‘Lost’ Blackadder episode revealed in new book

Blackadder in Bethlehem was written in 1988 by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton but never made it to screen

A draft script for a previously unseen Blackadder Christmas episode will be revealed later this week in a new book. 


The episode – titled Blackadder in Bethlehem – was written in 1988, but was never made. The ‘lost’ script features Blackadder as the inn keeper in Bethlehem and is also said to include trusty Baldrick, the Three Kings and a talking turkey…

The cult comedy, famous for its hilariously bizarre takes on historical moments and figures, ran for four series between 1983 and 1989 before making a comeback with a number of one-off specials, the last of which was Blackadder: Back & Forth in 1999.

Each episode featured Rowan Atkinson as the witty, cynical and unfortunate Edmund Blackadder alongside his dim-witted servant Baldrick, played by Tony Robinson. 

Historian Jem Roberts has penned the book, The True History of the Blackadder, with the help of the show’s writers Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, producer John Lloyd and the cast and crew of the comedy series. The book – which will be available from 11 October – promises the “unadulterated tale of the creation of a comedy legend” and will perhaps give fans a hint of the creators’ cunning plan… 

It was Curtis himself who offered up the unfinished draft for the Christmas episode that never was. During an interview with the screenwriter and director – who has also worked on films such as Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral – Roberts was handed the script.

“My jaw dropped when I saw I was holding a lost Blackadder script,” says Roberts.

“He (Curtis) wrote on the script that one of the reasons it didn’t get used was because it was a strange cross between Fawlty Towers and Life of Brian.”

“He didn’t think he was going to make it compare to either of them. That’s his reason for it never getting any further than it did.”

Blackadder in Bethlehem was replaced by Blackadder’s Christmas Carol which aired on 23 December 1988.