Episode 2 – "Head"
By Richard Curtis & Ben Elton

E: Edmund Blackadder
M: Lord Melchett
Q: Queenie
N: Nursey
B: Bladrick
P: Percy
LF: Lady Farrow
MRP: Mr. Ploppy, MRSP: Mrs. Ploppy

SCENE 1 (Home of Edmund Blackadder)

BA: Right Baldrick, let’s try again shall we? This is called adding. If I have two beans, and then I add two more beans, what do I have?

B: Some beans.

BA: Yes…and no. Let’s try again shall we? I have two beans, then I add two more beans. What does that make?

B: A very small casserole.

BA: Baldrick, the ape creatures of the Indus have mastered this. Now try again. One, two, three, four. So how many are there?

B: Three

BA: What?

B: And that one.

BA: Three and that one. So if I add that one to the three what will I have?

B: Oh! Some beans.

BA: Yes. To you Baldrick, the renaissance was just something that happened to other people wasn’t it?

Enter P wearing an enormous rough.

P: Edmund, Edmund, come quickly the queen wants to see you.

BA: What-

P: I said "Edmund, Edmund, come quickly the queen wants to see-"

BA: Please let me finish. What, are you wearing round your neck?

P: Ah! It’s my new rough!

BA: You look like a bird who’s swallowed a plate!

P: It’s the latest fashion actually and as a matter of fact it makes me look rather sexy!

BA: To another plate swallowing bird perhaps. If it was blind and hadn’t had it in months.

P: I think you may be wrong.

BA: You’re a sad laughable figure aren’t you Percy? What do you think of Percy’s rough Baldrick?

B: Four.

BA: What?

B: Some beans and some beans is four beans.

BA: No, no. We’ve moved on from advanced mathematics, we’re onto elementary dressmaking. What do you think of Percy’s rough?

B: I think he looks like a bird who’s swallowed a plate my Lord.

BA: No that’s what I think, that’s what I think! What do you think? Try to have a thought of your own, Baldrick, thinking is so important. What do you think?

B: I think thinking is so important my Lord.

BA: I give up! I’m off to see the queen.

P: Oh shall I come too my Lord?

BA: No, best not, people might think we’re friends. You stay here with Baldrick.Bird neck and bird brain should get on like a house on fire!

SCENE 2 (The Royal Palace)


M: Grey, I suspect Majesty.

Q: I think you’ll find it was orange Lord Melchett.

M: Grey is more usual mam.

Q: Who’s queen ?

M: As you say Majesty, there were these magnificent orange

elephants which were coming…..

BA: My Lady (Queeny screams), you wish to see me.

Q: Yes, Lord Melchett has bad news.

BA: Lord Melchett is bad news.

Q: (Laughs) No, be serious. Melchett!

M: Unhappily Blackadder, the Lord High Executioner is dead.

BA: Oh woe ! Murdered of course.

M: No, oddly enough no. They usually are but this one just got

careless one night and signed his name on the wrong dotted

line. They came for him while he slept.

BA: He should have told them they had the wrong man.

M: Oh he did, but you see they didn’t, they had the right man

and they had the form to prove it.

BA: Te. bloody red tape eh ? And the bad news ?

Q: The bad news is that actually there are simply hundreds of

catholics who desperately want their heads sneaked off and

there’s no-one to organise it.

BA: Hm, well I pity the poor sod who gets the job.

No-one ever survives it more than a week.

M: Mhm. I have taken the liberty mam, of drawing up a list of suitable


Q: Oh goodo, let’s hear it.

M: List for the post of Lord High Executioner –

Lord Blackadder.

BA: Ah He.

SCENE 3 (Back at Edmund Blackadder’s home)


BA: Right then. Let’s take a look shall we? Who’s first into the head basket

then? Admiral Lord Ethingham and Sir Francis Drake on Monday.

P: That should draw a crowd.

BA: Hm?

P: Well, sailing enthusiasts.

BA: Oh yes, better make sure there’s a few anchors and things on the

souvenier stall.

