BLACKADDER 5

BLACKADDER 5: THE VILLAGE YEARS

EPISODE 1 – A RIVAL

An Unauthorized BLACKADDER/THE PRISONER parody Written by Melanie Miller

With heartfelt thanks to Mitch (Take my Baldrick–please!) Patterson and Lyndon Fletcher Some dialogue and scenes written by Tom Golden

The opening sequence is a long, deserted runway. A thunderclap is heard, followed by a hauntingly familiar trumpet, bongo drums, electric guitar, brass section and snare drum theme. . .The runway is empty except for one vehicle in the distance, speeding toward the camera. . .it’s a sporty Lotus 7, driven by a grim man with laser-blue eyes and an intense expression. The car drives under the camera, which then pans off to the left. . .where a beat-up Citroen 2CV is parked. The wind from the Lotus blows the hood down, whacking the driver neatly in the forehead. The driver straightens up, and we see Edmund Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) glaring down the road at the retreating Lotus 7. He cocks his arm and gives an age-old signal to the driver. Cut to overhead shot of Edmund in his Citroen, puttering through the streets of London. While the titles are rolling, he manages to get cut off by everything from a lorry to a little old lady on a bicycle, finally pulling into an underground garage, with the slowest garage door opener ever, right behind the Lotus 7. As he tries to operate an official-looking passcard slot, it promptly shreds his pass. Cut to Edmund walking down a long, empty corridor, obviously angry. Abruptly, two guards jump out of alcoves and grab him, slamming him against the wall in spreadeagle position and roughly searching him. We can’t hear anything, but Blackadder is obviously being searched everywhere, including places he doesn’t allow his doctor to see. During the search, one of the guards locates an MI5 pass, and calls off the other guard. They shrug and retreat down the corridor. Edmund staggers into a small, drab office, where George Hanover (Hugh Laurie) is puttering with a tall stack of paperwork.

EDMUND:
(throwing himself into a chair) You would not believe what I just went through.

GEORGE:
Oh, not the strip search again?

EDMUND:
Well, no–

GEORGE:
With the body cavity probe?

EDMUND:
George–

GEORGE:
And those cold metal pliers? Gosh, I remember once how they stuck them up your–

EDMUND:
George, if you don’t shut up immediately I’ll be forced to rip out your tongue with this staple remover.

GEORGE:
(thoughtfully) Ah. Well, then, I shan’t say another word about it.

EDMUND:
Good.

GEORGE:
I know when to keep my mouth closed.

EDMUND:
Excellent.

GEORGE:
In fact, I once kept so quiet that people didn’t know I was around

(Edmund bounces dictionary off George’s head.)

EDMUND:
I don’t know how long I can put up with this. (notices paperwork for first time) Please tell me Sir Charles doesn’t want that sorted by the number of vowels per sheet again.

GEORGE:
We should be so lucky, eh? No, Sir Charles’ secretary went on holiday, and I was asked to fill in for her. Quite a step up from chief paper shredder, eh?

EDMUND:
Congratulations–I’ll send fruit.

GEORGE:
You know, Blackadder, you might be happier if you showed a bit more team spirit.

EDMUND:
Why should I be happy? Two months ago I was a top-level agent, knee-deep in danger, excitement, and oversexed women with double entendre names. And now I’m filing reports on “Possible Russian Influences in Sussex Arts and Crafts Associations.” What is there in this miserable existance that I should be happy about?

GEORGE:
Well, you have me as an officemate.

EDMUND:
Remind me to slit my wrists tomorrow. You know, this really isn’t fair. I didn’t know she was the Russian ambassador’s wife–I thought she was just some Slavic slottie with a taste for British manhood.

GEORGE:
And wound up with you instead, eh?

EDMUND:
(to himself) If it wasn’t for ZM73, I’d be engaged to Janet right now, lazing about in the good will of Sir Charles. I’ll bet Zed-Em never gets a paper cut from filing, does he? Well, we’ll just have to see what we can do about that.

EDMUND:
It’s come to my attention that one of our top operatives (looks around) may be going over.

GEORGE:
You mean he’s spoiling?

EDMUND:
No, you abysmal git, I mean he’s defecting.

GEORGE:
Oh! Well, then, we’re going to look pretty silly if the Other Side finds out about that!

EDMUND:
Yes–

GEORGE:
I mean, one of our top spies, not potty-trained yet.

EDMUND:
George, how did you get into MI5?

GEORGE:
I was recruited.

