Britain Joins the Space Race
Fred Scuttle heads a British space expidition.

HENRY McGEE: I'm speaking to you from this historic site where any minute now... (Fred Scuttle approaches from the back of the set) ...any minute now Britain's first spacecraft is about to take off for the moon.
FRED SCUTTLE: (quietly, as he stands beside the rocket) Ground control to Major Tom.
HENRY McGEE: And I'm hoping to have a word with the man in charge. Mr. Scuttle.
FRED SCUTTLE: Good evening viewers. Good evening sir. Captain Scuttle if you don't mind, sir. Space Ace, it says so. What are you doing on my launching pad? You're not allowed on my launching pad without a launching voucher.
HENRY McGEE: My card. (hands him a business card)
FRED SCUTTLE: There's nothing on it, sir.
HENRY McGEE: Oh. (turns the card over for him)
FRED SCUTTLE: What do you wanna put it on the back for? (reading from the card) "Henry Mac-Gee." Are you Egyptian? "Scientific co-respondant." Scientific eh? But I don't need a co-respondant, sir, I'm not divorcing my wife. I haven't even thought about divorce. Murder. Not divorce, no.
HENRY McGEE: No no. I work for Thames Television.
FRED SCUTTLE: You poor soul.
HENRY McGEE: Could you tell us why you're doing this?
FRED SCUTTLE: I am doing this to prove that we are not washed up, to show that Britain still leads the world in scientific endeavour and precision engineering.

A loud crash comes from the rocket.

FRED SCUTTLE: (louder) The Russians and the Americans have been up on the moon with their rockets. The Chinese don't need one--they can stand on each others' shoulders. (normal voice) We have to keep light-hearted, otherwise we crack up, you know. Under the strain. (louder) We are going into the outer reaches of the solar plexus, where the unknown man has never set foot. In that! (he points to the rocket) Indestructable the Second.
HENRY McGEE: What happened to Indestructable the First?
FRED SCUTTLE: It fell apart.
HENRY McGEE: Perhaps you could explain in more details for the viewers. What fuel to you use?
FRED SCUTTLE: Nutty slack.
HENRY McGEE: And you keep it in the chamber.
FRED SCUTTLE: No sir, I keep it in a cardboard box under the bed, sir. (sniffs the air) Here, it's not you, is it?

He sees smoke coming from the rocket.

FRED SCUTTLE: He's that--he's frying up again. I told him about that, I said not till we're in orbit. That's kippers. That's Willie Turdie. I told him about this, not to fry up till we're up in orbit you see, sir.
HENRY McGEE: Could we see him?
FRED SCUTTLE: Wha--yeah, all right. Hang on. Here he is.

Fred Scuttle's traveling companion, Willie Turdie, emerges from the spacecraft, wearing an astronaut suit and a large clear helmet.

FRED SCUTTLE: There he is, sir. You see, sir. There he is sir, wearing his full regata. On the back, as you can see, we have the container.
HENRY McGEE: That contains oxygen I suppose.
FRED SCUTTLE: No, hot cocoa, sir. It might be chilly up there, we don't know you see, sir.
HENRY McGEE: What's that strange-looking thing? What's that strange-looking thing sticking out of his boot?
FRED SCUTTLE: That is his leg, sir. Oh that! No, that's his geiger counter, sir, yes.
HENRY McGEE: That's to help him find uranium.
FRED SCUTTLE: I think he can find that on his own. He always has done.
HENRY McGEE: What made you choose him?
FRED SCUTTLE: I chose him, sir, because he represents the youth of Great Britain.

Willie Turdie is played by (the not very young) Jackie Wright.

HENRY McGEE: How old is he?
FRED SCUTTLE: Fifty-eight. He's a late developer.
HENRY McGEE: He looks older.
FRED SCUTTLE: He worries a lot, sir. I say... (rapping on the helmet, shouting) He says you...
WILLIE TURDIE: (yelling from inside the helmet) Stop dancing up there!
FRED SCUTTLE: The thing is, sir, you see, he can't hear very well in there. He can't hear. There isn't much he can do to breathe in there.
HENRY McGEE: Will he be able to live in it?
FRED SCUTTLE: I should think so, sir. Our goldfish lived in it for three weeks. Till it died. Hang on, would you like to have a better look at him?

Scuttle removes the helmet, Willie experiences a rush of air but remains standing.

