Mr. Bean Goes to Town

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"Mr. Bean Goes to Town"
Mr. Bean episode
Episode no.Episode 4
Directed byPaul Weiland (film sequences)
John Birkin (studio)
Written byRobin Driscoll
Richard Curtis
Rowan Atkinson
Produced bySue Vertue
Original air date15 October 1991 (1991-October-15)
Running time23:58
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Curse of Mr. Bean"
Next →
"The Trouble with Mr. Bean"
List of Mr. Bean episodes

"Mr. Bean Goes to Town" is the fourth episode of the British television series Mr. Bean, produced by Tiger Television for Thames Television. It was first broadcast on ITV on 15 October 1991[1] and was watched by 14.42 million viewers during its original transmission.

This was the first episode to be produced and broadcast in NICAM stereo and the first to be overseen by a new production team - directors John Birkin and Paul Weiland (working on studio and location sequences respectively) and producer Sue Vertue. It was also the first episode to introduce the familiar 'street' version of the title sequence.


Act 1: The Television[edit]

Mr. Bean has bought a television, and after bringing it home and having to crawl out his car window, brings it upstairs to his flat, whereupon he inserts a few coins into his electricity meter to feed power to the wall. Upon unpacking the television out of the box and setting it up on a stand, he realises he's looking at the rear of it. Bean plugs it into a socket and wonders why it is not coming on, only to realise he forgot to wire the plug with the TV's power cable. Upon doing so by screwing the cable into the plug, the TV is soon turned on and the aerial plugged in, only for him to discover he gets no reception, regardless of where he moves the aerial to. When he puts it on the ground, bends over and looks at it, the TV suddenly springs to life, only to go to static the moment Bean looks towards the TV screen. No matter what he does, he cannot get reception unless he is looking only at the aerial, with the TV screen not in his sights. Ingeniously, he decides to take off all his clothes and assemble them on a chair to resemble himself, while using the TV's cardboard box to cover up, finally managing to get a clear picture on the TV. Unfortunately, just as he sits down to watch the programme, the electricity meter runs out and cuts off the power, much to his annoyance.

Act 2: The Thief[edit]

Later that day, Bean heads out to the local park to try out his new Polaroid camera. Unable to get a clear shot, Bean asks a passer-by to take his photo, but the man tricks Bean and makes off with the camera.[2] Upon realising what he did, Bean seeks the thief out, eventually trapping him in a rubbish bin while stabbing him with a pencil, before he manages to get away just as a passing police officer (Matilda Ziegler) is alerted to the theft. At the police station, Bean tries to identify the thief in a police line-up but asks the police sergeant to make a slight alteration after having difficulty trying to identify the thief, requesting the men in the line-up to have rubbish bins over their heads. Using his pencil, Bean stabs each one until he hears the culprit's scream of pain that he recalls, effectively identifying him to the police.

Act 3: The Shoe[edit]

While heading through town, Bean feels an itch in his foot that he cannot get rid of, even when banging his shoe on the ground. Deciding to scratch it, he removes his shoe and sock and places them on the roof of a parked car, only for the car to drive off with them. Bean finds himself forced to hop through town trying to find them, briefly stopping in a shop to find a shoe that matches his own, but being unable to buy just one shoe when the salesman insists he buys a pair. Chasing after the car, Bean eventually manages to jump in front of it, causing his shoe and sock to fall off and into his grasp, and leaving him to thank the driver.

Act 4: The Photo Booth, the Club and Night Disco[edit]

In a dark alley, Bean finds himself having difficulty doing the back of his head upon stopping at a shop window to comb his hair in its reflection. To resolve the problem, he uses an ID photo booth to help him do this, before heading off to a nightclub called "Club Phut" (the word was previously seen as graffiti at the start of "The Return of Mr. Bean"), meeting up with his girlfriend Irma. As they head inside, Bean hits the power box for the club's neon sign, causing it to stop flashing and eventually cut out. Inside, the pair enter the stage area where a magic act is being performed by a magician, whereupon Bean is mistaken for a volunteer when he tries to get a waitress to serve them. He soon causes mayhem when the magician uses his watch for a magic trick, and messes up some of the magician's magical gimmicks while searching for his watch, much to Irma's embarrassment. Upon retrieving it but seeing his girlfriend gone, Bean heads out and into the club's dancefloor, while the magician angrily searches for him after he ruined his show.

Inside the disco, Bean tries to dance with Irma, only for his girlfriend to ignore him and dance with another man instead. Jealous, Bean tries to butt in and take back Irma, who ignores him and simply continues dancing with the other man, eventually leading him to force the man out of the disco. Hoping to get Irma to dance with him, Bean asks the DJ to change the music to something romantic, only to find that the man returned and is embracing Irma. Heartbroken, Bean leaves the disco but unwilling to be beaten, spots the club's power breaker and shuts it off on his way out. In the ending scene, Bean passes by a shop with televisions in its display on his way home, which go to static when he passes them, return to normal, even when he sticks his hand in front of them after the credits.



The day after the original transmission of this episode, Thames Television - which originally commissioned and broadcast the series on behalf of the ITV network - learned it would lose its broadcast franchise at the end of the following year. As an independent production company, Thames continued its involvement with the series after 1992, but the network commission and compliance responsibility was handed over to Central Independent Television, who also oversaw a number of Thames' independent productions for the ITV network.

The "Three Standing Figures" sculpture in Battersea Park

The location sequences in this episode were filmed at Battersea Park and Kingston upon Thames. Exterior scenes outside Mr Bean's flat were filmed in Surbiton for several episodes in the series. The location scenes also switched from using OB videotape to 35mm film. Studio sequences were recorded before a live audience at Thames Television's Teddington Studios.

Elements from this episode were later reused in episodes of Mr. Bean: The Animated Series:

  • The television sketch inspired the episode Big TV.
  • The scene in which Bean was distracted by the thief while he took his photo was adapted as part of a scene in the episode Chocks Away.
  • The police line-up scene was used as inspiration for the ending scene of the episode In the Pink.


The broadcast of the episode on Nickelodeon UK and Disney Channel, removed two segments in the Television sketch - where when Bean pushes wires into the plug for the television, and removes his trousers and underwear.


  1. ^ "Timeline". Archived from the original on 22 September 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  2. ^ The DVD-laser Disc Newsletter. 173-183. DVD-Laser Disc Newsletter. 1999. pp. 42–. In Mr. Bean Goes to Town he has his camera stolen in a park, he loses a shoe and tries to chase after it on one foot, and participates in a magic act at a night club. The classic turkey cooking episode appears on Merrv Christmas. Mr. Bean in ...

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