The third episode of Blackadder Series 2, is called ‘Potato’. Guest starring Tom Baker as Captain Redbeard Rum, it is a source of endless amusement. A quite literally legless Captain, a sea journey, and urine drinking play just a small part in this well written episode of Blackadder.
Blackadder Season 2 Episode 3 – Potato
[Blackadder’s house. Enter Percy wearing a matching red outfit and hat –
with antlers. The outfit is covered in bells which ring as he walks.
Sounds of a celebration are heard outside]
Blackadder: Nope [offhandedly closing door on Percy]
Percy: [re-entering] It will be a once in a lifetime experience.
Blackadder: No it won’t [closing the door with his foot. Percy
makes a “wauh” noise as he is shoved out]
Percy: [entering again, holding his nose] Everybody’s going.
Blackadder: Don’t exaggerate, Percy. I’m not going, Mrs. Miggins
from the pie shop isn’t going…
Percy: Oh, my lord, you are cruel; you know perfectly well that Mrs.
Miggins is bedridden from the nose down [postures, with his
hand on his hip] And besides, she is honoring the occasion
in her own special way by baking a great commemorative pie,
in the shape of an enormous pie!
Blackadder: What an imagination that woman has. [The crowd’s
cheering swells outside]
Percy: Oh, come on Edmund! The greatest explorer of our age is
coming home. The streets have never been so gay! Women
are laughing, children are singing… Oh look! [pointing out
the window] there’s a man being indecently assaulted by
nine foreign sailors, and he’s still got a smile on his face!
Blackadder: Look, Percy, the return of Sir Walter “Ooh what a big
ship I’ve got” Raleigh is a matter of supreme indifference
Percy: [leaning in towards him] Look, if you’re not careful, all the
children will dance about outside your window, singing
“sourpuss” and “grumpy face”, and you wouldn’t want that,
now would you?
Blackadder: I believe I could survive it. Now, Percy, will you
get out before I cut off your head, scoop out the insides,
and give it to your mother as a vase?! [goes over to Percy,
and, dragging him by his antlers, throws him out again. Slams
door] What a clot. The most absurdly dressed creature
in Christendom [enter Baldrick, wearing a “dung-gatherer’s”
version of same. The hat is brown with branches sticking
off the top] (Pauses) With one exception.
Baldrick: [looking up at him] My lord?
Blackadder: Baldrick, you look like a deer.
Baldrick: Thank you my lord. You look a bit of a ducky yourself.
Blackadder: Oh God. [in disgust] What do you want?
Baldrick: Well, I was wondering if I might have the afternoon off?
Blackadder: Of course not; who do you think you are, Watt Tyler?
You can have the afternoon off when you DIE, not before.
Baldrick: But I want to cheer brave Sir Walter home. Oh, dear sir,
on a day like today I feel proud to be a member of the
greatest kingdom in the world.
Blackadder: And doubtless many other members of the animal kingdom
feel the same way but – [crowd cheering rises again.
Blackadder gestures threateningly at the window]
Look, will you shut up?! Bloody explorers, ponce off
to mumbo-jumbo-land, come home with a tropical disease,
a suntan and a bag of brown lumpy things, and, Bob’s your uncle,
everyone’s got a picture of them in the lavatory. I mean,
what about the people that do all the work?
Baldrick: The servants.
Blackadder: No, me; *I’m* the people who do all the work. I mean *look*
at this! [goes to a table at the side of the room and
picks up a small brown thing and holds it up] *What* is it?
Baldrick: Oh, I’m surprised you’ve forgotten, my lord.
Blackadder: I haven’t forgotten; it’s a rhetorical question.
Baldrick: [looking at him] No, it’s a potato.
Blackadder: To you it’s a potato, to me it’s a potato. But to
Sir Walter Bloody Raleigh it’s country estates, fine carriages,
and as many girls as his tongue can cope with. He’s making
a fortune out of the things; people are smoking them,
building houses out of them… They’ll be eating them next.
[shoves it into Baldrick’s chest; Baldrick takes it and looks
Baldrick: Stranger things have happened.
Blackadder: Oh, exactly.
Baldrick: [continues] That horse becoming Pope.
