The Goon Show, Series 9 Programme 14
Greenslade: This is the BBC.
Sellers: Hold it up to the lightnot a brain in sight.
Secombe: Ah, John friar Sellers! Taste this script.
Sellers: (eating noises) What is it?
Secombe: A freshly-cooked version of:
[Orchestra: science-fiction-type fanfare]
[GRAMS: over music: The Thing sound effecta mysterious echoing electronic effect]
Sellers: (over) Quatermass, OBE.
[Orchestra: crechendo, then dimuendo under first part of next line]
Timothy (recorded): This is the terror-stricken service of the BBC. Today at approximately this afternoon, a discovery was made on the site of the Notting Hill Gate site of the governments new dig-up-the-roads-plan-for-congesting-traffic scheme. Workmen in the absence of a strike settled for work as an alternative. It was during this brief lull in high-powered inertia that Morris Onions, a scaffolders knee-wrencher, stumbled across something hed found. Ting-tong-billy-bong! I would like it known that though I read this stuff, I dont write it. Ftang!
Throat (Milligan): Will the [??] never turn up? Cor, blimey, my life! (the rest is unintelligle)
Willium (Sellers): Here, Julian!
Julian (Milligan, Irish accent): Whats that, man?
Willium: Here, over here, mate. Here!
Julian: Coming, Basil.
Willium: Get your trousers on. Hurry, Julian. Look at this!
[Orchestra: dramatic chord, held under effect]
[GRAMS: Thing sound effect, continuing under next dialogue]
Julian: Oh, dear! Saints preserve us!
Irish Workman (Secombe): (approaches) He, whats all this about hey!
Julian: Whats this, now?
Workman: Ohh! Thats a human skull.
Willium: Is it?
Workman: Aye. Must be a womanthe mouths still open. Ha ha!
Julian: Here, wed better call an Irish doctor.
Irishman 2 (Sellers): Yes, lets get one.
Workman: Too late for that, its a goner, man. Shes a goner.
Julian: Oh, dear!
Willium: Call the Chinese police. Here, hold this whistle and play that note.
[FX: police whistle]
[GRAMS: running footsteps approach]
Julian: (over) Listen! Hes coming. Hes almost here. (as foosteps slow down) Hes arrived.
Constable (Greenslade): (panting and out of breath) You were playing my song. Im sorry Im late, but the frim of the flong succumbed the nim of the ploong.
Julian: A likely story.
Workman: No have a look at this, by here.
Constable: Gad, the head of a skull! Id better take its fingerprints. Ladies and gentlemen, in my dual role of constable and announcer, I now assume the mantle of the latter, but only for a brief announcement. Next morning, after my report as a constable, a man and a woman from the Ministry of Certain Things were flown in from Battersea by road, with a rug over their knees that traveled with them. Plun!
[FX: shovels, under next dialogue]
Henry Crun (Sellers): Mnk knick
Minnie Bannister (Milligan): Knick the knack.
Crun: Knick the knack
Bannister: Knick knack, knick knack. (sings) Paddy-whack, give the dog a bone (rhythm-type humming)
Crun: (hums accompaniment to Mins line)
Crun and Bannister: (hum for a while, then stop)
Crun: What are you doing, Min? The dogs had four bones already, you know. Three of them are mine, I tell you. Now, look, another one. Oh, look!
Bannister: Ohhh! Lord Crun?
Bannister: This skull is 5000 years old!
Crun and Bannister: (sings) Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you.
Crun: (sings) Happy birthday, dear Minnie, happy birthday to you.
Bannister: Thank you, thank you, Hen, its nice of you to remember my skull.
[FX: shovels, under next lines]
Bannister: Now, dig on! Dig on! The power.
[FX: shoveling stops]
Crun: Stop wallpapering my trousers while Im straining with the trowel.
Bannister: You must get a new pair, then. The paints coming off the knees, you know.
Crun: I will have them returned.
Bannister: Coming off the knees!
Crun: Oiled springs, I would (rest incomprehensible)
Bannister: (senile mutterings)
Crun: I cant understand it, you know. These knees were hand-painted by Anna Goonie.
