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Blackadder: Back and Forth Edit

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Synopsis Edit

Lord Blackadder II invites all his friends to his house on the 31st December 1999 to play the greatest practical joke ever only it turns out to be real...

Characters Edit

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Places Edit

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The opening titles feature comical photographs of the ever-continuing line of Blackadder seen throughout events in British history including the Battle of Hastings, in the presence of Queen Victoria, on a World War II battlefield with Winston Churchill and at a political rally held by Margaret Thatcher.

The film opens at Blackadder Hall where the present day (Rowan Atkinson) is entertaining guests on New Years Eve, 1999. As a practical joke, he plans to convince them he has a working time machine (and win £30,000 into the bargain). Having been charged by his guests — Bishop Flavius Melchett (Stephen Fry), Archdeancon Kevin Darling (Tim Mclnnerny), Lieutenant George Bufton-Tufton (Hugh laurie) and Lady Elizabeth (Miranda Richardson), all presumably descendants of previous Blackadder characters — to travel back through time to bring back a Roman centurion's helmeet, the Duke of Welington's Wellington boots, and a really smelly pair of 200 year old underpants, Blackadder intends to scam his guests by dredging the items from his personal store. However, in pulling a lever, he discovers the time machine, built by Baldrick (Tony Robinson) according to plans by Leonardo da Vinci, actually works.

The pair first land in the middle of a cretaceous world, where they are attacked by a Tyrannosaurus rex. Baldrick uses his underpants to beat back the T. Rex, who takes one sniff and collapses. It is implied that Baldrick's underpants were responsible for the dinosaurs' extinction. Blackadder realises that they must somehow reset the time machine's dials to their original configurations in order to return home. This proves difficult, as Baldrick never got around to writing the dates on any of the dials.

After reconfiguring the time machine, Blackadder and Baldrick land back at Blackadder Hall, apparently amidst the court of Queen Elizabeth I, with Nursie (Patsy Byrne) and Lord Melchett at her side. The Queen mistakes Blackadder for his ancestor, Lord Blackadder, and says that unless Blackadder gives her a present, she will behead him. Blackadder first pulls out a credit card, which does not impress the queen, then he offers her a Polo mint, which the Queen proclaims to be "the tastiest thing in the history of the world". She rewards him with her crown, then sends him away to bring back more mints. On his way out, Blackadder meets William Shakespear, who is working on a draft of Macbeth. After giving Shakespeare his ballpoint pen and convincing him to sign the title page of the play, Blackadder beats up the Bard in the name of "every schoolboy and schoolgirl for the next four hundred years".

Following a brief diversion where the time machine strays rather too far into the future, Blackadder and Baldrick land in Sherwood Forest and are captured by Robin Hood (Rik Mayall) and his Merry Men, who mistake the former for another of his ancestors. Before Robin can give the order for Blackadder to be killed, Blackadder convinces the Merry Men that their way of life - robbing from the rich and giving to the poor - is useless. The Merry Men turn on Robin Hood and kill him instead. Maid marian (Kate Moss) is impressed and falls in love with Blackadder. Blackadder takes Robin Hood's hat as a trophy.

A further attempt to reconfigure the dials results in Blackadder and Baldrick landing at the Battle of Waterloo atop the Duke of Wellington (Fry), killing him before he can deliver his famous plan to defeat the advancing French army. Blackadder leaves quickly, stepping out of the time machine only long enough to steal Wellington's boots to win his bet.

One last attempt to set the dials at random lands the time machine at Hadrain's Wall in the time of Roman Britain. The time machine appears to be seeking out Blackadder's throughout history, as the wall is being guarded by Blackadder's centurion ancestor, with a [javascript:toggleToc() Roman Baldrick ]as his shield-carrier. After stealing his ancestor's helmet, the modern Blackadder and Baldrick escape just ahead of a charging wall of angry Scotsmen.

Back in the time machine, Blackadder is becoming more discouraged about ever going home, but Baldrick, in his trademark way, comes up with "a cunning plan". Baldrick mentions that dying men are rumoured to see their entire lives flash before their eyes and that, if one of them were about to die, they might remember how the dials were originally set. Blackadder tests this theory by holding Baldrick's head in the time machine's toiler until Baldrick almost drowns. True to form, as Baldrick's life flashes before his eyes, he remembers how to set the dials to return home.

