Episode 1 – "Bells"
By Richard Curtis & Ben Elton

E: Edmund Blackadder
M: Lord Melchett
Q: Queenie
N: Nursey
B: Bladrick
P: Percy
KT: Kate
FT: Kate’s father

(In the house of Kate and her father)

KT: Father, I must speak. I can be silent no longer. All day long you muttered to yourself, gibbered, dribbled, moaned and bat your head against the wall, yelling "I want to die". Now you may say I’m leaping to conclusions but you’re not *completely* happy, are you? It’s mother, isn’t it?

FT: No, it is not.

KT: You’re brooding over her death, aren’t you?

FT: Kate, for the final time, your mother is not dead. She’s run off with your uncle Henry.

KT: Dear father, I know you only say such things to comfort me.

FT: Your mother is alive and well and living in Droitwich. It is not her I brood over. I’m sad because, my darling, our poverty has now reached such extremes that I can no longer afford to keep us. I must look to my own dear tiny darling to sustain me in my frail dotage.

KT: But father, surely…

FT: Yes Kate, I want you to become a prostitute.

KT: Father!

FT: Do you defy me?

KT: But indeed, I do. For it is better to die poor than to live in shame and ignominy.

FT: No, it isn’t.

KT: I’m young and strong and clever. My nose is pretty. I shall find another way to earn us a living.

FT: Oh, please… go on the game. It is a steady job and you’d be working from home.

KT: Goodbye father. I shall go to London, disguise my self as a boy and seek my fortune!

FT: But why go all the way to London when you can make a fortune lying on your back?


(In the house of Edmund Blackadder.)

[Baldrick holds a dartboard over his head, while Edmund practises the bow]

B: Ah, very good shot, my lord.

E: Thank you, Baldrick.

[Percy walks in]

S: Sorry I’m late.

E: No, don’t bother apologizing. I’m sorry you’re alive.

S: Oh good, I see the target is ready. [Picks up the bow] I’d like to see the Spaniard who could make his way passed me.

E: Well, go to Spain. There’re millions of them.

S: I’ll advise them to stay there then. Keep their hands off our women.

E: Oh God, who is she this time?

S: I don’t know what you mean. Aah, ouch, aah.

[Edmund succeeds in pilfering a letter from Percy]

E: Aah, and who is Jane?

S: I’m sworn to secrecy. Torture me, kill me, you shall never know. Ooh, ouch… Jane Herrington. We’re very much in love, my lord.

E: This is *the* Jane Herrington?

S: Yes.

E: Jane – burry-me-in-a-"y"-shaped-coffin – Herrington.

S: I.., I think maybe there are two Jane Herringtons.

E: No… Tall, blond, elegant?

S: Right, that’s right.

E: Goes like a privy door when the plague is in town? Come on, get on with your shot. You’ll get over her.

… [Percy aims]

E: I did.

… [Percy aims again]

E: So did Baldrick actually. [Percy’s shot ends up way too low]

S: Damned!

E: You see, she’s got this thing about beards apparently.

S: Well, in that case I’m going to shave!

[Percy leaves]

E: Bad luck, Boulders.

B: Not to worry my lord, the arrow didn’t in fact enter my body.

E: Oh good.

E: No, by a thousand to one chance my willy got in the way.

E: Extraordinary.

B: And I only just put it there. But now, I will leave it there


E: That so Baldrick? It can be your lucky willy.

B: Yes, my lord. Years from now I’ll show it to my grandchildren.

E: No Baldrick, I think that grandchildren may now be out of the


Poor old Pee Brain, eh? Ha! Never catch me falling in love, that’s

for damned sure as mustard[?].

[Knock on the door]

E: Come in.

[Kate enters, dressed in boys clothes]

b: Good day to you, Lord Blackadder!

E: Ah, good day to you… boy?!. What is it brings you here?

b: I’m an honest hard working lad, but poor and I must support my

father who is stark raving mad. Therefore I come to London to seek a

servants wage.

E: Yes, indeed. Unfortunately I already have a servant.

b: The word is that your servant is the worst servant in London.

E: Hmm, that’s true. Baldrick you’re fired. Be out of the house in ten

minutes. Well young man you’ve got your self a job. What do they

call you?

b: Kate.

E: Isn’t that a bit of a girls name?

b: Oh..it’s..euh… short for… Bob!

E: Bob?!

b: Yes.

E: Well, Bob, welcome on board.

Sorry Baldrick, any reason why you are still here?

B: Euh .. I’ve got nowhere to go, my lord.

E: O surely you will be allowed to starve to death in one of the royal


B: I’ve been in your service since I was two and a halve, my lord.

