trusted to luck

Sense and Senility

Sense and Senility is the fourth episode of the third series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder.


An anarchist (played by Ben Elton) makes an attempt on Prince George's life while he is at the theatre. The Prince is shocked by Blackadder's revelation that he is unpopular, and at the living conditions of the working classes.

Disease and Deprivation stalk our land like two giant stalking things
Following this event, Prince George becomes paranoid about anarchist attacks. Whenever he encounters Baldrick cleaning, he accuses him of being an anarchist and attempts to nearly strangle him.

Blackadder suggests that the Prince should improve his public image, and suggests that he write a speech for the Prince to deliver at his father's birthday celebrations. The Prince then suggests that the two actors, Keanrick and Mossop, they saw at the theatre are hired to train him to deliver the speech. Blackadder has little respect for actors in the first place

You mean they actually rehearse? I thought they just got drunk, stuck on silly hats and trusted to luck
and torments them by having them repeatedly perform the painful Macbeth ritual. Soon, he takes an extra dislike to the pair when they insult his speechwriting and himself, so he plans to quit being a servant. However, on the way out, Baldrick insults him, and he bets Baldrick "a single groat" that he wouldn't last five minutes without him.

Soon after that, the actors rehearse their own play, "The Bloody Murder of the Foul Prince Romero and His Enormously Bosomed Wife". Baldrick overhears them, and thinks it's a real plot to murder Prince George and his servant. Blackadder returns in the nick of time ("Four minutes, twenty-two seconds, Baldrick. You owe me a groat"), and accuses the actors of conspiracy. The fact that the Prince doesn't grasp the difference between a theatre performance and real life only adds to the confusion (at a performance of Julius Caesar the prince shouted, "Look behind you, Mr. Caesar!").

At the end of the episode, Blackadder offers a lead role in a new play. The prince agrees, but asks for the title. Blackadder replies "Thick Jack Clot Sits in the Stocks and Gets Pelted with Rancid Tomatoes". The credits roll after George says, "Excellent!".

Historical and cultural references

  • The theatre superstition, in which saying the title of the Scottish play (Macbeth) brings bad luck, appears in this episode when Blackadder informs Baldrick about its unlucky qualities and that he "won't be mentioning it. Well, not very often."
  • Keanrick and Mossop's dance has words to it, running thus: "Hot potato, off his drawers, puck will make amends." After this quotation, it is necessary to pinch the nose of your partner and scream in pain. The "puck" is a reference to A Midsummer Night's Dream, another of Shakespeare's plays.
  • The title of the episode is a reference to the novel Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Another reference to Jane Austen is made in "Ink and Incapability", where Mr. E. Blackadder claims Jane Austen is a "huge Yorkshireman with a beard like a rhododendron bush".

Search another word or see trusted to luckon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature