During a round of press interviews for his new film Johnny English Reborn, it was inevitable that journalists would ask Rowan Atkinson about Blackadder and whether or not he thought there could ever be another series of the hit historical comedy.
“It could be reprised in some form or other. I think there is a possibility of a fifth series,” said the actor.
“Generally speaking, Blackadder seemed to work best when there was a sort of claustrophobic world and a hierarchy. So if you can think of any situations in which they are dominant – then I think there is a possibility of a fifth series.”
Well, Rowan, we’ve done just that. Below are our team’s suggestions for new Blackadder concepts, all of which are pretty claustrophobic, hierarchical and self-contained. So, now you’ve got no excuse.
Oh, and readers, if you’ve got an idea of your own, post it as a comment below. You never know, if Richard Curtis or Ben Elton happen to be surfing past, checking what’s on the telly, it might be your idea that captures their imaginations…
Anyway, without further ado: Blackadder the Fifth, as dreamt up by RadioTimes.com:
by Tim Glanfield
Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) continues his fall from social grace - now working as a low-level journalist at a Sunday tabloid.
Unable to please his bumbling editor (Hugh Laurie) with colour stories about endangered otter habitats, he dispatches his loyal work-experience lackey (Tony Robinson) to use the dark arts and obtain a scoop “by any means necessary”.
Using a private investigator (Stephen Fry) and his assistant (Tim McInnerny), an awful and hilarious truth is discovered about Lady Ballroom Sadly (Miranda Richardson) that could easily rock the newspaper world – and Blackadder’s career – to their very foundations.
Black to the Future (or Blackadder in Space)
by Paul Jones
The Blackadder E series (Rowan Atkinson), a super-intelligent android operating aboard the space station Starbucket, has been downgraded to the status of a menial robot following the implementation of a smug new onboard computer (voiced by Stephen Fry).
Blackadder’s rusty sidekick Baldrick (Tony Robinson) services the ship’s waste disposal system, while Blackadder panders to the needs of the only remaining human crew member, George Ulysses (Hugh Laurie), preparing his liquid meals, airing his space suits and ensuring George remains in good health.
George has been left onboard the Starbucket because he is “the only man for the job” – eg, the only idiot thick enough to agree to spend the rest of his life pushing a critically important button each day while, unbeknown to him, the rest of humanity jets off to colonise a lovely new planet.
by William Gallagher
Incompetence, basic stupidity and a little trouble adding up big numbers: the worldwide banking failure can only have been caused by Baldrick. Now that he’s done it, though, it just takes one Machiavellian mastermind and one gullible coalition government to make this the greatest ever time for the whole of mankind – or at least that part of it named Blackadder.
Who else can have arranged that bank bail-outs will never be paid back? Who else can have planted the idea of very stern measures like splitting the banks into two, making sure the soonest it will happen is a decade after the recession?
All that stands between Sir Edmund Blackadder and inconceivable riches is the small fact that Baldrick has forgotten his online banking password.
by Tom Cole
Things are going badly for classically trained artist Edmund Blackadder in 1997, with no-one interested in his neo-Roman sculptures or Victorian-esque daubs, which lie neglected in the vaults of nice-but-dim gallery owner Miles Baatchi’s (Hugh Laurie) Kensington exhibition space.
Needing money to pay the rent, but unwilling to demean himself by getting a job, Blackadder takes in a lodger at his studio in the form of a lavatory attendant named Baldrick. But when Blackadder mistakes one of Baldrick’s bags containing a urinal for one of his own, containing a stone carving of Zeus’s head, and takes it to the gallery, his unorthodox new "work" sends the art world into raptures.
Cynically realising that artistic success and limitless wealth are only a few more cracked lavatory pans away, Blackadder conspires to keep Baatchi, art critic Brian Melchett (Stephen Fry) and collectors Lord and Lady von Trite (Miranda Richardson and Tim McInnerny) happy with a pile of plumbing liberated from Baldrick’s knapsack. Can Blackadder and his unwitting sidekick get away with hoodwinking the art world, or will the establishment realise that they're taking the, erm, mickey…?
by David Brown
Working as chief-whip in the newly formed Conservative government of 1979, Edmund Blackadder MP quickly becomes responsible for getting the PM’s (Miranda Richardson) subordinates to vote for her radical ideas for privatisation.
Among those causing trouble are Tory “Wet” Melchett who opposes his boss’s anti-trade union plans, libidinous peer Lord Flashheart whose exploits are never out of the tabloids and Chancellor Darling (no relation to Alistair) who has his eye on the top job.
Aiding Blackadder, however, is grubby private detective Baldrick, who has a nose for sniffing out a scandal, even if he is prone to getting names and circumstances a little confused...