FRED SCUTTLE: There he is, sir, you see. He's all right. He's all right, sir.
HENRY McGEE: Is he physically fit to take this arduous journey?
FRED SCUTTLE: He's as strong as an ox. And almost as intelligent, sir. He has been personally inspected by Sister Anna from St. John Thomas' Hospital, where she has a ninety percent record of complete recovery. And that's in the mortuary. Look at his eyes, sir, he's thinking about her. She can disturb all the patients without making the bed, she can, sir. Oh, she gets him going, you know, sir.
HENRY McGEE: She examined him thoroughly?
FRED SCUTTLE: From top to bottom, sir. She looked down his throat. Looked up his birth certificate. The full MO treatment, grade one you see, sir. Because you see, sir, once we're up there in orbit, we're out of the three-mile limit, you see? And we don't come under the government's juris-prudence up there. I mean if, while I'm up there, a dirty great big boil comes up on my astronaut friend here, sir, the national owls won't have nothing to do with it.
HENRY McGEE: They'd put an embargo on it?
FRED SCUTTLE: They wouldn't put bloody red porters on it, sir. Nothing. Look, look at him, look!

Willie starts walking around.

FRED SCUTTLE: He's mad keen to get into orbit you see, sir. Here he goes. All right, it's all right. Steady.
HENRY McGEE: Did I hear that you're taking your wives with you?
FRED SCUTTLE: No sir, we do not feel the moon is any place for ladies, let alone our wives eh?

Henry McGee walks over to the rocket and opens the door.

FRED SCUTTLE: Come on away, you'll get radium. You'll get biological radium. Here, here...

Two girls step out from inside the rocket.

GIRL 1: When ARE we going to start?
FRED SCUTTLE: Here, here, what are you two girls doing in my rocket? You're not squatters, are you? You could be, I could have you prostitued for trespassing in there.
GIRL 2: Look, you said we were going to be space hostesses.
FRED SCUTTLE: Oh, yes I did. Yes. Yes I did. Yes. Yes, space hostesses. Come on, in you go, sir. It slipped my mind, I forgot about that.

Points to Willie's right leg shaking as he stands next to one of the girls.

FRED SCUTTLE: Here, you'll start his geiger counter going again.

They step into the rocket.

FRED SCUTTLE: Look sir, we have to go now, sir. You can see, Mickey Mouse's hand is... Oo, isn't it! Yes, we'd better go, sir. You'll forgive us, won't you.
FRED SCUTTLE: (steps into the rocket, turning at the door for a parting farewell) Goodbye world! Hello moon! (looks to his left towards his neighbour) Mrs. Mooney? Would you like to take your washing in? Well you remember the last time, we had the fallout of soot all over your knickers. (looks forward again) Farewell world... I've done it, sir. Goodbye all! (closes the door behind him, then opens it again) Oh sir, have you got a match?
HENRY McGEE: A match. (takes a match from his pocket)
FRED SCUTTLE: Thank you very much, sir.
HENRY McGEE: What do you think the atmosphere will be like up there?
FRED SCUTTLE: (lighting the fuse on the side of the rocket) Very jovial, sir. We're going to take a piano accordian with us. Oh, here we go, sir.
The fuse is lit and he steps back inside, pausing at the door.
FRED SCUTTLE: Farewell world! Oh, I've done that. (he gets inside and closes the door behind him)
FRED SCUTTLE: (from inside the rocket) This is A for horses calling T for two. F for pheasant calling P for whistle. R for Moe calling I for Novello. Countdown starting now: five, four, three, two, one, zero, naught... nothing... sweet for what? Ready, steady, go!

Loud explosion followed by various sound effects.

FRED SCUTTLE: (from inside the rocket) I'm enjoying this, isn't this lovely? Oh this is fun...
HENRY McGEE: Captain Scuttle! Captain Scuttle! (pounding on the door of the rocket that is still on the ground)
FRED SCUTTLE: It's not them Russians already trying to link up with us.
HENRY McGEE: (still knocking at the door) Captain Scuttle, you can come out. (Fred Scuttle opens the door and looks out) You haven't taken off. There was no lift-off.
FRED SCUTTLE: (opens the door and looks out) I know that, sir. And you know that. But these two mad birds don't know that. Farewell world! Hello ecstasy!

Scuttle closes the door behind him.

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The Benny Hill Songbook was last updated 2007 June 21st Thursday