|Episode no.||Series 2|
( Blackadder II )
|Directed by||Mandie Fletcher|
|Written by|| Ben Elton |
|Original air date||9 January 1986|
"Bells" is the first episode of the BBC sitcom Blackadder II , the second series of Blackadder , which was set in Elizabethan England from 1558 to 1603. Although "Bells" was the first to be broadcast on BBC1, it was originally destined to be the second episode.
The plot of the episode, of a young woman disguising herself as a man to go into service and falling in love with her employer, is particularly based on a significant plot thread of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night .
Kate, an attractive young woman, is attempting to comfort her father upon her mother's death – even though her mother is alive and has run off with Kate's uncle and is living in Droitwich, leaving them destitute. He suggests that Kate become a prostitute to solve their money troubles. Kate refuses indignantly and decides to go to London to seek her fortune, over her father's objections ("Why walk all the way to London when you can make a fortune lying on your back?!").
Lord Blackadder is at home, target practising with his bow and arrow (his servant, Baldrick, is holding the target). Hanger-on Lord Percy enters and announces that he is in love with Jane Harrington. Blackadder remarks casually that he and Baldrick had both slept with her, which throws Percy's aim off and he shoots Baldrick in the groin with an arrow. Kate enters, disguised as a boy, introduces herself as "Bob," and asks to be accepted into Blackadder's service. Blackadder hires her on the spot, firing Baldrick in the process. However, Baldrick is allowed to stay and work for Blackadder, as long as he works a bit harder and lives in the gutter.
Over the next few weeks Lord Blackadder finds himself strangely attracted to his new servant and spends a great deal of time with "Bob". Lord Melchett and the Queen are concerned by this, and even Blackadder himself begins to worry after he nearly kisses "Bob" during a friendly tussle. He seeks advice from a doctor, who prescribes leeches to be dissolved in his mouth,and (on Baldrick's advice) consults the Wise Woman, who gives him three options: 1) kill Bob; 2) commit suicide; or 3) go ahead and sleep with Bob and, to ensure no one ever finds out, kill everyone in the entire world.
With no other options, Blackadder orders Bob out of his service, but the truth is revealed (along with "Bob's" breasts) and after a very brief sexual encounter Blackadder asks Bob/Kate to marry him. She accepts, and the Queen consents, after being reassured that Kate's nose is not prettier than hers. Baldrick is chosen as Kate's bridesmaid, while Edmund's choice for best man is his old school chum, Lord Flashheart, "the best sword, the best shot, the best sailor and the best kisser in the Kingdom".
The wedding service does not go as smoothly as planned. Edmund bribes Kate's father to leave before anyone sees him, and Lord Flashheart has not shown up. With no best man, Blackadder reluctantly asks Percy to fill in. At that moment Flashheart crashes through the roof, throws Percy out, and begins chatting up every woman in the room, including Nursie and Baldrick. He is quite taken with "Bob" and proceeds to steal her from Blackadder. The two of them swap clothes as Kate reveals she now prefers boys' clothing and Flashheart prefers dresses, announce they are running away together, set off a bomb, and disappear. Melchett reminds Edmund that in such circumstances, it is customary for the groom to marry the bridesmaid, a suggestion positively received by Baldrick.
The episode marks the first appearance of the Bob/Kate and Flashheart archetypes that appear again in Blackadder Goes Forth . Rik Mayall, who played Lord Flashheart, allegedly designed the character's costume himself.John Lloyd has said that Mayall virtually rewrote his part to feature "loads of jokes", which annoyed the writers, Curtis and Elton.
This was the only episode of the series to feature location filming, at Wilton House near Salisbury in Wiltshire.
The music performed as Blackadder courts "Bob" is Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on Greensleeves".
In 1993, in conjunction with Comic Relief, this episode was given away free on cassette tape with boxes of PG Tips tea.
Bob also appears in Ben Elton's 2016 sitcom, Upstart Crow. Gabrielle Glaister reprises the role, and once again plays a woman pretending to be a man, this time in order to be a judge in the episode "The Quality of Mercy". Using the full name "Robert Roberts", it's not been confirmed whether this is the same Bob from Blackadder II.
Blackadder is a series of four BBC One pseudohistorical British sitcoms, plus several one-off instalments, which originally aired from 1983 to 1989. All television episodes starred Rowan Atkinson as the antihero Edmund Blackadder and Tony Robinson as Blackadder's dogsbody, Baldrick. Each series was set in a different historical period, with the two protagonists accompanied by different characters, though several reappear in one series or another, e.g., Melchett and Lord Flashheart.
Edmund Blackadder is the single name given to a collection of fictional characters who appear in the BBC mock-historical comedy series Blackadder, each played by Rowan Atkinson. Although each series is set within a different period of British history, each character is part of the same familial dynasty and is usually called Edmund Blackadder. Each character also shares notable personality traits and characteristics throughout each incarnation. In a 2001 poll conducted by Channel 4, Edmund Blackadder was ranked third on their list of the 100 Greatest TV Characters.
