Dish and Dishonesty

BlackadderIn the aftermath of a General Election, the Prince Regent is in danger of being struck from the Civil List, bankrupting him. Edmund Blackadder, the Prince’s butler, attempts to guarantee the bill’s failure, but the MP with the swing vote dies unexpectedly. Edmund’s dogsbody, Baldrick, wins the resulting election (thanks to some “interference”) but the vote is lost anyway. This pushes the bill to the House of Lords, where Edmund hopes to not only save the Prince’s finances, but also elevate his own status as well…

Season 3 Regular Cast: Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Edmund Blackadder), Tony Robinson (Baldrick), Hugh Laurie (Prince George, The Prince Regent), Helen Atkinson-Wood (Mrs. Miggins)

Order the DVDswritten by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton
directed by Mandie Fletcher
music by Howard Goodall

Guest Cast: Vincent Hanna (Mr. Vincent Hanna, his own great great great grandfather), Denis Lill (Sir Talbot Buxomly), Simon Osborne (Pitt the Younger), Geoffrey McGivern (Ivor “Jest Ye Not Madam” Biggun), Dominic Martelli (Pitt the even Younger)

Notes: Helen Atkinson-Wood (no relation to Rowan) has made many appearances in British comedies such as The Young Ones and The Lenny Henry Show. She also starred in her own 1992 comedy series, Tales from the Poop Deck, as pirate Connie Blackheart.

Geoffrey McGivern is perhaps best known for his audio work in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, where he portrayed Ford Prefect on radio and on vinyl.

Vincent Hanna, a real-life news commentator, spoofs his own Election Day coverage in this episode.

Pitt the Younger was actually 24 when he became Prime Minister in 1783, the youngest to ever hold the post. In contrast to the portrayal here, Pitt was quite close to the Prince Regent, since they both had dealt with the mental deterioration of a father.

LogBook entry by Philip R. Frey

Ink and Incapability

BlackadderThe Prince Regent decides to increase his intellectual profile by befriending Dr. Samuel Johnson, the author of a new book, “The Dictionary”. Edmund, whose book, “Edmund: A Butler’s Tale”, was shunned by Dr. Johnson, schemes to prevent the Prince from patronizing him. But when Dr. Johnson lets out the fact that he had, in fact, intended to sponsor Edmund’s book, Edmund must repair the damage he’s done. Dr. Johnson, however, is notoriously hard headed and Baldrick, unfortunately, appears to have burned “The Dictionary”…

Order the DVDswritten by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton
directed by Mandie Fletcher
music by Howard Goodall

Guest Cast: Robbie Coltrane (Dr. Samuel Johnson), Lee Cornes (Shelley), Steve Steen (Byron), Jim Sweeney (Coleridge)

Notes: Robbie Coltrane is best known from his dramatic crime show, Cracker. He has also made appearances in the James Bond and Harry Potter series of films. His other Blackadder appearance is in Blackadder’s Christmas Carol.

Lee Cornes appeared previously in Blackadder II (Chains) and appears once more in Blackadder Goes Forth (Corporal Punishment).

LogBook entry by Philip R. Frey

Nob and Nobility

BlackadderIt’s the time of the French Revolution and all of London is being overrun with French aristocrats, much to the annoyance of Edmund. After he disparages The Scarlet Pimpernel in front of two noblemen, Edmund claims that he will go to France and rescue a nobleman. But when the revolution extends to the French Embassy while Edmund is visiting, he may need rescuing himself…

Order the DVDswritten by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton
directed by Mandie Fletcher
music by Howard Goodall

Guest Cast: Chris Barrie (Revolutionary Ambassador), Tim McInnerny (Lord Topper / The Comte d’Frufru / The Scarlet Pimpernel), Nigel Planer (Lord Smedley / Mme La Guillotine / The Scarlet Pimpernel)

Notes: Chris Barrie is best known from his UK sitcom roles: Arnold J. Rimmer in the sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf and Gordon Brittas in The Brittas Empire. He also portrays Lara Croft’s butler Hilary in the Tomb Raider series of films.

