Blackadder Cavalier Years Full Script

Blackadder : The Cavalier Years Full Script Blackadder Special

This is the full script for Blackadder: The Cavalier Years. It was a 15-minute special set during the English Civil War, and shown as part of Comic Relief.

Blackadder Cavalier Years Full Script

Blackadder – The Cavalier Years Full Script

 

Cast

  • Sir Edmund Blackadder – ROWAN ATKINSON
  • Baldrick – TONY ROBINSON
  • King Charles I – STEPHEN FRY
  • Oliver Cromwell – WARREN CLARKE

*****

Narrator:  In 1648, King Charles was in flight from the wrath of Cromwell
	   & his Roundheads.  Only two men remained faithful, risking certain
	   death by their fidelity to the crown.  One was the sole descendent
	   of a great historical English dynasty -- his name, Sir Edmund
	   Blackadder.  The other was the sole descendent of an unfortunate
	   meeting between a pig-farmer & bearded lady.  History has, quite
	   rightly, forgotten his name.
 
 
	[Blackadder Hall; November 1648]
 
Edmund:  [coming into the hall (same set as Blackadder's quarters in BA3)]
	 Baldrick!
 
Baldrick:  [cutting heads off fish]  Yes, sir?
 
Edmund:  [throws his hat down; rubs his hands together]  Get me some mulled
	 ale, will you?  I'm freezing.
 
Baldrick:  How's the King, sir?
 
Edmund:  Erm, about as comfortable as can be expected for a man who's
	 spending the winter in a blackcurrant bush.
 
Baldrick:  [dropping spices into an ale goblet]  Do you think the Roundheads
	   will find him?  [gives ale goblet to Edmund]
 
Edmund:  Certainly not.  I've assured him that he is as likely to be caught
	 as fox being chased by a pack of one-legged hunting tortoises.
	 [drinks]
 
Baldrick:  [challengingly]  Is that true?
 
Edmund:  Yes, of course it's true.  Have you ever known me to lie to the
King?
 
Baldrick:  Yes.
 
	[Edmund quickly puts down his ale, grabs Baldrick from across the
	 table, picks up a knife and holds it to him.]
 
Baldrick:  No.
 
Edmund:  Exactly.  He is absolutely safe as long as you keep your fat mouth
	 shut.
 
Baldrick:  You can trust me, sir.
 
Edmund:  [laughs; lets go; puts down knife]  Right, Baldrick; I'm off to
	 answer the call of nature.  [heads for stairs]  If, by any freak
	 chance, Oliver Cromwell drops in here for a cup of milk in the next
	 ninety seconds, remember: [points at Baldrick from the top of the
	 stairs; speaks insistently] The King is not hiding here.
 
Baldrick:  Yes, sir.  [goes back to chopping fish heads; begins to sing]
	   "Greensleeves is--"
 
	[Oliver Cromwell drops in.  He is accompanied by a Roundhead.]
 
Cromwell:  Good evening, citizen!  I am Oliver Cromwell.  My men have
	   surrounded your house, and I am looking for royalist scum.
	   [draws his sword; points it at Baldrick]  Is the King hiding here?
 
Baldrick:  Erm...  [thinks ... thinks ... thinks ...]  No.
 
Cromwell:  [points sword up to Baldrick's throat]  On pain of death and
	   damnation, are you absolutely sure?
 
Baldrick:  Yes, I am.
 
Cromwell:  I see.  [sheaths sword]  Well then, my proud beauty [puts his hand
	   behind Baldrick's head], you won't mind if my men come in from the
	   cold, will you...
 
Roundhead:  [shouts out the door]  Men! Come in from the cold, will you!
 
Cromwell:  [picks up a purple cup and the milk jug]  Now; we shall all have
	   a cup of milk by your fireside.
 
Baldrick:  All right, but don't touch the purple cup.
 
Cromwell:  Why not?
 
Baldrick:  That's the King's.
 
 
	[Two Weeks Later.  The Tower of London.]
 
	[King Charles is praying at the foot of the bed.  The door opens, and
	 he stands and turns as Cromwell and a guard enter.]
 
