Blackadder IV, Episode 4 – Private Plane
Black Adder IV, Episode 4
Scene 1: BA’s Dugout
[BA is listening to his phonograph. Artillery firing outside is causing the
record to skip frequently. Annoyed, BA storms outside.]
Scene 2: In The Trench
[Lt. George is in the trench, peering through a pair of binoculars across
No Man’s Land.]
BA Oh, God, why do they bother?
George Well, it’s to kill Jerry, isn’t it, Sir?
BA Yes, but Jerry is safe underground in concrete bunkers.
We’ve shot off over a million cannon shells and what’s
the result? One dachshund with a slight limp!
[BA yells at the artillery.]
BA Shut up!
[Artillery ceases. George looks bemused.]
BA Thank you! Right, I’m off to bed where I intend to
sleep until my name changes to Rip Van Adder.
[BA goes into his dugout.]
Scene 3: BA’s Dugout
[The phonograph is still playing. BA stops it and lies down on his cot.
An instant after his head touches the pillow there is the sound of
aircraft and gunfire from outside. BA rises from his cot.]
BA Oh, God! Bloody Germans! They can’t take a joke, can
they? Just because we take a few pot-shots at them,
they have to have an air-raid to get their own back.
Where are our airforce?
[BA moves over to the table. A field-telephone sits on the table]
BA They’re meant to defend us against this sort of thing.
[Noise outside continues. BA puts on steel helmet, picks up telephone and
dives under the table.]
BA Right, that’s it!
[Picks up receiver.]
BA Hello? Yes, yes, I’d like to leave a message for the
head of the Flying Corps, please. That’s Air Chief
Marshall Sir Hugh Massingburg-Massingburg, VC, DFC and
bar. Message reads “Where are you, you bastard?”
[Private Baldrick enters the dugout.]
Baldrick Here I am, Sir.
[BA puts down the receiver.]
BA For God’s sake, Baldrick, take cover.
Baldrick Why’s that, Sir?
BA Because there’s an air-raid going on and I don’t want to
have to write to your mother at London Zoo and tell her
that her only human child is dead.
[Baldrick moves under the table with BA]
Baldrick All right, Sir. It’s just that I didn’t know there was an
air-raid on. I couldn’t hear anything over the noise of
the terrific display by our wonderful boys of the Royal
Flying Corps, Sir.
[George enters the dugout.]
George I say, those chaps can’t half thunder in their airborne
steeds, can’t they just?
[George notices BA and Baldrick cowering under the table.]
George Oh, hello, what’s going on here? Game of hide and seek?
Excellent! Right now, I’ll go and count to a hundred.
Er, no. Better make it five, actually . . .
BA George . . .
George Er. Oh, it’s sardines. Oh, excellent! That’s my favourite
[BA rises from under the table.]
BA George . . .
George Yes, Sir?
BA Shut up, and never say anything again as long as you live.
George Right you are, Sir.
[BA removes helmet. George is quiet for a few seconds.]
George Crikey, but what a show it was, Sir. Lord Flasheart’s
Flying Aces. How we cheered when they spun. How we
shouted when they dived. How we applauded when one chap
got sliced in half by his own propeller. Well, it’s all
part of the joke for those magnificent men in their
[Sound of plane plummeting, then crashing outside.]
BA For `magnificent men’, read `biggest showoffs since Lady
Godiva entered the Royal Enclosure at Ascot claiming she
had literally nothing to wear’. I don’t care how many
times they go up-diddly-up-up, they’re still gits!
Baldrick Oh, come on, Sir! I’d love to be a flier. Up there where
the air is clear.
BA The chances of the air being clear anywhere near you,
Baldrick, are zero!
Baldrick Oh, Sir. It’d be great, swooping and diving.
[Baldrick starts his impression of a Sopwith Camel.]
BA Baldrick . . .
[Baldrick drones on . . .]
BA Baldrick . . .
[Baldrick stops droning on as BA interjects a third time.]
BA Baldrick, what are you doing?
Baldrick I’m a Sopwith Camel, Sir.
BA Oh, it is a Sopwith Camel. Ah, right, I always get confused
between the sound of a Sopwith Camel and the sound of a
malodourous runt wasting everybodys time. Now if you
can do without me in the nursery for a while, I’m going
to get some fresh air.
