Blackadder’s Travels, Part 1, Lilliput
A parchment map of England fades into view. The camera slowly zooms in on London as Blackadder starts to narrate.
BLACKADDER NARRATES: As a small child in London, I was always fascinated by the view of merchant ships sailing in and out of port.
(View of a youth hanging on a rail, watching sailing ships.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: My imagination worked within me a conviction that my fate would one day rest on just such a vessel, making a similar voyage for the purpose of profit.
(View of three young men working as clerks in an accountant’s office. The desks are labeled with the clerks names: Marley, Blackadder, Scrooge)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: Throughout my education and career as an accountant, I still felt the pull of the maritime portion of the English economy.
(Middle clerk looks out the window dreamily. The camera follows his view, through the big window (marked Fezziwig’s) down the street to the docks. Zoom in on the back of man standing on a bridge watching a ship depart.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: Then one day, I finally seized my opportunity. (Man turns to reveal that it is BLACKADDER.) The Lady Luck went to sea with a full cargo bound for ports in Jamaica and Charleston, intending to return with an equally full cargo of rum, tobacco and other products of the Colonies. Because that ship went to sea, I was able to…
(View of BLACKADDER at the door of a manor house, smiling around the lawn)
BLACKADDER NARRATOR: …live in the ninth biggest house in London…
(View of BLACKADDER selecting a bottle from a wine shelf)
BLACKADDER NARRATOR: …drink from the sixth best wine cellar in England…
(view of BLACKADDER toasting wine glasses with an incredibly buxom blonde)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: …and enjoy the company of the second buxomest wife in all of Britain. Until The Lady Luck came back from the sea.
(Flashheart kicks open the door, dressed as a sea captain, carrying a bag of tobacco and a cask of rum)
FLASHHEART: Honey! I’m HOME!
(stops dead in his tracks at the sight of BLACKADDER and Buxomette)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: None of it was mine. So I took my leave of England for a while…
(BLACKADDER runs down a hallway in sheer terror)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: …followed by my loyal servant, Baldrick.
(BLACKADDER runs past BALDRICK, who is making goo-goo eyes at a maid, who returns the interest. BLACKADDER gestures, BALDRICK turns back to the maid as BLACKADDER runs off)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: …followed by my loyal servant, Baldrick.
(BLACKADDER steps back to BALDRICK’s side. Looks from him to the maid, then grabs BALDRICK by the ear and drags him down the passage)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: We took ship on the Antelope, which sailed with the tide that very evening.
(On the weather deck of a sailing ship, BLACKADDER and BALDRICK lean against the rail.)
BLACKADDER: So, Baldrick, tell me. Does the sea always smell of tar and dead fish?
BALDRICK: ‘At’s not the sea, Mr. Blackadder. ‘At’s the sailors.
BLACKADDER: No, no, the sailor’s smell of civet oil and rose water.
BALDRICK: Only the bosun, sir.
BLACKADDER NARRATES: So I was finally off to sea. (View of sailing ship against the setting sun) I found the sailors to be quite superstitious. They prayed for the ship not to sink. (At the rail, BLACKADDER is crowded by several sailors praying. Some genuflect, some genuflect backwards, and one taps him on the shoulder)
SAILOR: ‘Scuse me, sah. What comes before wallet and watch?
BLACKADDER NARRATES: They performed little rituals for luck, hoping for the ship not to sink. They varied by the sailor’s personal standards, and by how much he truly feared a sinking. (BLACKADDER reads by the mast. Sailors walk by, first one tapping the wood of the mast, then one kissing it, then one licking it, then one steps up to the mast, back to the camera, and starts to open his fly. Camera zooms on BLACKADDER’s horrified reaction). Sometimes they performed greater rituals, of papist origin, I think. I completely avoided these events, of dubious Christian value (BLACKADDER walking through a door onto the deck stops at the sight of a dozen sailors in orange robes chanting Buddhist mantras “Om mani padme hum”), but Baldrick fell victim to their blandishments, probably in direct result of his having been raised within the sight of a cemetery (BALDRICK chants at one side of the sailors)
BALDRICK: Oh, Mommy Pat Me Bum. Oh, Mommy Pat Me Bum.
BLACKADDER NARRATES: With all the time, attention, manpower and choreography spent on prayers and rituals, the rationalist must ask if perhaps, had they spent less time praying, and more time on a regular regime of shipboard maintenance, inspection and material diligence (View of BALDRICK and BLACKADDER in a rowboat on the sea) might the ship not have sank.
BALDRICK: Would you like to join me in a chant for a speedy rescue, Mr. Blackadder?
