Blackadder’s Travels, Part 3, Brobdingrag
(BLACKADDER leads BALDRICK into a theatre. The stage is set with a number of half-finished dioramas. Workmen build stairs on either side of the stage and decorate the sets.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: I was determined to wrest some sort of financial advantage from my adventures. I had sold my book of Lilliputian pornography. I turned the profits towards the purchase of a theatre. Abandoned since halfway through the premiere of the comedic opera ‘Titus Andronicus,’ it was sufficiently cheap that I had remaining funds to spend on the interior.
BLACKADDER: See, I’ve decided on a Biblical theme, Baldrick. Over here will be Noah’s ark, with the boat cut in half so everyone can see the animals, over there Moses will lead the Jews out of Egypt, and across the bottom of the Red Tub. Here they’ll raise the Tower of Babel. And so on. Every season, we’ll choose a different biblical scene and have it acted out twice a day, three times on Sunday, after services.
BALDRICK: But will people pay much to see dioramas, sir?
BLACKADDER: They will when the figures in the diorama move and talk and sell teeny little souvenirs of the exhibition.
BALDRICK: How will you get the figures to move, Mr. Blackadder?
BLACKADDER: We’ll use Lilliputians. A few hundred, dressed accordingly. Some of their animals. We can even make them make their own costumes on patterns we’ll supply.
BALDRICK: But why will scores of tiny people with their own culture, history and religious traditions feel like acting out scenes from our religious traditions?
BLACKADDER: Easy. I’ll force them.
BALDRICK: But…but that would be slavery, Mr. Blackadder!
BLACKADDER: Yes. And your point?
BALDRICK: I thought you were an abolitionist, sir?
BLACKADDER: Why on earth would you think that, Baldrick?
BALDRICK: Well…at the party last week, you told everyone you were opposed to slavery and wanted to free all humanity from the yokes of their oppressors.
BLACKADDER: No, Baldrick. Let me explain. (Pokes two fingers in Baldrick’s eyes) I told Lady St. James that I was opposed to slavery and wanted to free all humanity from the yokes of their oppressors.
BALDRICK: That’s what I said, sir!
BLACKADDER: There’s a big difference, Baldrick, between telling something to ‘everyone’ and telling it to the most attractive unmarried emancipationist in the room.
BALDRICK: So, you’re not motivated by a desire for unyoking fetters?
BLACKADDER: I’m better motivated by undressing my betters.
BALDRICK: Well, how are you going to get enough slave Lilliputians to people the displays?
BLACKADDER: Same way plantation owners in the colonies get their slaves.
BALDRICK: You’re going to sail to Lilliput, wander around with a net, and capture little people for your uses?
BLACKADDER: Way too much effort. No, I’ll just go to Blefuscu, put a cage on the pier, and offer money to whoever puts someone in it.
(BLACKADDER and BALDRICK are stowing food on a sloop.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: I secured the use of a small vessel Baldrick and I could manage. I had no wish to reveal the location of the tiny population to anyone if I didn’t have to. And soon we were on our way to procure a private population of picayune performers.
(BALDRICK is in the bow, viewed from beneath. He shouts and points as BLACKADDER steers.)
BALDRICK: More to the left, sir. More to the left. No, no, to the right. More right. Righter. Rightly. STOP! Left.
(View shifts to BLACKADDER in the cockpit)
BLACKADDER: Baldrick, what the hell are you doing?
BALDRICK: Navigation, Mr. Blackadder.
BLACKADDER: But what are you navigating BY?
BALDRICK: That wave, sir. I recognize it from when we were rowing back to England.
(View changes to the sloop, in profile. We see it is in the absolute middle of the ocean. BLACKADDER walks up behind BALDRICK)
BLACKADDER: Which wave?
BALDRICK: That wave! (points)
BLACKADDER: Ah. (Knocks BALDRICK into the ocean. Turns back to the stern.)
BALDRICK: (holding a rope alongside) Oh, wait, sir. (sputter sputter) This seawater tastes much too salty to be near Lilliput.
BLACKADDER NARRATES: We eventually gained our bearings, and felt well satisfied that we had retraced our travels from the preceding voyage. (view of the ship sailing near a shore. They drop anchor and row ashore) We dropped anchor and rowed ashore.
