Part 4 Lorbrulgrud
(giantMELCHITT rides a horse along a road into a city gate. The camera zooms in on a large wooden box strapped behind the saddle, then a window in the box, and inside. Within, BLACKADDER and BALDRICK ride in a carpeted room that bounces violently back and forth as the ride progresses.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: After a few weeks of traveling around the kingdom, showing us in inns and taverns to handfuls of drunks and an occasional member of the nobility, our master set his sights on Lorbrulgrud, the nation’s capital. Or, more to the point, on the crowds of Lorbrulgrud. Or perhaps more correctly upon the coins within their pockets. It was a sure bet, the knuckle dragging mouth breathering rank and file had surely never seen anything like us.
(Blackadder and Baldrick stand on top of their box, the horse parked before a window display. They stare. Camera pans to the display. A flurry of activity shows from a few dozen splacknucks in spangled outfits throwing themselves across trapezes, parallel bars, wires and bars and platforms and such. Beside them, a steady line of Brobdingragians march into the door, paying for entry)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: Except they had. Trained up splacknucks were all the rage that season. Our master couldn’t even find a forum to display us in.
(BLACKADDER and BALDRICK are on a tavern table, drinking from thimbles, giantMELCHITT sips disconsolately from a beer.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: So, loathe to give up our selves, as an asset he was sure money remained to be wrung from, he tried to determine a method whereby such funds could be obtained. Then Fate stepped into view. (a maid steps up to the table)
giantMAID: Excuse me, sir. I couldn’t help noticing your splacknucks. I’ve been looking to acquire a few to entertain my mistress in her sickbed. Are they for hire?
giantMELCHITT: Hire? Hell, they’re for sale, if you want them.
giantMAID: Do they know any tricks?
giantMELCHITT: Yes. And they talk, and are quick to learn anything you’d care to teach them.
giantMAID: Oh, perfect. They should be quite engaging for my mistress. How much?
giantMELCHITT: Oh, say….a strega each?
giantMAID: Excellent! (pulls out a purse, gives two gold coins to the farmer and sweeps up BLACKADDER and BALDRICK into the purse. There is a distinct chink of a large pile of coins in the purse. She pulls one more coin out.) Here. For your troubles. And for the wonderful deal. My mistress gave me a hundred strega to find something entertaining with.
giantMELCHITT: A hundred? Who the hell’s your mistress?
giantMAID: The queen. (She turns, leaves a thunderstruck giantMELCHITT behind)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: We found ourselves the property of the queen herself. As she lay abed (view of giantELIZABETH in bed, BLACKADDER and BALDRICK on her nighstand), we described our country, our travels, displayed our national humor and wit (BLACKADDER breaks sticks over BALDRICK’s skull), and actually introduced the game of ‘charades’ to the giants of that distant kingdom.
(giantELIZABETH sits propped up in bed, looking off screen as she tries to guess the clue)
giantELIZABETH: Um, a man? A man wrestling a covered wagon? A small man making bread, kneading a huge bowl of dough? Not a man? An animal? A monkey eating a mango? A monkey climbing a very round tree? A bird? A bird flying? Beating it’s wings against a strong wind? A dolphin? A dolphin frolicking in the surf? A fish?
(scene pans to show she’s looking in the direction of the nighstand. BALDRICK stands there, alone and motionless. She still rattles off guesses)
giantELIZABETH: A wriggly fish? A particularly wiggly wriggly fish, flopping in the water? In the net? An eel? Is it an eel? (she reaches into her cleavage, lifts out BLACKADDDER and places him on the nighstand.)
giantELIZABETH: Was I right? An eel?
BLACKADDER: (Disheveled, sweaty, and smiling wide) Uh, exactly, ma’am. You’re very good at this game.
giantELIZABETH: Are you sure this is how you play the game in your land?
BLACKADDER: Oh, yes, your majesty. Of course, with a partner of nearly equal size, the physical contact is spread over a greater area.
giantELIZABETH: Ah. Well, it seems terribly naughty (smiles).
BLACKADDER: (returns a wicked grin) Well, ma’am. It’s supposed to be. (they laugh)
giantELIZABETH: Okay. (picks up BALDRICK) Your turn. (drops him into her bosom. Sits for a second, twitching a few times) Hmm. What a squirmy little rascal you are. Uh, is it an existentialist finding fault while reading through an amateur treatise on naturalism?
BALDRICK: (head rises into view) ‘At’s right. You ARE good at this game.
BLACKADDER NARRATES: We were her constant and almost sole companions during her convalescence. But soon she regained her health and returned to court. As she had learned that Baldrick was a member of the lower social orders among the peoples of our nation, she left him in the care of her maid during the day. She felt more comfortable taking me, a member of our aristocracy, along as her honored guest.