Blackadder: The what? [Someone knocks on the door and Baldrick goes to
answer it] Oh God. Probably some birk with a parrot on his
shoulder selling plaster gnomes of Sir Francis Drake and his
Golden beHind [A child is heard outside singing “sourpuss,
grumpy face, sourpuss, grumpy face…”[Miranda Richardson,
actually]. Edmund pulls out a bow, nocks an arrow and shoots.
The singing stops with an abrupt “aah! Mummy…”]
[Edmund shouts out the window] And another thing: why
aren’t you at school?
[Melchett, followed by Baldrick comes in the room]
Melchett: Blackadder, started talking to yourself I see.
Blackadder: [Turning away from the window] Yes, it’s the only way I can
be sure of intelligent conversation. What do you want?
Melchett: Well I just looked in on my way to the palace to welcome
Sir Walter home; I wondered if you cared to accompany me.
Blackadder: I don’t think I’ll bother, actually; three hours of
bluff seaman’s talk about picking the weevils out of
biscuits and drinking urine is not my idea of a good time.
Melchett: As you wish. [To Baldrick] Servant, my hat. [Baldrick leaves.
Melchett holds out a box toward Blackadder] Potato?
Blackadder: Thanks, I don’t. [Melchett takes a bite of one]. I
see you haven’t succumbed to this fad of dressing up
like half an allotment in Nottingham Forest. [Baldrick
enters carrying Melchett’s hat]
Baldrick: There you go, my lord [hands Melchett his hat. It is
decorated with not only antlers but feathers as well]
Blackadder: -You have.
Melchett: It’s probably just as well you’re not coming, Blackadder,
you’re not very popular at court at the moment, and the
Queen and I have- [Blackadder interrupts him]
Blackadder: -Yes, well I can probably leave this ’til tomorrow in fact.
[over Melchett’s protests “you needn’t bother”]. No, no, I’ll
come with you; obviously the Queen and I will be the
only ones even *vaguely* sensibly dressed. [follows
Melchett out and slams the door behind him]
[cut to the Queen, who is wearing an eyepatch and a
special matching crown(?). A knock is heard at the door]
Queen: Who is it?
Melchett: Melchy, Lady. [He tries to open the door]
Queen: [keeping door closed with her hand] -But soft! Close your
eyes! [She runs back to throne next to Nursie] Now enter!
[He enters, hand draped melodramatically over eyes. Queen
says:] Ahoy there, me shivering matey, heave-ho! [Seats
herself]. Right, open your eyes.
Melchett: Thank you, Majesty. And- [bows slightly, pretends to
look around in puzzlement]
Queen: [smiling widely but playing the innocent] Why, what’s the
Melchett: Well, I beg your pardon, my Lady. I was wanting to greet
the gallant sailor who hallooed me as I came in [Queen
squeals with delight] Perchance he has hauled anchor and
sailed away. [Edmund is looking disgusted in the background]
Queen: [slyly] No- it was me!
Melchett: Majesty! Surely not!
Blackadder: You utter creep. [Melchett gives him a condescending
look and moves out of his way so the Queen can greet
Edmund] So. Where’s this barnacle-bottomed, haddock-flavored,
bilge-rat Sir rather-a-wally Raleigh then? I hear he’s
about as exciting as one of his potatoes.
Queen: Blackadder’s a frightful old lubber, eh Melchy?
Melchett: Well indubitably no sea-dog, Ma’am. With a Yo-ho-ho
and perhaps, I might venture, a bottle of rum into the
[A high whistle sounds, like the now-hear-this in ST:TOS]
Queen: It’s him! Oh God, [picks up a hand mirror] do I look
absolutely divine and regal and yet at the same time
very pretty and rather accessible?
Melchett: [bowing] You are every jolly jacktar’s dream, Majesty.
Queen: I thought as much. If he’s really gorgeous, I’m thinking
of marrying him.
Blackadder: Ma’am, is that not a little rash?
Queen: I don’t think so.
Nursie: It wouldn’t be your first little rash if it was.
[The whistle sounds again and Sir Walter enters
with a flourish and bows deeply and elaborately.
