As with many British comedies, and pretty much anything Rowan Atkinson is involved in, Blackadder has had its share of funny moments.
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The Black Adder
Episode 1: The Foretelling
- At the dinner table, Edmund is asked "Fight you with us on the morrow?", to which he replies "Oh, goodness no. No, I thought I'd fight with the enemy!"
- Edmund's reaction after realizing the man he's just killed is King Richard. What really sells it is his expression.
- BRIAN BLESSED's entire performance as King Richard IV is as hysterically over the top as his performances usually are, but this episode opens with one of the series' standout moments. The King sets off to wage war against the Turks, and has this to say:
"As the Lord said, love thy neighbour as thyself, unless he's Turkish, in which case kill the bastard! HAHAHA!"
- Disgusted at having been tasked with putting together the festivities for St. Leonard's Day and King Richard IV's return, Edmund hurls an epithet at Harry, which sparks an idea in Baldrick and Percy's brains and reveals that the former has a somewhat more modern idea of the world:
Edmund: Twelve months of chasing sheep and straightening the royal portraits, and now this! The bastard! The bastard!
Baldrick: (appearing to Edmund's right) If only he were, My Lord.
Baldrick: If only he were a bastard, My Lord. Then you would be Regent now.
Edmund: Ah yes. And then one day...
Percy: (appearing to Edmund's left) You would be King, My Lord.
Edmund: Ah, yes, yes, I would be King! And then what?
Percy, Baldrick: You'd rule the world, My Lord! (Percy sweeps his hand to indicate a flat plane, Baldrick moves his hand to indicate a sphere)
- The traditional St. Leonard's Day festivities include a bearded lady, eunuchs, and Morris dancers. However, the preparations do not go smoothly:
- First, the bearded lady has shaved off her beard, and a replacement act must be found:
Percy: (picking a piece of paper from the pile on Edmund's table) There's the Jumping Jews of Jerusalem, My Lord.
Edmund: What do they do?
Percy: (as though puzzled he has to ask) They jump, My Lord.
Percy: They come in, My Lord, and they jump... a lot.
- After the trio look through various other equally disappointing acts, a messenger brings further bad news: the eunuchs have cancelled.
Percy: What are we going to do?
Edmund: (livid) Well, I know what I'm going to do! Baldrick, give me an execution order. I'm gonna teach them a lesson they'll never forget. I'll remove whatever extraneous parts of their bodies still remain! (writes out the order and marches to the door, opening it to find the messenger with his hand outstretched, still waiting for payment)
Messenger: My Lord...
Edmund: Take that to the Lord Chancellor, thank you. (shoves the order into the messenger's hand and slams the door on him) Oh God, this is desperate! Desperate!
Percy: We could have the Morris dancers, My Lord.
Edmund: Now look! We are not that desperate! Morris dancing is the most fatuous tenth-rate entertainment ever devised by man! Forty effeminate blacksmiths waving bits of cloth they've just wiped their noses on! How it's still going on in this day and age, I'll never know!
Percy: Sorry, so do you want them or not?
(the enraged Edmund begins hitting Percy over the head with a rolled-up piece of paper; the door opens to reveal Prince Harry)
Harry: Ah, Edmund!
(Edmund quickly shifts position and begins jumping, smiling at Harry while hitting Percy and himself with the paper in an imitation Morris dance; Percy and Baldrick quickly join in the charade)
Edmund: ...and rest. (the dancing stops)
- Edmund tries to claim to Harry that he's had to let the eunuchs go to ease the crowding in the entertainment schedule, but Harry scoffs at the idea of leaving them out of the St. Leonard's Day festivities:
Harry: No! That won't do at all! Not on St. Leonard's Day, because, well, (crosses to Percy) correct me if I'm wrong, Lord Percy, but, er, St. Leonard himself was an eunuch.
(Edmund looks at Percy and shakes his head frantically)
Percy: (imitates Edmund's head-shaking, but misunderstands, as he knows the correct answer) Yeeees, that's right.
(Harry turns to see Edmund still shaking his head; he once again pretends it's part of a Morris dance and hits himself over the head with a piece of paper)
- Stuck with trying to get the eunuchs and bearded lady, Edmund orders the bearded Baldrick to put on a dress, and sends Percy away to get an emergency act:
Edmund: Percy, you'd better go and get Bernard the Bear Baiter...
Percy: Yes, My Lord. (heads for the door)
Edmund: ...looks like we'll be needing him. Oh, and, Percy...
Percy: Yes, My Lord?
Edmund: Tell him to bring a bear this time. (Percy leaves) The improvising last year was pathetic...
- First, the bearded lady has shaved off her beard, and a replacement act must be found:
- At the St. Leonard's Day festivities, we see the Jumping Jews of Jerusalem's performance, which manages to be even more hilariously bad than advertised; as a Jewish harp twangs in the background, the five jumpers hop up and down in place, no two of them in time with each other (and one of them is just bending his knees). As they leave the stage, they pass Prique and the Wooferoonies, the stereotypical "luvvie" actors who are to perform The Death of the Scotsman (a last-minute change from The Death of the Pharaoh, the script changes involving the 15th century equivalent of a search-and-replace).
Wooferoonie: How did it go?
Jumping Jew: Er, not bad. (removes his false beard to reveal a real beard underneath) But, er, you know, I don't think they really understood it...
- Apparently Bernard the Bear Baiter forgot to bring a bear again, as the Queen tells Harry that she quite liked "Bernard the Rabbit Baiter".
- Percy lipsyncing with Edmund reading the letters.
- This episode sees a clever variation on the Running Gag of the King shouting, "Chiswick! Fresh horses!" Having already bellowed the line when sending Edmund and Harry to the former's investiture as Archbishop of Canterbury, the King settles down to dinner. He sniffs the dish of meat at his end of the table, then throws it over his shoulder while shouting, "Chiswick! Fresh horse!"
- After Edmund is made Archbishop of Canterbury, Baldrick looks into the ways they can actually make some money in the position, which involve curses, pardons, relics, and the sexual favours of nuns (of interest to foreign businessmen, other nuns, etc.).
- They first look at pardons; Baldrick notes that the buyer gets what he or she pays for, running from a pardon for talking with one's mouth full, signed by an apprentice curate in Tewkesbury and costing two pebbles, to a pardon for "absolutely anything whatsoever, including murder, adultery, or dismemberment of a friend or relative", which Baldrick explains is signed by "both Popes".note
- Curses are similar, running from half an egg for "Dear enemy: I curse you, and I hope something slightly unpleasant happens to you, like an onion falling on your head," all the way to four ducats for "Dear enemy, may God hate you and all your kind, may you turn orange in hue, and may your head fall off at an inopportune moment."
- The entire conversation about faulty relics isn't very far-removed from the truth about the Catholic Church at the time - some jokes from around Martin Luther's era were that John the Baptist was a nine-headed monster, Paul must have constantly regrown fingers, or of how there were enough splinters from the one true cross to build an ark, and enough blood from Jesus and milk from Mary to float it on.
Baldrick: Moving on to relics, we've got shrouds from Turin... (shows a shroud with a faint outline of Jesus' face in the middle) Wine from the wedding at Cana... (indicates a set of bottles) Splinters from the Cross... (picks up some scraps of wood; as he sets them down, he gets a sliver from one, winces, and sucks the injured finger) And, of course, there's, er, stuff made by Jesus in His days in the carpentry shop. (kneels in front of an open chest) Got pipe racks, (hands Edmund a pipe rack) coffee tables, cake stands, bookends, (hands Edmund some bookends) crucifixes, (hands Edmund a crucifix) a nice cheeseboard, (hands it to Edmund) food bowls, waterpoof sandals... (picks up a vaguely foot-shaped piece of wood and stands up again) Oh, I haven't finished this one yet.
Percy: (outraged) But this is disgraceful, My Lord! All of these are obviously fake!
Edmund: Hah, yes!
Percy: But - but how will people be able to tell the difference between these and the real relics?
Edmund: Well, they won't! That's the point!
Percy: Well, you won't be able to fool everyone! (Edmund laughs derisively) Look! (he pulls a small object wrapped in red cloth from the wrist of his glove; reverently) I have here a true relic.
Edmund: What is it?
Percy: (unwraps the cloth) It is a bone from the finger of Our Lord. It cost me 31 pieces of silver.
Edmund: (awed) Good lord. Is it real?
Percy: It is, My Lord. Baldrick, you stand amazed.
Baldrick: I am! I thought they only came in boxes of ten. (he opens a box of finger bones) I could've given you one of mine!
Baldrick: Yeah, yeah! Fingers are really big at the moment. Mind you, for a really quick sale, you can't beat a nose. For instance, the Sacred Appendage Compendium Party Pack. (digs out a box and opens it; hands the noses to Edmund as he identifies them) You get Jesus' nose, St. Peter's nose, part of St. Francis' nose, and... (finds a pair of false breasts in the box) Er, no... they're Joan of Arc's.
Percy: (furious) That little bastard verger! I'll show him! (storms out as Edmund laughs mockingly)
- In the next scene, Edmund puts "Joan of Arc's breasts" over his chest, then tries putting the false noses on his chest instead.
- Edmund's first meeting with his betrothed, the Infanta Maria of Spain, does not exactly go well for the hapless Duke of Edinburgh:
- As Edmund, Percy, and Baldrick await the Infanta Maria's arrival, Percy tries to stoke Edmund's interest in her with a comparison which falls apart under scrutiny:
Percy: (tapping Edmund on the shoulder) My lord!
Edmund: Yes, what is it?
Percy: You know, they do say that the Infanta's eyes are more beautiful than the famous Stone of Galveston!
Edmund: (grinning) Mmm!... (grin fades) What?
Percy: The... famous Stone of Galveston, My Lord!
Edmund: And... what's that, exactly?
Percy: Well, it's a famous blue stone! And it comes... (points dramatically off into the distance) from Galveston!
Edmund: (looking in the direction in which Percy is pointing) I see. And... what about it?
Percy: Well... My Lord, the Infanta's eyes are bluer than it, for a start!
Edmund: I see. And have you ever seen this stone?
Percy: (begins nodding) ... Nnnno. Not, not as such, My Lord. But I know a couple of people who have, and they say it's very, very blue indeed!
Edmund: And have these people seen the Infanta's eyes?
Percy: (scoffs) No, I shouldn't think so, My Lord!
Edmund: And neither have you, presumably.
Percy: (smiling) No, My Lord!
Edmund: So what you're telling me, Percy, is that something you have never seen is slightly less blue than something else you have never seen.
Percy: (smile fades) ... Yes, My Lord.
- This is immediately followed by Edmund's none too auspicious first meeting with the short, overweight Infanta (Miriam Margolyes) and her interpreter Don Speekingleesh (Jim Broadbent):
[a trumpet fanfare announces the arrival of the Infanta and her interpreter, but Edmund has his back turned to the door and does not see them]
Edmund: Percy, in the end, you are about as much use to me as a hole in the head. [the Infanta is clearly smitten at first sight; she and Speekingleesh walk up behind the oblivious Edmund] An affliction with which you must be familiar, having never actually had a brain!
Edmund: [turning just far enough to see Speekingleesh but not the Infanta] Hello. [turning back to Percy; Baldrick silently tries to get his attention] Here I am, awaiting the arrival of the most beautiful, ravishing-
Speekingleesh: [more insistent] Hello!
Edmund: [still only noticing Speekingleesh] Look, leave me alone, will you, I'm trying to talk to someone! [to Percy] -while you're wittering on like some pox-ridden moor hen-
Infanta: [under Edmund's line] ¡Tú eres el verdadero amor de mi vida, amor mio, amor mio!
Speekingleesh: "You are the true love of my life, my love, my love!"
Edmund: [still not seeing the Infanta] ...what!? [back to Percy] Percy, is this a friend of yours? Someone you dragged in-
Infanta: [under Edmund's line] ¡Tú es el único para mí, yo sólo quiero besarte y abrazarte!
Speekingleesh: "You are the only one for me, I merely want to hug and kiss you!" [Edmund punches him in the face] Oh!
Infanta: ¡Yo soy la Infanta!
Speekingleesh: "No, I am the Infanta!"
Edmund: What? Well, no-one told me you had a beard!
Percy: [laughing] Must be Jeremy of Estonia!
Edmund: [laughing] Yes, the very-
Infanta: [finally jumping in front of Edmund] ¡YO SOY LA INFANTA!
Edmund: Yes, well, absolutely- [does a MASSIVE double take] WAGHH!! [jumps into Percy's arms]
- The Infanta proceeds to engage Edmund in some very heavy liplock:
Infanta: ¡Ohhh, me gusta tus labios!
Speekingleesh: "Your lips I like!"
(Edmund massages his lips as though checking they're still attached to his face)
Infanta: (hungrily) ¡Es el resto de tu cuerpo que me interesa!
Speekingleesh: "It is the rest of your body I wish to find out more about!"
(Edmund covers his face with both hands in horror, allowing himself a momentary peek through his fingers)
- As Edmund, Percy, and Baldrick await the Infanta Maria's arrival, Percy tries to stoke Edmund's interest in her with a comparison which falls apart under scrutiny:
- The messenger tells the King that Lord Wessex is dead. Displeased with this news, the King asks him to bring him some other news. The messenger exits, re-enters, and says "My lord, news: Lord Wessex is not dead!" The scene also features another variation on the "Chiswick! Fresh horses!" joke after the King smashes a model horse in his rage at the news that Lord Wessex is dead.
- With Edmund desperate to get out of his arranged marriage to the Infanta, he's even willing to listen to Percy's suggestions. And then wishes he hadn't:
Percy: Wait a moment, My Lord. I think I may have a plan to get you out of this marriage.
Edmund: Yes, but it's a stupid plan, Percy, let's face it!
Percy: (offended) Oh, well, yes, yes, maybe you're right.
Edmund: (desperate) But... tell me what it is anyway.
Percy: (in a huff) Er, no, actually I don't think I'll bother, My Lord.
Edmund: Oh, please, please tell me what your plan is, please tell me, please tell me!
Percy: (takes a moment to enjoy the sight of Edmund grovelling) All right. I go along to the Infanta's room and tell her that you've gone mad. She comes to the door, and you meet her disguised as a little... pig. Then - and this is the cunning part - instead of saying "oink oink", you say "mooooo"!
Percy: Well, then she'll know you're mad, and leave!
(Edmund looks at Percy in disbelief, then points toward the ceiling; Percy looks in the direction in which Edmund is pointing, and Edmund slaps his face)
- Baldrick comes up with what seems like a better plan when he suggests that Edmund pretend to be homosexual, "like the Earl of Doncaster", and starts by sewing more colourful sleeves onto his jerkin, then tries to instruct him on presentation, which gets off to a rocky start:
Baldrick: Now all you need to do is practise with Percy.
Edmund: [disgusted] Practise... what!?
Baldrick: Presentation, My Lord!
Edmund: [relieved sigh] Oh, I see.
Baldrick: [ushers Percy across the floor] You stand over here, and, My Lord, just there. Right, now, Percy, Lord Edmund is going to try and make himself, er... attractive to you.
Edmund: You know, like - like the Earl of Doncaster.
Percy: Good lord! Well, er, fair enough. [affects a camp pose with his hand on his hip and waves seductively]
Edmund: No, no, you act normal! I'm the Earl of Doncaster!
Percy: Oh, I see.
Edmund: It's me! Right.
Baldrick: Right. [stands between them as though signalling the start of a fight] Go! [steps back to watch]
[Edmund spends about 30 seconds contorting his face, looking more like someone trying not to break wind than someone trying to appeal to another man; Baldrick and Percy look at each other with pained expressions and shake their heads]
Edmund: [gives up] Oh my God, this is impossible! I can't do this!
Baldrick: Never mind, I've got a couple more things that might help... [exits]
Edmund: Oh, Percy... Percy, what am I going to do?
Percy: Well, perhaps we could try and strike up a conversation. [affects a camp pose and an even camper voice] Hello there!
Edmund: [attempts a camp voice] Er... hello. How are you?
Percy: [camp] I'm fine. Have you heard? Prince Edmund's going to marry the Spanish Infanta!
Edmund: [breaking character] No he damn well isn't! [grabs Percy by the neck] And anyone who says otherwise is going to get their head pulled off! Do you hear me!?
[he drags Percy to the ground; Baldrick returns to find what looks like Edmund trying to mount Percy from behind while strangling him]
Baldrick: [brightly] Yes, that's the kind of thing!
- Later, Edmund is carrying out the "pretend to be homosexual" plan by dressing in extremely colourful clothes and heavy makeup, only for the King to mistake him for the Earl of Doncaster and shout "Morning, Doncaster!" as he walks past, Prince Harry (with yet another princess to whom he is engaged) and the Queen to regard his costume as an Unusually Uninteresting Sight, and the Infanta to mistake him for having dressed as a Spanish man.
- An attempt to marry Edmund off to local peasant girl Tully Applebottom falls apart when her irate husband interrupts the wedding (they didn't think to check first before choosing her as the bride). As Edmund is still in his colourful costume and heavy makeup, Mr. Applebottom believes he is the Earl of Doncaster.
- Edmund then comes up with the idea to prove the Infanta is not a virgin by sending a terrified Baldrick in to seduce her (or, rather, be seduced by her). When he enters her darkened bedchamber, we can only hear the Infanta's passionate declarations of love and Baldrick's cries of terror. Just as we're being horrified by what is essentially Baldrick's rape, we hear a deadpan Don Speekingleesh translating for both of them: "Oh, Edmund, my love..." The following day at the wedding, Baldrick is covered in bruises.
- Edmund trying to tell Richard IV that his wife is not a virgin, only for Richard IV to misinterpret it as political news, such the Russian royal family getting mistaken for bison due to their large winter clothes, chopped to pieces, and eaten as chocolates by Hungarian baskets. Then Edmund finally tells him:
Edmund: My wife is not a virgin.
Richard IV: I knew that!
Richard IV: Her uncle told me!
- The Contrived Coincidence of Richard IV guessing exactly what a complex diplomatic message says before the messenger opens it.
Richard IV: What—have the Swiss and French made sudden peace with each other at a mountain-pass rendezvous, then forged a clandestine alliance with Spain, thus leaving us without friends in Europe, unless by chance we make an immediate pact with Hungary?