Workman: So, will you be long in your the restorations? Only the workmen are waiting to start work on the tea break, dysee?
Crun: Oh. [??]
Workman: Aye? Aye?
Workman: Thank you.
Bannister: I know that.
Crun: This is the vital brown archaeological site, sir. It could be that on this very spot the first man existed. Can you see that this weve dug up just now? Do you recognise it?
Constable: It appears to be a piece of mud.
Bannister: And theres more where that came from.
Constable: Now look, I may be ignorant, but I
Bannister: (interrupts) Im sure you are.
Constable: Look look, I will turn a deaf eye to all that nonsense.
Bannister: Youll get a punch up the conk!
Constable: I was saying I dont see the archaeological importance of mud.
Crun: Ah, no, no!
Bannister: Morning, morning.
Crun: Here comes Professor Ned Quatermass.
[Orchestra: I Want to Be Happy music-hall-type intro]
Ned Quatermass (Secombe): Hello, folks, its me, Ned Quatermass, son of the scientist and doctor of darkness, two for the price of one. Hup! Hoy!
Quatermass: Stop! Thank you. (laughs) Now, whats all this about, eh? What what what?
Crun: Look at that.
Crun: Somethings under the ground.
Quatermass: So it is.
[FX: taps with small pick]
Quatermass: Its hard. Here, hold my coconut tree while I have a look. Cor, this is a job for those sons of fun, the army!
[Orchestra: brass fanfare]
Quatermass: Ladies and gentlemen, his excellency, rifleman Green of the Third Collapsing Fusiliers.
Omnes: Cheers and applause.
Quatermass: His Gobbling Excellence, sergeant St. Tom Flair of the Second Royal Army Games.
Omnes: (hubbub and rhubarb)
Quatermass: And now give over and now, Mr. McTrouble of 1958, Major Denis Bloodnok, OBE and bar.
[Orchestra: majestic brass fanfare, segueing into Bloodnok theme]
Major Denis Bloodnok (Sellers): Ooeuggh! Will I never be free of them? Oh, dear! Now, then, whats the trouble?
Quatermass: An unexploded German bomb.
Bloodnok: What?? Agggh!
Bloodnok: (off) Send it to Brighton, lads, theyd soon have it safe. Sergeant Spandrick, dig it up with the corps.
Sergeant Spandrick (Secombe) and Throat: Oh, I dont know, I dont know whats going on here
Quatermass: Thus, with ten men holding one million shovels, they dug away at the thing!
[Orchestra: dramatic music link, under sound effect]
[GRAMS: Thing sound effect, continues under next dialogue]
Quatermass: As they dug, the thing took shapetwenty foot long, red, as large as an engine boiler, with an entrance on the side and a sealed compartment at the front.
Bannister: Oh, dear! Dear, dear, dear.
Crun: I dont like the look of it.
[GRAMS: effect stops]
Quatermass: Well, we cant change it nowits the only one weve got.
Crun: Yes, there is something in what you say.
Quatermass: Yes, it can happen to the best of us.
Crun: Indeed it can.
Quatermass: Yes. Well, ha ha, that seems to have explored that argument in full, doesnt it? Ha ha!
Crun: But what is this thing?
Crun: (hums in accompaniment)
Bannister: (sings) This funny thing.
Crun: (sings) This funny thing.
Crun and Bannister: (rhythm-type humming)
Crun: Min! Cease that power-singing and stop flashing your insteps, Min.
Quatermass: Well, we cant stand around here doing nothing. People will think were workmen.
Bloodnok: (approaches) Gladys, hows the work going on that silly, harmless old bomb, eh? Oh, you were all frightened of nothing, you know.
Quatermass: This line the Major spoke from inside a suit of armour, inside a Cromwell tank.
Bloodnok: You like it? I wear it all the time during explosions, you know.
Quatermass: It must be hell in there.
Greenslade: In my capacity as announcer, I will say this: During the night, those concerned continued their digging. Ftung!
