Black-Adder II: E4. “Money”

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Televised in the British Isles on Wednesday, 5 Feb. 1986, “Money” was the fourth Mandie Fletcher directed episode in the period situation comedy “Black-Adder II.”

Set during the Elizabethan period between 1558 and 1603, the six-episode series features teleplays written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton. The main cast in this second “Blackadder” series is Rowan Atkinson, Tim McInnerny, Tony Robinson, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry and Patsy Byrne.

“Money” featured guest appearances by Ronald Lacey, Cassie Stuart, Lesley Nicol, John Pierce Jones, Tony Aitken, Philip Pope, Barry Craine and Piers Ibbotson as Bishop of Bath & Wells, Molly, Mrs. Pants, Arthur the Sailor, Mad Beggar, Leonardo Acropolis, Mr. Pants and Messenger, respectively.

In this episode we find Edmund, Lord Blackadder in a spot of financial trouble. He owes the Bishop of Bath and Wells the princely sum of £1,000. The Bishop, in an un-Christian manner, threatens to have Blackadder killed if he does not come up with the money. As per usual, like other cunning plans, Blackadder’s scheme to blackmail the Bishop fails.

With only £85 in his pocket, matters get significantly worse for Blackadder when Queen Elizabeth I made a bet and wins. This bet takes all the money Blackadder possesses. Could prostitution be the answer? Having managed to only come up with sixpence, prostitution was not the answer. In a misguided effort to create money, Lord Percy tries in vein a spot of alchemy.

With no other choice, Blackadder sells his house for £1,100. With money in hand, one might think Blackadder would be able to pay the Bishop what is owed. Unfortunately for the title character, Blackadder is once again tricked out his money by the monarch.

In a last-ditch effort to get free of his debt, Blackadder resorts to drugging the Bishop and has a painting with him in a highly compromising position.

Lacey (1935–1991)

Do you remember the 1990 Yuriy Ozerov written and directed “Stalingrad”? Lacey played British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The actor’s last credited performance came in 1993 when he appeared in the Ozerov directed war drama “Angely smerti.”

Stuart

Since her appearance in “Money,” Stuart has worked on several prominent British television productions including “The Secret Garden” (1987), “Around the World in 80 Days” (1989) and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1997).

Nicol

People familiar with the British period drama “Downton Abbey” will know Nicol played the Crawley’s family cook Mrs. Patmore.

In a career beginning in 1985, Nicol was the actress that brought to life Mrs. Beaver in the 1988 BBC family adventure fantasy mini-series “The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe.”

Mrs. Beaver was not the only Narnian character Nicol was seen playing. Two years later, for two episodes, the actress could be seen playing Giant Queen in the mini-series “The Silver Chair.”

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