Messenger: (reads scroll) ...Yes.
- The hilariously over the top eponymous Witchsmeller Pursuivant, as played by Frank Finlay. When you're out-hamming BRIAN BLESSED, you're doing it right.
- Percy talking of strange witchcraft he has witnessed:
Percy: Only this morning in the courtyard, I saw a horse with two heads and two bodies!
Edmund: Two horses standing next to each other?
Percy: ... Yes, I suppose it could have been.
Edmund: Honestly, Percy, I bet you're just the sort of person who thinks that sticking your finger up a sheep's bottom on Good Friday will make you fertile!
Baldrick: That's rubbish!
Edmund: Quite, really.
Baldrick: It's Easter Monday.
Edmund: Yes, remind me not to shake your hand during a religious festival.
- The trial Edmund finds himself in, with damn near everything coming from Witchsmeller Pursuivant's mouth as gold.
- First, the Witchsmeller declares that anyone who would defend someone accused of witchcraft must himself be a witch, resulting in Percy, Edmund's would-be lawyer, being put on trial as well, and the obliging Prince Harry declaring the case for the defence closed before it opens because the court cannot be expected to hear a case presented by a witch for a witch.
- And so the case for the prosecution begins:
Witchsmeller: Now, Edmund, I believe you have a pussycat.
Witchsmeller: Ohh! Its name is Bubbles?
Witchsmeller: Yes, or, to give it its full name... BEELZEBUBBLES!? (screams from the crowd; one woman faints) Do you deny that you were seen, on the Feast of St. Jacob the Turgid, speaking to this little cat Bubbles?
Edmund: Well, of course I deny it!
Witchsmeller: Ah, but the chambermaid Mary heard you say, and I quote, "Hello, little Bubbles, would you like some milk?"
Edmund: Well, I might have said that!
Witchsmeller: Ah! And what did you mean by it?
Edmund: Well, I meant, would the cat like some milk.
Witchsmeller: Milk? What did you mean by "milk"?
Edmund: (impatiently) I meant milk! Bloody milk!
Witchsmeller: BLOODY MILK!! It was a mixture of milk and blood!
Edmund: (backpedalling) No, no, just milk!
Witchsmeller: Ah, blood was to come later!
Edmund: (desperate) There wasn't any blood!
Witchsmeller: SO YOU HAD TO MAKE DO WITH MILK!
- The case turns to Edmund offering his horse, Black Satin, a carrot, and a third defendant is put in the dock:
Witchsmeller: But, ladies and gentlemen, we all know that carrots are the Devil's favourite food!
Percy: (stands up) No! No, we don't. If the Devil likes carrots, why isn't mentioned in the Bible, then? Why doesn't it say, "And He took the Lord up to the top of an high mountain and offered Him a carrot"?
Edmund: Yes, why isn't "Thou shalt not eat carrots" in the Ten Commandments?
Witchsmeller: IT IS! (cheers from the crowd; the Witchsmeller opens his Bible) The Ten Commandments of Jeremoth, in the Appendix to the Apocrypha: "And the Lord said unto the children of Bedinibot, 'Neither shalt thou eat the fruit of the tree that is known as the Carrot Tree.'"
Baldrick: (scoffs) Carrots don't grow on trees!
Witchsmeller: (turns to Baldrick) Oh really? And how did you get to know so much about carrots, eh? (laughter from the crowd) WITCH!
- Black Satin is put on the witness stand. Needless to say, the Witchsmeller doesn't get much out of him, but decides to manipulate his "testimony" to his advantage anyway:
Witchsmeller: Now, Satin, just relax. You're among friends. Good. Now, tell me, in your own words: Did you, Satin, on certain nights last Gareth's tide, indulge - albeit, I accept, in all innocence - in frenzied, naked, and obscene Satanic orgies with your master, known to you as the Great Grumbledook?
Witchsmeller: Silence, Grumbledook! Satin, you're not replying. (to Harry) He's not replying, My Lord. Are we to assume this horse has something to hide?
Edmund: Either that or he can't talk.
Witchsmeller: A likely story. Black Satin, known in the Hierarchy of Evil as Black Satin the Loquacious, are you or are you not the servant of Satan? (the crowd screams; Black Satin whinnies)
Harry: I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that. Was that a yea or a nay?
Witchsmeller: It was a neigh, My Lord, but I don't believe a word of it. I call for a recess. He may think he can fool us, but we have ways of making him talk!
- The next day, the Witchsmeller reveals that Black Satin died the previous night, but not before "confessing" to discussing Edmund's satanic rituals with him over a gallon of stable boy's blood. He then calls his final witness, Jane Firkettle:
Witchsmeller: Now, Mrs. Firkettle, can you see that man standing over there?
Witchsmeller: (flinches, as though she said "witch") That's him...
Firkettle: 'Course I recognise him! (waves cutely at Edmund and kisses the air)
Edmund: She's seen me on a coin.
Witchsmeller: And have you or have you not committed sins of the flesh with him?
Firkettle: I have...
Edmund: You must be joking!
Firkettle: ...to my deepest shame.
Edmund: And mine! I mean, look at her!
Witchsmeller: Can you describe these foul deeds?
Firkettle: After we had just kissed once, he transformed into a wild animal! (crowd gasps)
Edmund: Or perhaps I do remember you...
Witchsmeller: Anything else?
Firkettle: Yes, My Lord. Three months later, I was great with child.
Edmund: Oh, for God's sake...
Witchsmeller: You bore him a son.
Firkettle: I did... my little Johnny!
Witchsmeller: Can you see this son of Satan anywhere in this court?
(unrest in the crowd, which includes a man with red skin, a pointed beard, and horns; when Firkettle spots him, Witchsmeller holds a white poodle in her line of sight)
Firkettle: (points) Yes, that's him!
Witchsmeller: I give you JOHN GRUMBLEDOOK! (holds the poodle up high; the crowd screams)
Man in crowd: His hair gives him away!
Edmund: Oh, come on, he doesn't look the slightest bit like me!
Witchsmeller: My Lord, we have three proofs of witchcraft! A cat that drinks blood, a horse that talks, and a man who propagates poodles!
- Baldrick's cunning plan to escape the court.
- It takes Harry almost half of a minute to realize the Witchsmeller Pursuivant has spontaneously combusted right in front of him.
- Edmund telling Percy exactly why he's being fired, finally showing some of the wit his descendants will be known for.
Edmund: Because, Percy, far from being a fit consort for a prince of the realm, you would bore the leggings off a village idiot. You ride a horse rather less well than another horse would. Your brain would make a grain of sand look large and ungainly. And the part of you that can't be mentioned, I am reliably informed by women around the court, wouldn't be worth mentioning even if it could be. If you put on a floppy hat and a furry cod-piece, you might just get by as a fool, but since you wouldn't know a joke if it got up and gave you a haircut, I doubt it. That is why you are dismissed.
Percy: Oh, I see.
Edmund: And as for you, Baldrick...
Baldrick: My Lord?
Edmund: You're out too.
Baldrick: (clearly thinking better of protesting after having seen what it did for Percy) ... fair enough.
Episode 1: Bells
- Percy makes his first appearance in the series in high spirits, which Blackadder discovers to be the result of his love for Jane Harrington. Unfortunately for Percy, he is just the latest in a long line of lovers for her, a line which includes a surprise:
Percy: (entering Blackadder's front room, where Blackadder is practising archery with a target held by Baldrick) Sorry I'm late.
Blackadder: No, don't bother apologising, I'm sorry you're alive.
Percy: Oh good, the target's ready. (readies his bow) I'd like to meet the Spaniard who could make his way past me!
Blackadder: Well, go to Spain, there are millions of them.
Percy: I'll advise them to stay there, then! Keep their hands off our women!
Blackadder: (rolls eyes) Oh God, who is she this time!?
Percy: I don't know what you mean. (Blackadder sees a letter sticking out of Percy's jerkin, grabs it, and sits down on a nearby table; Percy tries to get the letter back, but Blackadder fends him off with a Groin Attack, and he yelps in pain)
Blackadder: (unfolds letter and reads it) Ah, and who is this "Jane"?
Percy: (struggling to get his breath back) I'm sworn to secrecy. Torture me, kill me, you shall never know. (Blackadder delivers a second Groin Attack; Percy groans in pain, his voice an octave higher) Jane Harrington. (slowly stands up again) We're very much in love, My Lord.
Blackadder: This is the Jane Harrington?
Blackadder: Jane "Bury Me in a Y-Shaped Coffin" Harrington?
Percy: I... I think maybe there are two Jane Harringtons -
Blackadder: No, no... Tall, blonde, elegant?
Percy: Aye, that's right!
Blackadder: Goes like a privy door when the plague's in town?
Percy: (crestfallen) My lord-
Blackadder: Come on, get on with your shot. (Percy tries to line up his archery shot) You'll get over her. (Percy tries to line up his shot again) I did. (Percy takes a deep breath and tries once more to line up his shot) So did Baldrick, actually. (Percy shoots the arrow into Baldrick's groin)
- Blackadder has a new manservant who's actually a girl in disguise. She and Blackadder take an instant liking to each other, to the point that she temporarily forgets that she's disguised as a boy:
Blackadder: Well, young man, you've got yourself a job. What do they call you?
Kate: (staring at him adoringly) Kate.
Blackadder: ...Isn't that a bit of a...girl's name?
Kate: Oh, it's, um, short for, um...Bob.
- With "Bob" as his new manservant, Blackadder fires Baldrick, who begs to be allowed to stay because he's got nowhere else to go. Blackadder puts a fatherly arm around him and says in a kind voice "But surely you'll be allowed to starve to death in one of the royal parks?" Eventually it's agreed that Baldrick will stay and work even harder for nothing, and Baldrick goes off with a grateful "God bless you, sweet master!" This is especially funny when you know that Baldrick's actor Tony Robinson is very, very left-wing.
Baldrick: I've been in your service since I was two and a half, My Lord!
Blackadder: Well, that must be why I'm so sick of the sight of you.
- Blackadder negotiates his way past the Wise Woman's receptionist:
Blackadder: Tell me, young crone, is this Putney?
Young Crone: (Large Hamming) That it be. That it be!
Blackadder: "Yes it is", not "that it be". You don't have to talk in that stupid voice to me, I'm not a tourist. I seek information about a Wise Woman.
Young Crone: (sharp intake of breath) The Wise Woman! The Wise Woman!
Blackadder: (patiently) ...Yes, the Wise Woman.
Young Crone: Two things, My Lord, must ye know of the Wise Woman. First — she is...a woman! Second, she is...
Young Crone: (normal) You do know her, then?
Blackadder: Just a wild stab in the dark, which is incidentally what you'll be getting if you don't start being a bit more helpful. Do you know where she lives?
Young Crone: Of course!
Young Crone: Here! Do you have an appointment?
Young Crone: Well, you can go in anyway.
Blackadder: Thank you, young crone. (holds up purse) Here is a purse of moneys. (pockets it) Which I'm not going to give to you.
- Lord Flashheart's appearance.
- Flashheart's reaction to Baldrick the bridesmaid: "Hey bridesmaid, love the beard! Gives me something to HANG onto!!"
- Flashheart greets Kate by sticking his tongue down her throat, and apparently she returns the favour:
Flashheart: She's got a tongue like an electric eel and she likes the taste of a man's tonsils! You don't want to marry this jerk, baby? Meet me on my horse in eight seconds!
Kate: But I can't run in this frock. You see, I found I actually preferred wearing boys' clothes.
Flashheart: Weird, I always feel more comfy in a dress! I've got a plan, and it's as HOT as my PANTS!
- Flashheart's plan involves exchanging clothes with Kate, and they ride off together, leaving Blackadder at the altar. Melchett proposes a solution:
Melchett: Of course, it's customary on these occasions for the groom to marry the bridesmaid. I presume you intend to honour this?
Baldrick: I do.
- The end credits of this series feature a Couch Gag in the form of a balladeer who sings a different song each episode to the tune of the Blackadder theme, always mocking the title character (who chases him around the palace gardens). In the first episode, it seems he shares Kate's opinion of the relative desirability of Blackadder and Flashheart:
Lord Flashheart, Lord Flashheart
I wish you were the star
Lord Flashheart, Lord Flashheart
You're sexier by far
- The "adding" scene. As this was meant to be the first episode, said scene would have shown how this generation is very different from the last.
Blackadder: Right Baldrick, let's try again shall we? This is called adding. If I have two beans, and then I add two more beans, what do I have?
Baldrick: Some beans.
Blackadder: (pause) Yes...and no. Let's try again shall we? I have two beans, then I add two more beans. What does that make?
Baldrick: A very small casserole.
Blackadder: Baldrick, the ape creatures of the Indus have mastered this. Now try again. One, two, three, four. So how many are there?
Baldrick: And that one.
Blackadder: Three and that one. So if I add that one to the three what will I have?
Baldrick: Oh! Some beans.
Blackadder: Yes. To you Baldrick, the Renaissance was just something that happened to other people, wasn't it?
- Percy makes his first entrance wearing a gigantic ruff around his neck that is three times as wide as his head and makes it difficult for him to move his jaw while speaking, making him sound as though his teeth are permanently clenched:
Percy: Edmund, Edmund, come quickly, the Queen wants to see you!
Blackadder: (dumbfounded) What-
Percy: I said, "Edmund, Edmund, come quickly, the Queen wants to see-"
Blackadder: Please let me finish. What... are you wearing round your neck?
Percy: (proudly) Ah! It's my new ruff!
Blackadder: You look like a bird who's swallowed a plate!
Percy: It's the latest fashion, actually, and as a matter of fact, it makes me look rather sexy!
Blackadder: To another plate swallowing bird perhaps. If it was blind and hadn't had it in months.
- And then Baldrick gives his opinion:
Baldrick: I think he looks like a bird who's swallowed a plate, my lord.
Blackadder: No Baldrick, that's what I think, please try to have a thought of your own, thinking is so important. What do you think?
Baldrick: I think thinking is so important, my lord.
- Queen Elizabeth has an ironclad way to win any argument, even when she is blatantly in the wrong:
Melchett: Grey, I suspect, Majesty.
Queen: I think you'll find it was orange, Lord Melchett.
Melchett: Grey is more usual, ma'am.
Queen: Who's Queen?
Melchett: (resigned) As you say, Majesty, there were these magnificent orange elephants which were coming...
- After his appointment as Lord High Executioner (having been unknowingly submitted for the job and being the only candidate), Blackadder finds that Percy has changed his gigantic ruff for a much smaller one that only just sticks beyond his collar:
Blackadder: Oh yes Percy, and the new ruff?
Percy: Ah, the fashion today is towards the tiny.
Blackadder: In that case, Percy, you have the most fashionable brain in London.
- Upon seeing that they only have one execution scheduled for Wednesday, that of Lord Farrow, Blackadder decides to execute him on Monday and take the middle of the week off... which causes problems when Lady Farrow tries to appeal to Queenie to spare his life, and Her Majesty decides to allow Lady Farrow to visit her (late) husband. Needing a stand-in for the real thing, they decide to pretend Blackadder is him, with his face concealed by a bag over his head. The way Blackadder prepares Lady Farrow for this sight:
Blackadder: Though I should warn you that he...he will not be quite as you knew him.
Lady Farrow: You fiend! What have you done to him?
Blackadder: We have put...a bag over his head!
- Things get stickier for Blackadder when Lord Farrow's brother, Earl Farrow, succeeds in persuading the Queen to pardon his father, and she tells Edmund she wants to see the newly-freed noble just prior to visiting her friend Lord Ponsonby (whom she is having executed on Friday) and touring Traitor's Cloister, and Blackadder and Percy try to think of a way to escape their predicament. The best part of the scene is Blackadder's delivery when he realises how screwed they are:
Percy: How about if we get Lord Farrow's head and body and we take it to the Queen, except, except just before we get in, we start shouting and screaming, and then we come in saying "We were just on our way when he said something traitorous and so we cut his head off in the corridor just to teach him a lesson"?
Blackadder: Pathetic! Absolutely pathetic! Contemptible!... Worth a try. Where did we put the head?
Percy: It's on a spike in Traitor's Cloister.
Blackadder: (horrified) Oh God, well that's where the Queen's gone! Did she know Farrow?
Percy: Oh yes, they were childhood friends.
Blackadder: Well, if she sees his head on a spike, she'll, she'll, she'll realise he's deeeead!
- Percy's plan falls apart when the head turns out to have already turned green, making it impossible to believe that it was just lopped off, but they are saved when they notice they have executed Lord Ponsonby, not Lord Farrow. There's just one problem... and once again, the best part of this scene is Blackadder's delivery of his final line:
Blackadder: My God, Ponsonby! (kisses the severed head on the lips) That genius Baldrick has killed the wrong bloke! We're saved!
Blackadder: Then Farrow is alive and we're saved.
Blackadder: And when the Queen gets back from seeing Ponsonby we'll - oh Go-o-o-od! (throws the head to Percy and runs out of the door)
- The minstrel does a little Continuity Nod at the end:
His great-grandfather was a king,
although for only thirty seconds
- When Blackadder refuses to participate in the celebrations welcoming Sir Walter Raleigh back from the New World, Percy predicts that the local children will dance outside his window and sing "Sourpuss, grumpy face!" Sure enough, after Percy has gone to the parade, a child (voiced by Miranda Richardson) is heard outside Blackadder's window:
Child: (singing) Sourpuss, grumpy face! Sourpuss, grumpy face! Sourpuss, grumpy face! (Blackadder picks up his bow and arrow) Sourpuss, grumpy face! Sourpuss, grumpy face! (Blackadder fires the arrow out of the window) AHH! Mummy!
Blackadder: (shouting out of the window) And another thing! Why aren't you at school!?
Melchett: (entering) Ah, Blackadder, started talking to yourself, I see.
Blackadder: Yes, it's the only way I can be sure of intelligent conversation.
- Blackadder's conversation with Captain Redbeard Rum (played by Tom Baker).
Rum: (lowering a gigantic tankard) AAAAHH-ARRR-AHHH-ARRR-AHHH... me laddie.