[FX: rhythmic knocking on hollow wooden blocks]
Crun: Mnk mnk
Bannister: Oh, listen! Ohh!
[FX: rhythmic knocking]
Bannister: (rhythm-type humming in time with knocking)
Crun: Theres no doubt about these rhythm-skulls, Min. They are 50,000,000 years old.
Bannister: Nonsense. According to my quillocalnivviespoons, in my opinion, these skulls were dropped by the Germans in 1943.
Quatermass: Unexploded German skulls? I hadnt thought of that.
Bloodnok: Elephant soup with sqad spuds.
Quatermass: I hadnt thought of that, either.
Bloodnok: Sabrina in the bath.
Quatermass: Ha ha ha ha ha! I do have some spare time.
Bannister: I dont think she has. Gentlemen, look! From the bones we discovered, I have reconstructed an Irish stew.
Quatermass: Then this is what prehistoric Irish stews look like?
Bloodnok: I knew it, I knew it! We are all descended from Irish stews. Oy, vey!
[GRAMS: Thing sound effect and Willium muttering]
Quatermass: Listen! Listen! Someone screaming in agony. Fortunately, I speak it fluently.
Sergeant Willium Ftang (Sellers): Oh, me krills are plurned!
Quatermass: Sergeant Ftang, whats up? Your boots have gone gray with worry.
Willium: I was inside the thing, picking up prehistoric fag-ends, when I spots a creature crawling up the wall. It was a weasel, and suddenly it went
Quatermass: What a strange and horrible death.
Willium: Then I hears an hissing sound, and a voice says, minardor.
Quatermass: Minardor? We must keep our ears, nose, and throats open for anything that goes minardor.
Crun: Be forewarned, sir, the minardor is an ancient word that can be read in the West of Minsters library, you know.
Quatermass: Well, it so happens that I have a Westminster Library on me. And gad, look! There I am inside, examining an occult dictionary.
Bannister: Oh, yes.
[FX: pages flipping]
Quatermass: Minardor minardor hmm, hmm, hmm min min min min min
Bannister: Yes yes yes yes yes?
Quatermass: I feel an attack of conks coming on. Quick, the brandy!
[Max Geldray and orchestra play]
Greenslade: Meantime, Professor Quatermass is endeavoring to open the front compartment.
Quatermass: Now, workman, I want you to drill through this place here, do you see?
Eccles (Milligan): Yup yup yup.
Quatermass: Now, youre sure you know about using micro radium-tipped drills for non-porous surfaces?
Eccles: Ya, ya, man.
Eccles: OK, then. OK, men, switch on!
[GRAMS: dentists drill; electric discharge and static, continuing during next line]
Eccles: (drawn-out cries of pain and agony)
Quatermass: Are you sure you know what youre doing?
Eccles: Yeah, but Im willing to take a second opinion.
Quatermass: Look! Theres a hole appearing.
Eccles: Oh. Let me look throughI specialise in appearing holes. Let me have a look. Ohh!
Quatermass: What can you see?
Eccles: A glass eye.
Quatermass: Whats the matter? Doesnt he trust you? Ha ha ha! I say! Can you smell something.
Eccles: (sniffs) Yeah, yeah.
Quatermass: (yells) Major Bloodnok!
Eccles: No, no. This smells like Irish stew.
Quatermass: Gad! My brain raced in various directionsthe frontal lobes to Charing Cross,
Quatermass: and Isle of Rill [??] to the Antipodes. Listen, this smell ties up with Minnies replica of the Irish stew. Break that door down, with this brake.
Eccles: Leave that to me.
[FX: pounding on door; scratching on door; door being destroyed, continues for some time]
Eccles: (over, sounds of effort; at end of effect, exhausted) I know when Im beaten.
Quatermass: Hold this coconut tree. Let me try.
[FX: doorknob turned; hinge creaks]
Quatermass: It was open all the time.
[GRAMS: Thing effect, briefly]
Quatermass: Dear listeners, inside the sealed compartment were the complete skeletons of three serge suits along with the bones of a bowler hat.