[BA leaves the dugout, picking up his pipe on the way out.]
Scene 4: In The Trench
[As he emerges from the dugout BA sighs and prepares to light his pipe.
Squadron Commander Lord Flasheart jumps down from his crashed plane.]
Flasheart Ha! Eat knuckle, Fritz!
[Flasheart knocks BA to the ground with his pistol, then puts a foot on
Flasheart Aha! How disgusting. A Boche on the sole of my boot.
I shall have to find a patch of grass to wipe it on.
Probably get shunned in the Officers’ Mess. Sorry about
the pong you fellows, trod in a Boche and can’t get rid
of the whiff.
BA Do you think we could dispense with the hilarious doggy-do
metaphor for a moment? I’m not a Boche. This is a British
[Flasheart puts his pistol away.]
Flasheart Is it? Oh, that’s a piece of luck. Thought I’d landed
[Flasheart picks up the receiver of a field-telephone lying by the dugout
Flasheart Mind if I use your phone? If word gets out that I’m
missing, five hundred girls will kill themselves. I wouldn’t
want them on my conscience, not when they ought to be on
my face! Huh!
[Flasheart kicks the phone into action.]
Flasheart Hi, Flasheart here. Yeah, cancel the state funeral, tell
the King to stop blubbing. Flash is not dead. I simply
ran out of juice! Yeah, and before all the girls start
saying “Oh, what’s the point of living anymore”, I’m talking
about petrol! Woof, woof!
Yeah, I dumped the kite on the proles, so send a car. Er,
General Melchett’s driver should do. She hangs around with
the big nobs, so she’ll be used to a fellow like me! Woof,
BA Look, do you think you could make your obscene phone call
[Flasheart is still on the phone and ignores BA.]
Flasheart No, not in half an hour, you rubber-desk johnny. Send the
bitch with the wheels right now or I’ll fly back to
England and give your wife something to hang her towels on.
[Flasheart throws down the receiver.]
Flasheart Okay, dig out your best booze and let’s talk about me
’til the car comes. You must be pretty impressed having
Squadron Commander the Lord Flasheart drop in on your
squalid bit of line.
BA Actually, no. I was more impressed by the contents of my
handkerchief the last time I blew my nose.
Flasheart Yeah, like hell. Huh, huh. You’ve probably got little
piccies of me on the walls of your dugout, haven’t you?
[Flasheart tickles the front of BA’s trousers.]
Flasheart I bet you go all girly and giggly every time you look at
[Flasheart twists BA’s John Thomas. BA (naturally) screams.]
BA I’m afraid not. Unfortunately, most of the infantry think
you’re a prat. Ask them who they’d prefer to meet:
Squadron Commander Flasheart and the man who cleans out
the public toilets in Aberdeen, and they’d go for Wee Jock
“Poo-Pong” McPlop, every time.
[Flasheart laughs, then belts BA, knocking him to the floor.]
[Flasheart goes into the dugout.]
Scene 5: BA’s Dugout
[George and Baldrick are discussing the Flying Aces.]
George . . . so when that fellow looped-the-loop, I honestly
thought that, that, that . . .
[Flasheart enters, saluting. George sees him. BA enters behind Flasheart.]
George My God!
Flasheart Yes, I suppose I am.
George Lord Flasheart, this is the greatest honour of my life.
I hope I snuff it right now to preserve this moment
BA It can be arranged.
Baldrick Lord Flasheart, I want to learn to write so I can send a
letter home about this golden moment.
Flasheart So all the fellows hate me, eh? Not a bit of it. I’m
your bloody hero, eh, old scout?
[Flasheart playfully scuffs up Baldrick’s hair, then notices that this
action has left something unpleasant on his glove.]
[Flasheart wipes his glove on BA’s shirt.]
Baldrick My Lord, I’ve got every cigarette card they ever printed of
you. My whole family took up smoking just so that we could
get the whole set. My grandmother smoked herself to
death so we could afford the album.
Flasheart Of course she did, of course she did, the poor love-crazed
[Flasheart moves to hug and kiss Baldrick, then thinks better of it.]
Flasheart Well, all right, you fellows. Let’s sit us down and yarn
about how amazingly attractive I am.