Blackadder: Ahh-arrr... indeed. So, Rum, I wish to hire you and your ship. Can we shake on it? (holds out his hand)
Rum: Ah. (shakes Blackadder's hand) AHHH! (strokes Blackadder's hand) You have a woman's hand, milord! I'll wager these dainty pinkies never weighed anchor in a storm.
Blackadder: Well, you're right there.
Rum: (laughs and pinches Blackadder's cheek) AHHH! You have a woman's skin, milord! I'll wager it ne'er felt the lash of a cat, been rubbed with salt, and then flayed off by a pirate chief to make fine stockings for his best cabin boy!
Blackadder: (grimacing as Rum continues to pinch his cheek) Uncanny, I don't know how you do it, but you're right again.
Rum: Why should I let a stupid cockerel like you aboard me boat?
Blackadder: Perhaps for the money in my purse. (produces a purse of money)
Rum: (laughs, then sees the purse) AHHH! You have a woman's purse! (examines it, then sets it down) I'll wager that purse has never been used as a rowing-boat. I'll wager it's never had sixteen shipwrecked mariners tossing in it!
Blackadder: Yes, right again, Rum, I must say, when it comes to tales of courage I'm going to have to keep my mouth shut.
Rum: Oh! You have a woman's mouth, milord! (Blackadder closes his eyes in despair) I'll wager that mouth never had to chew through the side of a ship to escape the dreadful spindly killer fish.
Blackadder: I must say, when I came to see you, I had no idea I was going to have to eat your ship as well as hire it. And since you're clearly as mad as a mongoose I'll bid you farewell! (gets up to leave)
Rum: Aaah, courtiers to the Queen, you're nothing but lapdogs to a slip of a girl!
Blackadder: Better a lapdog to a slip of a girl than a... git!
Rum: So you do have some spunk in you! Don't worry, laddie, I'll come, I'll come! (holds out his hand)
Blackadder: Well, let us set sail as soon as we can. (shakes Rum's hand) I will fetch my first mate, and then I'll return as fast as my legs will carry me.
Rum: AHHH! (points) You have a woman's legs! I'd wager those pretty legs have never been cut off by a fallen sail, and then swept out to sea before your very eyes!
Blackadder: (disdainful) Well, neither have yours!
Rum: THAT'S WHERE YOU'RE WRONG!! (flips table, revealing his stumps of legs)
Blackadder: (PAINED expression) Oh my God...
- During Blackadder's last visit to Queen Elizabeth before he sets sail, Sir Walter Raleigh confidently predicts he'll be dead in three months, while Melchett gives him a map prepared by the country's top cartographers of the area through which he'll be sailing (the map, of course, is blank; Melchett asks Blackadder if he could fill it in as he goes along). Then Rum arrives to continue the "You have a woman's ___" jokes:
Queen: Oh Captain, I wish you luck from the bottom of my heart!
Rum: (as Baldrick wheels his ship-shaped wheelchair toward the Queen) You have a woman's bottom, My Lady! I'll wager that sweet round pair of peaches has never been forced 'twixt two splintered planks to plug a leak and save a ship!
Queen: It certainly hasn't and I'm quite pleased about it!
- The voyage, inevitably, is a disaster from the off, in spite of Blackadder's plan to get out of actually having to sail to undiscovered lands by simply going to the south of France for a few months.
- Percy is already despairing on the first day of the voyage, until Blackadder reveals his plan - which is just as well, as Captain Rum doesn't know how to get to the Cape of Good Hope anyway. There's just one problem with Blackadder's plan:
Percy: (sobbing) Oh God... we've got no hope... no hope of ever returning...
Blackadder: On the contrary, we are certain to return.
Blackadder: Because, me old salts, we are not going to the Cape of Good Hope at all!
Percy, Baldrick, Rum: What!?
Blackadder: We are, in fact, going... to France! (stands up)
Percy, Baldrick, Rum: France?!
Percy: Oh, but, Edmund... surely France has already been discovered! By the French, for a start.
Blackadder: Well, precisely, it's a trick! We just camp down in the Dordogne for six months, get a good suntan, come home, pretend we've been round the Cape, and get all the glory!
Rum: A masterly plan, young master! And one that leads me to make an announcement meself.
Blackadder: What's that, Rum?
Rum: Truth is... I don't know the way to the Cape of Good Hope anyway.
Blackadder: Well, what were you going to do?
Rum: Oh, what I usually do. Sail round and round the Isle of Wight 'til everyone gets dizzy, and then set off for home.
Blackadder: (grinning) You old rascal! Still, who cares? The day after tomorrow, we'll be in Calais. Captain! (stands and raises his tankard) Set sail for France!
Percy, Baldrick, Rum: Hurray!
Title card: THE DAY AFTER THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW
Blackadder: So you don't know the way to France either...
Rum: No! I must confess that too!
Blackadder: (nods) Bugger!
- When we next see the ship, an argument has broken out (sort of; Baldrick and Percy are frantically talking over each other while Rum simply shouts "Rhubarb!" repeatedly), and Blackadder tries to appeal for calm, only for another revelation to further dampen his spirits:
Blackadder: There's no need to panic! Someone in the crew will know how to steer this thing!
Rum: The crew, milord?
Blackadder: Yes, the crew.
Rum: What crew?
Blackadder: (not liking where this is going) I was under the impression that it was common maritime practice for a ship to have a crew.
Rum: Opinion is divided on the subject!
Rum: Yes! All the other captains say it is, and I say it isn't!
Blackadder: Oh, God, mad as a brush...
- Six months pass, and, as Melchett gleefully predicts back in England, the water runs out and the reluctant explorers are forced to consider drinking urine instead:
(a dishevelled and tired Blackadder is sprawled across the table in the captain's quarters, groaning; there is a knock at the door)
Blackadder: (sits up) Enter. (the equally dishevelled and tired Baldrick and Percy enter carrying three bottles) So soon?
Percy: You said today.
Blackadder: Yes, well, I'm not feeling very thirsty at the moment. I mean, I had an eggcup full of stagnant water three weeks ago... oh, all right, come on, let's get on with it. (takes a bottle)
Baldrick: Shall we drink each other's or stick to our own? (Blackadder glares at him) Sorry.
Blackadder: Is Captain Rum joining us for this "bring a sample" party or is he going to sit this one out?
Percy: Oh, he's been swigging his for ages, he says he likes it. Actually, come to think of it, he started before the water ran out.
Blackadder: Oh, God. Well, let's get on with it.
Title card: TEN MINUTES LATER
(all three have their backs to camera, bottles over their groins)
Blackadder: It's always the same, isn't it? You get all keyed up and then you can't go.
Baldrick: I've done two bottles. (turns around revealing two full bottles; Blackadder and Percy turn around revealing one empty bottle each)
Blackadder: All right, pour it out. (sighs) That it should come to this. Drinking Baldrick's water.
Baldrick: (pouring his "water" into metal tankard) Say "when".
Blackadder: (immediately) When.
Baldrick: (clinks his bottle against Percy's bottle and Blackadder's tankard) Down the hatch...
- Fortunately, they are spared from having to drink urine by their return to England - or so Rum thinks:
Rum: (offscreen) LAND AHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOY!! (Blackadder, Baldrick, and Percy lower their drinking vessels, and the ship jolts as it runs aground)
Blackadder: (delighted) Ah! France at last! (Baldrick and Percy cheer)
Rum: (leaning into the window of the captain's quarters) No, me young master! Through fair winds and fine seamanship, our vessel is once more edged up on the shores of old Blighty.
Blackadder, Baldrick, Percy: Hurray!
Rum: By lucky chance we have landed at Southampton Dock!
Blackadder, Baldrick, Percy: HURRAY!
Rum: Fare thee well! Last one up the old Sea Dog gets a lick of the cat! (leaves)
Baldrick: (heads over to window and looks out; we hear the sound of kookaburras) Don't look much like Southampton to me, My Lord...
Baldrick: All those streams of molten lava and that steaming mangrove swamp. (Blackadder and Percy join Baldrick at the window; we hear drums beating) And that crowd of beckoning natives rubbing their tummies and pointing to a large pot.
Blackadder: Oh, God...
- Percy is already despairing on the first day of the voyage, until Blackadder reveals his plan - which is just as well, as Captain Rum doesn't know how to get to the Cape of Good Hope anyway. There's just one problem with Blackadder's plan:
- After two and a half years, Blackadder's expedition finally returns - except that Queenie has gone off explorers and, far from honouring her promise to marry Blackadder, demands a present or she'll have him executed. He gives her a boomerang he picked up in Australia (which knocks Percy unconscious on its return trajectory), and as Captain Rum perished on the voyage (as Blackadder explains, he gave his life that his comrades might live, and that the natives might have something to go with their potatoes), his betrothed, Nursie, only gets his beard. Queen Elizabeth then asks what gift Blackadder has for Melchett and Sir Walter Raleigh:
Blackadder: Erm, yes, well... (turns away so that Baldrick can fetch something from a satchel without being seen) There was one thing, ma'am...
Blackadder: (as Baldrick hands him a bottle of his "water", he pretends to fetch it from his sack of gifts) A fine wine from the Far East! A most delicious beverage! (uncorks the bottle as Baldrick hands him two tankards)
Queen: (as Blackadder pours some "wine" into the tankards) Have a taste, boys, tell us what you think.
Sir Walter Raleigh: (sticking his nose into the tankard and sniffing the "wine") Oh, it certainly has plenty of nose!
Melchett: (doing likewise) Yes, this is very familiar.
Blackadder: I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that there is an inexhaustible supply! (he and Baldrick grin at each other)
- This time the balladeer knocks Blackadder out with his lute.
He heard the New World's call
- Percy's attempts to unlock the secrets of alchemy.
Percy: My lord! Success!
Percy: After literally an hour's ceaseless searching, I have succeeded in creating gold! Pure gold!
Blackadder: Are you sure?
Percy: Yes, My Lord! (opening the lid of a small metal box, in awed tones) Behold!
Blackadder: Percy... it's green.
Percy: That's right, My Lord.
Blackadder: Yes, Percy, I don't want to be pedantic or anything, but the colour of gold, is gold. That's why it's called gold. What you have discovered, if it has a name, is some... green.
Percy: (still in awe) Oh, Edmund! Can it be true? That I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of purest green?!
Blackadder: Indeed you do, Percy, except it's not really a nugget, is it, it's more of a splat.
Percy: Well, yes, a splat today, but tomorrow, who knows...or dares to dream... (he looks towards the sky; Baldrick begins operating a set of bellows)
Blackadder: So we three alone, in all the world, can create the finest green at will.
Percy: Just so! (sotto voce) I'm not sure about counting in Baldrick, actually.
Blackadder: Of course, you know what your great discovery means, don't you Percy?
Percy: Perhaps, My Lord!
Blackadder: That you, Percy, Lord Percy, are an utter berk! (Percy cheers until Blackadder's declaration sinks in)
- Blackadder decides to sell his house to pay off his debt to the Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells.
"Baldrick, go forth into the street and let it be known that Lord Blackadder wishes to sell his house. Percy... just go forth into the street."
- Eventually, he finds prospective buyers in Mr. and Mrs. Pants:
Mrs. Pants: What about the privies?
Blackadder: When the master craftsman who created this home was looking into sewage, he said to himself, "Romeo" - for 'twas his name - "Romeo, let's make 'em functional and comfortable!"
Mr. Pants: (chuckling) Ah well, that seems nice, doesn't it dear?
Blackadder: I think we understand each other, sir! So, sold then. Drink?
Mrs. Pants: What - about - the privies!?
Blackadder: (impatiently) Well, what we're talking about in, um... privy terms, is the very latest in front wall, fresh air orifices, combined with a wide capacity gutter installation below!
Mrs. Pants: ... you mean you crap out of the window!?
Mrs. Pants: Well! In that case... we'll definitely take it! I can't stand those dirty indoor things.
- Blackadder finally squares his debt to the church with a bit of creative framing and blackmail, including the Elizabethan equivalent of "We have the negatives."
Blackadder: (opening the curtains to his bed to reveal the dazed Bishop) Wakey, wakey, Bish. Dear me, you clerics really are slugabeds.
Bishop: (groggy) Where am I? I remember... drugged...
Blackadder: That's right.
Bishop: You should have killed me while you had the chance. (sits up) You have looked in wonder at your last dawn, Blackadder!
Blackadder: Well, I'm not sure about that. I did wonder, though, what people who saw this might think. (indicates a portrait being held by Baldrick)
Bishop: Heavens above, what creatures from Hell are those? (turns his head to the side as he looks at the portrait)
Blackadder: They make an interesting couple, don't they? I think you probably recognise this huge, sweating mound of blubber here, eh, Fatso? (the Bishop growls and makes for the portrait, but Edmund pushes him back) Ah-ah-ah-da-da-da-da-da-da! There's no point, anyway, we have the preliminary sketches. We'll soon bang off a couple of copies. Let's see, one for the Queen, one for the Archbishop... a couple kept aside, perhaps, to form the basis of an exciting exhibition of a challenging young artist's work.
Bishop: (turning his head to the side again) By the horns of Beelzebub, how did you get me into that position?
Blackadder: It's, er, beautifully framed, don't you think? Which is ironic, really, because that's exactly what's happened to you.
Bishop: You fiend! Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church?
Blackadder: No, I could never get used to the underwear. What I could use, though, is, let's say eleven hundred pounds to buy back my house, four thousand pounds to cover some sundry expenses, ten shillings for the two doors, and let's say thruppence for a celebratory slap-up binge at Mrs. Miggins' pie shop... (looks at Baldrick, who nods enthusiastically)
Bishop: Yes, yes, but first, one question. Who is this second figure? Who could you have got to have performed such deeds, to have gone lower than man has ever gone, to have plunged the depths of degradation just in order to save your filthy life!?
(Percy appears from under the bedclothes, dressed in leather and chains)
Blackadder: Ah, Percy, may I introduce His Grace, the Bishop of Bath and Wells. Your Grace, Lord Percy Percy, Heir to the Duchy of Northumberland.
Percy: (ashamed) Hello. (shakes Bishop's hand) It was lovely working with you.
- First off is Baldrick coming into the room with an odd contraption on his head with cheese dangling off the end of his nose. When asked why, he informs Blackadder that it's to help him catch (and eat) mice. Later he is seen with a mouse dangling off his nose - he explains that he's "had enough of the all-mouse diet" and is switching to eating cats.
- This exchange:
(offstage, there is a knock at the door)
Blackadder: Get the door, Baldrick, get the door. (Baldrick leaves)
Percy: Well, now, if things go as planned tonight, it seems congratulations are in order! (holds out his hand)
Blackadder: (deliberately misinterpreting Percy's gesture) Nice try, Percy, but forget it, you're not getting a penny. (sits down in a chair near the doorway)
Blackadder: (seeing Baldrick coming back carrying the door; calmly) Baldrick, I would advise you to make the explanation you're about to give phenomenally good.
Baldrick: You said "get the door".
Blackadder: Not good enough. You're fired.
Baldrick: But My Lord, I've been in your family since 1532!
Blackadder: So has syphilis; now get out.
- When he arrives at the palace, Blackadder is told by Queenie that she was woken by "a terrific banging" from Lord Melchett ("Well, I never knew he had it in him!", says Blackadder), and that "He was banging on the castle gates and falling over, and singing a very strange song about a girl who possessed something called a 'dickie-die-do'?"note
- Blackadder and Percy sit down to write the guest list for Blackadder's drinking contest with Melchett:
Blackadder: Right, now, the sort of person we're looking for is an aggressive drunken lout with the intelligence of a four-year-old and the sexual sophistication of a donkey.
Percy: (thinks, then writes) Cardinal Wolsey...
- Blackadder summons Baldrick, who has replaced the cheese on his trap with a mouse ("I wanted a bit of variety so I thought I'd try for cats," he explains), but his idea to write the invitations for his booze-up in blood - Baldrick's blood - is derailed by a misunderstanding:
Blackadder: Do you have a knife?
Blackadder: Good, because I wish to quickly send off some party invitations, and to make them look particularly tough, I wish to write them in blood - your blood, to be precise.
Baldrick: So, how much blood will you actually be requiring, My Lord?
Blackadder: Oh, nothing much, just a small puddle.
Baldrick: Will you want me to cut anything off? An arm or a leg, for instance?
Blackadder: Oh, good lord, no. A little prick should do.
Baldrick: (resigned) Very well, My Lord, I am your bondsman and must obey... (sticks his knife down the front of his trousers and starts cutting)
Blackadder: For God's sake, Baldrick! I meant a little prick on your finger!
Baldrick: (near tears) I haven't got one there!
- With Percy struggling to draw up a guest list, Blackadder suggests guests for his booze-up.
Blackadder: First - Simon Partridge.
Percy: Oh, not Farters Parters! Also known as Mr Ostrich!?
Blackadder: Even he.
Percy: But he's a fearful oik!
Blackadder: Takes one to know one, Perce. Secondly - Sir Geoffrey Piddle.
Percy: "Here's to the health of Cardinal Chunder" Piddle!?
Blackadder: The very same. And thirdly, Freddy Frobisher, the Flatulent Hermit of Lindisfarne. (Percy holds his nose and makes disgusted noises) Right. That should do the trick.
Percy: Oh, and of course, Lord and Lady Whiteadder, who'll be coming anyway!
Blackadder: Oh, ye- oh, no...
- Lady Whiteadder rejects chairs as an invention of Satan:
"In our house, Nathaniel sits on a spike!... I sit on Nathaniel; two spikes would be an extravagance!"
- The wonderful innuendo moments of Simon "Farters Parters, AKA Mr. Ostrich" Partridge, as played by Hugh Laurie:
- Hearing Melchett knock at the door, Blackadder tells the other drinkers he'll be "back in a tick":
Partridge: Wa-hey! "Tick", eh lads! Well that sounds a bit rude, doesn't it? That sounds a bit like... "bum"!
- Melchett observes that Blackadder doesn't seem to be drinking:
Blackadder: Oh, don't you worry about me Melchers, I'm holding my own here.