Blackadder Goes Forth is the fourth and final series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder, written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, which aired from 28 September to 2 November 1989 on BBC1. The series placed the recurring characters of Blackadder, Baldrick and George in a trench in Flanders during World War I, and followed their various doomed attempts to escape from the trenches to avoid death under the misguided command of General Melchett. The series references famous people of the time and criticises the British Army's leadership during the campaign, culminating in the poignant ending of its final episode.
Blackadder II is the second series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder, written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, which aired from 9 January 1986 to 20 February 1986. The series is set in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603), and sees the principal character, Edmund, Lord Blackadder, as a Tudor courtier attempting to win the favour of the Queen while avoiding execution by decapitation, a fate that befell many of her suitors.
Blackadder the Third is the third series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder, written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, which aired from 17 September to 22 October 1987. The series is set during the Georgian Era, and sees the principal character, Mr. E. Blackadder, serve as butler to the Prince Regent and have to contend with, or cash in on, the fads of the age embraced by his master.
Blackadder's Christmas Carol, a one-off episode of Blackadder, is a parody of Charles Dickens' 1843 novella A Christmas Carol. It is set between Blackadder the Third (1987) and Blackadder Goes Forth (1989), and is narrated by Hugh Laurie. Produced by the BBC, it was first broadcast on BBC1 on 23 December 1988.
Blackadder: Back & Forth is a 1999 science fiction comedy short film based on the BBC period sitcom Blackadder that marks the end of the Blackadder saga. It was commissioned for showing in the specially built SkyScape cinema erected southeast of the Millennium Dome on the Greenwich peninsula in South London. The film follows Lord Edmund Blackadder and his idiotic servant, Baldrick, on a time travel adventure that brings the characters into contact with several figures significant to British history.
"Goodbyeee", or "Plan F: Goodbyeee", is the sixth and final episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, the fourth series of British historical sitcom Blackadder. The episode was first broadcast on BBC1 in the United Kingdom on 2 November 1989, shortly before Armistice Day. Apart from the one-off short film Blackadder: Back & Forth made a decade later, it was the last episode of Blackadder to be produced and transmitted.
"Corporal Punishment", or "Plan B: Corporal Punishment", is the second episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, the fourth series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 5 October 1989. Blackadder faces a court-martial for shooting a carrier pigeon.
"General Hospital", or "Plan E: General Hospital", is the fifth episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, the fourth series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder.
"Head" is the second episode of the BBC period comedy Blackadder II, the second series of Blackadder, which was set in Elizabethan England from 1558 to 1603.
"Chains" is the final episode of the BBC sitcom Blackadder II, the second series of Blackadder, which was set in Elizabethan England from 1558 to 1603. Power-mad and self-professed "master of disguise", Prince Ludwig the Indestructible kidnaps Lord Blackadder and Lord Melchett. They escape his clutches but Prince Ludwig infiltrates the palace during a fancy dress ball.
"Beer" is the fifth episode of the BBC sitcom Blackadder II, the second series of Blackadder, which was set in Elizabethan England from 1558 to 1603. In the episode, an embarrassing incident with a turnip, an ostrich feather and a fanatically Puritan aunt leads to a right royal to-do in the Blackadder household. The episode marks Hugh Laurie's first ever Blackadder appearance, and Miriam Margolyes's second. Laurie would go on to appear in every subsequent episode of the show.
"Money" is the fourth episode of the BBC sitcom Blackadder II, the second series of Blackadder, which was set in Elizabethan England from 1558 to 1603.
"Potato" is the third episode of the BBC sitcom Blackadder II, the second series of Blackadder, which was set in Elizabethan England from 1558 to 1603.
"Private Plane", or "Plan D: Private Plane", is the fourth episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, the fourth series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder.
"Major Star", or "Plan C: Major Star", is the third episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, the fourth series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder. It originally aired on 12 October 1989.
"The Black Seal" is the sixth and final episode of The Black Adder, the first serial in the BBC Television Blackadder series. Set in late 15th-century England, the episode concludes the alternative history of the last years of the House of York with the final adventure of Prince Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh, son of the fictional King Richard IV. The story follows a conspiracy by Edmund to overthrow the King and seize the Throne of England for himself, assisted by a band of violent mercenaries.
Baldrick is the name of several fictional characters featured in the long-running BBC historic comedy television series Blackadder. Each one serves as Edmund Blackadder's servant and sidekick and acts as a foil to the lead character. Each series of Blackadder is set in a different period in British history, and each Baldrick character is a descendant of the Baldrick from the preceding series. Just as Blackadder exists in many incarnations throughout the ages, so does Baldrick; whenever there is a Blackadder there is a Baldrick serving him. They are all portrayed by Sir Tony Robinson.
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