Black-Adder II E2. “Head”

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Televised in the British Isles on Thursday, 16 Jan. 1986, “Head” was the second episode in the British historical comedy series “Black-Adder II.”

The second series in the “Blackadder” franchise, fans of the production saw Mandie Fletcher take over directorial responsibility for the franchise. Further, in the writer’s chairs were Richard Curtis and Ben Elton. Elton had stepped in to write for the series when lead actor Rowan Atkinson decided to focus his energies on playing the title character, Edmund, Lord Blackadder.

In addition to Atkinson, the regular cast for this second series featured Tim McInnerny, Tony Robinson, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry and Patsy Byrne as Lord Percy, Baldrick, Queen Elizabeth I, Lord Melchett and Nursie, respectively.

Joining the cast as guest stars in this episode were Holly De Jong, Bill Wallis, Linda Polan, Patrick Duncan and Tony Aitken.

In this episode we find Queen Elizabeth I has had executed the Lord High Executioner. To fill his now vacant position, the monarch looked to none other than Edmund, Lord Blackadder to fill the post.

With the track record of persons that have previously held the post, considering each one had all been relieved of their head, Blackadder was understandably reluctant to step into the role.

With a cunning plan in hand, Blackadder successfully delegates his responsibilities to the incompetent Lord Percy.

Percy, having already proven himself the wrong man for every task he was ever charged with, quickly begins to worry about the Queen’s reaction to one of her prisoners having been executed ahead of her signing a royal pardon.

Without anyone stepping on her shoes, unlike that seen with the first episode of the series, costume designer Annie Hardinge was able to do her job unencumbered by unwanted wannabe costume designers.