

FX: whoosh whoosh, ricochet noise.

Thynne: (a little out of breath) Here it is. Cell six two six.

Moriarty: Yes. Sapristi naborlis! What ever is under this floor is ours.

Thynne: Yes.

Moriarty: Together--

Both: Lift! Uhh!

FX: clunkk.

Moriarty: oouoiu it's water. Salt water.

GRAMS: faint sound of water.

Thynne: Let me taste it. tpTptPPtPtptp You're right. It's the Atlantic Ocean.

Moriarty: We're rich! We're rich! Look-- there's more of it there! Look! It's all coming in!

Thynne: Stop you fool! We're sinking! Ahhhh!

Moriarty: Ahhhh!

Both: Ahhhh!

FX: Sound of water rushing in.

Orch.: short ending tune.

Greenslade: And that dear listeners is why the Dartmoor we know today is only a cardboard replica.

Orch.: end of Goon Show music.

Greenslade: That was the Goon Show a BBC /recorded programme featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan. With the Ray Ellington Quartet and Max Geldray. The orchestra was conducted by Bruce Campbell. Script by Spike Milligan . Announcer Wallace Greenslade. Programme produced by Peter Eaton./

1) William Friese-Greene (1855-1921), English photographer who invented a way to expose a sequence of photographs to be projected as lantern slides to produce a moving image. - Paul Winalski , AFG Dec '02