They all applaud him for his feats. Sir Walter
is played by Simon Jones, of “Arthur Dent” fame.
As if I have to tell you]
Sir Walter: Majesty! [he sings out]
Queen: Splice me timbers, Sir Walter, it’s bucko to see you,
Sir Walter: I’m sorry?
Blackadder: [caustically] She says hello.
Sir Walter: And well she might, for I have bought her gifts and
dominions beyond her wildest dreams [taking off his
hat and bowing with a flourish again]
Queen: Are you sure? I have some pretty wild dreams, you know…
I’m not sure what they mean, but the other day there was
this enormous tree, and I was sitting right on top of it-
Melchett: [warningly] Ma’am
Queen: And then I dreamt once that I was a sausage roll-
Queen: Sorry! So excited! Don’t know what I’m saying. Oh- come on,
Sir Walter, I want to hear about absolutely everything!
Sir Walter: [launches into storytelling mode] Then, prepare to hear
tales of terrible hardship, endurance and woe. [All settle]
We set sail from Plymouth in the spring of 1552 [Edmund
yawns quite audibly]
Queen: [disparagingly] You remember Lord Blackadder…
Sir Walter: [Nods] No. But I can see he is the sort of pasty
landlubber I have always despised [All laugh except
Queen: Well, quite. [Angrily] Don’t crowd Sir Walter, Edmund.
Sir Walter: [continues] Twice, last week, I fought in hand to
hand combat with a man with two heads and no body hair.
I’ll warrant, the most exciting thing that has happened
to that limpid prawn in a whole year, was the day his
servant forgot to put sugar in his porridge [Edmund
smiles tensely as they all laugh at him]
Queen: [to Sir Walter] Gosh, you’ve got nice legs.
Sir Walter: [continuing on as if he hasn’t heard] While I hold
the six seas of the world in my hand, he couldn’t
even put six gob-stoppers in his mouth! [all laugh]
Queen: He’s a complete no-hoper, isn’t he, Walt?
Sir Walter: He certainly is. [more laughing. Queen stops and says:]
Queen: My bedroom’s just upstairs, you know.
Melchett: I had heard, Sir Walter, that there were only[sic] seven seas.
Sir Walter: Ah, only numerically speaking. We sailors do not count
the sea around the Cape of Good Hope. It is called the
Sea of Certain Death, and no sailor has crossed it alive.
Edmund: [butts in] Well, well, well, what an extraordinary
Queen: What’s an extraordinary coincidence? [not caring]
Edmund: Oh, it’s just I was planning a jaunt around the Cape of Good
Hope, myself. I’m leaving a week on Thursday, I think.
[Queen: “Really?”] Yes, and now that, erm – Sorry, I’ve
forgotten your name- has returned and the whole court smells
of fish, I’ve half a mind to set off this afternoon.
Sir Walter: If you attempt that journey, you’ve no mind at all.
Edmund: Or perhaps a mind that knows no fear.
Queen: Is that true, Edmund? Do you know no fear?
Edmund: Well, yes, I do rather laugh in the face of fear,
tweak the nose of terror.
Queen: Gosh, Edmund, I’d forgotten how dishy you are.
Sir Walter: You’d never dare. Why, ’round the Cape, the rain
beats down so hard it makes your head bleed!
Edmund: So, some sort of hat is probably in order.
Sir Walter: And great dragons leap from the water and swallow
Edmund: -I must remember to pack the larger of my two
Queen: Edmund, you are completely wonderful. If you do this,
I’ll probably marry you [All leave Sir Walter’s side
and go flank Blackadder]
Sir Walter: Oh yes? And who will be your captain? Hmph! To my mind,
there is only one seafarer with few enough marbles
to attempt that journey.
Edmund: Ah yes, and who is that?
Sir Walter: Why, Rum, of course. Captain Redbeard Rum.
Edmund: Well done. Just testing. And where would I find him on a
Sir Walter: Well, if I remember his habits, he’s usually up the Old
Edmund: Ah yes, and where is the Old Sea Dog?
Sir Walter: Well, on Tuesdays he’s normally in bed with the Captain.