Tim McInnerny here makes his only appearance in Blackadder The Third. He chose not to portray a new version of Percy (for fear of being typecast), making this the only Blackadder series in which he was not a regular.

Nigel Planer is best known from his portrayal of hippie Neal on groundbreaking UK sitcom The Young Ones.

Nob and Nobility did not originally air in the United States, due to copyright issues concerning the character of The Scarlet Pimpernel.

LogBook entry by Philip R. Frey

Sense and Senility

BlackadderThe Prince is suffering from poor public relations, which coincides with an outbreak of anarchistic attacks. He decides to have two actors, Mossop & Keanrick, teach him how to effectively deliver a speech that Edmund has written. The palpable disdain that Edmund shows the actors drives a wedge between him and the Prince. Pushed too far, Edmund decides to leave for Sardinia, but the actors have plans that may change things…

Order the DVDswritten by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton
directed by Mandie Fletcher
music by Howard Goodall

Notes: Mossop and Keanrick’s anti-Macbeth “hex” chant goes: “Hot Potato / Orchestra Stalls / Puck Will Make Amends,” followed by the squeezing of the other’s nose. (“Ahhh!”)

Kenneth Connor is best known for his many appearances in the Carry On series of films and the France-set sitcom ‘Allo ‘Allo.

Ben Elton, co-writer of all Blackadder except the first series, makes his only acting appearance in Blackadder here, despite being an experienced performer in his own right.

LogBook entry by Philip R. Frey

Amy and Amiability

BlackadderWhen both Edmund and the Prince find themselves in financial difficulties, the only solution is for the Prince to marry into some money. With no viable prospects amongst the aristocracy, Edmund chooses the beautiful daughter of an industrialist. But Amy Hardwood seems to be even thicker than George and also seems to be hiding something…

Order the DVDswritten by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton
directed by Mandie Fletcher
music by Howard Goodall

Guest Cast: Roger Avon (The Duke of Cheapside), Warren Clarke (Josiah Hardwood), Barbara Horne (Sally Cheapside), Miranda Richardson (Amy Hardwood)

Notes: Miranda Richardson makes her first guest appearance here. The part of Amy Hardwood provided Richardson with the opportunity to both hearken back to her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in Blackadder II and also show off her comic range. She would return again for Blackadder’s Christmas Carol, Blackadder Goes Forth (General Hospital) and Blackadder: Back & Forth.

Roger Avon has had a long career in television including appearances on Benny Hill, Doctor Who, and Upstairs, Downstairs. His films include A Hard Day’s Night (1964), Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966) and Quartermass and the Pit (1967).

Warren Clarke is best known as Detective Superintendent Andrew Dalziel in the long running Dalziel And Pascoe series of TV movies. He also appears in the Blackadder mini-episode The Cavalier Years as Oliver Cromwell.

LogBook entry by Philip R. Frey

Duel and Duality

BlackadderThe Prince Regent is in trouble for having had a sexual dalliance with the nieces of the Duke of Wellington. When the Duke challenges the Prince to a duel, Edmund agrees to take his place. As the time of the duel approaches, each of Edmund’s plans for survival fall short…

Order the DVDswritten by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton
directed by Mandie Fletcher
music by Howard Goodall

Guest Cast: Stephen Fry (Duke of Wellington), Rowan Atkinson (McAdder), Gertan Klauber (King George III)

Notes: Fry returns to Blackadder after having been a regular in Blackadder II. He would return as a regular in Blackadder Goes Forth and for the specials. He again portrays the Duke of Wellington (among others) in Blackadder: Back & Forth.

Rowan Atkinson get a chance here to play opposite himself, in the dual roles of Edmund and his Scottish cousin, McAdder.

LogBook entry by Philip R. Frey

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