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The Book Series
The Live-Action TV series
- Ascended Fanon: When a series 2 sketch featured a very Camp friend of George IV's, fans assumed him to be Beau Brummel. When the character reappeared in series 5, he was explicitly identified as Beau Brummel.
- Conversely, the un-named young general who has his hair sniffed by Alexander the Great in the infamous first-series "Alexandria" sketch was assumed to be Alex's best friend (and possibly lover) Hephaestion. When Alex got his solo song in series 5, however, Hephaestion was explicitly indicated to be another actor in a very different makeup, subverting this trope completely.
- Casting Gag: The 2015 rebooted series features a sketch about Suleiman the Magnificent, the longest reigning Sultan of the Ottoman empire. Suleiman is played by Naz Osmanoglu, who is, in real life, an Imperial Prince of the Ottoman Empire.
- The Danza: The Norman dinner party segment is based on Abigail's Party, allowing Laurence Rickard to play Laurence.
- Descended Creator: Rickard was originally hired as a writer but was summarily promoted from back of the camera to front in the first series after creating Bob Hale, 'News at When' special correspondent, and his extended monologues. Rickard then took on other small supporting roles, proved versatile and popular, and by the second series was established as both a senior writer and part of the starring troupe.
- Fake Nationality: All the very English cast are also fairly adept at sounding Scottish, Welsh, Irish, French, etc. Baynton even gamely tackles a Californian accent-as a Steve Jobs Expy-for the 'aBook' sketch (that said, their ideas re: American 'cowboy' drawls are a bit less impressive).
- One World War One skit calls for French Canadian, Australian and South African accents. It doesn't really work, but major points for effort. Luckily the joke was that the accents were incomprehensible.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: For all the efforts that have been made to make the episodes available in 2018, it's now very difficult to find the original broadcast versions of two segments featuring Mary Seacole: the Cliff Whiteley segment featuring her and Florence Nightingale, and her song in Season 4. Both include lines stating that she was turned down for Florence's crew because she was black, a statement which received several complaints and was decried as being insulting to the legacies of the two, and as such was cut on both counts. Notice that the Mary Seacole song as found on Netflix has a second verse that sounds shorter than it should...
- Name's the Same: For the 2015 specials, one of the directors is called Ian Curtis. No, not that Ian Curtis...
- No Export for You: No DVD release other than Region 2, no legal streaming beyond season 3 (until the final two seasons were added to Netflix in 2018, and even then only in the UK).
- The Other Darrin: Emperor Caligula went from being brunet and played by Simon Farnaby in the first series, to Mathew Baynton and blond (perhaps referencing the notorious 1979 Malcolm McDowell softcore film) in the second. Next series Farnaby was back and in the blond wig, presumably because by then Baynton was also playing the brunet Emperor Elagabalus.
- Queen Victoria is the other major example. She was played by Sarah Hadland in old-age makeup (the sketches usually focusing on her mourning Prince Albert) in series one, but afterwards she was played by Martha Howe-Douglas from age 18 (her coronation) to her mid-80s.
- Real-Life Relative: In one "Historical Dates" sketch, Baynton and his infant son play cousins James Hamilton and Mary, Queen of Scots.
- Talking to Himself: At the end of the "Gorgeous George III" special, George III (Simon Farnaby) ends up talking to Death (also Farnaby).
- Typecasting: Both played straight and occasionally subverted by the producers when casting sketches. Young and naive types were usually played by Baynton; the craziest characters usually went to Farnaby; Magnificent Bastards to Willbond; the (very) average schlubs to Rickard; and the cute little Woobies, frequently with jerkass overtones, to Howick.
- What Could Have Been: For the Diamond Jubilee Pageant, a couple of sketches were planned featuring Charles II and Richard III, however the BBC cut them for time and in the end only The Thames Report with Bob Hale aired.
- Written by Cast Member: Performers Baynton and Willbond received several writing credits in Series Two (including Baynton's co-writing credit for "Literally (The Viking Song)".) In addition, improvisation among the starring cast was encouraged, and even sometimes necessary thanks to the rapid-fire pace of filming.
- You Look Familiar: In the rebooted series, Simon Farnaby reprises his role as King George III. The final sketch of the episode sees George being interviewed by Death ... who is also played by Simon Farnaby. In fact, the trope name is spoken verbatim.
The Cartoon series
- Creator Backlash: Terry Deary has disassociated himself from this series, saying his experience with American TV production was "very negative".
- Disowned Adaptation: Terry Deary does not care for the animated series.
- Talking to Himself: In the original US versions, Billy West is both Stitch and the Narrator. Every female character in the US version was voiced by Cree Summer and the males by West and Jess Harnell. This was not the case when the episodes were later dubbed in the UK.
The Audio series
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: It's rather hard to find physical copies of the BBC audio play and the ones found in newspapers and cereal boxes (mostly the latter two due to how they were transported). Unless you either have an Audible subscription for digital copies of the radio plays, or if you're familiar with local bookshops or where to buy used copies.