E: Well that is the why I am so utterly sick of the sight of you.

B: Couldn’t I just stay here and do the same job but for no wages?

E: Well, you know where you will have to live.

B: In the gutter.

B: Yes.

E: And you’ll have to work a bit harder too.

B: Of course, my lord.

E: All right. Go and get Bob’s stuff in and chuck your filthy muck out

into the street.

B: God bless you, sweet master.

[Baldrick leaves, Percy enters again, without beard]

E: Oh Bob, this is Percy, a dimwit I don’t seem to be able to shake


S: Ah, hello there Bob, you young roister-doister, you. Ah, you look a

likely sort of lad for tricks and sports and all sorts of jolly,

rosy cheap capering, eh. Of course you do, and more besides, I

warrant thee, young scamp.

b: Thank you so much for letting me stay Lord Blackadder.

E: Oh not at all Bob. I’m looking forward to having you… Euh, having

another man about the house instead of that animal Baldrick. Excuse

me, I must go into the lavatory.

b: [to the camera] How little he knows and how much I would have him


S: I say Bob, I think this calls for a celebration. How about a game of

cup and ball and a slab of tea at Mrs. Miggins pie shop?

b: Get lost, creep!

S: Euh, euh, I like you young Bob. You’ve got balls.


In the court of Queen Elizabeth.

Q: Nice try Melchy, but it is no use. I’m still bored!

M: I’m very sorry madam. Your royal father used to be very amused by my

impersonation of Columbus.

Q: You don’t surprise me. He used to laugh at these people with the

funny faces and the bells.

M: Ah, jesters ma’m.

Q: No, lepers. Where is Edmund these days?

M: Ah well, the whisper on the underground grapevine, ma’m, is that

Lord Blackadder is spending all his time with a young boy in his


Q: Oh. Do you think he would spend more time with me if I was a boy?

M: Surely not madam.

N: You almost were a boy, my little cherrypit.

Q: What?

N: Yeah. Out you popped, out of your mummies pumpkin and everybody

shouting : "It’s a boy, it’s a boy!". And somebody said "but it

hasn’t got a winkle!". And then I said "A boy without a winkle? God

be praised, it is a miracle. A boy without a winkle!" And then Sir

Thomas More pointed out that a boy without a winkle is a girl.

Anyway, I was really disappointed.

M: Oh yes, well you see, he was a very perceptive man, Sir Thomas More.

Q: Oh, what *has* happened about Edmund? There is something very odd

about someone who spends all his time with a servant.

[Romantic interlude with Edmund and Bob walking in the countryside to the

tunes of "Greensleeves", "The Rain it Raineth Every Day", "Hey Nonny, I

Love You", "My Love is a Prick (On a Tudor Rose)", "Hot Sex Madrigal in the

Middle of my Tights" and "Many, many more…"]

E: Well Bob. We’re a couple of fine lads together, aren’t we? Let’s get

retted and talk about girls eh? Yes we could sink to really dirty

songs and… oh God, I find you curiously pleasant company, young


b: I’m honoured and for my part want nothing more than to be with

you… old man.

E: Well absolutely. I mean there is nothing more healthy and normal

than having a good chum.

b: What think you my lord of love?

E: You mean rumpy pumpy?

b: What would you say my lord if I were to say "I love you".

E: Eum, well of course it depends entirely on whom you said it to. If

you said it to a horse I would presume you were sick, if you said it

to Baldrick I would presume you were blind and if you said it to me,


b: Yes, my lord?

E: Well, well I’d naturally assume we were having a big lads joke about

back-tickle as the way we healthy fellows often do and I’d probably

grab you for a friendly wrestle and then we’d probably slap each

others sides like jolly good chums and laugh at what it would be

like if we really did fancy each other.

b: In that case my lord… I love you!

[Bob and Edmund engage in friendly wrestling, just when the mood changes,

Baldrick enters the room]

B: Don’t worry Bob. He used to try and kill me too.

E: Why didn’t you go Baldrick? Mighty glad to see you[?] What do you


B: Bah, I was wondering if I might sleep on the roof sir? Earlier the

towns bailiff says that if I lie in the gutter I will be flushed

into the Thames with all the other turds.

E: Yes, certainly Baldrick. Help your self. I was just off to bed

anyway. Euh.. good night Baldrick. Good night Bob.

b: Good night my lord.

E: Yes. Oh God…


At the doctors.

D: Now then what seems to be the trouble?

E: Well, it is my man servant.

D: I see. Well don’t be embarrassed if you got the pocks. Just pop your

man servant on the table and we’ll take a look at him.

