Recap / Blackadder S 3 E 4 Sense And Senility

An assassination attempt is made on the Prince Regent while on a night out at the theatre. Surprised to learn that he is unpopular, the Prince is advised by Edmund to give a speech showing his sensitivity to the people. To help, the Prince decides to take eloqution lessons from a couple of actors they saw at the theatre the same night. Blackadder (who has nothing but contempt for the theatre and acting in general) argues against the idea but is overruled.

Putting up with the numerous eccentricities of the actors and the Prince becoming (if possible) even more boorish and crass than usual under their influence proves the final straw; Blackadder hands in his notice and storms off to get a job under Napoleon. But when Baldrick overhears what he thinks is the actors plotting to kill them all, he and George really have to convince Blackadder to come back to save the day...


  • Asking For It: The below example between Blackadder and Baldrick epitomises this trope, while Edmund is raging about the Prince's treatment of him through the episode.
    Blackadder: All I'm saying is, he'd better watch out! (holds up a milk-jug) One more foot wrong from him, and the contract between us will be as broken as this milk-jug!
    'Baldrick: But that milk-jug isn't broken.
    Blackadder: You really do walk into these things, don't you? (smashes the jug on Baldrick's head)
  • Anything That Moves:
    Mossop: How dare you, sir! You think, being actors, we sleep with everyone?!
    Blackadder: I should think, being actors, you're lucky to sleep with anyone
  • Bad Boss: The Prince Regent really goes for this with Edmund.
  • The Bad Guys Win: Blackadder gets his job back with a significant pay rise, the actors are arrested (and presumably executed) on trumped up charges of treason thanks to Edmund, and the Prince Regent is convinced to take the lead role in a play Blackadder has penned..."Thick Jack Clot Sits in the Stocks and Gets Pelted With Rancid Tomatoes".
  • Buffy Speak: "Disease and deprivation stalk our land like two...giant, stalking things".
  • Chewing the Scenery: Keanrick and Mossop.
  • Comically Missing the Point: According to Blackadder, the Prince has no concept that theatre is fiction, to the point that he shouted "Look behind you, Mr. Caesar" just before Brutus struck.
    • Also shows this in the aftermathof the attempt on his life:
    George: Why on earth would an anarchist possibly want to kill you?
    Blackadder: I think it might have been you he was after, sir.
    George: Oh hogwash! What on earth makes you say that?!
    Blackadder: Well sir, my suspicions were first aroused by his use of the words "Death to the stupid Prince!"
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    Blackadder: Finish later, Baldrick.
    Baldrick: Yes, sir. The cleaning or the being strangled?
  • The Dog Bites Back: Blackadder exhibits this after one too many of the Prince's insults
    • Baldrick, of all people, gets one when Edmund takes his leave.
    Blackadder: Baldrick, I would like to say how much I will miss your honest, friendly companionship... but as we both know, it would be an utter lie. I will therefore content myself with saying "Sod off, and if I ever meet you again, it'll be 20 billion years too soon!" [he leaves]
    Baldrick: Goodbye, you lazy, big-nosed, rubber-faced bastard.
  • The Dreaded: The mention of "Macbeth" is this to the actors. Blackadder gets a lot of enjoyment out of saying it to them as a result.
  • Every Man Has His Price: The offer of a thousand guinea raise per month is enough to convince Edmund to return and save the day.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Blackadder really thinks the theatre is a waste of time.
    Blackadder: A load of stupid actors, strutting about shouting, with their chests thrust out so far, you'd think their nipples were attached to a pair of charging elephants!
  • The Gadfly: Blackadder gets what amusement he can out of taunting and humiliating the actors. Since they're going out of their way to make his life difficult, it's hard to feel sorry.
  • Groin Attack: Referred to.
    Keanrick: [referring to Ggeorge's "actor's stance", standing with his legs wide apart] Your very posture tells me, "Here is a man of true greatness!"
    Blackadder: Either that, or "Here are my genitals, please kick them."
  • Implied Death Threat: "They do say, Mrs. Miggins, that verbal insults hurt more than physical pain. They are, of course, wrong, as you will soon discover when I stick this toasting fork in your head!"
  • Large Ham: Keanrick and Mossop are definitely this.
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