BA Yes, would you excuse me for a moment? I’ve got some
urgent business. There’s a bucket outside I’ve got to be
[Flasheart takes the mickey out of BA’s holier-than-thou attitude.]
Flasheart All right, you chaps, let’s get comfy.
[Flasheart sits down in chair. George sits down on BA’s cot. Flasheart
turns to Baldrick.]
Flasheart You look like a decent British bloke. I’ll park the old
booties on you if that’s okay.
Baldrick It would be an honour, my Lord.
[Baldrick kneels down on all fours in front of Flasheart.]
Flasheart Of course it would! Ha!
[Flasheart rests his feet on Baldrick’s back and sighs.]
Flasheart Have you any idea what it’s like to have the wind
rushing through your hair?
George No, Sir.
[Flasheart breaks wind in Baldrick’s face.]
Flasheart He has!
Scene 6: BA’s Dugout
[Some time has elapsed. Flasheart is regaling an enthralled George with
stories. BA is reading a copy of `King and Country’ at the table,
uninterested in what Flasheart has to say.]
Flasheart . . . so I flew straight through her bedroom window,
popped a box of chocs on the dressing table,
machine-gunned my telephone number into the wall, and
then shot off and shagged her sister.
[As George creases up, Bobby Parkhurst enters the dugout.]
Bobby Ahem. Driver Parkhurst reporting for duty, my Lord . . .
Flasheart Well, well, well. If it isn’t little Bobby Parkhurst–
saucier than a direct hit on a Heinz factory.
Bobby I’ve come to pick you up.
Flasheart Well, that’s how I like my girls–direct and to my point.
[Flasheart removes his feet from Baldrick, grabs Bobby and puts her across
his lap and begins to snog her. During the snog BA sarcastically checks
Flasheart Ah! Tally ho, then! Back to the bar. You should join
the Flying Corps, George. That’s the way to fight a war.
Tasty tuck, soft beds and a uniform so smart it’s got a
PhD from Cambridge.
[Flasheart gestures at Baldrick.]
Flasheart You could even bring the breath monster here. Anyone can
be a navigator if he can tell his arse from his elbow.
BA Well, that’s Baldrick out, I fear . . .
Flasheart We’re always looking for talented types to join the
BA . . . and there goes George.
[Flasheart rises from the chair, lifting Bobby in his arms.]
Flasheart Tally ho, then, Bobby. Hush, here comes a whizz-bang and I
think you know what I’m talking about! Woof!
[Flasheart and Bobby leave.]
BA God, it’s like Crufts in here!
[Baldrick and George stand.]
George I say, Sir. What a splendid notion. The Twenty Minuters.
Soft tucker, tasty beds, fluffy uniforms.
Baldrick Begging your permission, Sir, but why do they call them the
George Ah, now, yes, . . .
[George moves across the dugout to get his card album.]
George . . . now this one is in my Brooke Bond `Book of the Air’.
[George returns to the cot and sits down.]
George Now, you have to collect all the cards and then stick them
into this wonderful presentation booklet. Er . . .
[Baldrick sits down next to George.]
George Ah, here we are: Twenty Minuters. Oh, damn! Haven’t got
the card yet. Ah, but the caption says `Twenty minutes is
the average amount of time new pilots spend in the air.’
BA Twenty minutes.
George That’s right, Sir.
BA I had a twenty hour watch yesterday, with four hours
overtime, in two feet of water.
[George, then Baldrick, rise from the cot and move to the table.]
George Well then, for goodness sake, Sir, why don’t we join?
Baldrick Yeah, be better than just sitting around here all day on our
BA No thank you. No thank you. I have no desire to hang
around with a bunch of upper-class delinquents, do twenty
minutes work, and then spend the rest of the day loafing
about in Paris drinking gallons of champagne and having
dozens of moist, pink, highly-experienced young French
peasant girls galloping up and down my . . . Hang on!
Scene 7: Captain Darling’s Office
[Captain Darling is writing at his desk. There is a knock at the office door.]
[BA enters the office.]
Darling Ah, Captain Blackadder.
BA Good morning, Captain Darling.
Darling What do you want?
BA You’re looking so well.
Darling I’m a busy man, Blackadder. Let’s hear it, whatever it is.
BA Well, you know, Darling, every . . . every man has a
dream . . .
Darling Hmmm . . .
