Bells was the first episode of Blackadder II as the show returned after the two-and-a-half year hiatus that followed The Black Adder. This series is set in Elizabethan London and re-introduced audiences to Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson in their now-familiar roles as Blackadder and Baldrick. In this podcast Gerry and Iain take a look at the plot, characters, actors and others involved in the creation of Bells as well as some more general thoughts on the series.
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Besides Atkinson and Robinson, Bells featured four additional regular characters and some dynamic guest appearances. Miranda Richardson‘s Queen Elizabeth, her wet nurse, Nursie (Patsy Byrne), Lord Melchett (Stephen Fry) and Lord Percy Percy (Tim McInnerny) would all return in future episodes, while Rik Mayall‘s Lord Flashheart and Gabrielle Glaister as Kate/Bob showed up for the only time in Blackadder II.
Supporting the main cast were John Grillo as the homophobic Dr Leech, Edward Jewesbury as Kate’s father (who wishes she would take a different career path), Sadie Shimmin as a Young Crone in Putney and Barbara Miller as a Wise Woman who offers Blackadder three options to resolve his predicament.
Blackadder II was written by Ben Elton and Richard Curtis and all six episodes were directed by Mandie Fletcher. John Lloyd produced the series and Howard Goodall was responsible for the music.
Bells was released in 1986. It is 30 minutes long and originally aired on the BBC. Blackadder II can be viewed on Netflix in the UK and Ireland and a remastered set of the whole series is available on DVD around the world (Region 1) (Region 2).
10 thoughts to “Bells – Episode 1”
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And it’s really great to hear your guys’ podcast again. You were terrific with Columbo and now you’re discussing one of my favorite series of programs with Blackadder.
Appreciate that. Hope you enjoy the show as it goes along!
Huzzah! Enjoyed the Columbo and Sledge Hammer podcasts! Now I’m on here to heckle you! 🙂
Blackadder is one of my all-time favourite tv shows! Like Gerry, I am one of those who can quote lines from the show ad nauseam. Looking forward to this one.
And your decision to begin with the second series is probably best. You’re right that the first one is so different in tone from the others.
I just watched ‘Bells’ which is the 1st time I’ve ever seen Blackadder. I enjoyed Rowan Atkinson’s great timing and expressions. He is one of my favorite comedians and Mr Bean is one of my favorite characters. That the Doctors of the day were all leach farmers was very amusing, but I’ll be honest with you, for the most of it, this show is going to have to grow on me. I’ll keep watching and give it every opportunity, but it reminds me of a skit from a variety show like Saturday Night Live or the old Carol Burnett Hour. It may be that I don’t understand a lot of the true English words and accent. If I ever heard Shakespeare talk, I’m sure to me, he might as well be speaking Greek.
Glad you enjoyed it, Doug. The show just gets better from here.
Recently discovered the Columbo Podcast, listened to all of that, and thrilled you guys are moving on to other great shows too 🙂
Thanks Kieran. Glad to have you on board!
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