E: No, I mean, it is my real man servant.

D: Ah, ah. And what is wrong with him?

E: There is nothing wrong with him. That is the problem. He’s perfect

and last night I almost kissed him.

D: I see. So you started fancying boys then, have you?

E: Not boys. A boy.

D: Yes, well let’s not split hairs. It is all rather disgusting and

naturally you’re worried.

E: Of course I’m worried.

D: Well, of course you are. It isn’t every day a man wakes up to

discover he’s a screaming bender with no more right to live on Gods

clean earth than a weazle. Ashamed of your self?

E: Not really, no.

D: Bloody hell! I would be. But still why should I complain? Just

leaves more rampant totty for us real men, eh?

E: Look, am I paying for this personal abuse or is it extra?

D: No, it’s all part of the service. I think you’re in luck though. An

extraordinary new cure has just been developed for exactly this kind

of sordid problem.

E: It wouldn’t have anything to do with leeches, would it?

D: I had no idea you were a medical man.

E: Never had anything you doctors didn’t try to cure with leeches. A

leech on my ear for ear ache, a leech on my bottom for constipation.

D: They’re marvellous, aren’t they?

E: Well, the bottom one wasn’t. I just sat there and squashed it.

D: You know the leech comes to us on the highest authority?

E: Yes. I know that. Dr. Hoffmann of Stuttgart, isn’t it?

D: That’s right, the great Hoffmann.

E: Owner of the largest leech farm of Europe.

D: Yes. Well, I cannot spend all day gossiping. I’m a busy man. As far

as this case is concerned I have now had time to think it over and I

can strongly recommend a course of leeches. [in chorus]

E: Yes. I ‘ll pop a couple down my codpiece before I go to bed.

D: No, no, no, no. Don’t be ridiculous. This isn’t the dark ages. Just

pop four in your mouth in the morning and let them dissolve slowly.

In a couple of weeks you ‘ll be beating your servant with a stick,

just like the rest of us.

E: You’re a sale[?] quack, aren’t you?

D: I’d rather be a quack than a ducky. Good day.


At the house of lord Blackadder.

B: Anything to follow my lord? There is this lovely fat spider I found

in the bath. I was saving it for my self but if you fancy it…

E: Shut up Baldrick. I don’t eat invertebrates for fun you know. This

is doctors orders.

B: Oh, I don’t hold with this new fangle doctoring. Any problems, I go

to the Wise woman!

E: Yes Baldrick. I am long past on trusting my self to some deranged

druid who gives her professional address as 1, Dunghill Mansions,



In Putney.

E: Tell me Young crone, is this Putney?

C: That it be, that it be.

E: "Yes it is". Not "that it be". You don’t have to talk in that stupid

voice to me. I’m not a tourist. I seek information about a


C: Ah, the Wisewoman.. the Wisewoman.

E: Yes, the Wisewoman.

C: Two things, my lord, must thee know of the Wisewoman. First, she is

… a woman, and second, she is …

E: .. wise?

C: You do know her then?

E: No, just a wild stab in the dark which is incidentally what you’ll

be getting if you don’t start being a bit more helpful. Do you know

where she lives?

C: Of course.

E: Where?

C: Here. Do you have an appointment?

E: No.

C: Well, you can go in anyway.

E: Thank you Young crone. Here is a purse of moneys… which I’m not

going to give to you.

W: Hail Edmund, lord of Adders Black.

E: Hello.

W: Step no nearer, for already I see thy bloody purpose. Thou plot is,

Blackadder: thou wouldst be king and drown Middlesex in a butt of

wine. Ah, ah, ah, ah.

E: No, no, no, no. it is far worse than that. I’m in love with my man


W: Oh well, I’d sleep with him if I were you.

E: What?

W: When I fancy people, I sleep with them. Oh, I have to drug them

first of course! Being so old and watty.

E: But what about my position, my social life?

W: Very well then. Three other paths are open to you. Three cunning

plans to cure thy ailment.

E: Oh good.

W: The first is simple. Kill Bob!

E: Never.

W: Then try the second. Kill your self!

E: Neu. And the third?

W: The third is to ensure that no one else ever knows.

E: Ha, that sounds more like it. How?

W: Kill everybody in the whole world. Ah, ha, ha …


At the house of Lord Blackadder.

E: Now look here Bob. I’ve got something very important to say to you

and I want you to listen very carefully.

b: Yes.

E: Look Bob. I’ve decided that you are to leave my service.

b: Oh no, my lord! My father will starve and I’ll have to become a..

male prostitute. And besides, I thought we were friends.