BA . . . and when I was a small boy, I used to watch the marsh
warblers swooping in my mothers undercroft, and I remember
thinking `Will men ever dare do the same?’ And you know . . .
[Darling rises from his desk.]
Darling Oh, you want to join the Royal Flying Corps?
BA Oh, that’s a thought. Could I?
Darling No, you couldn’t! Goodbye!
[Darling sits back down.]
BA Look, come on, Darling, just give me an application form.
Darling It’s out of the question. This is simply a ruse to waste
five months of training after which you’ll claim you can’t
fly after all because it makes your ears go `pop’. Come on,
I wasn’t born yesterday, Blackadder.
BA More’s the pity, we could have started your personality from
scratch. So, the training period is five months, is it?
Darling It’s no concern of yours if it’s five years and comes with a
free holiday in Tunisia, contraceptives supplied. Besides,
they wouldn’t admit you. It’s not easy getting transfers,
[Darling returns to his work.]
BA Oh, you’ve tried it yourself, have you?
[Darling breaks his pencil.]
Darling No, I haven’t.
BA Trust you to try and skive off to some cushy option.
Darling There’s nothing cushy about life in the Womens Auxiliary
[BA raises his eyebrows at this.]
Darling Ah . . .
[The door to General Melchett’s office opens and the General and George
enter. BA and Darling snap to attention. BA salutes.]
George . . . and then the bishop said “I’m awfully sorry, I
didn’t realise you meant organist.”
Melchett Thank you, George. At ease, everyone. Now, where’s my
map? Come on.
[Darling hands Melchett his map.]
Melchett Thank you.
[Melchett unfurls the map the wrong way.]
Melchett God, it’s a barren, featureless desert out there, isn’t it.
Darling The other side, Sir!
[Melchett turns the map over. BA turns to George.]
BA Hello, George. What are you doing here?
George Me, Sir? I just popped in to join the Royal Flying Corps.
[Melchett looks up from his map.]
Melchett Hello, Blackadder. What are you doing here?
BA Me, Sir? I just popped in to join the Royal Flying Corps.
Darling And, of course, I said . . .
Melchett Bravo, I hope, Darling. Because, you know, I’ve always had
my doubts about you trenchy-type fellows. Always suspected
there might be a bit too much of the battle-dodging,
stark-naked-at-Jerry about you. But if you’re willing to
join the Twenty Minuters then you’re all right by me and
welcome to marry my sister any day.
Darling Are you sure about this, Sir?
Melchett Certainly, you should hear the noise she makes when she eats
a boiled egg. Be glad to get her out of the house. So,
report back here 09:00 hours for your basic training.
Scene 8: Captain Darling’s Office
[It is the next morning. Darling’s office has been set out with chairs and
there is a blackboard with a chalk picture of a Sopwith Camel on it. BA and
George are in the front row of seats. There are three other trainees.
Darling is at his desk at the back.]
George Crikey! I’m looking forward to today. Up-diddly-up,
down-diddly-down, whoops-poop, twiddly-dee, a decent scrap
with the fiendish Red Baron, a bit of a jolly old crash
landing behind enemy lines, capture, torture, escape and
then back home in time for tea and medals.
BA George, who’s using the family brain-cell at the moment?
This is just the beginning of the training. The beginning
of five long months of very clever, very dull men looking
[Flasheart is heard in the corridor.]
Flasheart Hey, girls! Look at my machinery!
[The sound of screaming women is heard from the corridor. Flasheart enters
Darling’s office, zipping up his flys. He is carrying a stick. All present
rise to attention.]
Flasheart Enter a man who has no underwear. Ask me why.
All except BA Why do you have no underwear, Lord Flash?
Flasheart Because the pants haven’t been built yet that’ll take the
[Flasheart performs a groinal thrust.]
Flasheart And that’s the type of guy who’s doing the training around
here. Sit down!
[All sit. Flasheart notices BA.]
Flasheart Well, well, well, well, well. If it isn’t old Captain
Flasheart Couldn’t resist it, eh, Slack Bladder? Told you you thought
I was great. All right men, let’s do-oo-oo it! The first
thing to remember is: always treat your kite . . .
[Flasheart taps the picture of the Sopwith Camel with his stick.]
Flasheart . . . like you treat your woman!