The two return to the present day with their prizes. The party guests are impressed by the crown of Queen Elizabeth and Wellington's boots, but thanks to Blackadder's interference with history, William Shakespeare is now known only as the inventor of the ballpoint pen and Robin Hood is unheard of. Moreover, Britain has been ruled by France for the past two hundred years. Blackadder and Baldrick leap back into the time machine to repair history and save Britain - by encouraging Shakespeare, flattering Robin Hood, and preventing the death of the Duke of Wellington - then return home to collect their winnings from the now-amazed partygoers. After one of Blackadder's friends mentions what an unscrupulous person could do with a time machine, Blackadder gets an idea. He tells his friends to go upstairs to watch the New year's festivities on television, assuring them he'll be right back. Blackadder and Baldrick hop back into the time machine.

The four friends sit down to watch the broadcast of the royals and the prime minister arriving at the millennium dome On the television screen, Blackadder - now King Edmund III - steps from a limousine and is joined by Prime Minister Baldrick. The King is married to the beautiful Marian of Sherwood (Maid Marian or a descendant of hers). The television announcer (the BBC's then-royal correspondent Jenny Bond) gushes about the King's high approval ratings (98%), the success of the Prime Minister's government and the abolition of Parliament.

Thus Edmund Blackadder's tale comes to an end as the Blackadder family has finally triumphed, with their scion having (openly) become the ruler of England.

The film closes as the credits sing praises of Blackadder's reign, predicting his taking over the world and the promise that Blackadder will return in Summer 3000 in Blackadder: Back & Forth 2.

Cast Edit

  • Lord Blackadder II, King Edmund III, Blackaddercus - Rowan Atkinson
    Sodoff Baldrick, Baldrickus - Tony Robinson
    Lady Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth - Miranda Richardson
    Archdeacon Darling, Duc de Darling, Duke of Darling - Tim McInnerny
    Viscount George Bufton-Tufton, Georgius - Hugh Laurie
    Bishop Flavius Melchett, Melchett, General Melchecus, Stephen Fry
    Robin Hood - Rik Mayall
    William Shakespeare - Colin Firth
    Maid Marion, Queen Marion of Sherwood - Kate Moss
    Nursie - Patsy Byrne
    Tyrannosaurus Rex - Himself
    Naopleon - Simon Russell Beale
    News reporter - Jenny Bond
  • Friar Tuck - Crispin Harris

Crew Edit

  • Written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton
    Music composed by Howard Goodall
    Produced by Sophie Clarke-Jervoise
    Directed by Paul Weiland
    Those executive producer types were Peter Bennett-Jones and Geoffrey Perkins
    Guy Bensley did the editing
    Tony Pierce-Roberts (BSC not BSE) was the director of photography
    Andrew Howe-Davies was the production designer
    Hazel Pethig designed the costumes
    Jan Sewell was the make-up designerEmma Freud did the script editing

References Edit

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Story Notes Edit

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Ratings Edit

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Filming Locations Edit

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Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors Edit

  • In an attempt to win his cash bet, Blackadder steals the Duke of Wellington's boots, which he finds sticking out from under the time machine after Wellington is crushed by it. However, when the time machine first falls on Wellington, his entire body is obscured and his boots are not sticking out.
  • When Blackadder returns to fix his mistake with William Shakespeare, he points to the piece of paper that Shakespeare has just signed and says "King Lear, very funny." However, he when he shows the others his signed title page, it is for Macbeth. Blackadder was simply trying to placate Shakespeare.
  • When Blackadder firsts enter the Time Machine, one of the filming crew can be seen lifting the door behind him.
  • When Blackadder runs into Shakespeare after his visit with Elizabeth I, he picks up a copy of "Macbeth". "Macbeth" was written during the time of James I.
  • When Blackadder exits the time machine in the Elizabethan era, the lights in the basement are electric wall lights and couldn't have featured in an Elizabethan building.
  • When Blackadder walks down the stairs showing Leonardo Da Vinci's sketchbook, we hear him talking about it, but his lips don't move
  • A major plot point is that Blackadder and Baldrick spend most of the story with the problem that they can't control the time machine, as they only get home after risking Baldricks life. However, after that they seem to be able to pilot it with ease, how exactly do they learn?
  • The position of Blackadder Hall seems to change, according to this story it's near Scotland, but in the second series, it was near London.
  • The various locations that the time machine appears in implies that it can also move through space.
  • In the alternate timeline Blackadder has become King, so why are all his friends in that hall togther?

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DVD and Other Releases Edit

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See also Edit

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External Links Edit

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