(giantELIZABETH walks into the throne room, standing beside the chair and holding BLACKADDER in her hand. With her other hand, she gestures offscreen. The camera pans to show a fancy poodle in a doggie bed. A servant marches smartly up, grabs the bed and tumbles the dog down the steps before the throne.)
giantDOG: Yip! Yip! Yip!
(The servant lifts the doggie bed while a second places a pedestal down next to the throne. The bed is placed on the pedestal; Blackadder is lowered into the poodle-nest. Zoom in a little closer as he looks around. A hand from the side reaches in to remove the name tag from the bed (“Fluffykindlekins”) and replace it with a new one. (“Blackyadderycaddery”))
BLACKADDER NARRATES: With my new position of authority and celebrity, courtiers from around the country were flocking to gain my advice and use me as a conduit to her Majesty.
(BLACKADDER stands on a table, surrounded by Brobdingragian nobility. One dangles a string over his head.)
giantCOURTIER1 (George, in courtly clothes and makeup): Does it want to bat the string? Does it?
(BLACKADDER sneers and turns away.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: But I was much to aware of the honor the queen had done me to fall to such bald blandishments.
giantCOURTIER1: Oh, did you see that? I think we’ve been snubbed.
giantCOURTIER2 (Melchitt, in courtly clothes and makeup): He’s as finicky as a cat.
giantCOURTIER3 (Percy, in courtly clothes and makeup): Get a ball, see if he’ll play with that.
(giantELIZABETH at dinner, BLACKADDER at a doll-table beside her plate)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: Rather, my unique perspective on the affairs of the kingdom was invaluable to the royal person. (view shifts to BLACKADDER’s, looking up at the queen. Beside her mouth is a smear of gravy, a huge smear from his point of view. He gives the usual gesture to indicate ‘You’ve got something on your face, right here.’ She wipes, but keeps missing the smear. The view changes between how her fellow Brobdingragians see her, where the gravy isn’t visible, to BLACKADDER’s view, where it looks like it could float a gravy boat. Finally, he bekons her to lean down, and wipes it off of her with his own napkin. As she sits up straight, he unfolds the soiled napkin to show her the gravy. From her point of view, we can’t make out the stain. She smiles anyway, he returns to his chair with the air of a hero.)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: And as was to be expected, my background in accounting proved to be a blessing for the finances of the crown when I introduced a new method of fiscal redistribution.
(BLACKADDER stands on a table between two piles of coins. giantELIZABETH leans down behind him, holding a hand of playing cards.)
giantELIZABETH: Now, tell me again, Blackadder, the significance of the club. Is it a martial weapon or a social association?
(BLACKADDER paces back and forth in front of a well-appointed dollhouse. BALDRICK crouches in a box of chocolates taking core samples of the candies with a cheese iron.)
BALDRICK: Coconut…nougat…candied bison…cherry…
BLACKADDER NARRATES: But for the time we were in Lorbrulgrud, there was one constant and consistent pimple on the ass cheek of my life.
(FLASH enters. Dressed like a fashion plate serving a double portion of peacock, he swaggers through the door. He passes the maid, and we discover that he’s slightly below waist-high to her.) The queen’s dwarf, the smallest man in the kingdom before we were introduced to court.
giantdwarfFLASH: (to maid) Hey, good looking! Why don’t you come down to my room, later, for some sex?
giantMAID: Down to your room, down to your level, then sex…everything with you is a come down.
giantdwarfFLASH: Ooooh, I’ll soon have you changing your tune.
giantMAID: You can’t even reach the low notes. (She leaves, he swaggers over to the dollhouse, stands towering over BLACKADDER and BALDRICK)
giantdwarfFLASH: Howdy, little vermin! (snags a handful of chocolates) What’s it like spending the day knowing you have the smallest winkie in all the land?
BLACKADDER: Oh, you’ve finally come up with a theme. Now, is that the title of your memoirs, or the opening sentence? Something a little less revealing would be my choice, but I suppose there’s nothing in your life that can even BE a little less.
giantdwarfFLASH: Pish-tosh. I may have to use a child’s ladder to get into my bed, but every single night that bed is full. (looks to camera) In MY case, it’s what you have AND what you do-ooh (begins pelvic thrusts) ooh-ooh-ooh with it!
BLACKADDER: Yes, as long as there’s room for a running jump, you should be well received.
giantdwarfFLASH: HA! Just like the rest of the kingdom, you’re jealous of me.