[Flasheart whips the air with his cane.]
George How, how do you mean, Sir? Do you mean, do you mean take her
home at weekends to meet your mother?
Flasheart No, I mean get inside her five times a day and take her to
heaven and back.
BA I’m beginning to see why the Suffragette Movement want the
Flasheart Hey, hey! Any bird who wants to chain herself to my railings
and suffer a jet movement gets my vote. Er, right. Well,
I’ll see you in ten minutes for take-off.
[Flasheart begins to leave.]
BA Hang on, hang on! What about the months of training?
Flasheart Hey, wet-pants! This isn’t the Womens Auxiliary Balloon
Corps. You’re in the Twenty Minuters now.
[Darling stands up.]
Darling Er, Sir . . .
Flasheart Yes . . .
Darling . . . Sir!
Flasheart . . . Prat at the back!
Darling I think we’d all be intrigued to know why you’re called the
George Oh, Mister Thicko. Imagine not knowing that.
Flasheart Well, it’s simple! The average life expectancy for a new
pilot is twenty minutes.
Darling Ah . . .
BA Life expectancy . . . of twenty minutes . . .
Flasheart That’s right. Goggles on, chocks away, last one back’s a
[Flasheart runs out of the room.]
Trainee Pilots Hurray!
[Trainee Pilots run after Flasheart.]
BA So, we take off in ten minutes, we’re in the air for twenty
minutes, which means we should be dead by twenty five to ten.
George Hairy blighters, Sir. This is a bit of a turn-up for the
[Darling rises and moves to the door.]
Darling I shouldn’t worry about it too much, Blackadder. Flying’s
all about navigation. As long as you’ve got a good navigator
I’m sure you’ll be fine.
[Darling sniggers as he opens the door to reveal Baldrick in flying gear.
Baldrick enters. Darling leaves.]
Scene 9: In The Air
[BA and Baldrick are flying in a Sopwith Camel. George is another Camel.]
BA Actually, they’re right. This is a doddle.
Baldrick Careful, Sir!
BA Whoops, whoops, a little wobble there. I’ll get the hang
of it, don’t worry. All right, Baldrick, how many rounds
have we got?
Baldrick Er, five hundred, Sir. Cheese and tomato for you, rat for
George Tally-bally ho!
Baldrick What’s this?
[Baldrick climbs out of his seat.]
BA Baldrick! Baldrick! Will you stop arsing about and get back
in the plane!
Baldrick Ooh, ooh, ooh! Hey, Sir, I can see a pretty red plane from
up here. Ha ha! Woo woo!
von Richthoven Schnell! Da unten! Ha ha ha!
[von Richthoven shoots out one of the wing-supports on Blackadders aircraft.]
BA Oh no! Watch out, Baldrick, it’s stood right on our tail.
Yes, now this is developing into a distinctly boring
situation, but we’re still on our side of the line so I’ll
crash-land and claim my ears went `pop’ first time out.
Baldrick Ooh, let’s hope we fall on something soft!
BA Fine. I’ll try and aim between General Melchett’s ears!
Scene 10: A German Prison Cell
[BA is pacing about the cell. Baldrick is seated.]
BA I don’t believe it. A German prison cell. For two and a
half years the Western Front has been as likely to move as a
Frenchman who lives next door to a brothel, and last night the
Germans advance a mile and we land on the wrong side.
Baldrick Ooh, dear, Captain B, my tummy’s gone all squirty.
BA That means you’re scared, Baldrick, and you’re not the only
one. I couldn’t be more petrified if a wild rhinoceros had
just come home from a hard day at the swamp and found me
wearing his pyjamas, smoking his cigars and in bed with his
Baldrick I’ve heard what these Germans will do, Sir. They’ll have
their wicked way with anything of woman-born.
BA Well, in that case, Baldrick, you’re quite safe. However,
the Teutonic reputation for brutality is well-founded: their
operas last three or four days; and they have no word
Baldrick I want my mum!
BA Yes, it’d be good to see her. I should imagine a maternally-
outraged gorilla could be a useful ally when it comes to the
[Footsteps are heard outside the cell.]
BA Prepare to die like a man, Baldrick.
BA Or as close as you can come to a man without actually
shaving the palms of your hands.