Partridge: WA-HEY! 'Holding my own'! Now that sounds INCREDIBLY RUDE! (he, Piddle, Frobisher, and Melchett laugh)
Blackadder: ... Yes, well, I never went to university, of course.note
- Having caught Blackadder out in his attempt to get out of drinking any actual alcohol (since he Can't Hold His Liquor), Freddy Frobisher forcibly hands him a tankard of ale and shouts, "Bums up!"
Partridge: "Bums"! Wa-hey! That sounds a bit like "bum"!
- Hearing Melchett knock at the door, Blackadder tells the other drinkers he'll be "back in a tick":
- According to Lady Whiteadder, "Cold is God's way of telling us to burn more Catholics!" As such, when Edmund blames the commotion in the next room on "The Catholics next door", Lady Whiteadder spits "CATHOLICS!" to which Edmund says "Never you mind, I'll just go and burn them, please continue to eat." He then gets up calmly and leaves, as if he really does intend to "just go and burn them."
- After condemning the mashing of turnips as satanic, Lady Whiteadder insists that she will have her turnip as nature intended: raw. Unfortunately, the only unmashed turnip was bought by Percy and Baldrick as a joke due to its resemblance to male genitals ("a thingy", to use their words; Baldrick found the thingy-shaped turnip ironic, as he has a turnip-shaped thingy which he uses to scare children at parties by hiding in the vegetable rack), so when Blackadder orders Baldrick to bring in a raw turnip, he does not realise what he has requested until it is actually brought in:
Blackadder: Now, what was I saying (sees thingy-shaped turnip; without missing a beat) oh my God...
Baldrick: Your turnip, My Lady.
Lady Whiteadder: (picks up turnip and holds it right in front of her eyes) ... Very good! Very good! (takes a bite, then points the turnip at Lord Whiteadder) You know, Nathaniel, it takes me right back to our wedding night. (Lord Whiteadder looks gobsmacked; Lady Whiteadder turns to Blackadder) We had raw turnips that night.
- The "Great Booze-Up" monologue:
(Freddy Frobisher, the Flatulent Hermit of Lindisfarne, enters the front room wearing fake breasts, runs to the fireplace, and throws up)
Frobisher: Great booze-up, Edmund! (farts and leaves)
Lady Whiteadder: Do you know that man!?
Blackadder: (looks over his shoulder, pretending not to have seen Frobisher) No...
Lady Whiteadder: He called you Edmund.
Blackadder: Oh, know him... oh, yes, I do.
Lady Whiteadder: Then can you explain what he meant by "great booze-up"?
Blackadder: (very long pause) Yes, I can. My friend is a missionary and on his last visit abroad brought back with him the chief of a famous tribe. His name is Great Boo. He's been suffering from sleeping sickness and he's obviously just woken because as you've heard, Great Boo's up.
Percy: (finally exhales the breath he has been holding throughout the preceding) Well done, Edmund.
- When Blackadder has had one tankard of ale and walks into the room absolutely battered.
Lady Whiteadder: Edmund! Explain yourself!
Blackadder: I can't. Not just like that. I'm a complicated man you see, Aunty. Sometimes I'm nice, and sometimes I'm nasty... ee hee hee! And sometimes, I just like to sing little songs, like... see the little goblin...
- After the offended Lady Whiteadder storms off with her husband, the latter returns to deliver the payoff of the thingy-shaped turnip joke and the joke about his supposedly having taken a vow of silence:
Lord Whiteadder: Look, er... (checking that his wife can't hear) I just wanted to say thanks for a splendid evening. Yes, first rate, all round... (looks at Percy) Particularly your jester. (the confused Percy looks over his shoulder for the supposed jester) Oh, and by the way, I loved the turnip! Very funny! Exactly the same shape as a thingy!
- The final scene, showing the morning after Blackadder's drunken party. All of the guests, plus Percy, Baldrick, the Queen, and Lord Whiteadder are seen in various states of intoxication. And then one final drunken guest appears:
Queenie: Er, wait a minute, I'm sure there was something very important I had to do to all of you this morning. (everyone, Queenie included, laughs at the Accidental Innuendo)
Melchett: I remember something about ten thousand florins, was it? Or...
Lord Whiteadder: I think it was something about an inheritance.
Blackadder: Look, do you want to hear about this goblin or not!?
Blackadder: Right! Well, perhaps this time I might be allowed to continue, and perhaps finish, with any luck.
Lady Whiteadder: (appearing from under Queenie's skirt) Luck! Ha ha ha! Wehey! Get it?
Lady Whiteadder: Oh come on, luck! Sounds almost exactly like fu-
[cut to credits]
- Turns out that even the balladeer is "well and truly plastered", and his singing is appropriately raucous and punctuated by the odd Alcohol Hic.
- The opening scene of the episode:
Blackadder: (addressing Melchett and the Queen) Get out! Get out, libidinous swine! And take that horse-slut painted strumpet with you, where you'll both rot in the filth of your own fornication!
Queen: (pause) And what did YOU say to him?
Blackadder: Say, Madam? I said nothing. I simply pulled up my tights and jumped out the privy window.
- Elizabeth mentions how Edmund and Melchett "simply vanished". Percy replies "Like an old oak table." In a rare moment of lucidity, Elizabeth thinks about this before replying "'Vanished', Lord Percy, not 'Varnished.'" Percy then explains how his Uncle Bertram's oak table simply vanished, along with his house, his other things and himself. Coincidentally, this was the night of the great Stepney Fire. "It was a most perplexing mystery." The Queen is not amused:
Elizabeth: Lord Percy?
Elizabeth: It's up to you: either you can shut up, or you can have your head cut off.
Percy gives this ultimatum painful and lengthy consideration.
Percy: I'll... shut up.
- The exchange of insults between the Spanish torturer (who doesn't speak English) and Blackadder (who doesn't speak Spanish), with the latter imprisoned in a box and thus at a disadvantage in the game of charades which ensues.
Blackadder: Ba-tar-do... Barrister.
Torturer: (shakes head) ¡Bastardo!
Blackadder: Embarrassing. You're embarrassing. (the torturer points at Blackadder) I'm embarrassing. (the torturer clenches his left fist and curls his arm under his right arm in the familiar rude gesture) Er, er, rogering! (the torturer mimes a large curve over his stomach) Er, pregnant! (the torturer pretends to cradle a baby, making appropriate noises) Baby! Baby! (the torturer mimes throwing the baby away) Bathwater! (the torturer shakes his head and holds his ear) Sounds like... oh! "Bastard"!
Torturer: ¡Sí! ¡Sí! No es terminado. ¡Hijo... hijo!
Blackadder: (guessing from the sound of the word) Donkey.
Torturer: (Face Palms, then holds his hand above his head) Padre...
Blackadder: Big bastard...
Torturer: (holds his hand nearer the ground) ... y hijo.
Blackadder: Little bastard.
Torturer: (swaggering, in deep voice) Padre...
Torturer: (walks with knees bent and makes baby noises) Hijo.
Blackadder: Boy. Man, father... Oh! "Son"! I'm a bastard's son.
Torturer: (on his hands and knees) De perra. (panting)
Blackadder: Thirsty... thirsty bastard. (the torturer barks) Thirsty barking bastard - oh, "dog"! "Dog". Right, "dog". (torturer points at Blackadder, then cups his hands in front of his chest) Woman. (torturer gets back on his hands and knees) Dog. (torturer cups his hands in front of his chest again) Woman, dog... "bitch"! I'm a bastard son of a bitch!
Torturer: ¡Sí! ¡Sí! (shakes Blackadder's hand)
Blackadder: In that case, you are a fornicating baboon.
Blackadder: Oh dear. Er, you...
Torturer: (points at Blackadder) ¿Tú? (sees Blackadder is pointing at him and points at himself) Yo...
Blackadder: You, er, fornicating... yes... I can't really do it in this box...
- In the next scene, Blackadder is told that he will have his testicles removed "with a blunt instrument... resembling some kind of gardening tool but we can't quite... um..." and roasted over a large fire if he confesses that he loves Satan, and be given the same torture - after being held upside-down in warm marmalade - if he doesn't confess. He confesses, leading the torturer to produce the gardening tool...
Blackadder: Oh, it's a scythe...
- Having combed the palace along with the Queen in a search for the missing Blackadder and Melchett, Percy very slowly suggests that perhaps they're not hiding - perhaps they've been kidnapped. Queen Elizabeth dismisses the idea, reminding Percy that, as Blackadder pointed out, "only real idiots get kidnapped." A terrified Percy shouts, "Do they!?" and quickly whirls around to check that he is not about to be kidnapped.
- Fortunately for Blackadder's reproductive capabilities, Prince Ludwig interrupts his torture, and ask Blackadder to accept his "apple-oagies". Blackadder counters, "I accept nothing from a man who imprisons his guests in a commode."
- Prince Ludwig makes a pair of Bait and Switch gags when he reveals that he knows Blackadder and Melchett of old. He first asks Blackadder if he remembers a black marketeer named Otto with whom he often drank in Dover, and reveals that he was... Otto's serving wench, Big Sally, with whom Blackadder once went to bed and suffered a case of The Loins Sleep Tonight. He then asks Melchett if he remembers a shepherd near a monastery in Cornwall, before revealing that he was... Flossy, one of his sheep, with whom Melchett was very familiar indeed.
- When Melchett and Blackadder are imprisoned together, and waiting for Prince Ludwig to arrive, there's this exchange.
Melchett: What say you, Blackadder, I sing a song to keep our spirits up?note
Blackadder: That all depends on whether you want the slop-bucket over your head or not.
Melchett: Well, perhaps some pleasant word game.
Blackadder: Yes, all right. Make a sentence out of the following words: "Face", "Sodding", "Your", "SHUT".
- When Prince Ludwig reveals to Melchett and Blackadder that Queen Elizabeth has decided, as she had previously vowed to only pay one further ransom for anyone, ever, just before learning that her two favourites had been kidnapped, that she'll spend the cash on a big party instead, we get this little gem:
Prince Ludwig: But if you gentlemen were to tell me a way to, let us say, gain access to your Queen, I might just be able to commute your deaths to a life sentence.
Blackadder: Are you suggesting we betray her!?
Prince Ludwig: Oh yes.
Blackadder: All right.
Lord Melchett: Blackadder, what are you saying?! What of loyalty, honor, self-respect?
Blackadder: What of them?
Lord Melchett: Nothing.
Prince Ludwig: So you will both, play ball?
Melchett & Blackadder: Yup.
- Blackadder comes up with a suitably cunning plan so that he and Melchett can escape:
Guards: (in background) Ein, zwei, ein, zwei...
Blackadder: (to Melchett) Right, now this is it. Don't forget: when they are at their most vulnerable.
(Blackadder and Melchett have written out the guards' routine on pads of paper; throughout the following, they read down the list, mouthing along to the guards' words)
Guards: Ein, zwei... Halt! Jingle the keys! (keys jingle) Open the door! (door opens; one guard is carrying a loaf of bread, the other a sausage) Greetings to the prisoners! (they step in and wave) Guten abend, Englander-scum! March to the table! (they do so) Ein, zwei, ein, zwei, ein, zwei... Halt! Food on the table! (they set down the bread and sausage) Ein, zwei! Spit on the food! Ein, zwei! (they spit on the food; Blackadder and Melchett duck out of the way) Insulting further gestures to the prisoners! Ein, zwei, ein, zwei! (they make pelvic thrusts at Blackadder and Melchett)
Blackadder: NOW! (he and Melchett launch a dual Groin Attack on the guards, who collapse, groaning in agony; Blackadder shakes his fist and grimaces) Trust me to get the hard one!
- The Running Gag of Blackadder's confrontations with the balladeer during the closing credits reaches its payoff as he finally catches up with his musical tormentor and dunks his head in the fountain repeatedly. (Not that it affects his singing.)
Blackadder the Third
Episode 1: Dish and Dishonesty
- The appearances of Pitt the Younger. His opening speech begins:
Mr. Speaker, Members of the House, I shall be brief, as I have rather unfortunately become Prime Minister right in the middle of my exams. I intend to fulfill my duties in a manner of which Nanny would be proud...
- Blackadder and the Prince discuss how to defeat the motion to strike the latter from the Civil List and therefore avert financial disaster. Blackadder describes Sir Talbot Buxomly, a crusty, loud-mouthed MP whose vote they will sway. George says he's never heard of the man. Blackadder replies:
That's hardly surprising sir. Sir Talbot has the worst attendance record of any Member of Parliament. On the one occasion he did enter the House of Commons, he passed water in the great hall, and then passed out in the Speaker's chair.
- The conversation turns to the question of bribing Sir Talbot:
Blackadder: If we're going to get him to support us, he will need some sort of incentive.
George: Hm. Anything in mind?
Blackadder: Well, you could appoint him a high court judge.
George: Is he qualified?
Blackadder: He's a violent, bigoted, mindless old fool.
George: Sounds a bit over-qualified.
- The absolutely sublime "rotten borough" exchange between Blackadder and George that starts at 1:00 here.
- The actual Dunny-on-the-Wold by-election is presented as a parody of modern election broadcasts, with political commentator Vincent Hanna appearing as "his own ancestor". Hanna's utterly deadpan delivery of the absurd lines is a goldmine of hilarity.
- Delivering the exit poll results:
Vincent Hanna: The first thing I must tell you is that the turnout has been very good. As a matter of fact, the voter turned out before breakfast. And I can bring you the result of our exclusive exit poll, which produced a 100 percent result for "Mind your own business, you nosy bastard".
- Interviewing Baldrick (through Blackadder) before the results are read:
Vincent Hanna: And now let's have a word from the Adder Party candidate, Mr. S. Baldrick (who enters with a turnip stuffed in his mouth accompanied by Blackadder) who so far has not commented on his policies in this campaign, but with him is his election agent, Mr. E. Blackadder.
Blackadder: Well, we in the Adder Party are going to fight this campaign on issues, not personalities.
Hanna: Why is that?
Blackadder: Because our candidate doesn't have a personality.
Hanna: He doesn't say much about the issues, either.
Blackadder: No, he's got something wrong with his throat.
Hanna: Well, perhaps he could answer one question: what does the "S" in his name stand for?
Blackadder: "Sod off". (leaves with Baldrick)
Hanna: ... fair enough, er, none of my business really.
- Interviewing defeated candidates after the results are read by Acting Returning Officer Blackadder (the original Returning Officer having accidentally stabbed himself in the stomach whilst shaving):
Vincent Hanna: Master William Pitt the Even Younger, are you disappointed?
Pitt the Even Younger (a schoolboy): Yes, I'm horrified! I smeared my opponent, bribed the press to be on our side, and threatened to torture the electorate if we lost! I fail to see what more a decent politician could have done! (stomps off angrily)
Hanna: ... quite. Now, Ivor Biggun, no votes at all for the Standing at the Back Dressed Stupidly and Looking Stupid Party, are you disappointed?
Biggun: (jovially) Ah, no, not really, no, I always say, "If you can't laugh, what can you do?" (laughs and squirts Hanna with a trick flower in his buttonhole)
Hanna: (unfazed) Take up politics, perhaps. Has your party got any policies?
Biggun: Oh yes, certainly! We're for the compulsory serving of asparagus at breakfast, free corsets for the under 5s, and the abolition of slavery!
Hanna: Now, you see, many moderate people would respect your stand on asparagus, but what's all this extremist nonsense about the abolition of slavery?
Biggun: Oh, we just put that in for a joke! See you next year!
- Delivering the exit poll results:
- George makes Baldrick a lord. Repeat after me: Lord Sod-Off Baldrick.
- After everything's gone wrong, Blackadder attempts to reclaim £400,000 from Baldrick.
Blackadder: (smacking Baldrick's head against a table) Get me the bloody money, Baldrick, or you're dead!
Baldrick: Get me the bloody money, Baldrick, or you're dead My Lord.
Blackadder: (smacks Baldrick's head into the table again) Just do it. Otherwise I shall ennoble you further by knighting you rather clumsily with this meat cleaver.
Baldrick: I haven't got it.
Baldrick: I spent it.
Blackadder: You spent it? What could you possibly spend four hundred thousand pounds on? (Baldrick looks at a large turnip on the table) Oh no. Oh God, don't tell me.
Baldrick: My dream turnip.
Blackadder: (giving Baldrick a Death Glare) Baldrick, how did you manage to find a turnip that cost four hundred thousand pounds?
Baldrick: Well, I had to haggle.
(Blackadder stares at him for a second, then picks up the turnip and smacks it down on his head)
- Blackadder has some Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness with Dr. Johnsonnote :
Dr. Johnson: Here it is, sir: the very cornerstone of English scholarship. This book, sir, contains every word in our beloved language.
Blackadder: Every single one, sir?
Dr. Johnson: [confidently] Every single word, sir!
Blackadder: [to Prince] Oh, well, in that case, sir, I hope you will not object if I also offer the Doctor my most enthusiastic contrafibularatories.
Dr. Johnson: [sharply] What?
Blackadder: `Contrafibularatories', sir. It is a common word down our way.
Dr. Johnson: Damn! [grabs book and writes in it]
Blackadder: [smiling blandly] Oh, I'm sorry, sir. I'm anaspeptic...phrasmotic...even compunctuous to have caused you such periconbobulations.
Dr. Johnson: What? What? WHAT?
George: What are you on about, Blackadder? This is all beginning to sound a bit like dago talk to me.
Blackadder: I'm sorry, sir. I merely wished to congratulate the Doctor on not having left out a single word. Shall I fetch the tea, Your Highness?
George: Yes, yes, and get that damned fire up here, will you?
Blackadder: Certainly, sir. I shall return...interphrastically. [Exits]
- Upon learning that Baldrick has thrown Dr Johnson's manuscript for the dictionary on fire:
Blackadder: We are going to go to Mrs Miggins', we are going to find where Dr Johnson keeps a copy of that dictionary, and then you are going to steal it.
Blackadder: Yes, you.
Baldrick: Why me?
Blackadder: Because you burnt it.
Baldrick: But then I'll go to Hell forever for stealing.
Blackadder: Baldrick, believe me; eternity in the company of Beelzebub and all his hellish instruments of death will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this pencil if we can't replace this dictionary.