BLACKADDER: Well, we need to find the direction to the capitol. Let’s spread out.
BALDRICK: Yes, Mr. B. (walks off)
(BLACKADDER wanders into a strange strand of trees along the shore.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: I wandered into a strange strand of trees along the shore. I didn’t remember seeing such things on my previous voyage, but I had not examined the full compass of the two nations. Soon I ran across what I took to be the natives of the island I was upon.
(BLACKADDER steps into a clearing and finds some rough humans. Neanderthal cavemen sorts, real “Quest For Fire” extras, male and female, wearing poorly cured furs and pawing through piles of vegetation and eating the vermin they find. They barely glance at BLACKADDER, then a fight breaks out for a particularly tasty bug one finds)
BLACKADDER: Ah. The Colonies. (Shouts over his shoulder:) BALDRICK! I think we’re in Georgia! (steps towards the Neanderthals) Excuse me, can you direct me to Savannah?
(Caveman takes on step towards BLACKADDER and growls) Ah. Well, Brunswick would do just as well for my purposes? Any help would be appreciated.
(A large thump sounds through the vegetation, the cavemen scatter. Another thump sounds. BLACKADDER looks back and forth, steps backwards to the edge of the clearing. The camera slowly pans to reveal he’s backing up against a large boot. Then it pans up the gigantic leg. The Brobdingragian, a gigantic MELCHITT looks down on BLACKADDER with interest. BLACKADDER bumps against the boot, looks up to the giant.)
BLACKADDER: Ah. I wasn’t aware that they’d invented Texas yet.
(giantMELCHITT reaches down)
(closeup of BLACKADDER, that pans back to show him seated in a chair.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: We found ourselves in the company of the natives, who set aside special quarters for our use.
(Camera pans back further to show BLACKADDER’s chair is in a birdcage. To one side, BALDRICK runs in a mouse wheel.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: Our master was impressed with us. In size and appearance we compared favorably to the vermin that plagued their households, the splacknucks that I’d taken for Colonists on our arrival. But to their amazement, we mastered speech and rational behaviors.
(giantPERCY enters the home of giantMELCHITT)
giantPERCY: So, Farmer Gaffercrump, I hear you’ve found a splacknuck that has mastered speech and rational behavior.
giantMELCHITT: Exactly so, Tax Assessor Uggifurl. See them here.
giantPERCY: Well, look at them, with clothes and stuff. Do they talk?
giantMELCHITT: Why don’t you ask them?
giantPERCY: Oh. Um. Do you talk?
BLACKADDER: That depends, sir. Do you wish me to speak independently, or share we share in discourse?
giantPERCY: Wow. You should take these to a tavern or something, get people to pay to see them.
giantMELCHITT: Gosh. You think people would pay?
giantPERCY: I would.
giantMELCHITT: Good enough for me.
BLACKADDER NARRATES: And so our master took us to a local eatery, secured a room, and spread the word that rational splacknucks were available for viewing.
(BLACKADDER stands on a box on a table in a side room of a gigantic inn. BALDRICK rolls a spindle back and forth behind him. giantMELCHITT escorts a group of customers into the room. giantGEORGE sits down next to the table.)
giantGEORGE: So, you’re the rational splacknuck, are you?
BLACKADDER: Well, I’m not really a splacknuck, sir, I’m a traveler from a far land. But I’m more than willing to engage in rational discourse.
giantGEORGE: Really? So, what is, in your opinion, the underlying theme of Argophelleeup’s soliloquy in the original treatment of Jossudon’s “Life and Death of The First Speaker?”
BLACKADDER: I’m afraid I’m not familiar with that particular work, sir, I’ve only been in your land for a week.
giantGEORGE: Ah. Fair enough. So, in the land you do come from, do they study the stars? Describe the path Mars takes through sky over the course of a year, either as a mathematical progression or as a derivation of the differences from Jupiter’s course.
BLACKADDER: Um, well, while there are those of my countrymen that could probably provide that information, it was not my particular forte.
giantGEORGE: Eh. Very well. How about sums? What is the product of four thousand, six hundred and eighty seven multiplied by my lucky number: eighty six thousand and seventeen?