E: Oh we are friends Bob. Of course, of course.. In fact that’s the

reason I want you to leave my service and become my live-in[?] chum.

b: Oh my lord!

E: Now. I want to make definitely clear that I am in no way interested

in the contents of your tights.

b: You might be, my lord, if you knew what I kept in them.

E: Euh, ah.. I’ve learned of my self, well.. that I know what a

gentleman keeps in his tights. Thank you very much.

b: But my lord, I have a great secret.

E: What?

b: Prepare to be amazed. [Bob starts unbuttoning her blouse]

E: Oh no. You haven’t got one of these birthmarks shaped like a banana,

have you?

b: No.

E: Or, or, or a tattoo saying "Get it here"?

b: No.

E: Oh God. You’ve got one of those belly buttons that sticks outward,

haven’t you?

b: No my lord.

E: Now what can it possibly be?

[Mysterious music on a flute]

E: Aah… good Lord!

[Two minutes later, Bob and Edmund chatting at the table]

E: What was all that Bob’s stuff about then?

b: Because you would have just used me and cast me aside like you have

so many women before.

E: Would I?

b: Yes. But now you have a chance to grow to love me for what I really


E: Yes, that’s true and now I want to marry you, Bob.

b: Kate!

E: Then come, kiss me Kate!


In the Court of Queen Elizabeth.

M: I bring grave intelligence of your former favourite Lord Blackadder.

Q: Oh good.

M: It appears he wishes to marry a girl called Bob.

Q: It is a very odd name for a girl, isn’t it? Girls are normally

called Elizabeth or Mary.

N: And Donald…

Q: Mouth is open Nursie, should be shut.

N: Thing is true, sweet one. I had three sisters and they were called

Donald, Eric and Basil.

Q: Then why is your name Nursie?

N: That ain’t my real name.

Q: Isn’t it?

N: No.

Q: No, what is your real name then?

N: Bernard.

Q: Suites you, actually.

[Edmund enters the room]

E: Your Majesty.

Q: Oh, hello stranger.

E: I seek your permission to wed.

Q: So I hear. Melchie, what do you think of all this?

M: Oh, but I must confess madam, that I’m astonished that Blackadder

could possibly have eyes for any other woman than your self.

Q: Good point. Though slightly grovely.

E: Very well. When I fell in love I didn’t know she was a woman. I

thought she was a boy.

M: But of course that makes it perfectly acceptable, doesn’t it?

Q: Oh all right, go on and marry her.

E: Thank you, ma’m.

Q: Just tell me one thing. Is her nose as pretty as mine?

E: Oh, no, no.. ma’m.

Q: Oh good, because otherwise I would have cut it off. And then you

would have to marry someone without a nose and that wouldn’t be very

nice, would it?

E: No ma’m.

Q: Imagine the mess when she’s got a cold! Yuck!

E: Well, quite ma’m.

Q: All right, off you go then.

[Edmund leaves]

Q: Everyone seems to get married except me.

N: And me, Ma’m.

Q: Oh shut up, Bernard.


At Blackadders residence.

K: You’ll make a lovely bridesmaid Baldrick. Pity me that I have no

actual girl chums because we were so poor in our house we couldn’t

afford friends.

E: It is strangely in keeping with the manner of our courtship that

your maid of honour should be a man.

B: Thank you very much my lord.

E: Well, I use the word man in an as broad as possible sense because we

all know God made man in his own image. It would be a sad look out

for christians around the globe if God looked any like you,


K: Ignore old Mister Grumpy. There you are, Boulders. Hmm, you look

sweet as a little pie.

E: Kate, he looks like what he is: a dung ball in a dress.

[Percy enters]

S: Oh Edmund… [sees the bridesmaid]

Hello there… Edmund, you didn’t tell me we were expecting guests.

And such a pretty one too.

E: Oh God…

S: Now you’re a little cuty to be hiding your self away all these

years. Tell me gorgeous, what is your name?

E: He’s called Baldrick.

S: Baldrick.. that’s a pretty name. Edmund used to have a servant

called Baldrick. But anyway, away with such small-talk. Lady.. a


b: What?

S: And so modest too. Come on you little tease. You know you want to.

Give us a kiss.

b: All right, if you say so. [kisses Percy heavily]

S: Ohghw…he.. what an original perfume.

E: That is our Baldrick. He’s wearing a dress.

S: Ourgh..

E: Anyway, what do you want?

S: Ourgh… well euh.. [deep voice] Edmund, there has been some

discussion around the Court on the subject of who’s going to be your

best man and I thought it might be the moment to bring the subject

to a conclusion.

