TELLY producers had a cunning plan to mark the 25th anniversary of Blackadder.
The idea was to show clips from the popular series, accompanied by interviews with the cast.
All the major actors agreed to take part . . . with the exception of star Rowan Atkinson.
And, as Atkinson played the title character in four incarnations, one of Baldrick’s cunning plans was needed. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find one.
You would forgive UKTV Gold executives for thinking “fortune had vomited on their eiderdown” once more.
But they went ahead without Atkinson to produce a documentary looking back on 25 years of the series, famous for Blackadder’s quotes.
You could say they “laughed at danger” and “dropped ice cubes down the vest of fear”.
Atkinson is a miss, of course, but all the other favourites are there.
UKTV’s celebration provides enough trivia and first-hand knowledge from the cast to keep fans happy.
The first of two celebratory programmes reveals how Edmund Blackadder came into being, how the character changed over the four series, and how the stellar cast was assembled.
It also reveals the real inspirations behind Baldrick’s many cunning plans.
Blackadder Exclusive: The Whole Rotten Saga, gathers together the cast and crew to provide a complete picture of the origins and evolution of the Blackadder dynasty.
It even has a new Blackadder theme tune, composed by the show’s original theme tune writer.
Those sharing their Blackadder knowledge include writer and creator Richard Curtis and writer Ben Elton.
Actors Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerny, and Miranda Richardson also share their memories.
Previously unseen footage of the historical sitcom reveals the cast in rehearsals, getting into character during make-up sessions, and donning their elaborate costumes.
A show insider is quoted as saying: “It was a shame that Rowan wouldn’t appear on the reunion shows as all his friends were delighted to join us.
“But he sent his apologies. Rowan is very private . . . he doesn’t do interviews and he rarely makes public appearances.”
V BLACKADDER EXCLUSIVE: THE WHOLE ROTTEN SAGA, UKTV Gold, Thursday, 9pm.