BLACKADDER: Oh, I can do this. If I could have a piece of paper (pats his pockets) and, uh, something to write with.
giantGEORGE: You can’t do it in your head?
BLACKADDER: No. Why, can you?
giantGEORGE: Four hundred and three million, one hundred sixty one thousand, six hundred and seventy nine. Easy as pie. (turns to giantMELCHITT) Not all that rational, is he? Maybe you should introduce him as a ‘remarkably hygienic’ splacknuck, instead.
BALDRICK (coming up behind BLACKADDER): Are they smarter than you, sir?
BLACKADDER: Not really, Baldrick. It probably merely something to do with their brain size. I mean, their skulls are about the size of our house.
BALDRICK : So, people with a thousand times as much brains as you got are NOT smarter than you? How’s that work?
BLACKADDER: Like this, Baldrick. (He slaps Baldrick to the floor…uh, table. Box. The surrounding giants laugh. BLACKADDER looks around with a smile.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: Soon, we were the hit of the roads, traveling from tavern to tavern, showing off for paying viewers.
(montage of BLACKADDER slapping, beating and poking BALDRICK in the eye(s), in a variety of costumes. The giants laugh.)
BALDRICK: Sir, maybe we should vary the act?
BLACKADDER: How do you mean, Baldrick? Should I use a weapon?
BALDRICK: No, sir. But I think the giants would find it amusing if I were to hit you some of the time.
BLACKADDER: Very well, Baldrick. Let’s try that.
(montage of BALDRICK swinging at BLACKADDER, missing, and getting slapped, beaten and poked in the eye(s) by BLACKADDER in response, in a variety of costumes. At the end, he manages to actually connect with BLACKADDER who spins, leaps and beats the absolute living daylights out of BALDRICK. The giants laugh.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: Eventually, we had exhausted our repertoire, (exhausted BLACKADDER and BALDRICK stand arm’s length from each other. BALDRICK swings wide, BLACKADDER yawns and breaks a stick over BALDRICK’s head. BALDRICK yawns. Silence follows. A Brobdingragian coughs.) and the master was forced to find other venues to display our talents.
(BLACKADDER walks a tight-rope stretching between two candlesticks, using a gigantic letter opener as a balance. Giants cheer or jeer, one pounds the table. BLACKADDER loses his balance, falls…to land in a meringue pie. Money changes hands through the crowd. BLACKADDER wades to the side as BALDRICK starts across the string. BLACKADDER wipes meringue from his eyes, looks up at his servant, eyes all squinty, and kicks the candlestick. BALDRICK falls at the edge and just misses the pie. The giants laugh.)
(BLACKADDER pushes a chess piece across a board to a new position. Steps to the side to allow the Brobdingragian player to make his move. When he finishes, BLACKADDER coughs loudly. Nothing happens. BLACKADDER coughs loudly. Down on the floor, BALDRICK sneaks up on the foot of the giant, spears it with a needle and runs. While the giant roars and looks away, BLACKADDER dashes up to move the giant’s queen one square, then moves his own into position. Shouts ‘Checkmate!’ He smiles up at his opponent, then dodges as giant coins drop near him.)
(Early one morning, BLACKADDER reads a book by pacing across the page. BALDRICK darns his sock with a needle as long as his arm, using thread that could be used to rig a tea clipper.)
BALDRICK: So, what shall we do today, Mr. Blackadder?
BLACKADDER: Well, we’re in a new tavern, where they’ve never seen us, so I was thinking of a line up.
BALDRICK: What’s that?
BLACKADDER: We put you in a cage with a handful of splacknuck’s and see if the audience can pick out the rational one.
BALDRICK: What, won’t that be too easy?
(BLACKADDER looks over at him, shaggy, in worn clothes, hunched over his sock, scratching his armpit.)
BLACKADDER: Strangely Baldrick, I don’t believe it will.
(The door opens and giantMELCHITT enters the room, followed by a woman.)
giantMELCHITT: Ho! Littles. The Lady wishes a private audience with you. She’s paid to spend a whole day with you.
(A well dressed, well made up lady (I imagine Joanna Lumley: Patsy Stone of ABFAB) steps around giantMELCHITT, as he exits, she makes eye contact with BLACKADDER. The view goes all misty at the edges, violins swell in the background, he smiles, she smiles back)
BLACKADDER: Um, yes, yes. Of course. What can I do for you, milady?
giantPATSTONIA: Please, call me Patstonia, little man. (sits next to the table.) I was hoping to learn more of you, of your people, of your ways.