- When Baldrick proposes that he has a cunning plan to replace the apparently burnt dictionary, Blackadder shoots it down thus:
I wouldn't get over-excited, sir. I've a hard suspicion that Baldrick's plan will be the stupidest thing we've heard, since Lord Nelson's famous signal at the Battle of the Nile... "England knows Lady Hamilton is a virgin; poke my eye out and cut off my arm if I am wrong."note
- As Blackadder sits down to begin rewriting the dictionary, Prince George and Baldrick both offer to help. Blackadder turns them down with:
It's very kind of you both, but I fear your services might be as useful as a barbershop on the steps of the guillotine.note
- Near the end, when it emerges that Baldrick did not accidentally burn the manuscript of Samuel Johnson's dictionary, Blackadder reveals himself as Gertrude Perkins, the author of Edmund: A Butler's Tale, a novel which he spent seven years writing and which Dr. Johnson considers the only book superior to his dictionary. He asks Baldrick to fetch the manuscript to prove his authorship:
Blackadder: Baldrick, fetch my novel.
Baldrick: Your novel?
Blackadder: Yes, Baldrick, the big papery thing tied up with string.
Baldrick: What, like the thing we burnt?
Blackadder: Exactly like the thing we burnt.
Baldrick: So you're asking for the big papery thing tied up with string exactly like the thing we burnt.
Baldrick: ... we burnt it.
Blackadder: ... [eerily calm] So we did. Well done, Baldrick. Seven years of my life, up in smoke. Your Highness, would you excuse me a moment?
Prince: By all means.
[the still calm Blackadder exits the room and closes the door behind him]
Blackadder: OH GOD, NO!!
[he opens the door and re-enters, once again calm as can be]
Blackadder: Thank you, sir.
- Annoyed at the influx in England of French aristocrats fleeing the mass executions of the Revolution, Blackadder takes his anger out on a creature further down the pecking order, triggering a chain which finally works its way down to the bottom of said order:
(Baldrick is kneading dough as Blackadder enters, picks up the cat, and kicks it across the room; the cat meows in pain)
Baldrick: Aw, poor little Mildred the cat! What's he ever done to you?
Blackadder: (walks across the kitchen) It is the way of the world, Baldrick. The abused always kick downwards. I am annoyed, and so I kick the cat, (watches something scurry across the floor) the cat (loud squeaking) pounces on the mouse, and finally the mouse...
Baldrick: (jumps up in shock) Agh!
Blackadder: ... bites you on the behind.
Baldrick: Well, what do I do!?
Blackadder: Nothing. You are last in God's great chain. Unless, of course, there's an earwig around here that you'd like to victimise.
- Blackadder finds Prince George drinking the health of the Scarlet Pimpernel with Lords Smedley and Topper, two idiotic, pretentious fops.note When the unimpressed Blackadder claims that even he could go to France and rescue an aristocrat from the guillotine, he invites Smedley and Topper to join him on his expedition. The two noblemen both proceed to make pathetic excuses not to go:
Topper: Oh no!
Smedley: Oh no.
Topper: Er... any... day... now, I've got an appointment at my doctor's! I've got a bit of a sniffle coming on! (Smedley dabs his own nose with his handkerchief) I can feel it in my bones!
Smedley: Demme bones, demme bones, demme...
Prince: (standing) Well, what about next week? Well, come on, you chaps, get your diaries out! Come on!
Topper: All right... (thinks) Demme!
Topper: I've left it behind!
Topper: And, er, besides, I've just remembered, my father's just died, I've got to be at his funeral in ten minutes! Demme sorry! Goodbye, Your Highness. (bows; Blackadder opens the door, and Topper exits, handing him his glass of wine)
Smedley: Demme! I'm the best man. Demme that dead father, demme him! (leaves, handing Blackadder his glass of wine)
- The sequence when the Prince has trouble putting on his trousers by himself.
(crashing sound from upstairs)
Baldrick: What d'you think that is?
Blackadder: Well, if I was feeling malicious, I'd say it was the Prince still trying to put his trousers on after a week.
(cut to the Prince staggering out of his bedroom with his trousers over his head and one arm; he turns and bumps into the door frame)
- Blackadder "strikes garlic" at Mrs. Miggins' coffee shop when he finds a refugee French nobleman, the Comte de Frou-Frou, who is nostalgic for how the French economy worked before the Revolution:
Blackadder: Le Comte de Frou-Frou, I believe?
Blackadder: (sitting at the Comte's table) Do you speak English?
Frou-Frou: A leetle.
Blackadder: Yes, when you say "a little", what exactly do you mean? I mean, can we talk, or are we going to spend the rest of the afternoon asking each other the way to the beach in very loud voices?
Frou-Frou: Oh, no, I can, er, order coffee, deal with waiters... (grins) Make sexy chit-chat with girls, that type of thing.
Blackadder: Oh, good.
Frou-Frou: Just don't ask me to take a physiology class or direct a light opera.
Blackadder: No, no, I won't. Now, listen, Frou-Frou... would you like to earn some money?
Frou-Frou: (thinks for a moment) No, I wouldn't. I would like other people to earn it and then give it to me, just like in France in the good old days!
- When the "party" at the French Embassy turns out to be less cheerful than it was supposed to be:
- Frou-Frou and the revolutionary trading insults with each other, along the lines of "Revolutionary dog!" "Dog? Hah! Aristocratic pig!" as Edmund and Baldrick stand there, waiting for something else to happen.
- After their arrest, Frou-Frou and Baldrick are convinced the Scarlet Pimpernel will rescue them; Blackadder, of course, is more sceptical. Frou-Frou has a backup plan in case the Pimpernel does not come through:
(in their prison cell, Baldrick sits on the bed)
Frou-Frou: Have no fear! The Scarlet Pimpernel will save us!
Blackadder: Ha! (knocks Baldrick off the bed and onto the floor; he stays sitting where he lands) Some hope! (lies on the bed) The Scarlet Pimpernel is the most overrated human being since Judas Iscariot won the AD 31 Best Disciple Competition.
Frou-Frou: Well, if he should fail us, here... I have these suicide pills. One for me... (pulls pill out of his ear with a "pop") One for you... (pulls pill out of his nostril with a "pop" and hands it to Blackadder) And one for the dwarf. (pulls pill out of his bottom with a much deeper "pop" and hands it to Baldrick)
Blackadder: Say "thank you", Baldrick.
Baldrick: Thank you, Mr. Frou. (lifts pill to his mouth; Blackadder stops him)
- Baldrick's cunning plan to escape the guillotine by waiting until their heads have been cut off before "springing into action":
Blackadder: Am I jumping the gun, Baldrick, or are the words "I have a cunning plan" marching with ill-deserved confidence in the direction of this conversation?
Baldrick: They certainly are, sir!
Blackader: Well, forgive me if I don't do a cartwheel of joy. Your reputation in this department is hardly one-hundred percent. So, what is it?
Baldrick: We do... nothing.
Blackadder: (pause) Yep. That's another world-beater.
Baldrick: No, wait. We do nothing... until our heads have actually been cut off.
Blackadder: And then we... spring into action?
Baldrick: Yeah! You know how when you cut a chicken's head off, it runs round and round the farmyard and then out the farm gate?
Blackadder: (pause) Yeeeeees?
Baldrick: Well, we wait until our heads have been cut off, then we run round and round the farmyard, out the gate and we escape. What do you think?
Blackadder: (long pause) My opinion's rather hard to sum up in words. So I'll just put it this way. (twists his nose)
- Blackadder explains their only hope of escape:
Blackadder: Now, either you leave me alone to think up a plan or tomorrow we meet our maker; in my case God, in your case God-knows, but I'd be surprised if he's won any design awards.
- The effect of the suicide pills. In order, they are depression, anger, forgetfulness, ecstasy, jumping into the corner and then death. Naturally, their effects are described by Lord Smedley, AKA the Scarlet Pimpernel, who has just unwittingly taken one (Blackadder, having fallen for his disguise as Madame Guillotine, slipped one into "her" drink), and his explanation plays out in real time.
Smedley: The symptoms are most peculiar. First of all, the victims become very very depressed. (suddenly sits down on the bed and buries his face in his hands, near tears) Oh, God! This whole revolution is so depressing, I mean, sometimes I wonder why I bother! I mean, I'm so lonely, and nobody loves me...
Blackadder: And after the depression comes death?
Smedley: No, after the depression comes (suddenly jumps off the bed and grabs Blackadder by the lapels in a rage) the loss of temper, you stuck-up bastard! (to Baldrick) What you are staring at!? (punches him)
Blackadder: And after the temper comes death?
Smedley: (still furious) No! After the temper comes the, er... (his anger evaporates in an instant) comes the, er...
Smedley: Er, yes, that's it... er... comes the, er...
Smedley: Yes, yes. Right in the middle of a... of a... thingy... you completely forget what it was you... (glances at Blackadder's feet) Oh, nice pair of shoes!
Blackadder: And after the forgetfulness, you die.
Smedley: Oh, no! I forgot one! After the forgetfulness comes a moment of exquisite happiness! (laughs while jumping up and down and waving his arms in the air) Jumping up and down, and waving your arms in the air, and knowing that in a minute we're all going to be free! Free! Free!
Blackadder: (his patience wearing thin) And then death?
Smedley: No, you jump into a corner first. (does so, and immediately slumps to the floor, dead)
Baldrick: Hurray! It's the Scarlet Pimpernel!
Blackadder: (sighs) Yes, Baldrick.
Baldrick: And you killed him!...
Blackadder: (sighs again) Yes, Baldrick. I mean, what's the bloody point of being the Scarlet Pimpernel if you're going to fall for the old poisoned-cup routine? Scarlet Pimpernel, my foot! Scarlet Git, more like it!
- Upon their successful return to the palace, Blackadder gives the Prince (who has succeeded in putting on one leg of his trousers, but not the other) a... somewhat embellished account of his exploits:
Blackadder: We left London in good weather. Unfortunately, that was as far as our luck held; as soon as we left Dover harbour we were struck by a tidal wave, and I was forced to swim to Boulogne with the unconscious Baldrick tucked into my trousers. Then we were taken to Paris where I was summarily hung by the larger of my testicles from the walls of the Bastille. It was then I decided that I'd had enough. I escaped, killed the guards, rescued the count, and ran to the Versailles where I broke into Mr. Robespierre's bedroom, where I left a little tray of chocolates and an insulting note.
- When the "Comte de Frou-Frou" turns out to be Lord Topper, the other nobleman who donned the identity of the Pimpernel, in disguise, and he declares his intent to unmask Blackadder as a charlatan, Blackadder slips him the remaining two suicide pills. With a double dose, he goes through the symptoms twice as fast as Smedley did:
Topper: It all began last week. I was sitting in Mrs. Miggins' coffee shop, when... (suddenly buries his face in his hands, near tears) Oh God!... all this treachery is so depressing! (voice starts rising in anger) I mean the whole thing just makes you INCREDIBLY ANGRY! (takes a swing at Baldrick, who backs out of the way and falls over anyway; Topper runs over to the Prince and grabs his lapels) AND IT JUST MAKES YOU WANT TO... (his anger evaporates immediately) Nice waistcoat, Your Majesty. (blinks in confusion) I'm... I'm sorry, I've completely forgotten what I was talking about.
Blackadder: (smirking triumphantly) A story of dishonour and deceit.
Topper: (delighted) Oh, that's a great story! That's great! Oh, that's a wonderful story! Let me just jump into this corner first. (jumps toward the corner and falls to the floor, dead)
- In the opening scene, Baldrick is polishing a boot by spitting on it and rubbing the damp spot with a brush. Over the course of his conversation with Blackadder, he then proceeds to spit and brush a potato, a carrot, and a cauliflower.
- At the theatre, an anarchist opposed to the mechanisation of the textile industry jumps onto the stage and lobs a bomb into the Prince's box, leading to a series of Comically Missing the Point moments from the dim-witted royal:
Anarchist: (leaps onto the stage holding a lit bomb; the crowd scream and disperse, as do the actors on stage) Work for the weavers! Smash the Spinning Jenny! Burn the Rolling Rosalind! Destroy the Going Up and Down a Bit and Then Moving Along Gertrude! (Blackadder ducks behind the curtain in the Prince's box) And death to the stupid prince who grows fat on the profits! (throws the bomb to Prince George)
Prince: I say! How exciting! This play's getting better and better! Bravo!
Blackadder: (muffled by curtain) It's not a play anymore, sir. Put the bomb down and make your way quietly to the exit.
Prince: Blackadder, you old thing. Your trouble is you can't tell when something's real and when it's not! (the bomb explodes)
(cut to later, back at the palace; the Prince has a bandage around his forehead and sticking plasters on his nose and cheek, and is eating a plate of pastries)
Prince: I must say, Blackadder, that was a close shave! (Blackadder dabs his forehead with a cloth) Why on earth would an anarchist possibly want to kill you?
Blackadder: (Beat) I think it might have been you he was after, sir.
Prince: Oh, hogwash! What on earth makes you say that?
Blackadder: Well, my suspicions were first aroused by his use of the words "Death to the stupid prince".
- Blackadder's suggestion that he write a "brilliant speech" for George to recite on his father's birthday to show the oppressed masses how sensitive he is sets in motion a Running Gag in which the Prince becomes convinced that Baldrick is an anarchist plotting to kill him.
- First, as Blackadder explains what the oppressed masses are so worked up about:
Blackadder: They're worked up, sir, because they're so poor that they're forced to have children simply to provide a cheap alternative to turkey at Christmas. Disease and deprivation stalk our land like... (tries to think of a suitable simile) two giant... stalking things. And the working man is poised to overthrow us.
(Baldrick enters carrying a mop and bucket)
Prince: Oh my God, and here he is! (jumps to his feet and cowers by a cupboard; Baldrick looks appropriately puzzled)
Blackadder: Don't be silly, sir, that's Baldrick, my dogsbody.
Prince: What's silly about that? He looks like an oppressed mass to me. Get him out of here at once!
Blackadder: Shoo Baldrick. Carry on with your cleaning elsewhere. And by the end of tonight I want that dining table so clean I could eat my dinner off it!
- Later, Blackadder finds the prince wearing a toga and a false moustache to look more like an actor in preparation for rehearsing his speech:
Blackadder: Well, I'm sure you don't need the false moustache.
Blackadder: No. (rips the false moustache off the Prince's face)
Prince: AHH! (staggers back in pain and bumps into a cupboard, which opens to reveal Baldrick holding a feather duster) Egads, it's that oppressed mass again! (wraps his hands around Baldrick's neck and begins throttling him; Baldrick gasps for breath)
Blackadder: No, sir, that is Baldrick spring cleaning.
Prince: (lets go of Baldrick) ... oh yes, so it is.
Blackadder: Finish the job later, Baldrick.
Baldrick: Very well, sir... the cleaning or the being strangled?
Blackadder: ... Either suits me.
- Finally, once rehearsals have begun, the Prince hears noises coming from inside a chest, and opens it to find Baldrick inside holding a sponge:
Prince: All right, so you've had a wash! That's no excuse! DIE! (begins throttling the screaming Baldrick)
Blackadder: (enters) No sir, that is Baldrick spring cleaning.
Prince: Rubbish! Look, he's got a bomb!
Blackadder: It's not a bomb, it's a sponge.
Prince: (looks) Oh yes, so it is. Well get it out of here at once, before it explodes!
(Baldrick leaves on tip-toe, nervously holding the sponge at arm's length for fear it might go off)
- First, as Blackadder explains what the oppressed masses are so worked up about:
- George gets the idea to hire the two lead actors from the play he saw with Blackadder, David Keanrick and Enoch Mossop (played as incredibly Large Hams by Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Connor), to teach him how to deliver an effective speech. Blackadder is sent to Mrs. Miggins' coffee house to make the formal offer of employment, and, after a suitably hammy entrance by the actors:
Blackadder: Well, if I could just squeeze through this admiring rabble. [pushes through non-existent crowd] Gentlemen, I've come with a proposition.
Mossop: How dare you, sir! You think, just because we're actors, we sleep with everyone!
Blackadder: ... I think, being actors, you're lucky to sleep with anyone.
- When the actors arrive for the Prince's elocution lessons, Baldrick reveals a family history in the theatre. What makes the scene hilarious is when Blackadder absolutely deadpans the following conversation:
(Baldrick is polishing silver as Blackadder enters the kitchen; there is a knock at the door)
Baldrick: Is that the door?
Blackadder: Oh, don't worry, it's just the actors. (pours himself a cup of tea and sits down; more knocking)
Baldrick: My Uncle Baldrick was in a play once.
Baldrick: Yeah, it was called Macbeth. (more knocking, louder this time)
Blackadder: And what did he play?
Baldrick: Second codpiece. Macbeth wore him in the fight scenes. (the knocking gets even louder)
Blackadder: So he was a stunt codpiece? (Baldrick nods; Blackadder sips his tea) Did he have a large part?
(long pause, including a cut back to Blackadder to show just how deadpan he is, then finally back to Baldrick)
Baldrick: Depends who was playing Macbeth.
- The scene between Blackadder and the actors where one must only say The Scottish Play and not Macbeth.
(Blackadder enters with the actors after having spent the previous scene ignoring their knocking at the door)
Blackadder: You should have knocked.
Keanrick: Our knocks, you impertinent butler, were loud enough to wake the hounds of Hell! (he and Mossop hand Blackadder their hats; Keanrick turns to Mossop) Lead on, Macduff.
Mossop: I shall. (as the actors move to the next room, Blackadder drops their hats on the floor and kicks them through the door before closing it) Lest you continue in your quotation, and mention the name of the Scottish Play.
Keanrick: (chuckles) Never fear, I shan't do that!
Blackadder: By "the Scottish Play", I assume you mean Macbeth.
Keanrick, Mossop: AHH! (they begin making pat-a-cake motions) Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends! (they finish by tweaking each other's noses) Ahh!
Blackadder: ... what was that?
Keanrick: We were exorcising evil spirits. Being but a mere butler, you will not know the great theatre tradition that one does never speak the name of the Scottish play.
Blackadder: What, Macbeth?
Keanrick, Mossop: AHH! (pat-a-cake motions) Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends! (tweak) Ahh!
Blackadder: Good lord. You mean you have to do that every time I say "Macbeth"?
Keanrick, Mossop: AHH! (pat-a-cake motions) Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends! (tweak) Ahh!