P: Aye, aye, sir.

BA: Never, ever try to be funny in my presence again Percy. Right,

Buckingham and Ponsonby on Friday. Oh wait a minute. Farrow on

Wednesday. Who’s Farrow when he’s not having his head cut off?

P: Ah, James Farrow, pleasant bloke from Dorchester.

BA: Don’t know him, never will either. Yes, and he goes on Wednesdsay?

P: Hmm.

BA: It’s not right though, is it?

P: Well no! I mean now you come to mention it, my Lord, there was

absolutely no evidence against young Farrow at all! It was an outrageous

travesty of justice!

BA: No, it’s not right that he should be on Wednesday when we could stick

him in on Monday and have half the week off.

P: Oh I see. Yes, that’s right.

BA: Pop him in on Monday. Right, good! Five dead in two days. Not a bad

start. Oh yes Percy, and the new rough?

P: Better?

BA: Worse.

P: Ah, the fashion today is towards the tiny.

BA: In that case, Percy, you have the most fashionable brain in London.


SCENE 4 (At the jails)


BA: Right, good morning team. My name is Edmund Blackadder

and I’m the new minister in charge of religious genocide.

Now, if you play straight with me you’ll find me a considerate

employer, but cross me and you’ll find that under this playful

boyish exterior beats the heart of a ruthless sadistic maniac.

Now my man you are ?

MRP: Eh, jailor Sir, my Lord.

BA: Good, well done and your name is ?

MRP: Ploppy Sir.

BA: Ploppy ?

MRP: Yes Sir.

BA: Ploppy the jailor ?

MRP: That’s right Sir. Ploppy son of Ploppy.

BA: Ploppy, son of Ploppy the jailor ?

MRP: Ah ach no Sir. I am the first Ploppy to rise to be jailor.

My father, Daddy Ploppy was known as Ploppy the slopper.

It was from him that I inherited my fascinating skin diseases.

BA: Yes you are to be congratulated, my friend, we, we live in an age

where illness and deformity are common place and yet Ploppy, you are

without a doubt the most repulsive individual that I have ever met.

I would shake your hand but I fear it would come off.

MRP: There’s no many bosses would be that considerate sir.

BA: Thank you Ploppy, I do my best. Now then woman. if indeed you are a

woman, what is your function on death row ?

MRSP: I’m the last meal cook Sir. The prisoners may ask for what they fancy

for there last meal…..

BA: And you cook for them what they desire ?

MRSP: Oh yes Sir, provided they ask for sausages. Otherwise they tend to get

a tiny bit disappointed. Sausages is all I got.

BA: You are clearly a woman of principle and compassion mistress eh ?

MRSP: Ploppy Sir.

BA: Ah, so you are married to…

MRSP: No, many people think that but it’s pure coincidence. We did laugh

when first we found out. "Good morning" mistress Ploppy he’d say,

and I’d say "good morning ..


MRSP: Mr. Ploppy" (both laugh)

BA: The long winter evenings must just fly by. Ah ! and you must be the

boy who makes the tea ?

MRP: Ah no Sir, he’s the executioner but he does sometime make the tea.

BA: Yes, and your name is ?

B: Baldrick my Lord, but I’ll change it to Ploppy if it’ll make things


BA: No thank you. I can cope with more than one name. What are you doing

here ?

B: Well, it’s a hobby

MRSP: It would be more, more fun Sir if he were to change his name. Give the

place a more family atmosphere.

BA: A family atmpsphere ? This is meant to be a place of pain and misery

and sorrow.

MRSP: That’s what I mean Sir.

MRP: Eh, Mistress Ploppy is a bit of a social realist Sir.

BA: Now then, we’re going to run a fast efficient operation and I intend to

do as little work as possible. My deputy Percy here will explain.

P: Good afternoon staff, my name is Lord Percy and if you play fair by me

you will find me a considerate employer, but if you cross me BY JOVE,

you …

BA: Just tell’em the plan duckface.

P: My Lord, not in front of the staff.

BA: Get on with it.

