Considered by fans to be the best in the Blackadder saga, this audio adaptation introduces us to the second incarnation of Richard Curtis’ and Rowan Atkinson’s scheming Lord Edmund.
We join Edmund in Elizabethan England, where he is a Lord in Queen Elizabeth’s court. Of course, Blackadder wouldn’t be Blackadder without his not-so-trusty manservant, Baldrick, played with clueless aplomb by Tony Robinson. The rest of the court players are equally eccentric: Miranda Richardson as the Queen is a terrifying mix of childish petulance, tyrannical temper and scheming force, while Tim McInnerny’s Percy is even more innocent and naïve than his predecessor in the first series.
This is the series that most people quote from and, as you listen to Atkinson injecting each insult with more venom than usual, it’s not hard to see why. Curtis’ rock-solid script is packed with puns and punchlines, elevating this sit-com to its rightful status among the greats. Its endearing popularity is reflected in the quality of its guest stars and supporting cast, whose numbers include ex-Dr Who Tom Baker, Young Ones star Rik Mayall and Ronald Lacey of Raiders of the Lost Ark fame.
For British comedy at its best, there can be no better place to start.