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Blackadder's Christmas Carol

Blackadder's Christmas Carol is a one-off episode of Blackadder, a parody of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. It is set between Blackadder the Third (1987) and Blackadder Goes Forth (1989), and narrated by Hugh Laurie. Produced by the BBC, it was first broadcast on BBC One on 23 December 1988.

Plot

Victorian moustache shop owner Ebenezer Blackadder is the nicest man in England. He is everything that Ebenezer Scrooge was by the end of the original story. He is generous and kind to everybody, and sensitive to the misery of others. As a result, everybody takes advantage of his kindness, and all but Mr. Baldrick view him as a victim, although even he is slightly more cynical than his ancestors. His business turns no profit, all his earnings going to charity and to con artists, and he lives a lonely, miserable life.

All this changes one Christmas Eve, when the Spirit of Christmas (Robbie Coltrane) makes the mistake of calling round to congratulate him for his ways. The spirit lets him see shades of the past: his ancestors Lord Blackadder and Edmund Blackadder, the butler of the Prince Regent. Instead of being convinced that he is better than them, he grows to admire them and their wit and asks the spirit to show him what could happen if he became like them. He sees a vision of a distant future where his distant descendant Admiral Blackadder is a successful, if ruthless, official of a Universe-spanning Empire about to marry the similarly ruthless and insanely ambitious Queen Asphyxia XIX. Blackadder asks the Spirit what will happen if he stays kind. As an answer, he sees an alternate vision of the same future era where his descendant is a semi-naked slave of the incompetent Admiral Baldrick.

Blackadder makes his decision, proclaiming, "Bad guys have all the fun." He wakes up a different man: bitter, vengeful, greedy for money, and insulting to everyone he meets. Although he is now more in control of his life, he misses a golden opportunity when he insults two strangers who had come to reward him for his reputed generosity. These are Queen Victoria and her Prince Consort, Albert who were about to award him £50,000 and the title of Baron Blackadder for being the nicest man in England, they leave without doing so after being ridiculed by Blackadder. The episode ends with Blackadder looking startled when he is told the victims of his brushing-off were the royal couple.

Deleted Scene

There is an edit towards the beginning of the episode, after Baldrick talks about the dog in the Nativity play. Blackadder asks him "Weren't the children upset?" and Baldrick responds "Nah, they loved it. They want us to do another one at Easter. They want to see us nail up the dog." Most of this line is cut from video and most DVD releases (the complete box set released in Jan 2006 contains the line). It still appeared on previous television transmissions, but was excised when repeated on BBC2 at Christmas 2007.

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