P: Right Staff, as you know we are scheduled to execute Drake and

Ethingham on Monday, Lord Farrow on Wednesday and Buckingham and

Ponsonby on Friday. But in order to give us the middle of the week off,

Lord Blackadder has decided to move Farrow to Monday.

BA: Lets just say he’s got time off for good behaviour.

SCENE 5 (The Royal Palace)


LF: Your Majesty.

Q: Yes Lady Farrow?

LF: My husband dies tomorrow. I besiege you, even if you cannot save his


Q: Which I don’t think either of us would want seeing as how he’s a

horrible traitor!

LF: Of course not Your Majesty. But if he must die, may I see him?

Q: But of course. What’s she asking me for? Why doesn’t she just go along

to the execution with everyone else?

M: No Your Majesty, I don’t beleive she wants to see him die, I believe

she wants to see him before he dies.

Q: How odd.

M: Your Majesty?

Q: She’s not seen him! I wouldn’t marry someone I’d never seen. You should

take marriage a bit more seriously next time!

LF: (cries)

Q: Oh come now Lady Farrow, crying isn’t going to help your husband now.

N: No! Ointment! That’s what you need when your head’s been cut off!

That’s what I gave your sister Mary when they done her. "There, there"

I said, "you’ll soon grow a new one."

Q: Shut up Nursie. Of course you may see your husband my dear, and if the

horrid old Edmund tries to stop you give him this. It’s a warrent, for

his own execution!

LF: Oh thank you Mam. May flights of angels sing you to your rest!

Q: Yes, I’m sure they will!

SCENE 6 (Blackadder’s Home)


P: Hip, hip …

BA: So, they’re all dead are they ?

P: Yep, all three Drake, Ethingham, Farrow

MA: Splendid, any interesting last words

P: Well Farrow was rather moving my Lord. A great strong man, he stood

there, gaunt and noble in the early morning mist and in a loud clear

voice he cried out "My wife might have bloddy well turned up"

BA: Ha, she’s probably shacked up with some new pair of tights already.

Right well unless Lord Percy has anything to add, you lot can amuse

yourselves in whatever foul depraved way you feel fit til’ Friday.

MRP&P: Thank you Sir.

P: Well staff, eh I’ve got a few notes on today’s show. On the whole I was


BA: They’ve gone Percy

P: Eh eh eh team, team.

B: My Lord, there is a lady outside to see you.

BA: Oh is she pretty ?

B: I don’t know, what d’you think?

BA: Well I don’t know do I? I haven’t seen her yet.

Make yourself scarce Baldrick.

B: Oh right.

LF: Good evening Lord Blackadder.

BA: Well it certainly is now. Perhaps you’d like to slip into something

more comfortable.

LF: No, my lord, for there is a great pain in my heart.

BA: It’s probably indigestion, I’ll soon take your mind off that.

LF: It’s my husband.

BA: Your husband’s got indigestion? Well, he won’t be bothering us then.

LF: No, he dies tomorrow.

BA: Oh come, you can’t die of indigestion, you’re over dramatising.

LF: He is to be executed at your order. I am Lady Farrow.

BA: Ah, and what exactly did you want of me?

LF: I wish to see my husband tonight.

BA: Ehe! Not really possible actually.

LF: (Starts to whimper)

BA: Excuse me just a second. Baldrick!

B: My lord?

BA: That Farrow bloke you executed today, are you sure he’s dead?

B: Well I chopped his head off, that usually does the trick.

BA: Yes, don’t get clever with me Baldrick. I just thought you might have

lopped off a leg or something by mistake.

B: No, the thing I chopped off had a nose.

BA: Fine!

Yes, I’m so sorry. I’ve just been consulting my legal people and I’m

afraid there really is no chance of a meeting.

LF: But the queen told me it would be allowed.

BA: Really?

LF: Yes, and that if you said "no", I should give you this.

BA: Eh he! Fine, fine, absolutely, why not?

SCENE 7 (At the jails)


BA: Right Baldrick, is that all clear?