EDMUND:
Yes, from the Home for Mental Defectives. Never mind–just get this to Sir Charles.

SIR CHARLES:
So Blackadder wants to retire, eh? About bloody time–I was running out of mindless makework for him

AIDE:
But sir, he did have access to certain levels of information. It may not be a good idea to have him leave the organization. A loose cannon, one might say.

SIR CHARLES:
A loose popgun is more like it. But you’re right–it’s not worth having him on the streets. Get me Number One–we’ll have to make some special arrangements for our Mr. Blackadder.

EDMUND:
Maybe I should just chuck it all. Buy myself a chicken farm in Kent, find some oversexed milkmaid with the IQ of straw, and settle down to a mindless life of abusing farm animals.

FRED:
Good work if you can get it, mate.

EDMUND:
Yes, I’m sure you speak from experience.

Edmund heads to the men’s room. We see a stall, with two men dreseed as undertakers standing outside it. A sudden burst of gas is released beneath the bottom of the stall (Sudden break to opening credits) He said he wanted to resign, And find a farmwife to encumber; But in the Village he will find– Blackadder’s just another Number!

Blackadder! Blackadder!

The shame of MI5!

Blackadder! Blackadder!

He won’t get out alive!

Edmund wakes up in a mail sack. Poking his head out, he sees that he is in an apartment which is decorated like his own home. He stuggles to get out of the sack and staggers to the window.

EDMUND:
Oh, God, I’ll never drink with Bottomless Fred again.

Edmund looks out the window and sees something drastically different from Guildford…

EDMUND:
Bloody hell.

VOICE:
You are in The Village.

Edmund whirls around, trying to locate the voice.

EDMUND:
(curiously) That’s the first time I’ve ever HEARD capitalized letters. (in a normal tone) I don’t suppose you’d care to part with some more news, such as–where on God’s green earth is The Village?

VOICE:
That would be telling.

EDMUND:
(nods) Right–I’m locked up in some knock-off of my flat, and someone with the mental capacity of a prawn is attempting to playing mind games for which he’s not equipped. By any chance, does your name happen to be–

VOICE:
I am Number Two.

EDMUND:
Oh. I was about to say Baldrick, but you couldn’t be him–he can’t count that high.

VOICE:
You are Number Five.

EDMUND:
5? (to himself) That’s all? What do you want from me?

VOICE:
We want INFORMATION . . . INFORMATION . . . INFORMATION . .

EDMUND:
I’m stuffed with it. The name of Her Majesty’s dressmaker, the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow, a complete set of naughty lyrics to “Knees Up Mother Brown”–

VOICE:
By hook or by crook, we’ll get it…

EDMUND:
(tightens up, wincing) By any chance, did you train with the MI5 security forces? They’ve developed this similar fondness for instruments–

VOICE:
Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. . .

EDMUND:
I thought so. Now where the _hell_ am I?

(The phone rings. Edmund picks it up.)

NEW VOICE:
Good morning, 5. Trust you slept well. Ignore the mysterious voice–it’s a tape, I’m afraid. We play it to intimidate all our new arrivals. Come and have breakfast with me. Number Two — the Green Dome.

Edmund hangs up. For the first time, he notices the lava lamps positioned in various places around the room.

EDMUND:
Good Lord–I’ve been kidnapped by hippies.

Edmund approaches the door, which opens for him automatically. He looks around and, finding he is lost, stops a passer-by — Number Six (Patrick McGoohan)

EDMUND:
Pardon me, but could you tell me how to get to Number Two’s place– (he realizes who he’s speaking to) Oh, God, it’s you.

NUMBER 6:
I didn’t expect to see you either, old boy. I assume it’s your turn with Number Two–although I can’t see why they bothered. (he turns and gives the dome a cold glance) Down the hill, down the street, across the square and up the steps. You can’t miss it. Be seeing you. (Gives Village salute and walks briskly away, smiling enigmatically)

EDMUND:
(looking to the sky) All right, let’s tot up this list–I’ve been gassed, kidnapped, dumped in a lookalike flat, been told that I’m in some cocked-up Village, instructed to meet with some warty-nosed number in a pus-green dome, and have run into ZM 73, the one man I’d gladly see wrapped in cellophane and thrown into the Thames. What else could go wrong

(Baldrick enters, wearing a striped shirt and a straw hat.)

BALDRICK:
Hello, Mr. B.

(Edmund turns, looks at him.)