[cut to a table in a dark room. Captain Redbeard Rum [Tom Baker, but I needn’t tell you that] is sitting with his back against a wall]
Rum: Aaaaaaahrrrrr Aaaaaaahrrrrr Aaaaaaaaaaahrrrrr. Me laddy.
Blackadder: Ah-haah-ah, indeed. So, Rum, I wish to hire you and
your ship. Can we shake on it? [holds out hand]
Rum: aah-ahhh! [strokes his hand] You have a woman’s hand, milord!
I’ll wager these dainty pinkies never weighed anchor
in a storm.
Blackadder: Well, you’re right there.
Rum: Ha ha ha. -Aah! Your skin milord. I’ll wager it ne’er
felt the lash of a cat [‘o’ nine tails], been rubbed
with salt, and then flayed off by a pirate chief to make
fine stockings for his best cabin boy.
Blackadder: How canny, I don’t know how you do it, but you’re right
Rum: Why should I let a stupid cockerel like you aboard me boat?
Blackadder: Perhaps for the money in my purse [holding it up]
Rum: Ha. -Aah! You have a woman’s purse! [takes it from him and
examines it daintily] I’ll wager that purse has never been
used as a rowing-boat. I’ll wager it’s never had sixteen
shipwrecked mariners tossing in it.
Blackadder: Yes, right again, Rum. I must say when it comes to tales of
courage I’m going to have to keep my mouth shut.
Rum: Oh! You have a woman’s mouth, milord! I’ll wager that
mouth never had to chew through the side of a ship
to escape the dreadful spindly killer fish.
Blackadder: I must say, when I came to see you, I had no idea I was going
to have to eat your ship as well as hire it. And since you’re
clearly as mad as a mongoose I’ll bid you farewell [gets up]
Rum: Aaah, courtiers to the Queen, you’re nothing but lapdogs to a
slip of a girl.
Blackadder: Better a “lapdog to a slip of a girl”, than a… Git.
Rum: So you do have some spunk in you! Don’t worry, laddie,
I’ll come, I’ll come [holds out his hand]
Blackadder: Well, let us set sail as soon as we can. [they shake]
I will fetch my first mate, and then I’ll return
as fast as my legs will carry me.
Rum: Ah! [pointing] You have a woman’s legs, my lord! I’ll
wager those are legs that have never been sliced clean off
by a falling sail, and swept into the sea before your
Blackadder: [crossly] Well, neither have yours.
Rum: That’s where you’re wrong [throws aside table showing
his lack of legs]
Blackadder: Oh my God!
Rum: No point in changing your mind now; no one else will
come. The whole thing’s suicide anyway. What’s the
first mate’s name?
Rum: A nautical cove?
Blackadder: Yes! Well… He’s a sort of wet fish.
[cut to Percy and Baldrick in a room. Baldrick
is folding what appear to be sheets. Perhaps they are sails]
Percy: [Petulantly]. I’m not coming. I’m just not coming.
I mean, of course I’m very *keen* to go on the trip,
it’s just… unfortunately, uh… I’ve got an
appointment…. to have my nostrils plucked… next year.
Baldrick: Oh, I’m sorry, my lord. I thought it was because you
were a complete coward.
Percy: [sounding nervous] Don’t be ridiculous, Baldrick…
You know me, I mean… I- laugh in the face of fear,
and- tweak the nose- of the- dreadful spindly killer fish.
I’m not one of your milksops who’s scared out of his mind
by the mere sight of water. Gah! [backs away in fear as
Baldrick holds out a goblet of water to his face] Yes, all
right, I admit it, I admit it, I’m terrified! You see, Baldrick,
when I was a baby, I was savaged by a turbot [flounder].
Oh, Baldrick, you can’t think of a plan to get me out of
this, can you?
Baldrick: Uh, you can hide, my lord.
Percy: Hide. Brilliant! Where? [They look around the room.
The trunk the sheet came from is standing invitingly
Baldrick: Um… [After a few minutes, Baldrick finally sees the box]
In the box!
Percy: Which one?! [Figures it out]. Ah – perfect! [Gets in the box]
Let’s practice. All right, Edmund comes in and says, “Hello,
Baldrick. You haven’t seen Percy, have you?” And you say…
Baldrick: Uh. [Thinks hard] No, my lord, I haven’t seen him all day.
