4th Series

Basic Cast :-

  • Peter Sellers,
  • Harry Secombe,
  • Spike Milligan,
  • The Ray Ellington Quartet,
  • Max Geldray.

  • Announcer: Andrew Timothy (Nos. 1 to 5)
  • Announcer Wallace Greenslade (Nos. 6 - )

  • Scripts Nos. 1-9, 11-20 written by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens
  • Script No. 10 by Larry Stephens
  • Scripts Nos. 21-30 by Spike Milligan
  • Produced by Peter Eton, except no. 15 produced by Jacques Brow

Nos. 1-20 (except 13) broadcast on Fridays,
Nos. 21-30 on Monday
All pre-recorded the previous Sunday.

1 02-Oct-53 TLO 35079 The Dreaded Piano Clubber 2
2 09-Oct-53 TLO 35432 The Man Who Tried to Destroy London's Monuments 8
3 16-Oct-53 TLO 35740 The Ghastly Experiments of Dr. Hans Eidelburger 4
4 23-Oct-53 TLO 36235 The Building of Britain's First Atomic Cannon 5
5 30-Oct-53 TLO 37145 The Gibraltar Story 6
6 06-Nov-53 TLO 37511 Through the Sound Barrier in an Airing Cupboard 7
(without Milligan)
7 01-Nov-53 TLO 37898 The First Albert Memorial to the Moon
8 20-Nov-53 TLO 38482 The Missing Bureaucrat 7
9 27-Nov-53 TLO 37891 Operation Bagpipes
10 04-Dec-53 TLO 39091 The Flying Saucer Mystery 8
11 11-Dec-53 TLO 39790 The Spanish Armada 8
12 27-Jan-53 TLO 40412 The British Way
SP 24-Mar-53 TLO 40660 Short insert in 'Christmas Crackers'
(which also contained contributions from other Variety shows) (recorded 20-Dec-53)
13 26-Dec-53 TLO 40660 The Giant Bombardon
(with Michael Bentine)
14 01-Jan-54 TLO 22493 Ten Thousand Fathoms Down in a Wardrobe
15 08-Jan-54 TLO 41242 The Missing Prime Minister
16 15-Jan-54 TLO 41552 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Crun 10
17 22-Jan-54 TLO 42416 The Mummified Priest
18 29-Jan-54 TLO 42842 The History of Communications 11
19 05-Feb-54 TLO 48011 The Kippered Herring Gang
20 12-Feb-54 TLO 49072 The Toothpaste Expedition 12
21 15-Feb-54 TLO 49191 The Case of the Vanishing Room
22 22-Feb-54 TLO 49628 The Great Ink Drought of 1902 13
23 01-Mar-54 TLO 50206 The Greatest Mountain in the World
24 08-Mar-54 TLO 50546 The Collapse of the British Railway Sandwich System
25 15-Mar-54 TLO 50871 The Silent Bugler 14
26 22-Mar-54 TLO 51429 Western Story 15
27 29-Mar-54 TLO 51769 The Saga of the Internal Mountain
28 05-Apr-54 TLO 52346 The Invisible Acrobat 16
(Ellington pre-recorded)
29 12-Apr-54 TLO 52583 The Great Bank of England Robbery
(Ellington pre-recorded)
30 19-Apr-54 TLO 52599 The Siege of Fort Knight
(Ellington pre-recorded)
SP 11-Jun-54 TLO 55169 "Archie in Goonland"
with Peter Brough and Archie Andrews, Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe, Hattie Jacques, and the BBC Variety Orchestra, Conductor Paul Fenoulhet.
Script by Eric Sykes and Spike Milligan.
Produced by Roy Speer.
Recorded 06-May-54.
SP 11-Jun-54 TNC 408 "The Starlings"
Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan and Andrew Timothy.
Written by Spike Milligan.
Without musicians or audience.
Produced by Peter Eton.
Recorded 11/12-Aug-54.

Notes to the 4th series

With this series, the shows begin for the first time to take on familiar dramatic format, although it is not until the second half of the series that the majority of the shows have a straight-through half-hour plot (apart from the musical items, of course).

As yet the shows were not given titles at the time of writing, with the result that the situation has become rather confused. Spike Milligan has titled his own copies of the scripts with abbreviated titles that are really more of a shorthand indication of their content. Someone has written in pencil on the front of the BBC Script Library copies titles which tend to be based on opening announcements; however, as many of the shows have a short opening sketch with the main part of the programme starting only after the first musical items, these titles tend to be misleading.

The titles given in these listings are derived from both sources with a tendency to use Milligan's titles where there is a choice between two reasonably acceptable alternatives. Only one show in this series has been preserved in BBC Sound Archives (no. 23) - in this case the BBC title has been retained in preference to Milligan's.

1. Not coherently announced.

2. Three-episode show, the middle section is 'The Dreaded Piano Clubber'.

3. This story occupies the second and third episodes of the show.

4. The first part of the show is 'The Adventures of Fearless Harry Secombe', a 'serial' which appears at the start of several shows; the title given for the show is the subtitle of this first section. The remainder of the show is about the ascent of Mount Everest.

5. Announced as title. This is the first show in this series to have single plot lasting through all three parts.

6. The title given applies to parts 2 and 3.

7. The first part of the show is 'The Further Adventures of Fearless Harry Secombe - A Race to the Death'. 'The Missing Bureacrat' is parts 2 and 3.

8. The first part of the show is again 'The Adventures of Fearless Harry Secombe'(the title given on the BBC Script Library copy); however, the main part of the show is about flying saucers, and as Spike Milligan's copy of the script is missing and therefore no title has been given for it, I (as in Roger!) have taken the liberty of inventing a title.

9. In the first part of the show 'Harry Proves he is Not a Dog'; parts 2 and 3 are the story of the Armada.

10. Announced as 'Crime Does Not Pay Income Tax'.

11. Part one of the script is 'The History of Communications'; originally part of the 7th of the 1st series and later re-worked into 'The GPO Show'. Parts 2 and 3 are 'The Siege of Khartoum', originally part of the 18th of the 3rd series.

12. The first part of the script was originally used in the 2nd part of the 2nd series; 'The Toothpaste Expedition' was originally used in the 5th of the 3rd series.

13. Announced as 'Hansard Unexpurgated'.

14. The nearest to an announcement is 'Take the case of Agent X2....'

15. Announced as 'Brain!' (inspired by the film, Shane).

16. Announced as 'Bulletto'.

Fourteen of these scripts were re-worked for the 'Vintage Goon' series recorded in 1957/8 for Transcription Services.