Cromwell:  [to guard]  Thank you, citizen.  You may leave me alone with
	   King Charles.
 
	[The guard bows and exits.]
 
King:  Ah, Mr Cromwell! How delightful to see you again.  [shakes Cromwell's
       hand]  Um, [don't get up?].  Tell me: Er, have you come far?
 
Cromwell:  I have, sir! from country squire to Lord Protector of England!
 
King:  Fascinating! Absolutely fascinating.  Erm, tell me: Er, what exactly
       does a Lord Protector do, as it were?
 
Cromwell:  He spells your doom, sir!
 
King:  He spells my doom?  Wonderful!  Well, that's particularly exciting,
       because so many people these days can't spell at all! er,
particularly,
       as you know, in the inner cities, which is my area of interest.
 
Cromwell:  Pretty speech, sir! But all your fine words won't save you from 
	   the scaffold!
 
	[A cowled priest has entered]
 
King:  [to Cromwell]  Jolly good!  Fascinating!  Carry on...
 
Cromwell:  A priest, sir, to help you make your peace with God before you
die!
	   [exits]
 
King:  [to priest]  Ah, hello!
 
Edmund:  [for the priest is he]  Your Majesty, I can arrange for certain
	 monies to be paid, to allow you to escape.  [removes cowl]
 
King:  Blackadder!  You're dressed as a priest! How dangerous and stupid
       and perverted!  It's just like school!  [mumbles something]
 
Edmund:  Sire, this is a matter of life and death.
 
King:  Nonsense, Blackadder -- I don't think there's a jury in England that
       would bring in a verdict of `guilty' against >me<.
 
	[There's a knock on the door, and the guard returns, delivering
	 a piece of paper to Edmund.]
 
Guard:  Your Majesty -- the verdict of the jury.  [exits]
 
King:  So, what does it say? Er, `Guilty', or `Not Guilty'?
 
Edmund:  [looks at it]  I'll give you two guesses.
 
King:  Er, `Not Guilty'?
 
Edmund:  One more guess.
 
 
	[Blackadder Hall.  Baldrick is holding a fish in his right hand, and
	 whacking at its head with a wooden rod.  He then puts the rod down
	 and inserts a knife down the fish's `neck'.  Edmund enters.]
 
Edmund:  Oh, damn -- one measly civil war in the entire history of England,
	 and I'm on the wrong bloody side!
 
Baldrick:  Something wrong, sir?
 
Edmund:  Yes, Baldrick, yes, there is.  Don't you realise that, if the King
	 dies, we royalists are doomed?  We will enter a hideous age of
	 puritanism -- they'll close all the theatres; lace handkerchiefs
	 for men will be illegal; and I won't be able to find a friendly
	 face to sit on this side of Boulogne.  If they so much as suspect
	 our loyalties, our property will be forfeit and we'll be for the
	 chop.
 
Baldrick:  Ooh, I love chops...
 
Edmund:  Baldrick, your brain is like the four-headed man-eating haddock
	 fish-beast of Aberdeen.
 
Baldrick:  In what way?
 
Edmund:  It doesn't exist.  Oh god, what are we going to do?
 
Baldrick:  Don't despair, sir -- something will pop up.
 
Edmund:  Not under puritanism, it won't.  We must do something, otherwise
	 the Blackadders are as doomed as that ant.
 
Baldrick:  What ant?
 
Edmund:  [picks up a meat tenderiser, bangs it against the table, then holds
	  up the tenderiser for Baldrick to see]  That one.
 
 
	[January 30th.  The day of the Execution of King Charles the First.]
 
	[The Tower of London.  King Charles sits on the bed.]
 
King:  So this is the day of the execution of Charles the First...
 
Edmund:  [tossing an orange from the fruit basket to himself]  Absolutely
not,
	 Your Majesty!  Those Roundhead traitors have one final hurdle that
	 they will never straddle.
 
King:  How fascinating!  Erm, what is that, exactly?
 