Percy: Brilliant! [They hear a door slam] Oh my God, here he comes!
[Baldrick helps close the box lid on top of him]
[Enter Blackadder. Baldrick is standing conspicuously in
the middle of the room next to the box]
Blackadder: Oh, hello, Balders. Where the hell’s that cretin Percy;
you haven’t seen him, have you? [Baldrick can’t remember
what he was supposed to say. He thinks about it. Finally,
with an air of blustery triumph, he says]
Baldrick: Yes, my lord! He’s hiding on the box!
Blackadder: [eyeing the box] Come on, jellybrain. Hurry up, otherwise
we’ll miss the tide! [kicks the box, in the manner of, “is
there anybody home?!”]
[“Oh, Edmund, I’m SO proud,” we hear the pleased voice of
the Queen, “You’re just my complete hero! Oh dear! I’m going
all gooey now.” We see that Edmund has come to say goodbye
and the Queen has greeted him from her throne.]
Blackadder: Ma’am, I move that if during my journey I could believe
that occasionally you did spare me a thought and, perhaps,
go gooey again, I would deem my certain death a minor
inconvenience. [Melchett makes a face as if something smells]
Queen: [gushy] Oh Ned… [proudly] I’ve written a poem!
Blackadder: Madam, I’m honored!
Queen: [Opens a folded piece of paper, clears throat].
When the night is dark,
and the dogs go bark;
When the clouds are black,
and the ducks go- quack;
[Melchy and Raleigh nod appreciatively]
When the sky is blue,
and the cows go- moo;
[“Oh, yes” Melchett smarms]
Think of lovely Queenie;
She’ll be thinking of you.
[Melchy and Raleigh mumble appreciations and applaud.
The Queen continues:]
It’s called, “Edmund.” Shakespeare gave me a hand with
the title, but the rest is all my own work!
Nursie: Tush and fie, my tiddly. You didn’t always make such
pretty speeches [Queen makes yawning noises]
‘Tis but the twinkling of a toe since you could say
nothing but, “Lizzie go plop, plop; Lizzie go plop, plop–”
Queen: -[crossly] Oh, put a bung in it, Nursie. Now! I am sure Melchy
and, uh- [pauses] Wally, want to say something as well.
“Wally”: Oh, yes indeed! [Crosses over gleefully to Edmund, and
says with audible satisfaction] Goodbye, Blackadder.
I’d say “Bon Voyage,” but there’s no point. You’ll be
dead in three months. [Pats him patronizingly on the shoulder]
Blackadder: [equally patronizingly] I love you, Walter, I hope you know that
[Melchett steps up to Blackadder]
Melchett: Farewell, Blackadder [hands him a parchment]. The foremost
cartographers of the land have prepared this for you; it’s
a map of the area that you’ll be traversing. [Blackadder opens
it up and sees it is blank] -They’ll be very grateful if you
could just fill it in as you go along. Bye-bye.
[A hearty “arr-arr” is heard in the background]
Queen: What’s that? [Baldrick wheels Rum in on a wooden cart]
Rum: To ?Tilbury? me hearties! The wind is in the sails,
the oars are in the locks! And we must awaaayyy! [Gestures
grandly with his hands]
Blackadder: Lady, it is my captain. Long on beard, short on legs.
Queen: Oh, Captain. I wish you luck, from the bottom of my heart.
Rum: [Booming] You have a woman’s bottom, my Lady! [Gets wheeled
over to her]. I’ll wager that sweet round pair of peaches
has never been forced ‘twixt two splintered planks, to plug
a leak and save a ship!
Queen: Certainly hasn’t, and I’m quite pleased about it! Anyway,
what’s wrong with women’s bottoms?
Rum: Not big enough, Ma’am.
Nursie: [Makes a noise of excitement] *Mine* might be!
Rum: In that case, my little puddin’ of delight, let’s beat about
the bush no longer. I know I’m only a bluff old cove with
no legs and a beard you could lose a badger in, but if you’ll
take me, I’m willing to be captain of your ship, forever!
What do you say?