Crun: Min, go and preserve these specimens in brown fume spirit and quilled leather [??].
Count Jim Moriarty (Milligan): (off) I say! I say! Hello, Fred? Are there people there? Grytpype, what is that, there?
Hercules Grytpype-Thynne (Sellers): Its daylight, Count.
Moriarty: Oh, lovely, lovely. Have you any food? (approaches) Have you some food down there? Any nice food? Any small chips and things?
Quatermass: Who is that hovering on the stairs?
Grytpype: That is the great international leaper and balloonist extraordinary, le Compte Viscompte de Compte Jim Winds
[GRAMS: speeded-up descending string glissando]
Moriarty: (cringing muttering)
Grytpype: Moriarty, known as the Mantovani of Piccadilly. There he goes.
Ellington: (sings) Melodies from old Ireland
[Ray Ellington Quartet plays]
Quatermass: There he goesthe Webster Booth of Ghana.
Greenslade: We are now approaching the climax of this thrilling serial in one part. Around the great scarlet capsule the entire cast are assembled. Thats me in the wig.
Quatermass: My friends, youve just one hour to find out the origin of this giant scrimson-scramson-scroo-yakabakaka-koo! After that, theyre letting the press in.
Bluebottle (Sellers): Yes, hurry up, man, Im waiting for a headline.
Quatermass: Gad, its a trilby hat on legs.
Bluebottle: Steady on, my man. I am Ace Bluebottle, known in Fleet Street as Scoop Bluebottle, wonder boy reporter.
Quatermass: What paper do you represent?
Bluebottle: Brown paper. What is the weekly organ of the Finchley Beat Generation, editors Bluebottle and Bluebottle. Headline: Boy Reporter Bluebottle Scoops.
Bluebottle: (over) Headline: From under the nose of Lord Breathingroom: Flashee! Giant German bomb a hoax. "I did it in my spare time," says Sidingham night watchman. Quotee. Sitting in his night-watchmans hut, gray-headed, sixty-seven-year-old Tom Onions, of Pukers Lodge, Mon., said, "It all comes so easy in the dark hours."
Eccles: Youre making it up!
Bluebottle: Silence, man!
Eccles: (incoherent exclamation)
Bluebottle: Bend down.
[FX: tearing cloth]
Eccles: Oww! Oww!
Bluebottle: Its Professor Eccles!
Eccles: Ho ho!
Bluebottle: The brains behind
Eccles: What?? Whats that?
Bluebottle: The brains behind the Wainscot Disaster [??].
Bluebottle: Scoop! [??] Eccles give the Brown Paper Daily exclusive statement.
Eccles: What what what?
Bluebottle: Can I quote you on that, please?
Eccles: No. My what what whats are private.
Bluebottle: Well, give us an exclusive statement, then, prof.
Eccles: OK, then. (mutters to self, then declaims) I like chips in brown gravy.
[FX: telephone receiver lifted; phone being dialed]
Bluebottle: Flasho! Hello? Give me the Cintin Desk.
[GRAMS: speeded-up voice over phone says Hello? City Desk here.]
Bluebottle: Listen, Ace, Scoop Bottle hear. Clear the front page.
[GRAMS: speeded-up voice says What for, lad?]
Bluebottle: Professor Eccles denies paternity case. I like chips in brown gravy, he telled the judge.
[GRAMS: speeded-up voice says Great work, kid. Keep it up.]
Bluebottle: Thanks, Ace. Now for the exclusive picture scene. Professor Quartermass pretends to sing, and all the others, put your fingers in your ears. Ready? (Points super junior candle flash-gun, with cardboard built-in trigger leads.) Say cheese.
[GRAMS: Thing effect; explosion]
Bluebottle: (over) Oiee! Oh, my spons! Whos been meddling with my field equipment?
Grytpype: Gentlemen, the Count and I have the solution to the red capsule thing.
Quatermass: How do you know?
Gryptype: We have just watched the last instalment on the television.