EDMUND:
(to heaven again) I had to ask. Baldrick, I’m appalled to hear myself say this, but I’m actually glad to see you. How did you get here?

BALDRICK:
I fell asleep in your wardrobe.

EDMUND:
Much like the average household pest.

BALDRICK:
And when I woke up, I was here. Oh, and you shouldn’t call me by my name anymore, Mr. B.

EDMUND:
Assuming that I should ever become completely deranged and want to call you, what should I use?

(Baldrick holds out his pennyfarthing badge proudly.)

BALDRICK:
I made it myself.

EDMUND:
(reading) One-tenth. Tell me, Baldrick, is that your number or your IQ?

SCENE 4: NUMBER TWO’S CONTROL ROOM

Number Two: (PETER COOK) is speaking on several wireless phones, pacing nervously as he speaks–

NUMBER 2:
Of course you give ME the toughies. ZM 73 is a legend, and my predecessor walks out, leaving me with the bag. (listens) 5? Why bother?

(Edmund enters, looking around the room suspiciously.)

NUMBER 2:
Ah. Good morning, Number 5. I trust you slept well.

(Edmund sits down.)

EDMUND:
Oh, I thoroughly enjoy being gassed and stuffed into a mail sack. Do it every weekend. I suppose you’re going to explain to me why I’m here.

NUMBER 2:
Of course. I am Number 2, and–

EDMUND:
Look, if this is about the Russian ambassador’s wife, the caviar, and the horse, I can explain–

NUMBER 2:
No, no. I’m not interested in. . .a horse?

EDMUND:
Er, yes. She was demonstrating a bit of Russian history to me, one of their personages, you might say.

NUMBER 2:
Such as?

EDMUND:
Catherine the Great.

NUMBER 2:
(rolls his eyes) Before our little segue through the animal kingdom, I was talking about your resignation from MI5. And the reason you gave–

EDMUND:
What reason? (thinks, then jumps up) Wait a minute– Ididn’t want to quit–

NUMBER 2:
That’s not what we were told. According to a certain G. Hanover, you were reported as wanting to retire because of (he reads from a paper) “spoilage.” And according to MI5 rules regarding agents with top secret information, we can’t let them leave the service without making sure that they haven’t been recruited by the Other Side.

EDMUND:
(suddenly filled with self-importance) Oh, well, that’s different. Top secret agents and all–

NUMBER 2:
Unfortunately, Number 5, we don’t want anything from you

EDMUND:
What?

NUMBER 2:
Quite true, I’m afraid. We don’t give a tinker’s dam for what’s in that pointed skull of yours. It’s perfectly useless.

EDMUND:
(gets to his feet) Now, wait a minute. I was a top-level spy–

NUMBER 2:
(yawning) Oh, and I’m sure you typed neatly, too. Color-coded with the best of them, licked envelopes to perfection. No, you’re here simply to keep you out of the way until you do theworld a favor and die.

EDMUND:
Look, I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed–unless it’s by scantily-clad nurses–or numbered. (he kneels abruptly) Apart from that, my life is yours.

NUMBER 2:
Sorry, we’re not interested. Number Two presses a button on the console, and a table with a plate of eggs, bacon, toast and orange juice pops up from the floor in front of Edmund.

NUMBER 2:
I do enjoy doing that. Breakfast?

EDMUND:
No, thanks. I’ll just chew on my arm for awhile.

EDMUND:
I’d be good for your organization, really I would.

NUMBER 2:
No thanks.

EDMUND:
I could be an undercover agent, root out the undesirables.

NUMBER 2:
But they’re all undesirable.

EDMUND:
Oh. Well. . .what about ZM-73?

(Number 2 stops in his tracks.)

NUMBER 2:
You know about Number 6?

EDMUND:
Ran into the bugger when I was coming here. Look, I can help you break him.

NUMBER 2:
Annoying him to death wasn’t what we had in mind.

EDMUND:
Oh, God, this is embarrassing–Edmund Blackadder, descendent of kings, mauled to death by a weather balloon.

(Rover rolls over him, and he starts to smother. Fade to black.)

EDMUND:
Where am I?

NURSE:
In hospital.

EDMUND:
Thank God! It was all a horrible dream!

A different Number Two (Brian Blessed) walks in.

NUMBER 2:
Hallo, Number 5! Feeling any better?

EDMUND:
Ahhhhhhhhh!

NUMBER 2:
Look, if you can find out why he wanted to retire–and bring us proof of it–we’ll let you go. But not until then.

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