Nursie: [so thrilled she doesn’t know what to do with herself]
Rum: [As Baldrick wheels him out] I’ll be back! We’ll all be back!
Queen: Edmund, then, this is it. Oh! [air-kisses his cheeks in a
fake show of affection, then gets brisk and “motherly”]
Have you got clean underwear? And don’t eat foreign food.
And watch out for strange men, and discover me a country,
and bring me back a vegetable, and -oh- everything!
Blackadder: Madam! I shall do all I can. Farewell! [He closes the
doors behind them, then comes back] And- don’t wait up.
Queen: [looking gushy, and probably covering Raleigh’s missing
his cue] Gosh.
Sir Walter: Well! That’s the last we’ll see of him. In three months’ time
he’ll be dead as a [pauses and thinks] dead dodo.
Queen: Oh, Sir Walter, Really! [Melchett thinks the pun was
intentional and brays appreciatively]
[The scene changes and we are on the ship with
Blackadder and company. Rum, then Blackadder, then
Baldrick take turns “aaarrr”- and “aaaha”-ing
like pirates. All look expectantly at Percy
but he does not follow suit]
Blackadder: Not joining us in the “ha-ha”‘s, Percy?
Percy: [With visible disdain] No! [valiantly] I’m thinking of
England and the girl I left behind me.
Blackadder: [annoyed] Oh, God; I didn’t know you had a girl.
Percy: [getting all dreamy] Oh, yes. Lady Caroline Fairfax.
Blackadder: [surprised] Caroline! I didn’t know you knew her.
Percy: Oh, yes! I even touched her once.
Blackadder: [puzzled] Touched her what?
Percy: Uh, once. In the corridor.
Blackadder: I’ve never heard it called *that* before [pauses and
reflects]. Here- when you get home in six months, you’ll
be a hero. She might even let you get your hands on
Percy: I fear not.
Blackadder: Why not?
Percy: Because we’ll never get home. We’re doomed, doomed!
Condemned to a watery grave with a captain who’s legless-
Rum: Rubbish! I’ve hardly touched a drop!
Percy: -No, no. I mean you haven’t got any legs.
Rum: Oh, yes, you’re right there. Carry on, sorry.
Percy: [Moans wordlessly] We’ve got no hope. No hope of ever returning.
Blackadder: On the contrary, we are certain to return!
Blackadder: Because, me old sods, we are not going to the Cape
of Good Hope at all.
Blackadder: We are in fact going – to France!
All: FRANCE!!!! [Percy gets to his feet with the shock of the news]
Percy: But, Edmund, surely France has already been discovered.
[points at him] By the French for a start.
Blackadder: Well, precisely; it’s a trick. We just camp down in the
?Dardonnes? for six months, get a good suntan, come home,
pretend we’ve been ’round the Cape, and get all the glory.
Rum: A masterly plan, me young master. And one that leads me
to make an announcement meself.
Blackadder: What’s that, Rum?
Rum: Truth is, I don’t know the way to the Cape of Good Hope
Blackadder: Well, what were you going to do?
Rum: Oh, what I usually do. Sail ’round and ’round the
Isle of Wight ’til everyone gets dizzy. Then head for home.
Blackadder: You old rascal. Still, who cares; the day after tomorrow
we shall be in Calais. Captain, [stands and raises his glass]
set sail for France!
[All save Rum raise their glasses and toast, then
[The screen blanks and two lines appear in a caption:]
The Day After
The Day After Tomorrow
[The four are still sitting in the ship’s galley, only
looking dejected instead of spirited]
Blackadder: So. You Don’t Know The Way To France, Either.
Rum: No! I must confess that, too.
Blackadder: [turns toward Percy and Baldrick as if he is going to
announce his revised plan, and says:] Bugger!
[Scene changes to Queen entering a room and Melchett
and Raleigh bowing]
Queen: He’s only been gone three days and I am missing him already.
Raleigh: [smarmily] Well, perhaps Ma’am, I could amuse you still
further with tales of my adventures.
Queen: [menacingly] Like what?
Raleigh: Perhaps you would like to hear the one about the mad
pirate king, whose crew consisted entirely of men called
Queen: [bored] Heard it.