BLACKADDER: Flash, is there something you wanted, or are you just here to highlight the dimensions of your incredibly voluminous ego?
giantdwarfFLASH: Well, even though I’m no longer the queen’s favorite, I’m still popular in certain circles of court. We’re having a little picnic, and I wondered if you wanted to get out of the palace and enjoy some fresh air.
BLACKADDER: A picnic? I don’t know, I can’t really see myself spreading a blanket over grass that rises up to block the sunlight.
giantdwarfFLASH: Well, it’ll be just me and seven lovely ladies-in-waiting if you don’t come. Including Lady Opheleiandercup.
BLACKADDER: You know, I always enjoy picnics.
BLACKADDER NARRATES: But we came to learn that absolutely nothing good came from associating with Flash.
(BLACKADDER and BALDRICK are on the edge of a giant blanket, waving matchstick torches back and forth to keep a swarm of giant ants from swarming over them.)
BLACKADDER: It’s because of ants, Baldrick, that I have never been able to enjoy picnics.
(One of the ladies leans over to point generous cleavage towards BLACKADDER.)
OPHELEIANDERCUP: Blackadder? There’s a ladybug on my biscuit, be a dear and drive it away?
BLACKADDER: Certainly, Lady Opheleiandercup, right away. (Hands torch to BALDRICK, draws his sword and marches off across the blanket.)
(in a palace room, BLACKADDER and BALDRICK stand on a table, giantdwarfFLASH stands on tiptoe to speak with them)
giantdwarfFLASH: …to enjoy the sunshine?
(BLACKADDER and BALDRICK leap over a tree root and scramble into a hollow beneath it just in time to escape a stooping hawk intent on their death.)
(in another palace room, BLACKADDER and BALDRICK are on a windowsill, giantdwarfFLASH next to them)
giantdwarfFLASH: Something indoors, then? A game of billiards?
(BLACKADDER stands on the billiard table, directing BALDRICK in aligning a pool cue depending from above by block and tackle. Just as he swings to cue to strike, giantdwarfFLASH kicks the table, the ball moves slightly, hits a bumper and rebounds to come back straight at BLACKADDER, who yells and runs.)
(BLACKADDER and BALDRICK sit on the hearth, fire roaring in the background.)
BLACKADDER: I’m telling you, Baldrick, I can’t take much more of this Flash. I’m not used to it. Back home, I’d have finished him off long ago. Something using stale capers and a salami…
BALDRICK: Actually, Mr. B., I have a clever plan.
BLACKADDER: Oh, gods. Very well, Baldrick, tell me your clever plan to deliver us from evil.
BALDRICK: Well, sir, the next time he approaches us for one of his outings, we tell him that we have a prior engagement.
BLACKADDER: Then what?
BALDRICK: Well, then we go to the other engagement instead of his picnic or falconry or bowling tournament or run past all the mousetraps without getting beheaded contest or his…
BLACKADDER: Yes, well, the fact is, Baldrick, that he only shows up when he knows that we have time on our hands, and to snub him would be to snub all the other member of the court that are participating. I don’t wish to become known as a court snubbery.
BALDRICK: Oh. Well, how about we take him kite flying?
BLACKADDER: Our last expedition to fly kites wasn’t enough for you? The day that shall be marked in my memoirs by the discovery of the fact that flight is rather enthusiastically for the birds?
BALDRICK: Right. Well, this time, when Mr. Flash isn’t looking, we tie the string to HIS leg, and when the wind picks up, HE’S the one that they have to get down from the roof with great big claw on the end of a long stick thing.
BLACKADDER: Yes, well if there’s ever a day when there’s such a wind that a Brobdingragian kite will have sufficient lift to take any Brobdingragian into the air, we will need merely comb the hair back from our ears and use them to fly home. No, Baldrick, the simple fact of his gross tonnage makes it difficult for such as we to get our revenge on such as he. Dammit.
BALDRICK: Well, don’t stew about it, Mr. B. If something’s beyond you, it’s beyond you.You know that it’s better to be pissed off than pissed on.
BLACKADDER: Of course. That’s it. Baldrick, you’re a genius.
BALDRICK: Thank you, sir.
BLACKADDER: And by genius, of course, I mean that you’re a complete moron, with the sophistication of a book of matches. But like the box, the rough edge is what the match needs to spark to life.
BALDRICK: Are you going to set me on fire again?
BLACKADDER: Maybe later. But for now, what we need to do is set up a situation where Flash’s ego will drive him to cooperate with a jape of our own devising. We have things to arrange, Baldrick. Get the maid.
BALDRICK: Righto, sir. (stands up and starts waving two huge semaphore flags to somewhere offscreen.)