BLACKADDER NARRATOR: We were castaway upon the sea for only a short time before the boat began to show the results of the same material diligence as the ship had. (The rowboat begins to leak like a sieve) We salvaged what we could and just barely managed to make landfall on a distant island. (BLACKADDER and BALDRICK wade ashore. BALDRICK is weighted down with several bags, BLACKADDER has a bag of tobacco and a cask of rum.) It being the later part of the day, we made shift to sleep on the beach that night. On the morning we would explore the land.
(Morning: BLACKADDER rises, stretches, walks around the beach for a while. He comes across BALDRICK spread eagle on the ground.)
BLACKADDER: Morning, Baldrick, let’s look around a bit, see where we’re at.
BALDRICK: Can’t, Mr. B. I’ve been tied to the ground.
(BLACKADDER kneels to examine BALDRICK)
BLACKADDER: However did you manage that, Baldrick? You’ve fastened yourself to sand by threads wrapped around needles. Very detailed work, for a Neanderthal. Well, enough of that, let’s be about.
BALDRICK : (sitting up, needles and thread go ‘sproing’ in all directions) Yessir.
BLACKADDER: We need to find out where we are.
BALDRICK: Why don’t we ask him?
BLACKADDER: Ask whom?
BALDRICK: The little man.
BLACKADDER: What man?
BALDRICK: Perhaps a better question, sir, might be just how little?
BLACKADDER: Alright, just how little?
BALDRICK: The eensy, weensy, itty bitty, little man, Mr. B.
BLACKADDER: Baldrick, if you don’t start making some sort of sense very, very quickly, I should warn you that it has always been my life’s dream to see if the technology of this modern age was sufficient to manage the compression of a human being to the volume of a biscuit tin.
BALDRICK: The little man right there, sir.
BALDRICK: Down on the ground.
BLACKADDER: I’ve been looking down on the ground, Balders, it’s where I expect to find most men as angelic visitations have been noticeably lacking in my life to this point.
BALDRICK: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down to the ground. (kneels) Him.
BLACKADDER: Oh. My, that is tiny. (kneels beside Baldrick. A tiny little Melchitt is standing at the side of a stalk of grass.) Hello, there. Is there a circus nearby?
miniMELCHITT: No, you great goof, unless you’ve a stolen one in your pocket.
BLACKADDER: I say, it’s rather impolite to assume that I’m a thief when we’ve only just met.
miniMELCHITT: Well, you assumed I was a circus freak.
BLACKADDER: Ah, but that would only be a natural assumption, as you are so far below normal height.
miniMELCHITT: (waves. A thousand other Lilliputians step out of the grass to become visble.) Actually, I’m the one that’s close to ‘normal’ height.
(BALDRICK and BLACKADDER are walking along a Lilliputian road, with units of archers and horse before and behind.)
BLACKADDER: So, we seem to have discovered a new land, Baldrick. A land of teeny tiny Englishmen.
BALDRICK: Are they Englishmen, sir?
BLACKADDER: They will be, after they acknowledge our superiority, and we rise to power and make them all Englishmen under our rule. Then we go back to England and swear fealty to the King as the Lords of this place.
BALDRICK: Do you really want to become a peer as the Lord of the Lilliputians?
BLACKADDER: Good point. The political cartoonists would always have everyone examining my credential through a magnifying glass. Maybe we should just pocket what we can and take off.
miniMELCHITT: The Man Mountains will halt in the street, before the Royal Apartments. You will then stand with your feet apart, to either curb. The Emperor’s family will attend, as the King’s Horse will parade up the street, through the victory arch formed by your legs. The display will show the power of our lord Emperor.
BLACKADDER: I’m not sure I wish to display myself for the support of your ruler the first day I’m in your country.
miniMELCHITT: If you do not wish to swear fealty to the lord over the lands you now inhabit, then I’m not sure my legions of archers can support the threat you offer our nation.
(BLACKADDER turns to see that the streets in every direction are shown to be full of units of archers.)
BLACKADDER: Ah. Well, thing is, my trouser leg was torn a bit when our ship sank. If I stand legs akimbo, there’s going to be a display alright, but probably not one the Emperor will stand up to in favorable comparison.
BALDRICK : My trousers are fine, Mr. Blackadder. I’ll stand up for their march.
miniMELCHITT: Alright, then, Blackadder shall stand in the precincts of the park across the street, saluting his Royal Majesty.
(BALDRICK steps widely across the street. The troop forms up behind him. The Royal Family comes out onto the Balcony. Just then, BALDRICK lets loose with a prodigious fart. Horses rear and men scatter. BLACKADDER stands tall and offers a salute to BALDRICK’S explosive effort.)
BLACKADDER: Oh, very majestic, Mister Baldrick.
(A large cathedral sits on a ridge near a shore. The large doors at the front open and BALDRICK stoops to walk out, followed by BLACKADDER.)
