Hair by Mr. Bean of London
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|"Hair by Mr. Bean of London"|
|Mr. Bean episode|
|Episode no.||Episode 14|
|Directed by||John Birkin|
|Produced by||Sue Vertue|
|Original air date||15 November 1995where?][|
"Hair by Mr. Bean of London" is the fourteenth episode of the Mr. Bean live action series, produced by Tiger Aspect Productions in association with Thames Video in 1995. It was first released on VHS as an exclusive straight-to-video episode, following the end of the television series. It was not broadcast in the UK until 2006.
Act 1: The Haircut
Bean goes to Derrick's barber shop for a haircut. After choosing what hair style he wants (by pointing to a calendar of Prince Charles), the barber attempts to make the first snip, but is unable to do so as Bean keeps tilting his head forward so he can read a magazine. The office phone then starts to ring, and Derrick reluctantly goes to answer it. All alone, Bean entertains himself by pretending to give someone a haircut, until two customers come in and assume Bean is a hairdresser. The first customer is a young boy and his mother leaves him in Bean's care as she runs to retrieve her purse she left at the shop. Bean places a bowl over the boy's head and cuts his messy shoulder length mullet and fringe into a neater bowl hairstyle. He then accidentally shaves off a small piece of the boy's hair while trying to use a razor, and ends up shaving a bald stripe down the middle of his head to even it out. Although it looks ridiculous, the boy is satisfied with his new hairstyle.
After the boy's mother returns and pays Bean for the haircut (which she cannot see, as Bean has covered the boy's hair with a hat), he returns to his seat just as Derrick returns from the phone, only for it to ring again. Bean then resumes being the substitute hairdresser, his next customer being a man with a ponytail (which apparently took over two and a half years to form). While trimming the ponytail, Bean becomes distracted by the magazine the man is reading and unintentionally detaches it. After he finishes, Bean uses a portrait of a ponytailed man over a mirror to deceive him and the man leaves, unaware that his real ponytail has gone.
Bean's final customer is Roger, a man who is purportedly a regular at Derrick's. After taking off his glasses, Roger mistakes Bean for Derrick due to his poor eyesight and asks for his "usual" haircut. Bean then proceeds to use the razor but, despite being as careful as he can, he accidentally shaves off Roger's toupee causing it to get stuck in the razor. He remedies it by applying mousse on Roger's bald spot and using bits of hair from the floor to create a new "toupee". Derrick finally returns from his phone call just as Roger pays him and leaves, and Derrick's initial confusion intensifies when the boy's mother and the man who had the ponytail storm in and demand to know where his supposed assistant (who is none other than Bean himself) is as they hate the terrible haircuts he gave (even though the boy insists he likes his haircut, his mother doesn't).
Bean then sneaks out by disguising his face with the Prince Charles calendar to avoid being recognised. Roger then storms in and mistakenly greets Bean as Prince Charles himself before going over to Derrick and berating him for his haircut. Bean finally makes it out of the door and makes a run for it.
Act 2: The fête
Bean goes to a fête. Firstly, he is unable to find somewhere to park, so he instead parks in one of the sheep pens (after sounding the horn to get the sheep out of the way). He then goes inside and cheats at the indoor games. First, he jogs a young boy who is playing a wire loop game, causing him to lose the game. He then plays the game himself, but after failing on the first attempt he unplugs it and wins; the owner realises it has been unplugged only after giving Bean his prize. Then he plays "Hit the Headmaster" (in which the late George Webb is the "headmaster") and gets a bit carried away. He throws objects, like canned peas and cereal boxes, at the "headmaster". He almost throws a chair, but a nearby teacher stops him.
Act 3: The Dog Show
Later, Bean attends a dog show, entering his Teddy into the competition. Bean cheats his way through everything even though he wins easily because the other kids' dogs were not trained well, much to the annoyance of the contest organizers. After the show, the organizer awards two kids a ribbon while Bean receives a huge bone, but does not want it, so he takes a jar of honey instead much to his satisfaction. He throws the bone back into the tent, creating a mayhem between children and dogs (off-screen). During the chaos, Bean exits the tent.
Act 4: The Railway Station
Bean gets off a train at London St Pancras railway station. Unfortunately, he has lost his ticket, so decides to sneak past the guards (including one played by Robin Driscoll). After numerous failed attempts, he hides inside a mailbag and crawls towards the gate. While the guards are gone, Bean climbs onto the gate, but two station workers turn the gate around. Bean crawls off the gate and celebrates, thinking that he has made it through, but ends up falling onto the train tracks, he climbed onto the road, and sit near some boxes, frustrated. Two station workers appear and put the mailbag (with Bean still inside) onboard a train carrying cargo and mail that is destined for Moscow. As the end credits roll, we see short clips of a ship sailing through a rough sea (most likely carrying the mail and cargo from the train earlier), and then of a French steam train and of marching Russian soldiers in Moscow's Red Square (indicating that Bean finally ended up in Russia).
As per the television series, studio sequences were recorded before a live audience at Teddington Studios.
On the door of the railway coach next to the English inscription of "MOSCOW", some pseudo-Cyrillic writing is visible "НПУЛЦА" (npultsa) instead of "МОСКВА". Co-writer Robin Driscoll made a cameo appearance as the railway guard - his first since "Mr. Bean Goes to Town".
The original recording of the choral theme by the Choir of Southwark Cathedral, was used in the opening titles. However, the end credits incorrectly credited it to the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.
"Hair by Mr. Bean of London" was first released on VHS in 1995 as a video exclusive and until 2006, it was the only episode never to air on any British television station. This episode was broadcast overseas and received its Irish premiere on RTÉ One in 2005 - it also aired on ABC in Australia[when?] and on TV3 in New Zealand[when?].
The episode was first screened on United Kingdom television on 25 August 2006, when it was shown on satellite, pay TV and cable channels Nickelodeon UK and Comedy Central Extra, but for some time, it remained the only full-length episode not to air on terrestrial television in the UK. It has since been broadcast on ITV.