B: Yes, em, I’ve killed someone I shouldn’t have killed, and now you want

me to put a lady on my head and talk to his old bag.

BA: No, I want you to put a bag on your head and talk to his old lady.

B: Why? Why do I want a bag on my head?

BA: In order, ningcompoop, that she should believe that you’re her husband.

B: Why, did he used to wear a bag on his head?

MRP: Young, young Ploppy here has a point My Lord, Lord Farrow never wore a

bag, he was an old fashioned sort of gent.

BA: Look-

P: Well, yes, My Lord, I mean, I hadn’t meant to mention it but I have been

wondering all along why you should think Baldrick with a bag on his head

is going to be a dead ringer for Lord Farrow, because he’s not!

BA: Look, cretins, the bag is there in order to obscure Baldricks own

features, and many might think, incidently, that that would be reason

enough for him to wear it. Before I bring in Lady Farrow I shall explain

to her, inventing some cunningly plausible excuse, that her husband has

taken to wearing a bag. She can then chat to Baldrick imagining him to

be the man she married and the queen need never know of my little


MRP: Why, My Lord, that is a brilliant plan.

P: Foolproof.

BA: You’re very kind.

MRP: Although there is something lurking at the back of my head that bothers


BA: It’s probably a flea.

Enter MRSP

MRSP: Your lordship, Lady Farrow awaits your pleasure.

BA: All right, OK. Go on, quick! Quick!


BA: Ah, Lady Farrow, what a real pleasure it is to see you again.

LF: It is my beloved that I shall be pleased to see.

BA: Well quite, quite. Though I should warn you that he, eh, he will not be

quite as you knew him.

LF: You fiend! What have you done to him?

BA: We have put…. a bag over his head.

LF: Why?

BA: Well, the thing is, you see, none of the other prisoners have such

shapely widows, baa wives I should say, and therefore in the interests

of the condemned community, your husband has nobly agreed to wear a bag.

It was either that or have all the other prisoners in there with you.

LF: How like him to make such a gesture.

BA: Yes, yes. Well I’ll just go and check he’s bagged up. Right Balders,

this is it.

Enter MRP,P

MRP: My lord!

BA: Oh what is it now Ploppy?

MRP: I have located my nagging doubt. It’s a small point, but I do now recall

that Lord Farrow was considerably taller, more than a yard taller, than

young Ploppy here.

BA: If you want something done properly you’ve got to do it yourself,

haven’t you? Anything else I should know?

MRP: Oh yes, he had a very deep voice, big deep booming voice.

BA: So quite like mine then?

MRP: No, my lord, a big deep booming voice.

BA: Well mine’s quite deep.

MRP: Ah not like his, and in fact, he was even taller than you, my lord. Oh

a giant of a man.

BA: Yes, all right, all right, don’t rub it in. Percy, you’d better go

and have another word with her. Go on, go on.

P: Em, sorry about the delay madam, eh, as you know, you are about to meet

your husband, whom you will recognise on account of the fact that he has

a bag over his head.

LF: Why I would know my darling anywhere.

P: Well, yes, there are a couple of other things.

LF: I am prepared for the fact that he may have lost some weight.

P: Yes, and some height. That’s the interesting thing, eh, you’ll

probably hardly recognise him at all actually.

LF: You’ll be telling me his arm’s grown back next.

P: Eh, excuse just for a sec. He’s only got one arm!!!

MRP: Ah yes!

BA: Oh well I shall just have to stick it inside the shirt. Which one?

Which one?

P: Eh, eh, hang on! Em hang on! Em, em, eh, how do we know you’re his wife?

LF: What?

P: Em, well, you know, you could be a gloater.

LF: I beg pardon.

P: You know, a gloater, eh, come to gloat over the condemned man. I mean

we’re up to our ears is gloaters here. "Can I come in for a gloat?" they

shout and we shout back "Oh you heartless gloaters".

LF: (cries)

P: All right, all right, I tell you what. I’ll believe you’re not a

gloater if you tell me which arm he hasn’t got.

lf: His left of course! Now let me see my husband!