BLACKADDER NARRATES: Lady Patstonia and I hit it off immediately. We talked four hours, in the room and as we explored the town. (violin music throughout the following)
(misty lens view of giantPATSTONIA walking along with a parasol, twirling it. Zoom in to BLACKADDER clinging desperately to the edge, swinging around like on a Tilt-o-Whirl, they both laugh; giantPATSTONIA sitting at a table while BLACKADDER uses a block and tackle to pour tea for her, they both laugh; at an opera, giantPATSTONIA looks through her glasses at the stage. Beside her on the railing, BLACKADDER manhandles a pair of his own Brobdingragian sized glasses to look through them. They start to slide off the rail, he steps back. He turns to shrug at giantPATSTONIA, the glasses slip off the rail, handle of the glasses spins to clip BLACKADDER in the back of the head. They both laugh.) And finally, when we were alone in her room, the moment was perfect.
(giantPATSTONIA sits before the fireplace, raises BLACKADDER to her lips, kisses his face. He kisses back as well as he’s able. She sinks slowly beneath our view; the camera focuses on the fire as the violin music swells. Then the music drops off, the camera retreats as she sits back up again. She pats her dress, sleeves, corset, looking around in confusion. Finally she touches her armpit)
giantPATSTONIA: Oh, THERE you are!
(And sinks to the floor, violins resume, focus on the fireplace)
(A disheveled and lipstick sloppy BLACKADDER ducks under the bottom of the door and enters the room he shares with BALDRICK. BALDRICK is at a mouse hole along the wall, moving a mousetrap along the floor to just in front of the hole.)
BALDRICK: Hey, there, Mr. Blackadder. Had yourself a good day, then?
BLACKADDER: A wonderful day, Baldrick. Simply wonderful. I am lovestruck. Deeply, madly, wonderfully in love. Suddenly the other half of Shakespeare’s plays make sense. Or, well, not sense, but aren’t nearly as horribly grating, if you know what I mean. Kind of like developing a taste for French cooking. You can’t imagine it ever happening to you, but once it does…
BALDRICK: Say, Mr. B, isn’t your Miss Patstonia down at the other end of the tavern?
BLACKADDER: Yes, just at the end of the hall. About, I don’t know, a mile away? Why?
BALDRICK: Well, if she’s down there, then why’s her voice coming from the room beside this one?
(They both point an ear to the mousehole)
giantPATSTONIA: So. I’ve done it.
giantMOONDINA: Oh, you have not.
giantPATSTONIA: I have, Moondina, and I win the bet.
giantMOONDINA: Well, you have to prove you’ve done it.
giantPATSTONIA: Well, look.
giantMOONDINA: What’s that?
giantPATSTONIA: His underwear.
(BALDRICK turns to look at BLACKADDER who pats his hands to his hip in surprise.)
giantMOONDINA: Okay, so you peeled his underclothes off of him. Doesn’t mean you let him have his way with you.
giantPATSTONIA: Oh, please. He’d still be climbing my stocking and singing a Swiss hiking song. I had MY way with HIM.
giantMOONDINA: No way. You actually had sex with a splackie?
(BLACKADDER and BALDRICK creep through the mousehole to find another one leading into the next room. They spy on giantPATSTONIA: and giantMOONDINA (I imagine Moondina as Jennifer Saunders, Lumley’s ABFAB partner, Edina Moon.)
giantPATSTONIA: I did. Well, actually I let him sort of have sex with me. Or ‘at’ me. Anyway, we were both naked and he was at my most intimate region until he was finished.
giantMOONDINA: Oh. Well, how was it?
giantPATSTONIA: How do you think? Some men are hung like baby carrots, some men are too small to lift a baby carrot.
(BLACKADDER shakes a fist at the bimbo)
giantPATSTONIA: Yes. So, you owe me eight staga.
giantMOONDINA: I still need confirmation.
giantPATSTONIA: Well, let’s go and ask him.
giantMOONDINA: Oh. That’ll work, I suppose.
