Nob and Nobility

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"Nob and Nobility"
Blackadder episode
Nob and Nobility.jpg
Title card, illustrating the French Revolution theme of the episode.
Episode no. Series 3
(Blackadder the Third)

Episode 3
Written by Ben Elton, Richard Curtis
Original air date 1 October 1987
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Ink and Incapability"
Next →
"Sense and Senility"
List of Blackadder episodes

"Nob and Nobility" is the third episode of the third series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder.


Edmund is disgusted with the English obsession with the Scarlet Pimpernel, the masked vigilante who has saved so many French aristocrats from the French Revolution. After Edmund disparages the Pimpernel, two effete noblemen, Topper (Tim McInnerny) and Smedley (Nigel Planer), bet him a thousand guineas that he cannot go to France, rescue an aristocrat and present him at the French Embassy Ball. He accepts, but instead of actually going to France takes the far safer course of going to Mrs. Miggins' coffee house to find a French aristocrat willing to pretend he's been rescued. Le Comte de Frou Frou agrees to pretend he was rescued.

When they arrive at the embassy, however, they are arrested by a revolutionary (Chris Barrie) who has assassinated the ambassador. Blackadder, Frou Frou and Baldrick are put in a dungeon, but Frou Frou is later taken away by the revolutionary to be tortured. They are rescued by Smedley, claiming to be the real Scarlet Pimpernel, whom Blackadder accidentally poisons with a glass of wine and suicide pills that Frou Frou had given them earlier. Frou Frou also manages to escape, and they all manage to make it home. Frou Frou then reveals himself to be Topper in disguise, and that he and the "mysteriously missing" Smedley are together the Scarlet Pimpernel. Moments away from exposing Edmund's treachery, he accepts Edmund's offer of a glass of wine – and, of course, dies, Blackadder having slipped another suicide pill into the glass. Edmund convinces the Prince that he is The Scarlet Pimpernel, and collects an "enormous postal order" intended for the hero.

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