Mossop: Will you please stop saying that!... (rubs his sore nose) Always call it "the Scottish Play"!
Blackadder: So you want me to say "the Scottish Play".
Keanrick, Mossop: YES!
Blackadder: Rather than "Macbeth".
Keanrick, Mossop: AHH! (pat-a-cake motions) Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends! (tweak) Ahh!
Prince: (entering) I say, what is all this hullabaloo, all this shouting, and screaming, and yelling blue murder? (the actors bow deeply before him) Why, it was like that play we saw the other day, what was it called, er...
Blackadder: Macbeth, sir?
Keanrick, Mossop: (still bent over bowing) AHH! (pat-a-cake motions, but now side by side rather than facing each other) Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends! (this time, they tweak their own noses) Oooh!
Prince: (motions the actors to stand up again) No no no, it was, it was called Julius Caesar.
Blackadder: Oh yes, of course. Julius Caesar. (Beat) Not Macbeth.
Keanrick, Mossop: AHH! (pat-a-cake motions) Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends! (tweak) Ahh!
- The actors' first lesson for the Prince concerns a suitably heroic stance. The hero, according to Keanrick and Mossop, stands with his feet as far apart as possible and his crotch thrust forward:
Keanrick: Oh yes, Your Highness. Why, your very posture tells me, "Here is a man of true greatness!"
Blackadder: Either that, or "Here are my genitals, please kick them."
- After being instructed on stance and being told to open his speech with a ROAR, George finally delivers the speech for the first time:
George: (ahem) WAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH-unaccustomed as I am to formal speaking...
- Keanrick and Mossop's play. All of it.
Mossop: It is a piece we penned ourselves, called "The Bloody Murder of the Foul Prince Romero and His Enormous-Bosomed Wife".
Blackadder: A philosophical work then.
Keanrick: Indeed yes, sir. The violence of the murder and the vastness of the bosom are entirely justified artistically.
Mossop: Spring has come, with all its gentle showers. Methinks it's time to hack the Prince to death.
Keanrick: Oooooaaahhh, let's kill the Prince. Who will strike first?
Mossop: Let me, and let this dagger's point prick out his soft eyeball and sup with glee upon its exquisite jelly.
Keanrick: Have you the stomach?
Mossop: I have not killed him yet, sir, but when I do, I shall have the stomach and the liver, too, and the floppily-doppolies in their horrid glue.
Keanrick: What if a servant shall hear us in our plotting?
Mossop: Ah ha! Then shall we have servant sausages for tea!
Keanrick: And servant rissoles shall our supper be!
Mossop: To torture him, I lust. Let's singe his hair, and up his nostrils... (turns page) ...hot bananas thrust.
- After Baldrick and the Prince think the actors are going to kill them (actually reading lines from their play):
Blackadder: Are you sure they meant it, sir?
George: Quite sure! Baldrick, how far apart were their legs?
Baldrick: Oh, this far. (stands with feet at shoulder distance, thrusts out crotch)
George: And their nipples?
Baldrick: That far. (gestures with his hands)
- As Keanrick and Mossop are arrested and led away, Blackadder can't resist a few more repetitions of their most feared play title:
Keanrick, Mossop: Mercy! We beg for mercy!/Please, sir!...
Blackadder: I have got only one thing to say to you: Macbeth.
Keanrick, Mossop: AHH! (as they are tied up, they cannot make the pat-a-cake gestures...) Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends! Ohh!... (... or tweak each other's noses)
Blackadder: MACBETH! (the actors are led out)
Prince: Well done, Bladder! How can I ever thank you?
Blackadder: Well, you can start by not calling me "Bladder", sir.note MACBETH!
Keanrick, Mossop: (in the distance) AHH! Hot potato, orchestra stalls, Puck will make amends! Ahh!...
- At the beginning of the episode, we learn that Parliament's attempts to get rid of Prince George from "Dish and Dishonesty" have escalated:
Blackadder: (entering the Prince's study, where the Prince is sat at a desk covered in papers) Good morning, sir. May I say how immensely rich you're looking. Now, was there anything you wanted, sir? Anything at all. Absolutely anything.
George: (resting his feet on the desk) Well, yes, old fellow. I was wondering if you could possibly lend me a bit of cash.
Blackadder: But of course, sir, I... cash?
George: Yes. I'm rotten stinking stony stinking broke!
Blackadder: But sir, what about the £5,000 which Parliament voted you only last week to drink yourself to death with?
- After Blackadder convinces the Prince to marry, the Prince tasks him to find a suitable woman:
George: You know the kind of girls I like! They've got to be lovers, laughers, dancers...
Blackadder: ... and bonkers.
George: (raises eyebrows) ... That goes without saying.
- Blackadder struggles to find a bride for the Prince to solve their collective money woes.
Blackadder: (with a stack of books on his desk) Oh, God!... (slams book shut)
Baldrick: (pulling giblets out of a goose) Something wrong, Mr. B?
Blackadder: I can't find a single person suitable to marry the Prince.
Baldrick: Oh, please keep trying, I love a royal wedding. The excitement, the crowds, the souvenir mugs, the worrying about whether the bride's lost weight...note
Blackadder: Unlikely with this lot, I'm afraid. If the prince had stipulated "must weigh a quarter of a ton", we'd be laughing! (looking over his reference material) Of the 262 princesses in Europe, 165 are over 80, they're out; 47 are under 10, they're out; and 39 are mad.
Baldrick: (finding an egg inside the goose) Well, they sound ideal.
Blackadder: Well, they would be if they hadn't all got married last week in Munich to the same horse. Which leaves us with two.
Baldrick: And what about them?
Blackadder: Well, there's Grand Duchess Sophia of Turin. We'll never get her to marry him.
Baldrick: Why not?
Blackadder: Because she's met him.
Baldrick: Which leaves?
Blackadder: Caroline of Brunswicknote is the only available princess in Europe.
Baldrick: And what's wrong with her?
Blackadder: (suddenly angry) Get more coffee! It's horrid! Change it! Take me roughly from behind! No, not like that, like this! Trousers off! Tackle out! Walk the dog! Where's my presents?
Baldrick: (flustered) All right, which one do you want me to do first!?
Blackadder: No, that's what Caroline's like! She is famous for having the worst personality in Germany. And as you can imagine, that's up against some pretty stiff competition!
- The writers decide to take a dig at the then-recent purchase of The Times by Rupert Murdoch:
Blackadder: Now, let's see, society pages. You see, it needn't necessarily be a princess, all the Prince wants is someone pretty and rich.
Baldrick: Oh dear, that rules me out then.
Blackadder: (reading paper with a large magnifying glass) Now, let me see... "Beau Brummel in purple pants probe"... "King talks to tree: phew, what a looney"... God, The Times has really gone downhill recently!... AHA! (beckoning Baldrick) Listen to this, listen to this. (Baldrick joins Blackadder in looking through the magnifying glass) "Mysterious Northern beauty, Miss Amy Hardwood, comes to London and spends flipping great wodges of cash." (looks up and smiles, holding the magnifying glass in front of his eye) That's our baby!
- As Blackadder is brushing down George's jacket:
George: Honestly, Blackadder, I don't know why I'm bothering to get dressed. Soon as I get to the Naughty Hellfire Club I'll be debagged and radished for non-payment of debts.
Blackadder: Radished, sir?
George: Yes, they pull your britches down and push a large radish right up y-
Blackadder: Yes, yes, yes, all right! There's no need to hammer it home.
George: Well as a matter of fact, they do often-
Blackadder: No, no! (starts brushing himself)
- Blackadder suggests the Prince dictate a letter stating his romantic intentions toward his prospective bride, Amy Hardwood. However, the Prince's letter doesn't quite strike the right tone:
Prince: So what's the plan?
Blackadder: Well, I thought I could take her a short note expressing your honourable intentions.
Prince: Yes! Yes, I think so too. All right then. Well, take this down. "From His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, to Miss Amy Hardwood. (Blackadder writes on a piece of paper) Tally-ho, my fine, saucy young trollop! Your luck's in! (Blackadder stops writing and looks at the Prince in pained disbelief) Trip along here with all your cash and some naughty night attire... and you'll be staring at my bedroom ceiling from now 'til Christmas, you lucky tart! Yours with the deepest respect, et cetera, signed, George. P.S. Woof woof!" (grins) Well, what do you think?
Blackadder: It's very... moving, sir. Would you mind if I changed just one tiny aspect of it?
Prince: Which one?
Blackadder: (gestures over the page) The words?
Prince: Oh yes, I, I'll leave the details to you, Blackadder, just make sure she knows that I'm all man. With a bit of animal thrown in! (growls, then leaves)
Blackadder: Certainly, sir. (scribbles out the entire page)
- Warren Clarke's entire performance as Mr. Hardwood, Amy's bluff Northern father:
Blackadder: You have a beautiful and charming daughter, sir.
Hardwood: Indeed I do! I love her more than any pig! And that's saying summat!
Blackadder: (smiles) It certainly is.
Hardwood: But let me tell you! I'd no more place her in the hands of an unworthy man than I'd place my John Thomas in the hands of a lunatic with a pair of scissors!
Blackadder: An attitude that does you credit, sir.
Hardwood: I'd rather take off all my clothes and paint my bottom blue than give her to a man who didn't love her!
Blackadder: What self-respecting father could do more.
Hardwood: On the other hand... (puts his arm around Amy) If he's the Prince, he can have her for ten bob and a pickled egg!
Blackadder: I can see where your daughter gets her ready wit, sir.
Hardwood: (à la Arthur Askey) I thank you!
Blackadder: (smile fades) Although where she gets her good looks and charm is perhaps more of a mystery.
Hardwood: Nobody ever made money out of good looks and charm!
Blackadder: You obviously haven't met Lady Hamilton, sir. (smiles, bows, and leaves)
- Blackadder makes a return visit to Mr. Hardwood to formally ask permission for the Prince to marry Amy:
Blackadder: Sir, I come as emissary of the Prince of Wales with the most splendid news. He wants your daughter Amy for his wife.
Hardwood: Well his wife can't have her! Outrageous, sir, to come here with such a suggestion! [stands up angrily] Mind, sir, or I shall take off me belt and by thunder me trousers will fall down!
Blackadder: No sir. Sir, you misunderstand. He wants to marry your lovely daughter.
Hardwood: [gasps, falls back into his chair, amazed] Can it be possibly true? Surely love has never crossed such boundaries of class?
Amy: But what about you and Mum?
Hardwood: Well yes, yes, I grant thee, when I first met her I was the farmer's son and she was just the lass who ate the dung, but that was an exception.
Amy: And Aunty Dot and Uncle Ted.
Hardwood: Yes, yes alright, he was a pig poker and she was the Duchess of Argyll, but-
Amy: And Aunty Ruth and Uncle Isiah, she was a milkmaid and he was-
Hardwood: -The Pope, yes, yes, all right.
- When Hardwood turns out to be penniless, Blackadder calls off the engagement and decides to act on Baldrick's suggestion that he become a highwayman. Unfortunately, finding a horse proves a challenge:
Blackadder: Saddle the Prince's horse!
Baldrick: That'll be difficult. He wrapped it 'round that gas lamp in the Strand last night.
Blackadder: Well, saddle my horse, then!
Baldrick: What d'you think you've been eating for the last two months!?
Blackadder: Well, go up into the street and hire me a horse!
Baldrick: Hire you a horse!? For ninepence? On Jewish New Year in the rain? A bare fortnight after the dreaded horse plague of Old London Town? With the blacksmiths' strike in its fifteenth week and the Dorset Horse Fetishists' Fair tomorrow?
Blackadder: Right! Well get this on then. (hands Baldrick a bridle) It looks as though you could do with the exercise!
- The encounter with the Duke of Cheapside and his daughter Sally. Before meeting Blackadder, the Duke dotes on his daughter to the point where her revelation that she's an opium fiend who's gotten knocked up by a poet named Shelley "who's a famous whoopsie" and killed her mother provokes nothing more than a cheery "Well, never mind!" However, one encounter with first-time highwayman Blackadder changes his tune:
Blackadder: (off-screen, fires his pistol) Stand and deliver!
Cheapside: Oh no! Oh no, no, no, no, no, disaster! It's the Shadow! We're doomed! Doomed! (Sally pants with excited anticipation)
Blackadder: (rides up to the coach window) Ah, good evening, Duke. And the lovely Miss Cheapside. (points his gun at them) Your cash bags, please! (the Duke hands his over) There we are.
Cheapside: You'll never get away with this, you scoundrel! You'll be caught and damned well hung!
Sally: (to camera) I think he looks pretty well hung-
Blackadder: Madam, please, no jests about me looking pretty well hung already, we have no time.
Blackadder: Now sir, turn out your pockets.
Cheapside: Never sir! A man's pockets are his own private kingdom. I'll protect them with my life!
Blackadder: Oh, I see, you've got something embarrassing in there have you? Perhaps a particularly repulsive handkerchief, hmm? One of those fellows who has a big blow and then doesn't change it for a week? Let's have a look shall we? (pulls the hankie out of the Duke's pocket and finds a silver cross) A-ha!
Sally: Highwayman, I also have a jewel. I fear however that I have placed it here, beneath my petticoats, for protection.
Blackadder: Well in that case, madam... I think I'll leave it. I'm not sure I fancy the idea of a jewel that's been in someone's pants. A single kiss of those soft lips is all I require.
Cheapside: Never sir! A man's soft lips are his own private kingdom. I shall defend them with my life!
Blackadder: I'm not talking to you, Grandad!
Sally: (kisses Blackadder with wild abandon) Oh, I'm overcome. Take me with you to live the life of the wild rogue, cuddling under haystacks and making love in the branches of tall trees!
Blackadder: Madam, sadly I must decline. I fear my horse would collapse with you on top of him as well as me!
Baldrick: (appears next to Blackadder, the bit literally between his teeth) I could try!
Blackadder: No Quicksilver, you couldn't!
Baldrick: But that's not fair then! I've had you on my back for ten miles and I haven't even got a kiss out of it!
Blackadder: Oh all right, very well then. (kisses Baldrick) All fair now?
Baldrick: Not really, no!
Blackadder: Tch, no pleasing some horses. Hi-ho Quicksilver!
Baldrick: Neiighh! (gallops off)
Sally: (accusingly) Papa, you did nothing to defend my honour.
Cheapside: (disgusted) Oh, shut your face, you pregnant junky fag-hag!
- When Blackadder decides to run off to the West Indies with the Shadow, Mrs. Miggins is distraught that her dreams of settling down with him will never be realised. Blackadder doesn't exactly let her down gently:
Mrs. Miggins: (rushing into the palace kitchen) Oh! Mr. Blackadder! What's all this I hear about you buying a bathing costume and forty gallons of coconut oil? Are you going abroad, then, sir?
Blackadder: Yes! I'm off.
Mrs. Miggins: (wailing) Oh, sir! What a tragic end to all my dreams! (grabs the front of Blackadder's jacket) And I'd always hoped that you'd settle down and marry me and that together we might await the slither of tiny adders! (sobs into Blackadder's chest)
Blackadder: Mrs. M, if we were the last three humans on Earth, (puts his arm around Baldrick's shoulder) I'd be trying to start a family with Baldrick. (Mrs. Miggins wails even louder while Baldrick smiles proudly)
- "You'll be as dead as, as... that squirrel!" "What squirrel?" [BANG!] "Squeak!" [thud]
- Near the end, the paper Prince George is reading mentions the Shadow had an accomplice (aka Blackadder), causing Blackadder to drop the tray he's holding. When George continues reading and reveals no-one knows who the accomplice is, the tray flies back to Blackadder's hands with a silly sound effect.
- In the opening scene, Blackadder and Baldrick talking about their resepective ambitions:
Blackadder: God, I'm wasted here. It's no life for a man of noble blood being servant to a master with the intellect of a jugged walrus and all the social graces of a potty.
Baldrick: I'm wasted too. I've been thinking of bettering myself.
Blackadder: Oh, really? How?
Baldrick: I applied for the job of village idiot of Kensington.
Blackadder: Oh. Get anywhere?
Baldrick: I got down to the last two, but I failed the final interview.
Blackadder: Oh, what went wrong?
Baldrick: I turned up. The other bloke was such an idiot he forgot to.
Blackadder: Yes, well I'm afraid my ambitions stretch slightly further than professional idiocy in West London. I want to be remembered when I'm dead. I want books written about me. I want songs sung about me. And then hundreds of years from now I want episodes from my life to be played out weekly at half past nine by some great heroic actor of the age.
Baldrick: Yeah, and I could be played by some tiny tit in a beard.
- Prince George, having spent the night with the Duke of Wellington's nieces, is horrified to discover that the Duke, who has sworn to kill anyone who takes sexual advantage of his family, has been back in England for several months.
Prince: I'm doomed! Doomed as the dodo! (there is a knock at the door) Oh my God, he's here, Wellington's here already! (Baldrick enters with a letter; the Prince prostrates himself before him) Oh, Your Grace, forgive me, I didn't know what I was doing, I was a mad, mad, sexually overactive fool! (the confused Baldrick tries to give the Prince a re-assuring pat on the head)
Blackadder: Sir, it's Baldrick, you're perfectly safe. (takes letter)
Prince: Well, hurrah!
Blackadder: (reads letter) Ah! Until six o'clock this evening.
Prince: ... hurroo.
Blackadder: (reading) "From the Supreme Commander, Allied Forces Europe. Sir: Prince or pauper, when a man soils a Wellington, he puts his foot in it. (Open bracket, this is not a joke, I do not find my name remotely funny and people who do end up dead, close bracket.) I challenge you to a duel tonight at 1800 hours in which you will die. Yours with sincerest apologies for your impending violent slaughter, Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington."
Baldrick: Sounds a nice, polite sort of bloke!
- Baldrick suggests that Blackadder stand in for the Prince in the duel on the assumption that Wellington will not know what the Prince looks like. Blackadder drags Baldrick out of the room, claiming "trouble with the staff."
Blackadder: Baldrick, does it have to be this way!? Our valued friendship ending with me cutting you into long strips, and telling the Prince that you walked over a very sharp cattle grid in an extremely heavy hat?!