Raleigh: Oh. Maybe I could distract you with the tale of the time I
fell into the water and was almost eaten by a hammerhead shark.
Queen: Yes. All right, try that one.
Raleigh: Well, Ma’am. [with a flourish] I fell into the water.
[pauses for suspense] and was almost eaten by a shark…
And the funny thing is, its head was almost exactly the
same shape as a hammer!
Queen: [extremely annoyed] Ooh, God! You’d better come up with
some presents, or I’m going to go off explorers completely!
Queen: I’ll tell you something else. Edmund was right. You do
smell of fish. Pooey! [leaves in a huff]
[change of scene: Rum, Blackadder, Baldrick and Percy
are sitting around a table in the galley, ostensibly
arguing about their plight. Tom Baker can be clearly
distinguished above the rest yelling “Rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb!
while the rest are actually talking in a way that their
Edmund: Look, there’s no need to panic. Someone in the crew will
know how to steer this thing.
Rum: The crew, milord?
Edmund: Yes, the crew.
Rum: What crew?
Edmund: I was under the impression that it was common maritime practice
for a ship to have a crew.
Rum: Opinion is divided on the subject.
Edmund: Oh, really? [starting to get the picture]
Rum: Yahs. All the other captains say it is; I say it isn’t.
Edmund: Oh, God; Mad as a brush.
[The scene blanks out and a caption appears:
“Six Months Later”
Melchett carries a rolled up parchment which he
presents to the Queen]
Melchett: Sir Walter Raleigh’s death warrant for your signature,
Queen: [with quill pen at the ready] Oh. Good. Any news of Edmund?
Melchett: [smugly] Well, Madam, if they’re on course, they should be
nearing the urine-drinking stage by now.
Queen: Don’t be horrid, Melchy. Edmund would rather die!
Melchett: I fear that may be wishful thinking, Majesty. [He blows
the ink dry on Raleigh’s death warrant]
[scene change: Edmund is passed out or sleeping at the
galley table. A knock comes at the door]
Edmund: Enter. [Baldrick and Percy come in, carrying bottles. Edmund
sits up and we see he that his face is tired and drawn] So soon?
Percy: You said today. [They set the bottles on the table]
Edmund: Yes, well, I’m not feeling very thirsty at the moment.
I had an egg-cup full of stagnant water three weeks ago…
Oh all right, come on, let’s get on with it. [He stands up]
Baldrick: Should we drink each other’s or stick to our own?
Edmund: Is Captain Rum joining us for this bring-a-sample party,
or is he going to sit this one out?
Percy: Oh no, he’s been swigging his for ages. He says he likes it.
Actually, come to think of it, he started before the water
Edmund: Oh, God. [Resigned] Well, let’s get on with it.
“Ten Minutes Later”
Then, we see the three of them with their backs to
the camera and their hands apparently in front of them]
Edmund: It’s always the same, isn’t it; you get all keyed up and
then you can’t go.
Baldrick: I’ve done two bottles [He turns around and places two
full bottles on the table]
Blackadder: All right, then; pour it out. [Laments] That it should come
to this, drinking Baldrick’s water. [He holds out a mug and
Baldrick begins to pour]
Baldrick: Say when. [Blackadder says “When” almost immediately. Baldrick
clinks bottles with Percy, in a toast, “Down the hatch”. They
raise the glasses and are about to drink]
Rum[offscreen]: Land Ahoy! [They stagger as the ship hits something]
Blackadder: Ah! France at last!
Rum: [pops his head in the galley window] No, me young master.
Through fair winds and fine seamanship, our vessel is once more
edged up on the shores of Old Blightey.
Rum: By lucky chance, we have landed at Southampton dock.
Rum: Fare thee well. The last one up the old sea dog gets a lick
of the cat’! [He disappears again, and Baldrick goes to the
window and looks out]
Baldrick: Don’t look much like Southampton to me, my lord.
Baldrick: Well, those streams of molten lava and that steamy
mangrove swamp. [Blackadder and Percy begin to look worried,
and cross over to the window to look] And that crowd of
beckoning natives rubbing their tummies and pointing to
a large pot.