(they rise to leave, BLACKADDER and BALDRICK rush back to their room)
BLACKADDER: Quickly, Baldrick! I need to clean up. (glances over his shoulder towards the giantesses) Damned if I’ll give her the satisfaction…
(giantPATSTONIA & giantMOONDINA walk through the inn, down a hall, through a taproom, across a cloakroom, down another hall, and end up at the door. giantMOONDINA reaches to knock, giantPATSTONIA brushes her hand aside and opens the door)
giantMOONDINA: Aren’t you going to knock?
giantPATSTONIA: For a splackie? Please. People get courtesy, not vermin.
(They enter, find BLACKADDER wearing a smoking jacket and smoking a pipe. He pumps a bellows to bring air through the tobacco in the bowl, then stands over the bellows vent to breathe in the smoke. He turns at their approach)
BLACKADDER: Ah. Good evening ladies. Patagonia, isn’t it?
giantPATSTONIA: It’s ‘Patstonia,’ love.
BLACKADDER: Oh, that’s right. Pat-stone-ee-uh. Must remember that. And you are?
giantMOONDINA: Moondina. (turns to giantPATSTONIA) I see you made a big impression on your friend, here.
giantPATSTONIA: Shut up! Darling, tell my friend here what we did this evening.
BLACKADDER: You…came into my room and I got your name wrong. I’m very sorry about that, I...
giantPATSTONIA: No, no, dear one, our treasured time together, in my room. Don’t worry about honor or concerns of gossip, just tell Moondina what happened.
BLACKADDER: I don’t know what you mean. We were introduced this morning, then you left.
giantPATSTONIA: I did, but I took you with me.
BLACKADDER: Ah. You’ve confused me with the other splacknuck, the one you DID spend the day with.
giantMOONDINA: The other…?
BLACKADDER: Yes, you big people keep confusing us little people. BALDRICK!
(BALDRICK rolls out of the shavings at the bottom of the cage, climbs out onto the table. The lipstick from BLACKADDER has been reapplied to his head, arms and neck, while his usual mud-brown clothes remain)
BALDRICK: Yes, sir?
BLACKADDER: Baldrick, Miss Patronize here-
BLACKADDER: Sorry. Miss Patstonia was wondering if you would relate what happened to you this evening.
BALDRICK: I don’t know, sir.
BLACKADDER: You don’t know?
BALDRICK: That’s right, sir. I don’t remember.
BLACKADDER: Was it that shocking, Baldrick?
BALDRICK: No, sir. It was that strong.
BALDRICK: After a day and evening of enjoying each other’s company, we retired to her room, where we sipped some wine and talked and then she got frisky, sir.
BLACKADDER: Frisky, Baldrick?
BALDRICK: Yessir. She undone her clothes, then she undone my clothes, then she kissed me, and then she hugged me, and then she started to dangle me over her lap. (falls silent.)
BLACKADDER: (waits for a couple of beats then asks) Yes, and then?
BALDRICK: I don’t know what happened then, sir, I was overcome by the fumes.
giantMOONDINA: BWAH! HAHAHA!
BALDRICK: I suspect she had her way with me after that, but it is beyond my ability to reconstruct the events.
giantPATSTONIA: Why you dirty little…
giantMOONDINA: Oh, oh my. Here. Eight straga. No, take ten. If you’re so desperate for money that you’ll sleep with that, you need it.
(giantPATSTONIA sputters while giantMOONDINA drags her from the room, stopping at the door to wink slyly at BLACKADDER. He smiles, she smiles, violins swell up in the background, to grind to a halt like a broken record when giantMOONDINA turns to the camera)
giantMOONDINA: Oh, please. It’d be like seducing a rat from out of the barn.
(giantMOONDINA blows a kiss to BLACKADDER, pushes giantPATSTONIA down the hall, and kicks the door shut with her foot.)
Blackadder travels once again,
And winds up caged just like a titmouse.
He thought he made a special friend,
But turned out, she thought he was a real louse.
Blackadder, Blackadder, he never gets a break,
Blackadder, Blackadder, her orgasm was faked!
Part 1: Lilliput
Part 2: Blefuscu
Part 4: Lorbrulgrud
Part 5: Laputa
Part 6: Balnibarbi
Part 7: Glubbdubdrib
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