Blackadder II

England 1558 – 1603. The filthy genes of the Blackadder dynasty bubble back to the surface of the melting pot of history as Lord Edmund, arrogant peer-about-town, swaggers back with a big head and small beard in search of grace and favour from stark raving mad Queen Bess.

Regular cast:

Edmund Blackadder – Rowan Atkinson
Baldrick – Tony Robinson
Lord Percy – Tim McInnerny
Nursie – Patsy Byrne
Melchett – Stephen Fry
Queen Elizabeth I – Miranda Richardson

Episode 1: Bells
First broadcast 9th January 1986

Served by a dungball in a dress and accompanied by a bird-brained dimwit he can’t shake off, Edmund, bastard great, great grandson of the repulsive original, is reasonably normal – until he met Bob. Edmund falls in love with his new man-servant (Gabrielle Glaister), who is really a girl in disguise. Lord Flashheart turns up to spoil the wedding.

Extra cast:
Kate / Bob – Gabrielle Glaister
Father of Kate – Edward Jewesbury
Wisewoman – Barbara Miller
Lord Flasheart – Rik Mayall
Doctor Leech – John Grillo
Young crone – Sadie Shimmin

Episode 2: Head
First broadcast 16th January 1986

Edmund, a newly-appointed Minister in charge of Religious Genocide and Lord High Executioner, finds himself in a spot of bother when he completely ruins Lord Farrow’s weekend by cutting off his head.

Extra cast:
Lady Farrow – Holly de Jong
Gaoler Ploppy – Bill Wallis
Mrs. Ploppy – Linda Polan
Earl Farrow – Patrick Duncan

Episode 3: Potato
First broadcast 23rd January 1986

Blackadder sets off unwillingly to seek out new potatoes and to boldly go where Sir Rather-a-Wally Raleigh has already gone before.

Extra cast:
Captain Rum – Tom Baker
Sir Walter Raleigh – Simon Jones

Episode 4: Money
First broadcast 6th February 1986

Trouble is in store for Edmund when the baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells drops by unexpectedly and tries to shove a red hot poker up places where a cotton bud would be kinder.

Extra cast:
Bishop of Bath & Wells – Ronald Lacey
Mollie – Cassie Stuart
Mrs. Pants – Lesley Nicol
Mr. Pants – Barry Craine
Arthur the Sailor – John Pierce Jones
Tom the Mad Beggar – Tony Aitken
Leonardo Acropolis – Philip Pope
Messenger – Piers Ibbotson

Episode 5: Beer
First broadcast 13th February 1986

An embarrassing incident with a turnip, an ostrich feather and a fanatically puritan aunt lead to a right royal to-do in the Blackadder household.

Extra cast:
Lady Whiteadder – Miriam Margoyles
Simon Partridge – Hugh Laurie
Geoffrey Piddle – Roger Blake
Monk – William Hootkins
Lord Whiteadder – Daniel Thorndike

Episode 6: Chains
First broadcast 20th February 1986

Edmund is slightly inconvenienced when a fat-headed German chamberpot boxes him up in a chestful of iron spikes and leaves him to play charades with a crazed Spanish interrogator.

Extra cast:
Prince Ludwig – Hugh Laurie
Torturer – Max Harvey
1st guard – Mark Arden
2nd guard – Lee Cornes

Impress your friends with some useless trivia from the Blackadder II archives.

Ben Elton was brought on for some writing duties by Richard Curtis because Rowan didn’t fancy doing it anymore.
The second series was broadcast nearly two and a half years after the first.
Ben Elton was often the studio warm-up man.
The episodes Bells and Head are shown in the wrong order (check Percy’s beard)
The actress who played Bob was at school with Ben Elton.
Rumour has it, Ben got his root vegetables mixed up. As the thingy-shaped turnip should have been a parsnip. But it’s not as funny is it?
The funny little man seen annoying Edmund in the closing credits is actor Tony Aitken – the same bloke that played Tom in ‘Money’ (thanks James)
The name on the gravestone in ‘Money’ is that of a real person – Bill was Richard’s neighbour at the time and promised to write him into the script

Whose who on the crew:
People whose job titles always appear on the back of the programs you get at local theatrical emporiums.

Written by: Richard Curtis and Ben Elton
Director: Mandie Fletcher
Producer: John Lloyd
Music – Howard Goodall
Graphic design – Graham Kern
Properties buyer – Monica Boggust
Costume designer – Annie Hardinge
Make-up designer – Vicky Pocock
Production assistant – Amita Lochab
Assistant floor manager – Sarah Gowers
Vision mixer – Heather Gilder
Senior cameraman – Ron Green
Videotape editor – Chris Wadsworth
Studio lighting – Henry Barber
Studio sound – Neil Sadwick
Production manager – Prue Saenger
Designer – Antony Thorpe

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