Edmund:  They will never find a man to behead you.  They'd have hundreds of
	 volunteers to cut Cromwell's head off -- he's such an ugly devil.
	 He's got so many warts on his face that it's only when he sneezes
	 that you find out which one is his nose.  But they will never find
	 a man to execute you.
 
King:  [stands]  Well, you see, I find that absolutely tragic!  You know,
       there are so many young people who would leap at a chance like this.
       Oh, I don't know ... all they need is the initiative, somehow.
       I suppose, in a sense, that's what my [?] Scheme is all about.
 
Edmund:  Really...
 
King:  Yes.  On the other hand, of course, I don't >want< my head cut off...
       Er, it's a question of balance, isn't it? like with so many things.
 
Edmund:  Shut up -- with the greatest respect -- Your Majesty.
 
King:  Thank you.
 
Edmund:  They will never find an executioner, and if they do, may my
	 conjugal dipstick turn into a tennis racket.
 
	[There is a knock on the door.  Edmund puts the cowl over his head
	 as the guard enters with a message, giving it to Edmund.]
 
Guard:  A message for the King.  [leaves]
 
Edmund:  [reads the message]  Ah...  [He drops his orange; it bounces back up
         as though hit by a tennis racket.  He looks a bit confused, and
casts
	 his eyes downward.]
 
 
	[Blackadder Hall.  Baldrick is singing while chopping heads off fish.]
 
Baldrick:  "There's a tavern in the town -- IN THE TOWN!"
 
Edmund:  For God's sake, stop that, Baldrick!  It's bad enough having one's
	 life in utter ruins without being serenaded by a moron with all the
	 entertainment value of tap-dancing oyster.
 
Baldrick:  I'm sorry, sir -- I can't help it.  See, I've just had a little
	   windfall.
 
Edmund:  Baldrick, I've told you before: If you're going to do that, go into
	 the garden.
 
Baldrick:  No -- I mean I've come into some money.
 
Edmund:  Really... Family inheritance?
 
Baldrick:  No.  I ate that ages ago.
 
Edmund:  Oh yes, of course; your thoughtful father bequeathed you a turnip.
 
Baldrick:  No, it was fifty pounds, actually -- it was delicious.  But this
	   is just a little something that fell in my lap.
 
Edmund:  Not the first time that there's been a little something in your lap,
	 Baldrick.
 
Baldrick:  No... But this one is a job.
 
Edmund:  Really...  [paying more attention to the message delivered in the
	 previous scene]  I just don't understand it.  Where on Earth did
	 they find a man so utterly without heart and soul, so low and
	 degraded as to accept the job of beheading the King of England?
 
	 [He pauses, looks into the camera, and turns to Baldrick.]
 
	 Baldrick...
 
Baldrick:  Yeah?
 
Edmund:  That little job that fell into your lap...
 
Baldrick:  Yes?
 
Edmund:  It wasn't, by any chance, something to do with an axe, a basket,
	 a little black mask, and the King of England...?
 
Baldrick:  Nah...
 
Edmund:  Go on.
 
Baldrick:  I couldn't find a basket...
 
Edmund:  You very small total bastard!  [grabs him and picks up the axe from
	 the table]
 
Baldrick:  Oh, please, sir! Don't kill me!  I have a cunning plan to save
	   the King!
 
Edmund:  Well, you'll forgive me if I don't do a cartwheel of joy -- your
	 family's record in the department of cunning planning is about as
	 impressive as Stumpy O'Leg McNoleg's personal best in the Market
	 Harbour Marathon.  All right... What's the plan?  [puts down axe]
 
	[Baldrick picks up a pumpkin, and smiles.]
 
Edmund:  A pumpkin is going to save the King...
 
Baldrick:  Aah!  [puts down pumpkin]  But, over here, I have one that I
	   prepared earlier.  [picks up another pumpkin; one with eyes, nose,
	   moustache and beard painted on, and with some hair placed on top]
	   I will balance it on the King's head, like this.  [demonstrating]
	   Then, I will cover his real head with a cloak, and then, when I
	   execute him, instead of cutting off his real head, I will cut off
	   the pumpkin, and the King survives!
 