[The door opens and Oberleutnant von Gerhardt enters.]
von Gerhardt Good evening. I am Oberleutnant von Gerhardt. I have
a message from the Baron von Richthoven, the greatest living
BA Which, considering that his competition consists entirely
of very fat men in leather shorts burping to the tune of
`She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain’, is no great
von Gerhardt Quiet!
[von Gerhardt slaps Baldrick across the face. Baldrick falls against the
BA And what is your message?
von Gerhardt It is: Prepare for a fate worse than death, English flying
BA Oh. So, it’s the traditional warm German welcome.
von Gerhardt Correct. Also, he is saying: Do not try to escape or you
will suffer even worse.
BA A fate worse than a fate worse than death? Sounds pretty bad.
Scene 11: Captain Darling’s Office
[George and Darling are arguing loudly, there is confused chatter.]
George Yes well, you see, it’s all very well for you, isn’t it,
sitting here behind yer, behind yer, behind yer comfy desk.
Darling Don’t you take that tone with me, Lieutenant, or I’ll have
you on a charge for insurbordination.
George Well, I’d rather be on a charge for insubordination than on a
charge of deserting a friend.
Darling How dare you talk to me like that!
George How dare I . . .?
[General Melchett, attracted by the noise, enters from his office.]
Melchett Now, then, now then, now, now, then, now then, now then,
then now, now, now then. What’s going on here?
Darling That damn fool Blackadder has crashed his plane behind enemy
lines, Sir. This young idiot wants to go and try rescue him.
It’s a total waste of men and equipment.
George He’s not a damn fool, Sir, he’s a bally hero.
Melchett All right. All right, all right, all right. I’ll deal with
this, Darling. Delicate touch needed, I fancy.
[Melchett takes George over to the fireplace.]
Melchett Now, George. Do you remember when I came down to visit you
when you were a nipper for your sixth birthday? You used to
have a lovely little rabbit. Beautiful little thing. Do you
Melchett That’s right. Flossy. Do you remember what happened to
George You shot him.
Melchett That’s right. It was the kindest thing to do after he’d been
run over by that car.
George By your car, Sir.
Melchett Yes, by my car. But that too was an act of mercy when you
would remember that that dog had been set on him.
George Your dog, Sir.
Melchett Yes, yes, my dog. But what I’m trying to say, George, is
that the state young Flossy was in after we’d scraped him off
my front tyre is very much the state that young Blackadder
will be in now. If not very nearly dead, then very actually
George Permission for lip to wobble, Sir?
Melchett Permission granted.
[George’s lips wobble.]
Melchett Stout fellow.
George But surely, Sir, you must allow me to at least try and save
Melchett No, George. It would be as pointless as trying to teach a
woman the value of a good, forward defensive stroke. Besides,
it would take a superman to get him out of there, not the
kind of weed who blubs just because somebody gives him a slice
of rabbit pie instead of birthday cake.
George Well, I suppose you’re right, Sir.
Melchett Course I am. Now let’s talk about something more jolly,
shall we? Look, this is the amount of land we’ve
recaptured since yesterday.
[Melchett and George move over to the map table.]
George Oh, excellent.
Melchett Erm, what is the actual scale of this map, Darling?
Darling Erm, one-to-one, Sir.
Melchett Come again?
Darling Er, the map is actually life-size, Sir. It’s superbly
detailed. Look, look, there’s a little worm.
Melchett Oh, yes. So the actual amount of land retaken is?
[Darling whips out a tape measure amd measures the table.]
Darling Excuse me, Sir. Seventeen square feet, Sir.
Melchett Excellent. So you see, young Blackadder didn’t die horribly
in vain after all.
George If he did die, Sir.
Melchett That’s the spirit, George. If nothing else works, then a
total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face
will see us through.
Scene 12: A German Prison Cell
[BA is seated. Baldrick is sitting on the floor. There is a jangling of
keys, the cell door opens and the Red Baron enters.]
von Richthoven So! I am the Red Baron von Richthoven and you are the two
English flying aces responsible for the spilling of the
precious German blood of many of my finest and my
blondest friends. I have waited many months to do this.
[von Richthoven kisses BA on both cheeks.]
BA You may have been right, Balders. Looks like we’re going
to get rogered to death after all.
Baldrick Do you want me to go first, Sir?