P: Right! it’s the left. Good luck!

BA: Gloaters, you really are a pratt aren’t you Percy ?

Right, don’t forget in two minutes you interrupt me all right ?

And no more than two minutes otherwise I’m in real trouble, and don’t

forget because..?

B: Because we’re not at home to Mr. Cockup!

BA: Correct.

MRP: Remember the voice my lord.

BA: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Exit B, P, MRP.

BA: Enter.

LF: James?

BA: My darling!

LF: How are you?

BA: Oh fine, fine. Food’s not bad. Apart from the sausages.

LF: You’re voice is somehow different.

BA: Oh, how?

LF: Somehow lighter, not as deep or booming as once it was.

BA: Is that better?

LF: Oh my darling! Oh call me by that name you always called me to show

your love is still strong.

BA: Ah yes, look, do you think this is quite the time or the place for

that sort of thing ?

LF: Please!

BA: Em this is the specific secret little name that I always used to

call you? You want to be called it again, is that right?

LF: Yes, the one like ‘your little pumpkin’.

BA: The one like ‘your little pumpkin’ but not actually ‘your little

pumpkin’ ?

LF: No.

BA: Em, right then, my little pumpkinywumpkiny ?

LF: Oh my darling! AH! Your arm!

BA: What’s wrong with it?

LF: What happened to it?

BA: Well, well, I’m rather hurt you don’t remember yourself in fact.

LF: But it was only cut off at the elbow.

BA: Aagh!

LF: What happened to the rest?

BA: Ah, yes, well, well I got into a scrap here with a fellow who called

you a nosey little strumpet who was always going blubbing to the


LF: Oh!

BA: And we got into a fight, and he cut off the top half.

LF: Oh alas!

BA: Eh, ah, yes of course, well I think you’d better be going. Lord

Blackadder said he was going to be sending in his servant Baldrick

to collect me.

LF: Perhaps, my lord, he is leaving us for a little longer.

BA: Oh no, no, no. I shouldn’t think so. BALDRICK!!

He’s usually very punctual.

LF: Perhaps this Baldrick is doing it out of kindness.

BA: Oh no, I shouldn’t think so. BALDRICK!! He, he he’s a very unkind


LF: Well then, let us leap on the moment that we have been given and use

it to its full.

BA: What ?

LF: Let me do this last thing for you! What wife could do more ?

BA: What? Oh, I see.

Enter B.

B: Right, that’s it. Time up!

BA: No it isn’t.

B: Yes it is! Come along. Time’s up! Come along.

LF: Oh we’ve had so little time. May we finish what we began in paradise.


B Farewell.

Exit LF.

BA: Baldrick, you bastard! You utter bastard!

That was the first time ever, in my whole life. I’ve been on this

pultry, boring planet for 30 years and that’s the first time ever

anyone has ever attempted…

Enter LF.

LF: But do not despair my lord. Your brother petitions the queen tomorrow

morning. There may still be hope!

Exit LF.

BA: What?

B: Shall I prepare the guest room for Mr. Cockup my lord ?


SCENE 8 (The Royal Palace)



Q: Oh yes alright then, let him off. He probably is innocent anyway.

F: My lady! May the heavens rain down radiant jewels and sweet meats

apon you.

Q: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

F: And may Cherabim and Seraphim…..

Q: Out!

BA: My lady, about Lord Farrow.

Q: I’ve let him off.

BA: No, no, no, no, you can’t. He’s a complete cad of the first water.

Q: ‘Can’t’ is not a word for princes Lord Blackadder.

M: How very true majesty.

Q: Anyway, I won’t be argued with, will I Nursey?

N: Well sometimes my darling when you want something very naughty. No

you won’t be argued with absolutely not.

Q: Precisely. So Lord Backadda ha! I want to see Lord Farrow here in

1 hour. Meanwhile, I shall spend the time visiting my old friend Lord

Ponsonby who I believe I’m having killed on Friday – Come on Nursey,

let’s see if there are any good heads in Traitor’s Cloister on the way!