Edmund:  I'm not sure it's going to work, Balders.
 
Baldrick:  Why not?
 
Edmund:  Because, once you cut it off, you have to hold it up in front of the
	 crowd and say, "This is the head of a traitor," at which point, they
	 will shout back, "No it's not -- it's large pumpkin with a pathetic
	 moustache drawn on it."
 
Baldrick:  I suppose it's not one hundred percent convincing.
 
Edmund:  It's not >one< percent convincing, Baldrick.  However, I'm a busy
	 man, and I can't be bothered to punch you at the moment.  [he holds
	 his arm up with his hand clenched]  Here is my fist.  Kindly run
	 towards it as fast as you can.
 
Baldrick:  Yes, sir.  [He does so.]
 
Edmund:  I just don't understand it!  What possessed you to take the job?
 
Baldrick:  Oh, I'm sorry, sir -- it was just a wild, silly, foolish plan.
	   I thought, with the money I got from executing the King, I could
	   sneak out and buy a brand-new king when no-one was looking, and
	   pop him back on the throne without anyone noticing.

Blackadder Quote from Blackadder The Cavalier Years
 
Edmund:  Your head is as empty as a eunuch's underpants.  You'd do anything
	 for thirty pieces of silver, wouldn't you...
 
Baldrick:  It was a thousand pounds, actually, sir -- plus tip!  [holds up
	   bag of money]
 
	[pause]
 
Edmund:  [takes bag]  Well, I suppose somebody's got to do it, hadn't they!
	 And if it's going to be done, it's got to be done in a single stroke
	 by someone who actually owns an axe.  We don't want you hacking away
	 at it all afternoon with that cheap pen-knife of yours.  It would be
	 so embarrassing to have King Charles staggering around Hampton Court
	 tomorrow morning with his neck flapping like a fish's gills.
 
Baldrick:  Sir, you don't mean...?
 
Edmund:  Yep -- >I'm< doing it.  Lend me your costume, then go immediately
	 to the King and inform him that Sir Edmund Blackadder cannot be
	 with him tomorrow.  [points at Baldrick]  And make sure you think
	 up a bloody good excuse.
 
 
	[The Tower of London]
 
Baldrick:  ...so that's why he can't be here.  Sorry.  [leaves]
 
King:  I see.  Well, I quite understand, yes...
 
	[Cromwell and the executioner (Edmund, hooded) enter.]
 
Cromwell:  Sir, the moment has arrived!  Are you ready to meet your maker?
 
King:  Well, I'm always absolutely fascinated to meet people from all walks
       of life, but, er, yes, particularly manufacturing industries...
 
Cromwell:  Well then, have a quick walk and talk with your executioner, and
	   let's get on with it.  [leaves]
 
King:  Right.  [He buzzes a bit, then slaps his hands together as though
		squashing a fly.  Meanwhile, Edmund has closed the door
		behind Cromwell.]
       Well, I'm sorry, my friend, I'm alone here today -- I had hoped that
       my good, loyal chum, Sir Edmund Blackadder, would be here with me,
       but, unfortunately, his wife's sister's puppy fell into the straw-
       berry patch, so, naturally, he can't be with us.
 
Edmund:  [disguising his voice]  Uh huh...
 
King:  All I can do is bid you do your duty well.
 
Edmund:  Well, thank you, Your Majesty.  And may I say how much I mourn for
	 your lot, and bid you remember others before you who have died
	 unjustly...
 
King:  Thank you.  I take great solace from that.
 
Edmund:  Sir Thomas More, for instance: A great, generous man to the last.
	 He apparently tipped his executioner handsomely...  [turns up a
	 palm]
 
King:  Oh, I'm so sorry -- I thought service was included.  I beg your
pardon.
       [reaches in a bag of money]  Um, here you are.  [places a coin in
       Edmund's palm]
 
Edmund:  [looks at coin]  Hmm.  And then there was the Earl of Essex...
 
King:  Was there...
 
Edmund:  A truly great man -- they still sing his famous ballad down the
	 [Chepstow Arms?].
 