E: Ah yes, Percy. I would like you…

S: Oh, I’m so proud!

E: Please let me finish. I would like you to take this letter to Dover

where is recently docked the galleon of my old school friend and

adventurer Lord Flashheart. He shall be my best man.

S: Lord Flash Heart. The best sword, the best shot, the best sailor and

the best kisser in the kingdom.

E: Even he. To Dover at once!

S: Yes. Actually I was going to suggest Lord Flash Heart as the best

man my self.

E: Were you?

[S leaves, crying his eyes out]

In front of the church.

[Wedding bells]

K: Edmund I cannot believe it is really happening.

E: It is, my sweet.

K: Before we go in I want you to meet my father.

E: Oh fine!

E: [to the old man standing near them] Excuse me, could you move along

please. Look, I’m waiting for my father in law. Last thing I want is

some scruffy old beggar blocking the church door, smelling of


F: I am your father in law.

E: Oh no… All right, how much you want to clear off?

K: Edmund, how could you? He’s my father, my only living relative.

F: Ten pounds should do the trick.

K: Father!

E: All right, there we go.

K: Edmund, you mustn’t!

E: No, don’t worry, I’ll get Baldrick to beat him up after the

ceremony. We’ll get the money back. Come on, we’re late.


In the court of Queen Elizabeth.

Q: Ah Edmund. Could we get on do you think? I want to get to the

reception so I can get squiffy and seduce someone.

E: Yes.. oh.. unfortunately ma’m, my best man still has not arrived.

Q: Well, get another one.

E: Ma’m, there is no one else I can really think of.

S: Euh.

E: Sorry Percy?

S: Nothing my lord, just clearing my throat.

E: Don’t. I don’t want you coughing all the way through the ceremony.

Q: Oh, come on Edmund. You must be able to think of another best man.

E: Well, I suppose I could ask Percy. Percy!

S: My lord!

E: Can you think of another best man?

S: Well my lord. One name does spring to mind.

E: Yes. But I can’t ask Baldrick. He’s a bridesmaid and besides, I need

a friend, an equal, an old and trusty companion.

S: I think there is one person in the room who fits the description.

E: Of course… Nursie! How do you fancy putting on a pair of hose and

being my best man?

Q: Edmund, don’t be so naughty. You know perfectly well whom Percy is

referring to.

E: All right, I’m sorry. Melchard! [squeak] All right! All right! As

ashamed as I am and contradiction in terminus though it is, Percy,

you can be the best man.

S: Oh, my lord! Noble cause, oh what an honour. I brought along a ring,


E: I really did think old Flash would have turned up.

[Lord Flashheart enters in spectacular fashion]

F: It’s me, Flash! Flash by name, Flash by nature. Hurrah!

E: Where have you been?

F: Where haven’t I been! ..Waugh!!!.. But I’m here now.

F: Who is that?

E: I don’t know, but he is in your place.

F: Not for long. Hold that.

[Hands his sword to Baldrick, then throws Percy through the door]

F: Thanks bridesmaid, like the beard. Gives me something to hang on to.

F: So me old mate Eddie is getting hitched, hey? What’s the matter? Can’t stand the pace of the mmmm [grabs Edmund’s tights]. Hey queeny. You look sexy. Listen, wear your hair long, I prefer it that way.

Q: [to the camera] I’ve got such a crush on him.

F: Hey Melchie! Still worshipping God? Last thing I heard He started worshipping ME…

Ah Nursie, I like it firm and fruity. Am I pleased to see you or did I just put a canoe in my pocket? Down boy, down. And now… where is this amazing bird? The one who stopped my old pall Eddie doing exactly whatever he wants, ten times a night.

E: Ah yes Flash, let me introduce my… my fiancee Kate.

F: Hi, baby! [Flash kisses the bride]

F: She’s got a tongue like an electric eel and she likes the taste of a man’s tonsils. You don’t want to marry this jerk baby? Meet me on my horse in eight seconds.

K: But I can’t run in this frock. You see, I found I actually preferred wearing boys clothes.

F: Weird. I always feel more comfy in a dress. I got a plan and it’s as hot as my pants.

E: What a man Flash is, eh? Things will certainly liven around here, now he’s back. Flash. Flash??

[Flash (in dress) and Kate (in boys clothes) on a horse, about to depart]

F: So long, suckers! Next time you get bored with your lives just give me a call and I’ll come round and kill you.

K: Bye Edmund and thanks for everything. Hurrah!

[Flash leaves in the same style as he arrived]

M: It is customary on these occasions for the groom to marry the bridesmaid. I presume you intend to honour this.

B: I do.


[The end]



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