Finally. The BBC has decided to take its crown jewels and give them the treatment they deserve. Following from the excellent series of collectors editions of `Round The Horne' and `Navy Lark', the show we have all been waiting for is, at last, being restored, given some interesting extras and released in a definitive, comprehensive edition. Ladies and Gentlemen, it's the highly esteemed Goon Show!
The BBC only holds recordings from the beginning of series 5 onwards. Some series 4 episodes exist (and are finally being released in a separate edition here: The Goon Show: Series 4, Pt. 1 (Golden Age of BBC Radio Comedy)). Series 1-3 are, sadly, totally lost to us. Hence, this definitive collection begins with series five, and aims to release all extant recordings the BBC still hold from all subsequent series.
If you're looking here you don't need to e told how good the humour is, so I will just review the release itself. Volume 5 collects the first 12 episodes from series 7, and a few extras such as rehearsal of the `Nasty Affair at the Burami Oasis' and a collection of Milligan and Sellers appearances in `Curiouser and Curiouser', a contemporary English/American radio show. `Robin Hood' is still held to ransom by EMI and is here as a PDF of the script only. This is a shame, these occasional missing episodes are the only blight on an otherwise excellent series pof releases.
The remastering is worthy of especial praise. In the main these episodes sound much better than they have in any other release. Much material has been restored, unfortunately this often comes from poor quality sources, so these restored sections sound quite bad. The restored snippets add much to the shows though. I'm very impressed with the overall quality. This really will be the definitive collection when finished. Particularly impressive is the inclusion of several episodes such as `What's My Line?' which have, until now, never been commercially released. Excellent work by the compilers there.
This release contains 7 CDs, with two episodes per disc. These are collected into two 4 CD jewel cases, encased in a flimsy cardboard outer. There are two booklets, one in each case, with essays, details for each episode and original Radio Times listings. .
The Nasty Affair at the Burami Oaisis Drums Along The Mersey The Nadger Plague The Spectre of Tintagel The Sleeping Prince The Great Bank Robbery Personal Narrative The Myrstery of the Fake Neddie Seagoons What's My Line? The Telephone The Flea
Operation Christmas Duff Curiouser and Curiouser Rehearsal of `The Nasty Affair at the Burami Oaisis' PDF of Robin Hood
This really is as good as it gets. 5 stars for the episodes, and 5 for the quality of the release. Well done BBC, keep them coming!
I have listened to the Goon Show since I was around ten years old. I am now 49. Till the day I die these will be my funniest hours. The shows are funny - still. The best work Peter Sellers ever did was within these 30 minute broadcasts. And all held together by Harry Seacombe shouting through his mouth - and where else. I am old, these shows are forever young.
This collection consists of 12 of the early shows of the Seventh Series (from October to December 1956) together with bonus material, packaged on 7 CDs, accompanied by two booklets of useful information compiled by Andrew Pixley.
Fans will be delighted to discover that there are four episodes (The Sleeping Prince, Personal Narrative, What's My Line? and The Telephone) that have never before appeared in the public domain. All of these programmes have been digitally remastered by Ted Kendall using the latest in noise-reduction technology.
The Sleeping Prince documents the perils of President Seagoon, ruler of the Republic of Yacabaku, a Pacific nation famous for it's incessant National Anthem.
Personal Narrative is an account of the adventures of Captain Neddie Seagoon, R.N., drawn from the log of H.M.S Resolute, dated 1662. Yes, folks, despite rumours to the contrary, steam radio was around to record the events of 1662 and of the final plight of Able Seaman Bluebottle.
What's My Line? is a parody of the TV panel show of the same name.
The Telephone tells of the daily humdrum routine of Senior Outdoor Post Office Telephone Line-Layer Seagoon and his latest task; to provice a new phone service for Mr. Crun. Unfortunately, nobody told Neddie that Mr. Crun had recently moved... to 17A, Africa! Who invented the telephone? To discover the real answer, listen on...
Discover more about the Goons at  Neil Trickey (Encyclopædia Goonicus)