(BLACKADDER stands on a window sill, with a slight breeze blowing in, facing out to the air. giantdwarfFLASH enters, steps up to the window curiously)
giantdwarfFLASH: What the hell are you up to now, Sadbadder?
BLACKADDER: Oh, nothing. Just pissing into the wind.
giantdwarfFLASH: Seriously? (guffaws) I guess you little people ARE as dumb as you look. (laughs some more)
BLACKADDER: Well, I wouldn’t know about that. Where I come from, it’s a sexual thing.
giantdwarfFLASH: (laugh stops at the word ‘sexual.’) Oh, really?
BLACKADDER: Yes, it’s a sign of sexual strength, how far into the wind your urine travels.
giantdwarfFLASH: Ah. But you still end up covered with piss.
BLACKADDER: Real men aren’t concerned with that. For one, it’s a sign of manliness that you don’t use foppish odoriferants and lady-like lavender.
giantdwarfFLASH: (sniffs at his sleeve, brow furrowed) Um…Ah, well, I don’t care how I smell, of course, but it is important to the ladies that you don’t smell bad.
BLACKADDER: Bad is subjective, of course. Urine is like musk, though. They say they don’t like it, but their nose will convince them that you’re marking territory. That you’ve marked THEM as your territory. They can’t control themselves.
giantdwarfFLASH: Oh, really? Well, (steps to window) prepare to be impressed with the output of a sexual dreadnaught.
BLACKADDER: (nods, backs up, eyes on giantdwarfFLASH) Yes, well….NOW, Baldrick!
(sound of a lever being thrown, giantdwarfFLASH sees something offscreen, horror overcomes his features)
(giantdwarfFLASH stands in front of the queen in her throne room, clothes torn to tatters, various smears and stains covering head to toe, water leaks out from his boots, a large puddle spreads across the floor. Various courtiers shuffle to keep the puddle from touching them. His hair stands out as one electrocuted and he cradles one hand to his chest. A few feathers float gently through the air. giantELIZABETH is in full swing)
giantELIZABETH: …and in front of not fewer than a dozen children to boot! Your behavior is clearly not in accordance with our wishes for those who live within the palace, it could barely be tolerated in a dungeon rat! You are to be taken from this place, to another place, where you will be locked up until you have written notes of apology to everyone who witnessed this disGUSTING display of a very mockery of civilized behavior!! (at a gesture from her, guards move to grab the giant dwarf.)
BLACKADDER (with BALDRICK in the doggie bed): Well, that worked much better than I expected it to.
BALDRICK: And we still have that salami left over.
BLACKADDER NARRATES: But while we did enjoy the individual opportunities for excess afforded by a sojourn in Brobdingrag (we see BALDRICK digging a tunnel into a giant chocolate cake by ripping out handfuls and eating them. We see a snifter of brandy on a table. A small ladder leans in from off camera, to rest against the rim of the snifter. BLACKADDER, dressed in swimming costume, climbs up the ladder.), we began once again, much like during our visit to Blefuscu, to long for congress with people of our own size. (giantELIZABETH walks along a street, holding BLACKADDER in hand. She stops at a curb, a big muddy puddle before her. BLACKADDER whips off his coat and tosses it before her. It sinks with hardly a ripple into the murky water.)
(BLACKADDER is on a table in the court room, demonstrating popular European dance steps with a doll while members of the court watch on. Paper cutouts of other dancers surround him.)
BLACKADDER: And when the violins swell, he takes her to the center of the ballroom, as everyone else moves aside (giants move the other ‘dancers’ aside as during the romantic climax of the movie) where, even if they’ve never met before this dance, they move as one (stumbles over doll’s feet)…move as one, validating their instant infatuation with the clear sign that they were (trips over doll, headlong onto the floor)…meant for each other.
(giantCOURTIER3 enters, carrying the boat BLACKADDER and BALDRICK arrived on in the previous episode)
giantCOURTIER3: Hey! Look what I made.
giantELIZABETH: Oh, Sir Lumptuddy! It’s precious! And just the right scale. It’s perfect, isn’t it Blackykins?
BLACKADDER: Yes, ma’am. Looks like he made it very true to life.
giantCOURTIER2: And even with authentic looking weathering.
giantCOURTIER1: Storm damage. Barnacles. Well done, old bean. I say we put our little sailor on it and drop this in a pond.
giantELIZABETH: Yes. Why, I do believe you’ve found the perfect diversion for the weekend.
giantCOURTIER3: Aw, shucks.
BLACKADDER: Uh, before I ship out on the ‘model’ there, I wonder if it might be better to verify basic seaworthiness of the hull? With someone standing by in case she isn’t…?
