Money (Blackadder)

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"Money"
Blackadder episode
Episode no. Series 2
(Blackadder II)

Episode 4
Directed by Mandie Fletcher
Written by Ben Elton
Richard Curtis
Original air date 6 February 1986
Guest actors

Ronald Lacey
Cassie Stuart
Lesley Nicol
John Pierce Jones
Tony Aitken
Philip Pope
Piers Ibbotson
Barry Craine

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Potato"
Next →
"Beer"
List of Blackadder episodes

"Money" is the fourth episode of the BBC sitcom Blackadder II, the second series of Blackadder, which was set in Elizabethan England from 1558 to 1603.

Plot[edit]

Blackadder and a cheap prostitute named Molly are disturbed at four in the morning by the baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells, who has come to collect on a loan of one thousand pounds that Blackadder had taken out a year before from the Black Monks of St. Herod. When Blackadder admits that he cannot pay, the Bishop takes him to a graveyard, where they visit the grave of the last poor fool who "lost his wallet", who was "born in Chelmsford with the love of God" but "died in agony with a spike up his bottom". The Bishop informs Blackadder that he has until sundown to raise the money, or he will meet a similar fate. Although Blackadder tries to bargain with the Bishop by saying he would tell the Queen about the Bishop's affair with Molly, the Bishop tells Blackadder that the Queen wouldn't believe him.

Since Blackadder only has 85 pounds to his name, he has to work quickly to get some more money. Unfortunately, he is interrupted by a summons from the Queen. After cracking a ridiculously juvenile joke at his expense, the Queen forces Blackadder to pay up on her bet with Lord Melchett that Blackadder wouldn't fall for it. The bet is for 85 pounds, and Blackadder is left penniless – although due to what he calls "a cunning web of deceit", the entire court believe him to be incredibly rich.

Upon Blackadder's return home, Baldrick develops a cunning plan that Blackadder become a rent boy down at the docks. Blackadder is desperate for the money, but dresses Baldrick (rather than himself) in women's clothing and takes him to the docks where they encounter a fat and immature sailor who pays them sixpence for a kiss (from Blackadder), a goodnight story (Blackadder again) and a "good, hard shag" (from Baldrick). After Baldrick suggests that they bet the money on a cock fight after entering a bird that has odds of 40,000 to one, Blackadder is again summoned to the Queen, who pretends to apologise for her previous infantile joke. The apology is of course just another joke, and Blackadder is quickly relieved of his sixpence so that the Queen can play a game of shove ha'penny. While Blackadder is at the palace, Lord Percy utilises Blackadder's living room to attempt to discover the secret of alchemy and thus restore Blackadder's fortunes. Unfortunately all he ends up producing is a terrible smell and a lump of a green glowing substance (aptly named by Blackadder as 'green,') which Percy plans to make it into jewellery, although Blackadder doubts that there will be a trend for "jewellery that looks like snot."

Returning home once more, Blackadder determines that he must sell his house, and puts it on the market. He manages to sell it to a couple on the strength of the lack of indoor lavatories, and Baldrick beats the husband up until he agrees to pay £1100.

In this apparent moment of triumph, the Queen again summons Edmund to the palace, where she claims that the French intend to invade and that every noble must pay 500 pounds for the upkeep of the navies. Unfortunately for Blackadder, Lord Melchett is also penniless, and the Queen declares that since Edmund is "so fabulously wealthy", he can pay double to compensate. Blackadder protests that he has a cash flow problem, but the Queen notices his bulging purse containing just over a thousand pounds. As soon as he leaves it is revealed to be yet another practical joke at Blackadder's expense, although it doesn't occur to the Queen to return the money afterwards. Upon returning home Blackadder is faced with the imminent prospect of death, as he now has no money and will shortly have no house.

Blackadder tells Baldrick he lost the money and decides to run away, until Baldrick points out the Black Bank has branches everywhere and will find him no matter where he flees. Blackadder, finally accepting his fate, asks Baldrick if people would remember him if he dies. Baldrick replies they will indeed: they'll laugh, slap each other on the shoulders, and say, "you remember old privy breath?" Blackadder enquires and learns that 'privy-breath' is a nickname used by people who like him: others say "Whoops, I've trod on an Edmund!" when they stand in dog droppings.

Outraged that he is a laughing stock, Blackadder comes up with a cunning plan, and sends Baldrick out to obtain a number of items including a sleeping draught and the finest portrait painter in England. Baldrick returns with the painter, Leonardo Acropolis, who hides in the bedroom while the Bishop arrives. The Bishop arrives and prepares to kill Blackadder, but drinks the sleeping draught mixed with wine which Baldrick gives him and falls unconscious.

When he awakens, he is presented with a painting of himself in a hugely compromising position with another figure who turns out to be Lord Percy, dressed in a pink leather tutu. Blackadder uses this painting (and the preliminary sketches Acropolis made while completing it) to blackmail the Bishop into writing off his debt and giving him enough money to buy back his house and live in comfort once again. The Bishop is impressed with the depths of Blackadder's treachery, and asks him if he has ever considered a career in the Church. Blackadder replies that he could never get used to the underwear.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]