- Apparently, the Duke of Wellington believes in keeping summaries of his military campaigns short and to the point:
Wellington: Now, sir, to business. I am informed that your royal father grows ever more eccentric, and at present believes himself to be (reading from letter) a small village in Lincolnshire, commanding spectacular views of the Nene Valley. (folds letter up again) I therefore pass my full account of the war on to you, the Prince of Wales. (hands Blackadder a pair of saddle bags)
Blackadder: Ah, that's excellent, thank you. (opens one saddlebag to finds its contents consist of a single piece of paper the size of a playing card) "We won. Signed, Wellington." (turns the paper over, but there is nothing further on the other side) That seems to sum things up quite well!
- The entire Large Ham performance of Stephen Fry as the Duke of Wellington is hysterical, but his justification of his violent treatment of George (as Blackadder) is a highlight.
Blackadder: Tell me, do you ever stop bullying and shouting at the lower orders?
Wellington: (shouting) Never! There's only one way to win a campaign: shout, shout and shout again!
Blackadder: You don't think then that inspired leadership and tactical ability have anything to do with it?
Wellington: (still shouting) No! It's all down to shouting! (does a Stephen Fry trademark bleat) BAHHHHHH!
- The Prince very nearly finds out just how much contempt Blackadder and Baldrick have for him when he overhears a conversation between Mrs. Miggins and Baldrick.
Mrs. Miggins: Ah hello Baldrick. I've brought your buns. Where's Mr. Blackadder? Oh, not upstairs still, running around after that port-swilling, tadpole-brained smelly-boots?
Baldrick: (knowing the Prince is listening, tries to cover, badly) I don't know who you mean.
Mrs. Miggins: Prince George, Baldrick. His boots smell so bad a man would need to have his nose amputated before taking them off. Well, that's what Mr. Blackadder says.
Baldrick: (loudly, so the Prince can hear) As a joke!
Mrs. Miggins: Didn't you write a little poem about him last week?
Baldrick: (worried) No I didn't.
Mrs. Miggins: Ooh you did: "In the Winter it's cool, / In the Summer it's hot, / But all the year round, / Prince George is a clot!" (laughs)
Baldrick: (loudly) A lovely! I said Prince George is a lovely!
Mrs. Miggins: Oh well. I'd better be off anyway. Tell Mr. Blackadder to expect Mr. MacAdder at five o'clock. Just as soon as that fat Prussian truffle pig has got his snout wedged into a bucket of tea-cakes. (makes grunting noises and leaves)
Baldrick: (calling after her) I think it must be next door you're wanting, strange woman who I've never seen before Mrs. Miggins!
George: (coming out of hiding, an accusatory look on his face) Baldrick!
Baldrick: (worried) Yes, Your Highness?
George: Is it true?... Did you really write a poem about how lovely I am?
Baldrick: (fondly) Yes, and Mr. Blackadder loves you too. (smiles)
George: Well I must say. I find that very touching. I do.
- Rowan Atkinson's OTT performance as Blackadder's mad Scottish cousin MacAdder, complete with bright red wig and deliberately bad fake Scottish accent.
Blackadder: I want you to take the place of the Prince Regent and kill the Duke of Wellington in a duel.
MacAdder: Aye, and what's in it for me?
Blackadder: Enough cash to buy the Outer Hebrides. What do you think?
MacAdder: Fourteen shillings and six-pence? Well, it's tempting. But I've got an even better plan. Why don't I pretend to be the Duke of Wellington and kill the Prince of Wales in a duel? Then I could kill the King and be crowned with the ancient stone bonnet of MacAdder.
- The duel between Edmund (as the Prince) and the Duke of Wellington is fought with cannons rather than swords. As the Duke deftly loads and aims his cannon, Blackadder is still reading the instruction manual for his cannon.
"Congratulations on choosing the Armstrong Whitworth four-pounder cannonette. Please read the instructions carefully and it should give years of trouble free maiming."
- After shooting Blackadder, Wellington gets poetic:
Baldrick: Mr. B! Mr. B! Sir, help me get his coat off!
Blackadder: [Weakly] Leave it, Baldrick. It doesn't matter.
Baldrick: Yes it does; blood's hell to shift, I wanna get it in soak.
Wellington: You die like a man, sir. In combat.
Blackadder: You think so? Dammit, we must build a better world. When will the killing end?
Wellington: [Passionately] You don't think I too dream of peace? You don't think I too yearn to end this damn dirty job we call soldiering?
Blackadder: [Cynically] Frankly no.
- The Duke finally tires of George (as Blackadder)'s insolence and shoots him with his pistol:
George: I die. I hope men will say of me that I did duty by my country.
Blackadder: I think that's pretty unlikely, sir. If I were you, I'd try for something a bit more realistic.
George: Like what?
Blackadder: You hope that men will think of you as a bit of a thicky?
George: Alright then, I'll hope that. Erm, toodle-oo, everyone, let you know and all that. (dies)
Blackadder Goes Forth
Episode 1: Captain Cook
- Meet Lieutenant George:
- Blackadder's opinion on propaganda magazine "King and Country", which George has just lauded as "telling the Tommies the truth about the war."
Blackadder: Or, alternatively, the biggest work of fiction since vows of fidelity were included in the French marriage service.
George: Come, come, sir. Now, you can't deny that this fine newspaper is good for the morale of the men.
Blackadder: Certainly not, I just think that more could be achieved by giving them some real toilet paper.
George: I'm not with you at all, sir, what could any patriotic chap have against this magnificent mag?
Blackadder: Apart from his bottom?
- Blackadder sums up the Western Front in a nutshell, which George completely fails to grasp:
Captain Blackadder: It looks like Field Marshal Haig is making another gargantuan effort to move his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin.
Lieutenant George: Right! Bravo-issimo! Well, let's make a start, eh, up and over to glory, last one in Berlin's a rotten egg! (makes for the ladder)
Captain Blackadder: Give me your helmet, Lieutenant. (George does so; Blackadder throws it into the air, and, after a round of machine-gun fire, it falls back down again, filled with holes)
Lieutenant George: ... Yes, some sort of clever hat camouflage might be in order.
- Baldrick comes up with what might be a cunning plan, were it not for one tiny flaw:
Baldrick: Permission to speak sir.
Blackadder: Granted, with a due sense of exhaustion and dread.
Baldrick: I have a cunning plan to get us out of getting killed sir.
Blackadder: Ah yes, what is it?
Blackadder: I see. (goes into the dugout in the trench)
Baldrick: You know staff HQ is always on the lookout for good cooks? Well, we go over there, we cook 'em something, and get out of the trenches that way.
Blackadder: Baldrick, it's a brilliant plan.
Baldrick: Is it?
Blackadder: Yes, it's superb.
Baldrick: (delighted) Permission to write home immediately sir! This is the first brilliant plan a Baldrick's ever had! For centuries we've tried, and they've always turned out to be total pig-swill. My mother will be as pleased as Punch!
Blackadder: Mm, if only she were as good-looking as Punch, Baldrick. There is, however, one slight flaw in the plan.
Blackadder: You're the worst cook in the entire world.
Baldrick: (disappointed) Oh yeah, that's right.
Blackadder: There are amoeba on Saturn who can boil a better egg than you. Your Filets Mignons in Sauce Bernaise look like dog turds in glue.
Baldrick: That's because they are.
Blackadder: Your plum duff tastes like it's a molehill decorated with rabbit droppings.
Baldrick: I thought you wouldn't notice.
Blackadder: Your cream custard has the texture of cat's vomit.
Baldrick: Again, it's...
Blackadder: If you were to serve one of your meals in staff HQ you'd be arrested for the greatest mass poisoning since Lucrezia Borgia invited five hundred of her close friends around for a wine-and-anthrax party.
- Blackadder sums up his disgust with General Melchett:
Blackadder: I've just been summoned to Staff HQ. No doubt that idiot General Melchett is about to offer me some attractive new opportunity to have my brains blown out for Britain.
- And pretty much any instance of Melchett's Crazy Enough to Work military "strategies".
- Melchett and Darling visit the trench to see the paintings Blackadder, George, and Baldrick have produced. As well as a Running Gag of Blackadder, having ordered Baldrick and George not to speak without his permission, then having to give them permission to speak each time Melchett asks them a question, the scene gives us a hilarious nod to Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie's shared Cambridge background:
Melchett: Now then Blackadder, where would you like me to sit? I thought just a simple trim of the moustache today, nothing drastic.
Darling: No, sir. We're here about the painting, sir.
Melchett: Oh yes, of course. (sees George) Good Lord, George, ha ha ha, how are you, my boy? (George doesn't answer) I said how are you?
Blackadder: Permission to speak...
George: (buoyantly) Absolutely top-hole sir, with a ying and a yang and a yippety-doo!
Melchett: Splendid! And your uncle Bertie sends his regards. I told him you could have a week off in April; we don't want you missing the Boat Race, do we?note
Blackadder: Permission to speak.
George: Certainly not! Permission to sing boisterously, sir?
Blackadder: ... If you must...
George: (to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat") Row, row, row your punt
George, Melchett: Gently down the stream
Belts off, trousers down (they mime the appropriate action)
Isn't life a scream? (pelvic thrust) HEY!
Blackadder: Fabulous. University education, you can't beat it, can you?note
- This exchange, when George tries to read a map:
Blackadder: All right, where are we?
George: Well, we appear to be in the middle of a field marked with mushrooms.
Blackadder: So what does that mean?
George: ...That we're standing in a field of mushrooms?
Blackadder: George, that is a military map. It is unlikely to list interesting flora and fungi. What do the mushrooms symbolize?
George: It says, "mine." So the mushrooms must belong to the chap who wrote the map!
Blackadder: Either that or we're standing in a minefield.
George: So he owns the field as well?
- As they're heading back to their trench:
George: Sir, I forgot. If we should happen to tread on a mine, what do we do?
Blackadder: (Pause) Well, Lieutenant, I believe proper procedure is to jump about 200 feet in the air and scatter yourself over a wide area.
- The telephone system in the trenches is having problems with crossed lines, which Blackadder ultimately decides to use to his advantage:
Blackadder: (on phone) You'd like to book a table for three by the window for 9:30pm, not too near the band, in the name of Oberleutnant von Genschler. Yes - yes - I think you might have the wrong number... that's all right. (hangs up)
George: (cleaning the barrel of his revolver) Another crossed line, eh sir? That phone system is a shambles! No wonder we haven't had any orders!
Blackadder: (holding an assortment of papers) On the contrary, George, we've had plenty of orders. We've had orders for... (reading) six metres of Hungarian crushed velvet curtain material... four rock salmon and a ha'p'orth of chips... and a cab for a Mr. Redgrave picking up from 14, Arnos Grove, "ring top bell".
George: (finishes cleaning his revolver and cocks it) Yes, but we don't want those sort of orders! We want orders to death or glory! (aims his (unloaded) gun and pulls the trigger) When are we gonna give Fritz a taste of our British spunk?
Blackadder: George, please. No-one is more anxious to advance than I am, but until they get these communications problems sorted out, I'm afraid we're stuck! (phone rings; he answers it) Captain Blackadder speaking... no, I'm afraid the line's very khhhh...
Darling: (at his desk at HQ) Hello? Captain Blackadder! Hello?
Blackadder: (rustles some newspaper next to the mouthpiece of the receiver, then bangs it against the table four times before speaking into it again) Schnell! Schnell! Kartoffelkopf!
Darling: (grimaces and holds the phone away from his ear, then raises his voice) I said there's a terrible line at my end! You're to advance on the enemy at once!
Blackadder: (blows raspberry into phone, to Darling's confusion, then begins singing) "A wand'ring minstrel I, a thing of shreds-" (makes electronic interference noise) Gale Force 8. Good night. (hangs up)
George: Well, so come on, sir, what's the message? I'm on tenterhooks, do tell!
Blackadder: Well, as far as I can tell, the message was he's got a terrible lion up his end, and there's an advantage to an enema at once.
- Baldrick enters with a telegram ordering an advance. However, it is addressed to "someone called 'Catpain Blackudder'", which rings a bell with George but he can't place the name; Blackadder crumples up the message and throws it over his shoulder.
- Melchett learns that Blackadder has disobeyed a direct order and shot his beloved pet carrier pigeon and only childhood friend, Speckled Jim:
Melchett: I DON'T CARE IF HE'S BEEN ROGERING THE DUKE OF YORK WITH A PRIZE-WINNING LEEK! HE SHOT MY PIGEON!
- The Kangaroo Court, especially when Baldrick is called as a witness.
Blackadder: Deny everything, Baldrick. (Baldrick nods and goes up to the witness stand)
George: Are you Private Baldrick?
George: Oh. Erm, but you are Captain Blackadder's batman?
Blackadder: (Head Desk)
George: Oh, come on, Baldrick, be a bit more helpful! It's me!
Baldrick: No it isn't!
- Jeremy Hardy's ever-so-nice jailor, Corporal Perkins:
- The end of the episode. Blackadder survives death by firing squad (without a second to spare) no thanks to Baldrick and George, who got so excited at remembering what they had to do to save Blackadder - send word to George's Uncle Rupert, the newly instated Minister of War - that they get drunk on whiskey in celebration and forget to actually send the telegram (also a funny moment itself). Blackadder gets back, revealing that his reprieve came in the nick of time, and George and Baldrick pretend that the whiskey has been set out in his honour - then Blackadder reveals that a second telegram arrived, addressed to George:
Blackadder: (after preventing George from getting the telegram before he can read it) "George, my boy: Outraged to read in dispatches how that arse Melchett made such a pig's ear out of your chum Blackadder's court-martial. Have reversed the decision forthwith. Surprised you didn't ask me to do it yourself, actually." (slowly turns to look at George) Now this is interesting, isn't it.
George: (stammers) Yes, well, I, you see, sir, er, the thing is...
Blackadder: (advances threateningly toward Baldrick and George, who back away from him) You two got whammed last night, didn't you?
George: We-well, well, no, er, not whammed exactly, a little tiddly, perhaps, erm-
Blackadder: And you forgot the telegram to your uncle!?
George: (now backed up against the wall with Baldrick) Well, no, no, no, not, not, not completely... partially... erm... (he and Baldrick sit down as Blackadder continues to glare at them) Well, yes, yes, entirely, yes.
Baldrick: (standing) I think I can explain, sir.
Blackadder: Can you, Baldrick?
Baldrick: (thinks) No. (sits down)
Blackadder: As I suspected. Now, I'm not a religious man as you know, but henceforth I shall nightly pray to the God who killed Cain and squashed Samson that he comes out of retirement and gets back into practice on the pair of you. (the telephone rings, Blackadder answers it almost immediately) Captain Blackadder!... Ah, Captain Darling. Well, you know, some of us just have friends in high places, I suppose. No I can hear you perfectly. You want what? You want two volunteers for a mission into No Man's Land. Codename "Operation Certain Death". (looks at the worried Baldrick and George) Yes, I think I have just the fellows. (replaces the telephone) God is very quick these days...
- Baldrick as a would-be revolutionary. Even funnier when you consider that in real life Tony Robinson is an ardent socialist and Labour Party supporter:
Baldrick: Can't you smell it, sir? There is something afoot in the wind. The huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
Blackadder: Baldrick, have you been at the diesel oil again?
Baldrick: No, sir, I have been supping at the milk of freedom. Already our Russian comrades stand poised on the brink of revolution, and the huddled woss-names such as myself will rise up to throw off our hated oppressers [Blackadder begins walking over to him threateningly] like you and the lieutenant... present company excepted, sir.
Blackadder: Go clean out the latrines.
Baldrick: Yessir, right away sir.
- After having seen Baldrick's Charlie Chaplin act (comprising a bowler hat on his head and a dead slug balanced on his top lip, requiring tilting his head backwards until he is looking straight up), Blackadder tells Melchett's driver, "Bob" Parkhurst, to send the real Chaplin a telegram:
Blackadder: "Congratulations STOP Have discovered only person in world less funny than you STOP Name Baldrick STOP Yours E Blackadder STOP". Oh, and put a PS, "Please please please STOP".
- Every scene where Lieutenant George is in drag. Particularly when he first shows up and pronounces "I...feel...fantastic!"
- The scene where General Melchett prepares for his date was voted the second greatest Blackadder moment of all time. And for good reason.
Melchett: God, it's a spankingly beautiful world and tonight's my night. I know what I'll say to her. "Darling..."
Darling: Yes, sir?
Darling: Erm, I don't know, sir.
Melchett: Well, don't butt in! (exhales, then goes back to rehearsing his speech) "I want to make you happy, darling."
Darling: Well, that's very kind of you sir.
Melchett: (impatient) Will you kindly stop interrupting!? If you don't listen, how can you tell me what you think?! "I want to make you happy, darling. I want to build a nest for your ten tiny toes. I want to cover every inch of your gorgeous body in pepper and sneeze all over you."
Darling: (shocked) Really, sir! I must protest!
Melchett: What is the matter with you, Darling!?
Darling: Well, it's just all so sudden, sir! I mean the nest bit's fine, but the pepper business is definitely out!
Melchett: How dare you tell me how I may or may not treat my beloved Georgina!
Melchett: Yes, I'm working on what to say to her this evening.
Darling: (laughing with nervous relief) Oh yes. Of course. Thank God.
Melchett: All right?
Darling: Yes, I'm listening, sir.
Melchett: Honestly Darling, you really are the most graceless, dim-witted bumpkin I ever met.
Darling: I don't think you should say that to her, sir.
(Melchett roars in frustration)
- To Blackadder's horror, on Melchett's date with "Georgina", he asks "her" to marry him, and George is so caught up in the moment that he agrees. When Melchett summons Blackadder to ask him to be the best man, the captain is forced to claim that, upon her return to the trenches, "Georgina" met a violent and messy end:
Blackadder: Just a few minutes ago Georgina arrived unexpectedly in my trench. She was literally dancing with joy as if something wonderful had happened to her.
Melchett: Makes sense.
Blackadder: Unfortunately, she was in such a daze, danced straight throught the trench and out into No Man's Land. I tried to stop her, but before I could say, "Don't tread on a mine", she trod on a mine. (Melchett begins sobbing) When I say "a mine", it was a cluster of mines...