[von Richthoven laughs.]
von Richthoven You English and your sense of humour. During your brief
stay I look forward to learning more of your wit, your
punning and your amusing jokes about the breaking of the wind.
BA Well, Baldrick’s the expert there.
Baldrick I certainly am, Sir.
[von Richthoven laughs.]
von Richthoven How lucky you English are to find the toilet so amusing.
For us, it is a mundane and functional item. For you, the
basis of an entire culture.
[Baldrick laughs, von Richthoven slaps him in the face.]
von Richthoven I must now tell you of the full horror of what awaits you.
BA Ah, you see, Balders. Dress it up in any amount of pompous
verbal diarrhoea, and the message is `Squareheads down for
the big Boche gang-bang’.
von Richthoven As an officer and a gentleman, you will be looking forward
to a quick and noble death.
BA Well, obviously.
von Richthoven But, instead, an even worse fate awaits you. Tomorrow, you
will be taken back to Germany . . .
BA Here it comes!
von Richthoven . . . to a convent school, outside Heidelberg, where you will
spend the rest of the war teaching the young girls home
BA Er . . .
von Richthoven For you, as a man of honour, the humiliation will be
BA Oh, I think you’ll find we’re tougher than you imagine.
von Richthoven Ha! I can tell how much you are suffering by your long
BA We’re not suffering too much to say `thank you’. Thank you.
Say `thank you’, Baldrick.
Baldrick Thank you, Baldrick.
[von Richthoven laughs.]
von Richthoven How amusing. But now, forgive me. I must take to the skies
once again. Very funny. The noble Lord Flasheart still
BA I think you’ll find he’s overrated. Bad breath and . . .
impotent, they say.
[von Richthoven laughs.]
von Richthoven Sexual innuendo.
[von Richthoven laughs.]
von Richthoven But enough of this. As you say in England, I must fly.
[von Richthoven laughs.]
von Richthoven Perhaps I will master this humour after all, ja?
BA I wouldn’t be too optomistic.
von Richthoven Oh, and the little fellow, if you get lonely in the night,
I’m in the old chateau. There’s no pressure.
[von Richthoven starts to leave. As he moves up the steps to the cell door
he prat-falls and laughs.]
von Richthoven Prat-fall!
[von Richthoven leaves the cell, laughing as he goes.]
Baldrick Is it really true, Sir? Is the war really over for us?
BA Yup! Out of the war and teaching nuns how to boil eggs.
For us, the Great War is finito. A war that would be a damn
sight simpler if we’d just stayed in England and shot fifty
thousand of our men a week. No more mud, death, rats, bombs,
shrapnel, whizz-bangs, barbed wire and those bloody awful
songs that have the word `whoops’ in the title.
[BA notices that the cell door has been left ajar.]
BA Oh, damn! He’s, he’s left the door open.
Baldrick Oh, good! We can escape, Sir.
BA Are you mad, Baldrick? I’ll find someone to lock it for us.
[BA opens the door to find George standing there.]
George Ssh! Keep-ee! Mum’s the word! Not ‘arf, or what?
[BA shuts the door in George’s face.]
Baldrick Sir, why did you just slam the door on Lieutenant George?
BA I can’t believe it. Go away!
[George pushes the door open and enters the cell.]
George It’s me. It’s me.
BA But what the hell are you doing here?
George Oh, never mind the hows, and the whys and the do-you-mind-
BA But it would have taken a superman to get in here.
George Well, it’s funny you should say that, because as it
happens I did have some help from a rather spiffing bloke.
He’s taken a break from some crucial top-level shagging.
[Flasheart smashes through the cell door, swinging on a rope. As he lands,
he trumpets his own arrival.]
Flasheart It’s me. Hurray!
George and Baldrick
[Flasheart smashes Baldrick in the face. Baldrick falls to the floor.]
Flasheart God’s potatoes, George. You said noble brother friars were
in the lurch. If I’d known you meant old Slack Bladder and
the mound of the hound of the Baskervilles, I’d probably
have let them stew in their own juice.
Flasheart And let me tell you, if I ever tried that, I’d probably
[Baldrick laughs. Flasheart laughs and smacks Baldrick in the face.
Baldrick wings floor-ward again.]
