(An animated sketch, and then to a strange moonlike landscape.
Eerie science-fiction music plays in the background.)
Voice Over: This is the planet Algon, fifth world in the
system of Aldebaran, the Red Giant in the constellation of
Sagittarius. Here an ordinary cup of drinking chocolate costs four
million pounds, an immersion heater for the hot-water tank costs
over six billion pounds. and a pair of split-crotch panties would be
almost unobtainable. (cut to a budget-day-type graphic, with a
picture of the product and the price alongside) A simple rear
window de-misting device for an 1100 costs eight thousand million
billion pounds and a new element for an electric kettle like this
(picture of electric kettle) would cost as much as the entire
gross national product of the United States of America from 1770 to
the year 2000, (graphic of American GNP) and even then they
wouldn't be able to afford the small fixing ring which attaches it
to the kettle. (graphic of an electric kettle showing all the
separate pieces detached from each other, arrow points to the fixing
(Cut to James M'Burke sitting at a desk. 'Algon I' motifs
everywhere. Another expert stands by a model of the planet, and
there is a panel of experts at a long desk who are all obviously
dummies. Everyone has one of those single earphones.)
M'Burke: Well, our computers have been working all day to
analyze the dramatic information that's come in from this first ever
intergalactic probe, Algon... I ... (suddenly very excited as he
hears something over his earphone) ... and we're just getting an
interesting development now, which is that attachments for rotary
mowers - that is mowers that have a central circular blade - are...
relatively inexpensive! Stir in the region 'of nine m ten million
pounds, but it does seem to indicate that Algon might be a very good
planet for those with larger gardens ... or perhaps even an orchard
that's been left for two years, needs some heavy work, some
weeding... (very, indistinct pictures start to come through on
the screen behind him) But we're now getting some live pictures
through from Algon! Harry - Perhaps you could talk us through them.
(Cut into pictures from Algon.)
SUPERIMPOSED CAPTION: 'LIVE FROM ALGON'
(Very fuzzy pictures of the Algon landscape. Panning and
tracking shots hand held.)
Harry: (voice over) Very little evidence of
shopping facilities here .. there don't seem to be any large
supermarkets. There may be some on-the-comer grocery stores behind
those rocks, but it's difficult m tell from this angle. It does seem
to suggest that most of the shopping here is by direct mail.
SUPERIMPOSED TELEPROMPTER CAPTION: DIGESTIVE BISCUITS; £8,OOO,OOO
(Cut to James M 'Burke.)
M'Burke: Of course the big question that everyone's asking
here is, what about those split-crotch parities? Are they going to
be unobtainable throughout the Universe or merely on Algon itself?.
(Cut to a professor sitting beside a contour model of an area
of Algon. It has a little model of the probe marking where it has
SUPERIMPOSED CAPTION: 'PROFESSOR HERMAN KHAN, DIRECTOR OF THE
INSTITUTE OF SPLIT-CROTCH PANTIES'
Professor: We must remember that Algon is over 75,000
miles wide. The probes come down to this area here and we're really
only getting signals from a radius of only thirty or forty miles
around the probe. Split-crotch panties, or indeed any items of what
we scientists call, 'Sexy Underwear' or 'Erotic Lingerie' may be
much more plentiful on other parts of the planet.
(Camera pans to include M'Burke.)
M'Burke: Professor, you were responsible for finding
Scanty-Panties and Golden Goddess High-Lift Bras on planets which
were never thought able to sustain life, and now that man has
discovered a new galaxy do you think we're going to see underwear
become even naughtier?
Professor: Oh naughtier and naughtier.
SUPERIMPOSED TELEPROMPTER CAPTION: 'NO BANANAS ON ALGON'
M'Burke: Well so much for that ... But of course, the
probe itself has excited a great deal of interest... for it contains
uranium-based dual transmission cells entirely re-charged by solar
radiation, which can take off a bra and panties in less than fifteen
seconds. It is, of course, the first piece of space hardware to be
specially designed to undress ladies, and so there are bound to be
some teething troubles ... such as how to cope with the combination
of elastic-sided boots and tights.
(He produces the bottom half of a tailor's dummy wearing boots
and tights with panties over the tights halfway down. On the screen
behind, more dim indecipherable TV pictures from Algon.)
M'Burke: But I think we're getting some pictures now from
Algon itself, and it looks as though ... yes! The satellite has
found a bird! The probe has struck crumpet and she looks pretty good
Professor: Ja - she's a. real honey!
(All we see on the screen is a blurred female figure.)
M'Burke: Well the pictures are a bit sporadic... I think
probably... the solar radiation during the long journey to Algon...
(the screen goes blank) Hoy! Look! Oh dear, I'm sorry we've
lost contact. We'll try and re-establish contact with Algon...
(Cut to presenter's-type chair. Mr. Badger appears at side of
Badger: Hello... The BBC have offered me the sum of forty
pence to read the credits of this show. (sits) Personally I
thought they should have held out for the full seventy-five, but the
BBC have explained to me about their financial difficulties and ...
er ... I decided to accept the reduced offer... so ... the show was
conceived, written and performed by... the usual lot... (the
signature tune is heard) Also appearing were Carol Cleveland,
Marie Anderson, Mrs. Idle, Make-up - Madelaine Gaffney, Costume -
Hazel Pethig, Animations by Terry Gilliam, Visual Effects Designer -
Bernard Wilkie, Graphics - Bob Blagden, Film Cameraman - Alan
Featherstone, Film Editor - Ray Millichope, Sound - Richard Chubb,
Lighting - Bill Bailey, Designer - Bob Berk, Produced by Ian
MacNaughton for 92p and a bottle of Bells whisky ... it was a BBC
color production. That's just it. I'd like to say if there are any
BBC producers looking in who need people to read the credits for
them, I would personally...
(The camera pulls out to reveal the sixteen-ton weight poised
above him. As the picture fades the weight falls on him.)