- When the Americans join the war and bring a collection of Charlie Chaplin films with them, it seems the man himself got Blackadder's telegram and has sent an equally snide reply:
Darling: (reading Chaplin's telegram) "Twice nightly screening of my films in trenches excellent idea STOP But must insist E Blackadder be projectionist STOP PS Don't let him ever STOP".
- Blackadder's telephone message to the commander of the RAF during the German bombing raid:
"I'd like to leave a message for the head of the Flying Corps, please. That's Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Massingbird-Massingbird, VC, DFC, and Bar. Message reads: 'Where - are - you - you - bastard'."
- The return of Rik Mayall as Captain Flashheart. The first thing he does is leap into frame, punch Edmund out, and step on him:
Flashheart: Eat knuckle, Fritz! How disgusting, a Boche on the sole of my boot. I shall have to find a patch of grass to wipe it on. I'll be shunned in the Officer's Mess. 'Sorry about the pong, you fellas; trod in the Boche and can't get rid of the WHIFF.'
Blackadder: If we could dispense with the hilarious doggie-doo metaphor for a moment, I am not a Boche, this is a British trench.
Flashheart: Thank heaven for that, thought I'd landed sausage-side. Mind if I use your phone? If word gets out I'm dead, five hundred girls will kill themselves. I wouldn't want them on my conscience, not when they oughta be on my FACE.
- Lord Flashheart says that "anyone can be a navigator as long as he can tell his arse from his elbow", and Blackadder mutters "Well, that's Baldrick out then." Shortly afterwards, Baldrick says that joining the Air Force would be "better than just sitting around here on our elbows".
- Blackadder remarks to fellow new RAF volunteer George that they won't be doing any actual flying for some months yet, they'll just be looking at machinery. Cue Flashheart in the corridor bellowing, "HEY GIRLS! LOOK AT MY MACHINERY!" before entering the classroom while re-fastening his trousers.
- Flashheart instructing the troops how to be aviators:
Flashheart: The first thing to remember is always treat your kite (slaps blackboard with pointer) like you treat your woman (makes sweeping, suggestive whipping motion).
George: How do you mean, sir? Do you mean take her home over the weekend to meet your mother?
Flashheart: No, I mean get inside her five times a day and take her to heaven and back.
- The Red Baron (played by Rik Mayall's comedy partner Ade Edmondson) tells Blackadder of his plans for him, which he clearly believes to be A Fate Worse Than Death:
Red Baron: Tomorrow, you will be taken back to Germany... To a convent school outside Heidelberg, where you will spend the rest of the war teaching the young girls home economics. For you, as a man of honour, THE HUMILIATION WILL BE UNBEARABLE.
- The map representing how much ground the British have taken in the latest campaign. It takes up a single table in Melchett's office and is represented by a scale of 1:1. There's even an earthworm on the model.
- Blackadder tries to stall George and Flashheart's attempt to free him and Baldrick, during which we learn that Flashheart does not share the love of poetry of one of Rik Mayall's previous characters.
Blackadder: Look, I'm sorry, chaps, but I've splintered my pancreas. Erm, and I seem to have this terrible cough. (fakes a couple of coughs) Cough-GUARDS, cough-GUARDS!
Flasheart: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait a minute. Now I may be packing the kind of tackle that you'd normally expect to find swinging about between the hindlegs of a Grand National winner, but I'm not totally stupid, and I've got the kind of feeling you'd rather we hadn't come!
Blackadder: No, no, no, I'm very grateful. It's just that I'd slow you up.
Flasheart: I think I'm beginning to understand.
Blackadder: (dubious) Are... are you?
Flasheart: Just because I can give multiple orgasms to the furniture just by sitting on it, doesn't mean that I'm not sick of this damn war: the blood, the noise, the endless poetry.
Blackadder: (not buying it) Is that really what you think, Flasheart?
Flasheart: (draws his gun on Blackadder) Course it's not what I think!
- But before they can escape, Flashheart finally meets the man who considers him to be a Worthy Opponent:
Red Baron (with a hilarious Just a Stupid Accent): How often I have rehearsed this moment of destiny in my dreams. The opportunity to encapsulate the unspoken nobility of our comradeship.
(Flashheart promptly shoots the Red Baron dead)
Flashheart (loudly): WHAT A POOF!
- The game of "I Spy".
- Having guessed that George's "something beginning with 'M'" is "mug", Blackadder gets a turn to spy something. Baldrick, who somehow didn't unravel George's increasingly obvious hints that he'd spied a mug, proves even less adept at guessing what Blackadder has spied:
Captain Blackadder: I spy with my bored little eye something beginning with "T".
Captain Blackadder: What?
Baldrick: My breakfast always begins with tea, and I have a little sausage, and a egg with some little soldiers.
Captain Blackadder: Baldrick, when I said it begins with "T", I was talking about a letter.
Baldrick: Nah, it never begins with a letter, the postman don't come 'til 10:30.
- Blackadder gives up in frustration. George takes over, and Baldrick's guessing skills somehow go from bad to worse:
George: I spy with my little eye something beginning with "R".
Baldrick: (raises his arm even though he's now the only guesser) Army!
Blackadder: For God's sake, Baldrick! "Army" starts with an "A"! He's looking for something that starts with an "R". (rolls an R) R-r-r-r-r!
Baldrick: (jumps to his feet) Motorbike!
Blackadder: ... What!?
Baldrick: A motorbike always starts with a Rrrrrrrm! Rrrrrr...
- Blackadder gets another go:
Blackadder: My turn again. What begins with "come here" and ends with "ow"?
Baldrick: I don't know, sir.
Blackadder: Come here.
Baldrick: (goes over to Blackadder, who punches him in the face) Ow!
Blackadder: (sarcastically) Well done!
- Having guessed that George's "something beginning with 'M'" is "mug", Blackadder gets a turn to spy something. Baldrick, who somehow didn't unravel George's increasingly obvious hints that he'd spied a mug, proves even less adept at guessing what Blackadder has spied:
- When Blackadder reports to General Melchett's HQ as ordered, he finds the general hiding behind a map, and is then collared and frisked by Darling. The general's explanation for the added security measures gets a bit sidetracked:
Blackadder: Can anyone tell me what's going on?
Darling: Security, Blackadder.
Melchett: (coming out from behind the map) "Security" isn't a dirty word, Blackadder. "Crevice" is a dirty word, but "security" isn't.
Blackadder: So, in the name of security, sir, everyone who enters the room has to have his bottom fondled by this drooling pervert.
Darling: Only doing my job, Blackadder.
Blackadder: Oh, well, how lucky you are, then, that your job is also your hobby.
Melchett: Now there's another dirty word: "job"!
Blackadder: Sir, is there something the matter?
Melchett: You're damn right there is something the matter! (heads over to his desk) Something sinister and something grotesque. And what's worse is that it's going on right here under my very nose! (sits behind desk)
Blackadder: Sir, your moustache is lovely...
Darling: What the general means, Blackadder, is: there's a leak.
Melchett: Now "leak" is a positively disgusting word.
- General Melchett's unfortunate choice of words while briefing Blackadder, and Blackadder not even batting an eyelid:
General Melchett: And when you get back, Captain Darling will pump you thoroughly in the debriefing room.
Captain Blackadder: ...Not while I have my strength, he won't.
- Blackadder tells Baldrick that they will be staying at the same hospital as George. Baldrick is worried that he might attract the interest of the doctors, while Blackadder is less convinced:
Blackadder: Right, pack me a toothbrush, Baldrick. We're going on holiday.
Baldrick: Hurray! Where to?
Baldrick: Oh, no, I hate hostipals. [sic] My grandfather went into one, and when he come out, he was dead!
Blackadder: He was also dead when he went in, Baldrick, he'd been run over by a traction engine.
Baldrick: I don't like them doctors. If they start poking around inside me...
Blackadder: Baldrick, why would anyone wish to poke around inside you?
Baldrick: They might find me interesting.
Blackadder: Baldrick, I find the Great Northern and Metropolitan Sewage System interesting, but that doesn't mean that I want to put on some rubber gloves and pull things out if it with a pair of tweezers.
- Baldrick has a cunning plan to find the spy once he and Blackadder arrive at the hospital. It's up to his usual standards:
Baldrick: I too have a cunning plan to catch the spy, sir.
Blackadder: Do you, Baldrick, do you.
Baldrick: You go 'round the hostipal and you ask everyone, "Are you a German spy?"
Blackadder: Yes, I must say, Baldrick, I appreciate your involvement on the creative side.
Baldrick: If it was me, I'd own up!
Blackadder: Of course you would. But sadly, the enemy have not added to the German Army entrance form the requirement "Must have intellectual capacity of a boiled potato."
- Melchett decides to send Darling into the same hospital to conduct his own investigation - but not before shooting him in the foot so that he has a convincing injury. Blackadder's reaction to Darling's arrival is hilarious:
Blackadder: (seeing Darling entering with a bandaged foot and a cane) Darling, what are you doing here?
Darling: Bullet in the foot.
Blackadder: Well, I can understand people up the front trying to shoot themselves in the foot, but when you're thirty-five miles behind the line...
Darling: I did not shoot myself! (embarrassed) The General did it...
Blackadder: Well! Finally got fed up with you, did he?
Darling: No! It was a mistake!
Blackadder: Oh, he was aiming for your head.
Darling: He wasn't aiming for anything!
Blackadder: Oh, so he was going for between your legs, then.
- The interrogation scene. Melchett suggests to Blackadder that his interrogation technique involve tying the suspect to a chair with a potty on his head before putting his reproductive organ between two floury baps, getting a cocker spaniel, and shouting "Dinnertime, Fido!" So he starts by interrogating Darling in the doctor's office:
Darling: (tied to a chair with a potty on his head) This is completely ridiculous, Blackadder! You can't suspect me. I've only just arrived!
Blackadder: (sat behind a desk with a lamp pointed in Darling's face) The first rule of counterespionage, Darling, is to suspect everyone. Believe me, I shall be asking myself some pretty searching questions later on. Now, tell me, what is the colour of the Queen of England's favourite hat?
Darling: How the hell should I know!?
Blackadder: I see. Well, let me ask you another question: What is the name of the German Head of State?
Darling: Well, Kaiser Wilhelm, obviously!
Blackadder: (stands accusingly) So you're on first-name terms with the Kaiser, are you!?
Darling: (angrily) Well, what did you expect me to say!?
Blackadder: Darling, Darling, shh... cigarette? (picks up a cigarette from the corner of the desk)
Darling: (as Blackadder puts the cigarette in his mouth and lights it) Thank you. (spends a few seconds smoking)
Blackadder: (suddenly knocks the cigarette out of Darling's mouth) All right, you stinking piece of crap!
Darling: (stunned) I beg your pardon?
Blackadder: Shut your cakehole, sonny! I know you! Tell me, von Darling, what was it finally won you over, eh? Was it the pumpernickel, or was it the thought of hanging around with big men in leather shorts?
Darling: I'll have you court-martialed for this, Blackadder!
Blackadder: What, for obeying the general's orders? That may be what you do in Munich - or should I say München? - but not here, Werner! You're a filthy Hun spy, aren't you! (shouts) Baldrick, the cocker spaniel, please!
Darling: (starting to panic) Agh! No! No, no, wait! No, look, I'm English! I was born in Croydon! I was educated at Epplethorpe Primary School! I've got a girlfriend called Doris! I know the words to all three verses of "God Save the King"!
Blackadder: Four verses...
Darling: Four verses! Four verses! I meant four verses! Look, I'm as British as Queen Victoria!
Blackadder: So your father's German, you're half German, and you married a German!?
Darling: (crying hysterically) No! No! Look, for God's sake, I'm not a German spy!!
Blackadder: Good. Thanks very much. Send in the next man, would you?
- Nurse Mary enters at the tail end of Darling's interrogation, demanding to know what the noise is. Darling chooses this moment to make a less than dignified exit, but Blackadder still gets the last word:
Darling: (standing, still tied to the chair with the potty on his head) You'll regret this, Blackadder. You'd better find the real spy or I'll make it very hard for you!
Blackadder: Please, Darling, there are ladies present.
- Blackadder reveals that one of the traps he set for Nurse Mary involved a discussion of England's "great" universities - except he named three instead of just two. Melchett, however, has an unusual (not to mention biased) idea of which is the odd one out:
Blackadder: And then the final, irrefutable proof. Remember, you mentioned a clever boyfriend.
Nurse Mary: Yes.
Blackadder: I then leapt on the opportunity to test you. I asked if he'd been to one of the great universities: Oxford, Cambridge, or Hull.
Nurse Mary: Well?
Blackadder: You failed to spot that only two of those are great universities.
Nurse Mary: You swine!
Melchett: That's right! Oxford's a complete dump!note
- The revelation at the end of the episode that the source of the leak is George, who has been sending letters to his uncle Herrmann in Munich.
Darling: (sneering) Would you like me to tell this one to the general, Blackadder... or would you like to enjoy that very... special... moment? (Blackadder bolts from the room, closely followed by Darling)
- Blackadder's ploy to get out of the trenches by pretending to be mad involves stuffing two pencils up his nose, putting his underpants on his head, and just saying "Wibble" as an answer to any question. Unfortunately, he has to abandon the idea when he overhears Melchett saying he once shot an entire platoon in the Sudan for trying that very scheme.
- Baldrick's improvised coffee. It tastes like mud... because it is mud. The sugar is dandruff, the milk is saliva, and it's probably best not to ask what he uses for the chocolate shavings in his cappuccino. When Blackadder offers Darling a cup, we hear Baldrick scratching the "sugar" off his scalp and then spitting the "milk" into the cup.
- Baldrick's war poetry. Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen he most definitely is not.
- His first, untitled poem does not impress Blackadder:
Baldrick: "Hear the words I sing
War's a horrid thing
So I sing sing sing
George: (applauds) Oh, bravo, yes!
Blackadder: Yes. Well, it started badly, it tailed off a little in the middle, and the less said about the end, the better. But apart from that, excellent.
- Ignoring the threat of a bayonet through the neck, Baldrick recites a second poem, "The German Guns":
Baldrick: "Boom boom boom boom,
Boom boom boom,
BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM-"
Blackadder: "BOOM, BOOM, BOOM"?
Baldrick: (amazed) How did you guess, sir?
George: I say, sir, that is spooky!
- His first, untitled poem does not impress Blackadder:
- We learn that Blackadder took part in the football games during the 1914 Christmas Truce...and still holds a grudge over being unfairly penalized.
- Melchett enters Darling's office to send him to the trenches. We don't see Melchett for a moment... and then we see the moustache net.
- The scene in which Blackadder is on the phone with Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig. Haig is seen moving figures of soldiers across a map - then sweeping them off with a dustpan and brush. Could verge into Fridge Horror, given how many regular soldiers died under the real Haig's orders (see the first day of the Somme).note
The Cavalier Years
- At the start of the special, Edmund instructs Baldrick that if Cromwell drops in for a cup of milk within the next ninety seconds, Baldrick is not to tell him that the King is hiding there. Of course, Cromwell does so.
Cromwell: Is the King hiding here?
Baldrick: (thinks for nearly a minute) ... no.
- Upon which Cromwell calls in his men to have something to drink:
Baldrick: All right, but don't touch the purple cup.
Baldrick: That's the King's.
- Baldrick's announces he has a cunning plan to save King Charles:
Edmund: Well, you'll forgive me if I don't do a cartwheel of joy - your family's record in the department of cunning planning is about as impressive as Stumpy O'Leg McNoleg's personal best in the Market Harbour Marathon. All right... What's the plan?
(Baldrick picks up a pumpkin and smiles)
Edmund: A pumpkin is going to save the King...
Baldrick: Aah! (puts down pumpkin) But, over here, I have one that I prepared earlier. (picks up another pumpkin; one with eyes, nose, moustache and beard painted on, and with some hair placed on top) I will balance it on the King's head, like this. Then, I will cover his real head with a cloak, and then, when I execute him, instead of cutting off his real head, I will cut off the pumpkin, and the King survives!
Edmund: I'm not sure it's going to work, Balders.
Baldrick: Why not?
Edmund: Because, once you cut it off, you have to hold it up in front of the crowd and say, "This is the head of a traitor," at which point they will shout back, "No it's not, it's a huge pumpkin with a pathetic moustache drawn on it."
Baldrick: I suppose it's not one hundred percent convincing.
Edmund: It's not one percent convincing, Baldrick. However, I'm a busy man, and I can't be bothered to punch you at the moment. (holds his arm up with his hand clenched) Here is my fist. Kindly run towards it as fast as you can.
Baldrick: Yes, sir. (He does)
- Later, when Edmund actually tries Baldrick's plan out of desperation and says "This is the head of a traitor," the crowd says (in perfect unison, mind you) the exact words he predicted they would say.
- King Charles is executed. Parliamentarian forces are closing in on our heroes' hideout to seize the young prince. Blackadder reveals he has a plan to get out of this, and hands the prince to Baldrick... He then removes his nobleman's clothes and false beard, revealing a shaven face and a Puritan's clothing underneath. A gold wig follows just before Cromwell and his men burst in, and Blackadder adopts a nasal accent, pointing accusingly towards Baldrick:
Thank God you've come! Kill the Loyalist scum!
- Blackadder reads Baldrick's Christmas card and reminds him that "Christmas" should have an H in it - as well as an R, an I, an S, a T, an M, an A, and another S. And he missed out the C at the beginning. "Congratulations, Mr Baldrick! Something of a triumph, I think - you must be the first person ever to spell 'Christmas' without getting any of the letters right at all." We later find out that he wrote "Kweznuz".
- From the Elizabethan sequence: "Baldrick, you wouldn't see a subtle plan if it painted itself purple and danced naked on top of a harpsichord, singing 'Subtle plans are here again!'"
- After confirming that the time machine works, Blackadder tells Baldrick that he is, rather surprisingly, the greatest genius the world has ever known. He retracts it moments later after learning that Baldrick forgot to write any numbers on the display that was supposed to tell them the date.
"So the date we're heading for is two watermelons and a bunch of cherries. In other words, we can't get home. Rather a spectacular return to form after the genius moment."
- What killed the dinosaurs? Baldrick's underwear.