Flasheart Still, since I’m here, I may as well do-oo it, as the
Bishop said to the netball team. Come on, chums!
[Flasheart runs out of the cell, followed by George and Baldrick. BA sits
down and begins to moan, faking an injury.]
BA Aah! Ow! Aah!
[Flasheart runs back into the cell, followed by George and Baldrick.]
Flasheart Come on.
BA Yes, yes. Look, I’m sorry, chaps, but I’ve splintered my
pancreas. Erm, and I seem to have this terrible cough.
[BA fakes a couple of coughs.]
BA Coff-guards! Coff-guards!
Flasheart Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait a minute. Now I may be
packing the kind of tackle that you’d normally expect to find
swinging about between the hindlegs of a Grand National
winner, but I’m not totally stupid, and I’ve got the kind of
feeling you’d rather we hadn’t come.
BA No, no, no, I’m very grateful. It’s just that I’d slow you
Flasheart I think I’m beginning to understand.
BA Are . . . are you?
Flasheart Just because I can give multiple orgasms to the furniture
just by sitting on it, doesn’t mean that I’m not sick of this
damn war: the blood, the noise, the endless poetry.
BA Is that really what you think, Flasheart?
[Flasheart whips out his pistol and threatens BA.]
Flasheart Course it’s not what I think. Now get out that door before
I redecorate that wall an interesting new colour called
`hint of brain’.
BA Excellent. Well, that’s clear. Let’s get back to that
lovely war, then!
[As the group moves to leave, von Richthoven appears at the cell door.]
von Richthoven Not so fast, Blackadder.
BA Oh, damn! Foiled again! What bad luck!
[von Richthoven enters the cell.]
von Richthoven Ah, and the Lord Flasheart. This is indeed an honour.
Finally, the two greatest gentleman fliers in the world meet.
Two men of honour, who have jousted together in the
cloud-strewn glory of the skies, face to face at last. How
often I have rehearsed this moment of destiny in my dreams.
The panoply to encapsulate the unspoken nobility of a
[Flasheart shoots von Richthoven.]
Flasheart What a poof! Come on!
[All exit the cell, cheering.]
Scene 13: Captain Darling’s Office
[Darling is dusting the office door. BA opens the door in Darling’s face.]
BA Hello, Darling.
[Darling retreats backwards towards his desk as BA enters.]
Darling Good Lord. Captain Blackadder. I thought, I thought you
were . . .
BA Playing tennis?
Darling Well, yes, unfortunately.
BA Well, I had a lucky escape. No thanks to you. This is a
friend of mine.
[Flasheart is standing on Darling’s desk. Darling turns around and finds
himself staring at Flasheart’s crotch.]
Flasheart Hi, creep.
BA Flasheart, this is Captain Darling.
Flasheart Captain Darling? Funny name for a guy, isn’t it?
[Flasheart jumps down from the desk.]
Flasheart Last person I called `Darling’ was pregnant twenty seconds
later. Hear you couldn’t be bothered to help old Slacky
Darling Er, well, it . . . it wasn’t quite that, Sir. It’s just
that we weighed up the pros and cons, and decided it wasn’t a
reasonable use of our time and resources.
Flasheart Well, this isn’t a reasonable use of my time and resources,
but I’m going to do it anyway.
[Flasheart head-butts Darling. Darling groans and falls backwards across his
Flasheart All right, Slacky! All right, Slacky! I’ve got to fly.
Two million chicks, only one Flasheart. And remember, if
you want something, take it. Bobby!
[Bobby enters the office and salutes.]
Bobby My Lord!
Flasheart I want something!
Bobby Take it!
[Bobby starts to unbutton her top as she leaves the office, followed by
[General Melchett enters from his office.]
Melchett Ah, Blackadder. So you escaped.
BA Yes, Sir.
[Melchett notices the unconcious Darling.]
Melchett Don’t slouch, Darling.
BA I was wondering whether, having been tortured by the most
vicious sadist in the German army, I might be allowed a
week’s leave to recuperate, Sir.
Melchett Excellent idea. Your commanding officer would have to be
stark raving mad to refuse you.
BA Well, you are my commanding officer.
BA Can I have a week’s leave to recuperate, Sir?
Melchett Certainly not!
BA Thank you, Sir.
Blackadder IV, Episode 4 – Private Plane Script