(BLACKADDER and BALDRICK sail the ship in an ornamental pond on the palace grounds. Two pages stand up to their knees in water, hands ready to snatch the boat up if it sinks)
BLACKADDER: Well, Baldrick, it seems shapeshift . With a few more stores I believe we could sail this thing to someplace more to our scale.
BALDRICK: Like where, Mr. B?
BLACKADDER: Ah? Well, let’s see, Baldrick. How many places have we been to where the denizens are the size of a church steeple?
BALDRICK: One. Here.
BLACKADDER: Right. One. (Punctuates the count with a slap to BALDRICK’s head) Now, how many places have we been to that the people were of a size to fit inside your trousers, should they be completely devoid of anything resembling an instinct for self-preservation? (Holds hand above BALDRICK’s head)
BALDRICK (tugging hat down around his ears): Um, lots, sir. Lots and lots but please don’t hit me lots of times.
BLACKADDER: Right. Now, all I have to do is come up with a cunning plan to get the queen to allow us to sail this craft in a waterway that leads to the ocean. I’ll have to be subtle, or she’ll realize that I intend to escape. She’ll never let us on the river if she thought there was any risk of our not returning.
(BLACKADDER climbs up onto a table beside giantELIZABETH’s chair. She gazes out the window. Just as he opens his mouth, she speaks)
giantELIZABETH: Blackadder? Now that you have a ship, do you think you have the skill to sail it upon open water? Not the ocean or anything, but perhaps a river?
BLACKADDER: Uh……………………Yes, ma’am. If it would please you, that is, I would essay to demonstrate my limited nautical skills on such a surface. I’d want to make it as realistic as possible, of course, stowing the vessel with food, water…
giantELIZABETH: Yes, yes, whatever. Shall we say Eingsday?
BLACKADDER: Yes. Perfect, your majesty. It’ll be a tiny little regatta, but you should be most amused.
giantELIZABETH: Yes, I expect I will. (BLACKADDER climbs down from the table. The view changes to see that the queen is looking out the window at a river. A big river. And the really big waterfall the river goes over…)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: And so we prepared for our departure. (BLACKADDER shoves a giant diamond ring into a pillowcase.) The court took steps to allow observation of our rivarine adventures during their annual riparian celebration. (Tents erected at the river bank, tables of food set out, telescopes and opera glasses on tables near the river.) With all in readiness, our tiny ship set sail for what was announced to be a three hour tour. A three hour tour. (BLACKADDER stands in the cockpit as a giant page gives the tiny ship a gentle push out into the current. They turn before the wind and scoot down the river.) We expected that the time would give us enough of a head start to avoid any capture before we reached the coast and open sailing upon the ocean. As it turned out, three hours was more than enough time to nearly end our journey. (Tiny ship goes over the falls, BLACKADDER and BALDRICK clinging to the mast, screaming into the mist) (Court members at the picnic look through their glasses as the sail drops out of sight over the edge) (giantELIZABETH looks through a telescope from her window, follows the ship all the way down, stays on the boiling spots beneath the falls).
giantELIZABETH: Huh. I’d have sworn it was small enough to survive the crushing force of the water.
giantCOURTIER2 (behind her): Yes, ma’am. It’s a well known law of science that pressure exerted on an object is dependent on the surface area of the object. A boat that size should have retained its integrity.
giantCOURTIER1: Perhaps Sir Lumptuddy just makes shoddy toy boats.
giantCOURTIER3: I didn’t bloody make it wrong, I didn’t even make it…whoops.
(In the middle of the ocean, a section of hull floats along the sea illuminated by moonlight. We see tattered BLACKADDER and BALDRICK clinging to it, shivering from exposure)
BLACKADDER NARRATES: And so, from our haste to leave luxury in favor of dimly remembered pleasures of life among those of our own order, we faced exposure to the elements, starvation, thirst, and not being able to get more than three feet away from Baldrick and the scent thereof. We had doomed ourselves to a slow, miserable death.
(With a loud shunk, a trapdoor slides open somewhere above them. A light shines down as a spotlight upon the wreckage. A strangely accented voice asks “Hello? Are you engaged in shipwreckage as an activity of intent, or are you desirous of upliftage?”
BLACKADDER NARRATES: Or maybe not.
Now travels through outrageous size,
Have finally come to an ending.
But we still cannot say goodbyes,
As more adventures yet are pending.
Blackadder, Blackadder, for all he would contrive,
Blackadder, Blackadder, he barely can survive!
Part 1: Lilliput
Part 2: Blefuscu
Part 3: Brobdingrag
Part 5: Laputa
Part 6: Balnibarbi
Part 7: Glubbdubdrib
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