King:  What ballad is that?
 
Edmund:  [sings]  "The Earl he had a thousand sovereigns, hey nonny no!
		   He gave them all away to the man with the axe ... oh!"
 
King:  [looking at his bag]  A thousand sovereigns?
 
Edmund:  Well, you can't take it with you, Your Majesty...
 
King:  Very true.  Well, there you are.  [gives bag to Edmund]  Do keep the
       change.
 
Edmund:  Thank you, Your Majesty.  [puts coin back into bag]
	 [fake voice slips a bit]  Right; should we go?
 
King:  Just a moment!  [stops Edmund from leaving]  That voice has
       a strangely familiar ring ... and so does that finger!  [he removes
       the hood]  Blackadder!
 
Edmund:  [acts surprised]  Hello, Your Majesty!
 
King:  You cunning swine!
 
Edmund:  Er, yes, well, er, er, er...
 
King:  Marvelous! Splendid!  You duped Cromwell and you've concocted a
cunning
       plan to help me and my infant son escape to France!
 
Edmund:  [as though he'd forgotten]  Ah yes! That's right, yes...
 
King:  So, let's put your cunning plan into operation straight away!
 
Edmund:  Yes, let's...  Er...  Well...  You start the ball rolling.
 
King:  No, no -- after you.
 
Edmund:  Er, yeah, right, yes...  [thinks; remembers something]  Er, oh yes!
	 Yes, right! and it's a very good plan!  It's a staggering, bowel-
	 shatteringly good plan!
 
 
	[Ten Minutes Later]
 
	[Edmund is hooded.  Baldrick stands next to him.  Cromwell enters.]
 
Cromwell:  Is the King ready?
 
Edmund:  [fake voice again]  He is.  [calls to the back of the room]
	 Come, Your Majesty!
 
	[King walks forward.  He has a hood over his head, and is balancing
	 a pumpkin with a face drawn on it.  Cromwell, King and Edmund
	 leave.  Baldrick listens to the goings on ... ]
 
	[There is a drum roll.  It ends with the sound of a chop.
	 The crowd cheers.  Baldrick smiles.  The crowd suddenly sounds
	 disappointed.  Baldrick suddenly stops smiling.]
 
(from outside)
Edmund:  This is the head of a traitor!
 
Crowd:  No it's not -- it's a huge pumpkin with a pathetic moustache drawn
	on it!
 
Edmund:  Oh yes -- so it is!  Sorry!  I'll try again.
 
	[There is a drum roll.  In ends with the sound of a chop.
	 The crowd cheers.]
 
 
	[Blackadder Hall.  Edmund is cradling a baby boy.]
 
Baldrick:  Well, sir, they can't say you didn't try.  Now the future of
	   the British monarchy lies fast asleep in your arms, in the
	   person of this infant prince.  And, with the money you've earned,
	   you and he can escape to France.
 
Edmund:  [wiping a hand on his shirt]  Well, quite.
 
Baldrick:  On the other hand, you can stay here, and, as a known loyalist,
	   the Roundheads will come and cut your head off.
 
Edmund:  [stands]  Exactly, Baldrick!
 
	[There is a pounding on the door.]
 
Edmund:  Oh my god!
 
	[A voice outside shouts. (Sounds like "Do you want the house burned?")]
 
Baldrick:  Oh no! We're surrounded!  What'll we do?
 
Edmund:  Well, at times like this, Baldrick, there is no choice for a man
	 of honour.  He must stand and fight, and die in defence of his
	 [looks at baby] future sovereign.
 
	[More pounding on the door.]
 
Edmund:  Fortunately, I'm not a man of honour...  [tosses baby to Baldrick;
	 pulls off his long black hair to reveal short blond hair; removes his
	 moustache and beard, too]
 
	[a Roundhead breaks in and enters.]
 
Edmund:  [to Roundhead]  Thank God you've come!  [points at Baldrick]
	 Seize the royalist scum!!!
 
	[The Roundhead, sword drawn, approaches Baldrick, who looks hopeless,
	 dangling the baby from its swaddling clothes.]