BLACKADDER NARRATOR: After the fiasco of the parade, the Emperor was desirous of our removal from his presence, and from the better part of their society. A large building made to support the national superstitions was made available to us some distance from the Lilliputian capital. Lord Melchitt, their high admiral, strove to find some way we could be of benefit to the nation.
(BLACKADDER and BALDRICK sit on either side of a balcony, where miniMELCHITT paces back and forth)
miniMELCHITT: Perhaps you might destroy the fleet of our enemy, the Blefuscudians?
BLACKADDER: We could do that. Where would that be located?
miniMELCHITT: (points) Walk to the shore, turn right, walk to the green lighthouse, and the shore of Blefuscu lies across the strait. Swim over there, in fact one of your size might well wade over. Then go further to the right, where their greatest harbor is readying their fleet for an invasion.
BLACKADDER: Right. Baldrick, see to it, please.
BALDRICK: Right away, Mr. Blackadder. One un-fleeting coming up. (he rises and walks away.)
(Blackadder is dining beside the cathedral. On the balcony, miniMELCHITT is working on his own meal. Blackadder is eating a whole roasted bull like an ear of corn when BALDRICK returns.)
BLACKADDER: Welcome back, Baldrick, how went the sinking of the Blefuscudian fleet?
BALDRICK: Easy as pie, Mr. B.
BLACKADDER: (gestures towards the balcony) Well, then, regale us with the tale, that Lord Melchitt might realize our value.
BALDRICK: Sure. I went like he said, down to the beach. Then I went around the shore to the green lighthouse. I saw Blood first cue. Then I went around the shore until I came to a great big harbor. It was chock full of warships. So went up to the docks, and started heaving great big pieces of buildings at the fleet. BOOM! BOOM! SPLASH! SPLISH! I sank ship after ship. Then when all the big ones were gone, I came back.
miniMELCHITT: Excellent, excellent. I shall inform our majesty that the way lies clear for our own invasion fleet to sail for Blefuscu immediately. Why, the effect of this attack on their morale alone should be worth a battalion.
BLACKADDER: Um, I should wait just a minute on that, milord. Baldrick?
BALDRICK: Yes, Mr. Blackadder?
BLACKADDER: I notice, your clothes are dry.
BLACKADDER: Tell me, when you got to the part of the instructions about seeing Blefuscu, did you remember to swim over to Blefuscu before walking around to the harbor to attack the fleet?
BLACKADDER: Oh, gods. Never mind, I’ll do it.
(BLACKADDER wades ashore and walks along the Blefuscu coast. Blefuscudians scatter before him. At the harbor, he dips his hat in the water as a bucket. At the city wall, he scoops up a guardsman.)
BLACKADDER: Tell me where to find the king, or a representative of him or I will toss you over the horizon.
(BLACKADDER uses the pointing soldier as a compass to find the castle. There, he drops the soldier to the ground in front of the gate.)
BLACKADDER: Go find me someone who can discuss surrender. I’ll wait out here.
(Archers form up in the plaza before the castle. Just as they draw their strings, BLACKADDER douses the plaza with his hat full of water and flushes them out of sight. A man comes out on a tower balcony, quivering with fear.)
BLACKADDER: Okay. Are you the king? (figure shakes his head) King’s representative able to discuss surrenders? Good. Watch closely. (He takes the top off of the tower, turns and throws it towards a ship in the harbor. It crashes through the hull, the ship sinks.) I can do that to your entire fleet. I happen to know that it would take about fifteen minutes. (He leans close to the remains of the tower) Or we can discuss an invasion of Lilliput, if you make it worth my while.
(The quivering figure stops shaking and starts smiling)
(BLACKADDER is sitting at a rough hewn table, reading a book. BALDRICK walks up, miniMELCHITT dangling from his hand like a puppet.)
BALDRICK: Good morning, Mr. Blackadder. Look what the Blefuscudians gave me. An admiral puppet.
BLACKADDER: That’s wonderful, Baldrick. Now go away.
BALDRICK: Alright, sir. (sits down across the table from BLACKADDER) So what do you have there, sir?
BLACKADDER: My gift from the Blefuscudians, Baldrick.
BALDRICK: They made you a book your size? What’s it about?
BLACKADDER: Porn. Next page, please.
(View changes to looking down on the book. It’s a hollow shape with a huge (for Lilliputians) bed inside. Six women in lingerie climb off of it to assume new positions.)
The sound of big steps coming close,
Good folk, go run and hide and scatter,
Beware the deadly stamping toes,
Unless you want to end up flatter.
Blackadder, Blackadder, he towers overhead,
Blackadder, Blackadder, his evil is widespread.
Part 2: Blefuscu
Part 3: Brobdingrag
Part 4: Lorbrulgrud
Part 5: Laputa
Part 6: Balnibarbi
Part 7: Glubbdubdrib
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