BA: Percy, this is a very difficult situation.

P: Yes, my lord.

BA: Someone’s for the chop. You or me in fact.

P: Ah yes.

BA: Let’s face facts Perc, it’s you!

P: Except, Exc-ept, I may have a plan.

BA: Oh yes.

P: Yes, eh, eh. How about if we get Lord Farrow’s head and body and we

take it to the queen, except, exc-ept just before we get in,we start

shouting and screaming, and then we come in saying "We were just on

our way when he said something traitorous and so we cut his head off

in the corridor just to teach him a lesson".

BA: Pathetic! Absolutely pathetic! Contemptable! Worth a try. Where did

we put the head?

P: It’s on a spike in traitor’s cloister.

BA: Oh God, well that’s where the queen’s gone! Did she know Farrow?

P: Oh yes, they were childhood friends.

BA: Well what if she sees his head on a spike? She’ll, she’ll, she’ll

realise he’s dead!

P: Yes.

BA: You fetch the body, and I’ll cover the head.


SCENE 9 (Traitor’s cloister)


Q: Oh! Hello Edmund. Look I’m sorry I snapped at you just now. You know I’m really very keen on you indeed don’t you ?

BA: Oh yes mam, as you were keen on Essex.

Q: Exactly!

BA: Right up to the point at which you had his head cut off.

Q: (laughs) He didn’t mind that, he knew it was only little me! And I must say, his head did look jolly super on its spike. Are there no heads on spikes today ?

BA: Em, no. No, we’re training up a new executioner and he’s a little immature. Takes him forever. Slash, slash, slash. By the time he’s finished you don’t so much need a spike as a toast rack.

Q: I like toast. Still, must be off to say bye bye to Ponsonby. Would you care to stroll with me a while just if you’ve got time, if you’re not to busy.

BA: No, sorry mam, affairs at office-

Q: I said "Would you care to stroll with me a while, just if you’ve got time, if YOU’RE NOT TOO BUSY!"

BA: It would make the decade wothwhile!


BA: And in Genoa, ’tis now the fashion to pin a live frog to the shoulder

braid, stand in a bucket and go "bibble" at passers by.

Q: Oh, our Italian cousins!

BA: Well if you’ll excuse me mam, I’ve got some business to attend to.

Q: Certainly. But first Edmund, take my hand. Tell me you forgive my

former sharpness.

BA: Em. M’lady

Q: Sweet Lord Blackadder.

Exit Q,N. Enter P.

BA: Percy.

P: Well, I’ve got the body my lord and I see you’ve got the head.

BA: Yes but look it’s no good Percy, no-one’s ever going to believe

we’ve just cut it off, it’s gone green! We’re doomed.

P: Doomed. Oh wait a moment, that’s not Farrow!

BA: Isn’t it ?

P: No, that’s Ponsonby.

BA: My God, Ponsonby! That genius Baldrick has killed the wrong bloke.

We’re saved.

P: Saved.

BA: Then Farrow is alive and we’re saved.

P: Hooray!

BA: And when the queen gets back from seeing Ponsonby we’ll – Oh God!

P: Oh doomed! Doomed!


SCENE 10 (At the jails)


Q: It’s not very nice here is it?

N: No, it’s not meant to be my pikelet. This is where all the horrid people who don’t like you live.

Q: Hmm, I suppose so. It’s a bit smelly too, isn’t it?

N: Ah well of course I’m used to that. In the mornings when you were a little baby ….

Q: Shut up Nursey! You – No not you, you’re too repulsive. You!

B: Yes, your Royal Majestic highness.

Q: Bring in Lord Ponsonby.

B: Yes your royal majestic .. thing!

Q: So strange, Ponsonby turned out to be a traitor. You would have thought that he’d have had problems enough – what with that hunch, and only having one leg!

N: Yes and that terrible speech problem

P: Your majesty.. Lord Ponsonby

BA: Your royal majesty. Sorry about the baaag. Didn’t have time to shave !




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