Blackadder Back & Forth

Synopsis: It's Millennium Eve and Blackadder is hosting a dinner party for a few select friends, Lady Elizabeth, Viscount George, Archbishop Melchett and Archbishop Darling. Baldrick devises yet another of his infamous cunning plans to help his ever greedy master Edmund Blackadder con money from his gullible friends. The pair build a "time machine" from empty cereal packets and place bets with their friends as to when in history they will travel, retrieving various artifacts from their travels as proof, items which Blackadder already owns! However, in a strange twist of fate the time machine actually works and the pair are thrown back in history initially to the Jurassic period. Gradually the pair start to return to their own time stopping off at various famous times in history such as Sherwood Forest and the Battle of Waterloo but will they make it home?
Genre: Comedy, History, Short
Director(s): Paul Weiland
  1 nomination.
33 min

Well, isn't this splendid

and absolutely tufty?

New Year's Eve 1999,

a new century and a new millennium.

Let's drink a great big slurpy toast

to global peace and understanding.

Bravo! After all, if history

teaches us anything,

it is that,

in the words of St. Burt,

"What the worid needs now,

is love, sweet love."

- Hear, hear.

- Total codswallop.

If history has taught us anything,

it is that the story of man

is one long round

of death and torture,

and burning people as witches

just because they've got a wart.

I'm sorry about the food

by the way.

Unfortunately, my cook got invited to

an orgy at Delia Smith's house,

and so our chef for this evening is

the man who empties the septic tank.


My Lord?

God save us.

I trust you're all

enjoying your food.

No, we're not actually, Baldrick.

What is this we're eating?

It tastes as if someone

with a bad chest cold

has taken two spoonfuls of Benylin

to loosen the phlegm,

and then coughed all over

an avocado.

Well, funny you should say that, sir,


Yes, all right, Baldrick.

Yes, thank you. You may go now.

I believe you've got some

other duties to attend to.

Oh, yes.

Excuse me please, everybody.

Oh my...

Now, where were we?

We were bally well

toasting the future.

Yes, and it might also be

a perfect time to look to the past.

How on earth

can one look at the past?

You can't see something

that's already happened.

- Unless you're on the lavatory.

- Good point, Bish.

Yes, or unless one's got

a time machine.

- How likely is that?

- Well, very likely actually, Darling,

because I've just built one.

Stuff and stonsense! I've heard

some rubbish in my time.

Every time I open my mouth, as

a matter of fact, but a time machine?

It's just... just... cobblers.

I can assure you it is not.

This is an original sketchbook

by Leonardo da Vinci.

And this year, I built a time machine

to his exact specifications.

Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest

breakthrough in travel

since Mr. Rodney Tricycle

thought to himself,

"I'm bored with walking,

I think I'll invent a machine

with three wheels and a bell,

and name it after myself."

Behold, the time machine.

Well, glaze my nipples

and call me Rita!

- It can't be real! A joke, surely.

- Certainly not.

When did I last play

a practical joke?

Well, when you said

you were dying of kidney failure,

and I donated you

one of my kidneys

and then you said it was an April fool

and we had to throw my kidney away.

Well, yes, there has been the odd

hilarious practical joke.

But not this time.

This is a working time machine.

And to prove it,

I suggest a wager.

I will bet you each 10,000 pounds

that I can travel through time

and bring back

any items of historical interest

which you choose to nominate.

- Darling?

- Yes, all right.

Yes, if you can travel through time,

I'll pay up,

so long as you bring back a...

genuine Roman centurion's helmet.

Very well,

a Roman centurion's helmet.

No no, that's much too easy,

What about the actual wellingtons

actually worn by Wellington

on the day he won

the battle of Waterloo.

Lady Elizabeth would like the

actual wellingtons worn by

the Duke of Wellington

on the day he won

the Battle of Waterloo,

- Anyone else?

- Oh, yes. Yes, I've got one.

I want you to get,

I'd like to see you get these,

an ancient reeking stinking pair

of 200 year old underpants.

that's the ticket.

Very well,

I shall be on my way.

It will of course,

take no time at all, in your time.

I shall merely step in,

there will be a momentary shuddering,

and I will emerge triumphant.

Farewell, dear friends.

Well done, Balders. Very impressive,

I'm sorry I didn't build it myself.

Don't worry, my Lord, I followed

DaVinci's instructions to the letter.

Even if you can't actually read.

That's right, but I have done

a lot of Airfix models in my time.

Right, so we've got

the centurion's helmet. Jolly good.

And the boots. Excellent.

- The underpants, where are they?

- Here you are, my Lord.

They're my very best pair,

and coincidently, also my very worst.

- So they're, in fact, your only pair.

- That's right, my Lord.

Stick them in the bag.


- Right, let's get this stuff going.

- Right, my Lord.

Yes, right.

Shake it about a bit,

make it look real. The best

New Year's Eve prank ever.

Here we go. You hide there.

Right, interesting.

- What's happening, my Lord?

- Well...

For God's sake,

do something, Baldrick!

Something useful.

Come on throw something!

Shoo! Go on, go away!

Sod off!

Try the underpants.

A bloody brontosaurus!

- Him, not me.

- What?

Sniff my skids!

Fascinating. One of history's

great mysteries solved.

The dinosaurs were in fact,

wiped out by your pants.

Well, Balders,

this is a turn up for the books.

You've built a working time machine,

and are therefore, very surprisingly,

- the greatest genius who's ever lived.

- Thank you, my Lord.

- Right, let's get out of here.

- No problem, my Lord.

Can you set the date

so we can get home?

Yes, I just turn that, pull that,

reset that there,

pull this lever like that,

and the date should come up.

But unfortunately it doesn't because

I was going to write the numbers on

- in pen but I never got round to it.

- Right.

So the date we're heading for is

two water melons and some cherries.

That's right, my Lord.

- In other words, we can't get home.

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Richard Curtis

Richard Whalley Anthony Curtis, CBE (born 8 November 1956) is a New Zealand-born English screenwriter, producer and film director. One of Britain's most successful comedy screenwriters, he is known primarily for romantic comedy films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones's Diary, Notting Hill, and Love Actually, as well as the hit sitcoms Blackadder, Mr. Bean and The Vicar of Dibley. He is also the co-founder of the British charity Comic Relief along with Lenny Henry. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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