Eccles: That reminds meI must pay the last instalment on my television. (laughs)
Quatermass: Fell rather flat, didnt it? Try singing it.
Eccles: Anything to save it. Ahem. (sings) That reminds meI must pay the last instalment on my television set. Aha ha ha ha, ha ha ha! (spoken) No.
Quatermass: No Well, try it with full orchestral accompaniment.
[Orchestra: melodramatic ballad accompanies next line]
Eccles: Ahem. (sings) That reminds meI must pay the last instalment on my television set.
Bloodnok: Who threw that stuff at the Count?
Quatermass: Gad! Look what it is!
Bloodnok: The phantom strikes again. Oh, it must be hell in there, and theres obviously more where that came from.
Quatermass: Now its coming clear.
Bloodnok: Is it?
Quatermass: Yes. Poltergeists throw stuff about.
Eccles: They must be in a bad way.
Quatermass: This proves my theory. This scarlet capsule is the seat of spirit beings!
Willium: Sir, the gentlemen of the press are here. I tried to hold em back, but they burst through by putting money in me hands.
Quatermass: Spoken like a true commissionaire.
Quatermass: Hes been struck by a neolithic Irish strew. Its the spirits at work again. Theres only one answer. Eccles, prepare a series of TNT charges to destroy the Thing!
Eccles: Leave it to me. Ive got a
Eccles: (strangled exclamations)
Quatermass: Another one!
[Orchestra: dramatic chords, last held under effect]
[GRAMS: Thing sound effect]
[GRAMS: Big Ben chiming]
[FX: bell struck]
Greenslade: All night, preparations to explode the thing continued. For miles around, people had to be evacuated.
[FX: knock on door; door opens]
Cynthia (Sellers): Yes? What is it?
Quatermass: Oh, I Im terribly sorry to knock you up so late. Ha ha.
Cynthia: They all say that.
Quatermass: Im afraid you have to be evacuated.
Cynthia: (embarrassed surprise) Oh! Come in. Ill just pack a few things.
Quatermass: Well, I I
Greenslade: At this point the script was heavily censored. But we leave the ensuing silence for the listeners to imagine what followed.
[11 second pause]
Bloodnok: You filthy swines! Back to your own beds, now!
Eccles: Major, dynamites all ready in the Thing.
Bloodnok: Oh? Well, tell everybody to take cover.
Eccles: (yells) Take cover, Major!
Bloodnok: Thank you for telling me, lad. Take hold of this plunger, lad.
Quatermass: Stop! Theres a man called Moriarty tied up inside the thing.
Grytpype: Yes, yes, yes, I knowits all right, Ned.
Quatermass: All right? Hell be blown to bits.
Grytpype: Dont worryI have the Count heavily insured against such things.
Quatermass: No no no, I I Im afraid I cant allow you to do such a thing.
Grytpype: Will fifty pounds be enough?
Quatermass: Right. Ahem. (yells) Stand by plunger! 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3 erm 2-1-fire!
Eccles: (1 second pause) Ha ha ha, I forgot to connect it up.
Quatermass: Well, get over and fix it, then.
Eccles: OK. (incoherent babbling as he moves off)
Quatermass: And nobody touch that plunger.
[FX: phone receiver lifted; phone being dialed]
Grytpype: (over, hums) Hello? Imprudential Insurance? Can I take out another one of those, erm, policy things? Eccles, yes. Mad Dan Eccles, thats right. Another fifty be enoug, Ned?
[GRAMS: explosion and speeded-up Eccles cries of anguish]
Timothy (recorded): This is the flibby-dabby-dee service of the BBC. The giant capsule was today exploded, and wentBANG! London transport experts have, however, discovered what the thing was. Apparently the remains of the three blue serge suits found inside inside were in fact those of three sit-down tube strikers, and the capsule was a tube train that had been shunted into a siding and forgotten. The mystic word minardor was in fact mind the doors. Not a very good ending, but tidy, dont you think? Goodnight. (splat) Ohh!
Bloodnok: And theres more where that came from, Tim!
[Orchestra: closing theme: I Want to Be Happy]