Blackadder: [rolling eyes] Oh, God.
“Two Years Later”
Then we see a very disgruntled Raleigh wearing a
dunce’s outfit, with the Queen throwing rings at his cap,
and Melchett and Nursie looking on]
Queen: Where are they now?
Melchett: Well, Madam, if they haven’t been eaten by cannibals,
they should be back any minute now.
[The door bursts open and Blackadder, Percy and Baldrick
make their entrance, bowing to the Queen]
Queen: [shrieks] Edmund! You’re alive!
Edmund: [patronizingly, as if to shrug it off] Oh, yes.
Queen: And your silly friend.
Percy: Lord Percy, Ma’am [bowing again].
Queen: And your monkey!
Baldrick: [bowing] Your Majesty.
Queen: But where is Captain Rum?
Blackadder: Uh, bad news, my Lady; Rum is dead. [Nursie screws her face up
and starts to cry]
Percy: Do not despair, good woman. He died a hero’s death: giving his
life that his friends might live.
Blackadder: And that his enemies might have something to go with
Nursie: You mean they put him in the pot?
Blackadder: Yes, your fiance was only a third-rate sailor, but a first-rate
second course. [Nursie starts sobbing again] However, we did
manage to save something of him as a memento. [reaches in a
large sack they brought in with them, takes out Rum’s beard,
and presents it to Nursie] There.
Nursie: Oh, my lucky stars; I shall wear it always, to remind me
of him [she puts it on].
Blackadder: However, Ma’am, I am now returned, and my mind cannot
help remembering talk of wedding bells.
Queen: No, I am completely bored with explorers! And if you haven’t
brought me any presents, I’m going to have you executed!
Queen: I only let Raleigh off because he blubbed on his way to the
block. Presents, please!
Blackadder: Ah yes, Ma’am. [he backs away, clearly trying to think
of a plan] Um, yes. Well, there was one thing, Ma’am, a
most extraordinary gift from the island paradise we visited.
Queen: Hurry up!!
Blackadder: [reaches into a sack Percy is holding and draws out a
boomerang and hands it to her].
Queen: What is it?
Melchett: A stick.
Queen: [threateningly] Is it a stick,, Lord Blackadder?
Blackadder: Ah yes, Ma’am, but it is a very special stick. Because
when you throw it away, it comes back!
Queen: Well, that’s no good, is it; because when *I* throw things
away, I don’t *want* them to come back!! [turns to Percy] YOU!!
Get rid of it!
Percy: Certainly, Ma’am [meekly takes it from her and tosses it
Queen: What else have you brought?
Blackadder: Um, yes, well, there was very little time what with
picking the weevils out of biscuits and-
Queen: -Melchy, what did I do with that spare death warrant?
[The boomerang comes back and hits Percy on the head,
knocking him down. The Queen changes her mind on the stick]
Queen: Oh, Edmund, it’s wonderful! But what about Melchy and Raleigh?
You must have brought something for them as well. [Edmund
clears his throat trying to think of something] -Nursie’s got
her beard, I’ve got my stick; what about the two boys?
Blackadder: [stalling as he turns toward Baldrick and looks into the sack]
Um, yes, well. [Baldrick puts his hand on Blackadder’s arm
and they turn slightly, allowing Baldrick to retrieve something
from a satchel at his side] There was one thing, Ma’am…
[Baldrick pulls out one of the bottles he filled on the ship
and hands it to Edmund, so that it looks as though Edmund has
taken it out of the sack that he supposedly brought “presents”
Blackadder: …A fine wine! [Holds the bottle aloft for all to see] A most
delicious beverage! [He uncorks the bottle and pours out
two tankards for Melchett and Raleigh]
Queen: Have a taste, boys, and tell us what you think!
[Baldrick hands them the tankards and they “sniff the bouquet”
and fall over each other trying to praise it to the Queen]
Raleigh: Oh, it certainly has plenty of nose!
Melchett: Oh yes, this is very familiar.
Blackadder: I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear [turns and looks at Baldrick]
that there is an inexhaustible supply!
————— END —————
Check out the Theme Tune from Blackadder Series 2!
You might also want to read: