The Cavalier Years
This single episode addition to the Black Adder (or Blackadder) series takes place during the time of theEnglish Civil War.
The Cavaliers was the name given to supporters of the King against the Parliamentarians, led by Oliver Cromwell.
Edmund Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) is one of the former, best friend to King Charles I (Stephen Fry), who is about to lose his head. It is my understanding that Mr. Fry's characterization of the King is an immpersonation of the current Prince Charles. "They will never find a man to execute you," says Blackadder. "Oh," the King replies, "that is really such a shame, when so many young would leap at a chance like this..."
Blackadder hides the King in his home until Cromwell's men show up looking for him. Cromwell himself interrogates Baldrick, who does well, denying the King's presence, until Oliver asks for a cup of tea. "Yes, sir. But don't use the purple cup. It's the King's."
Hope springs eternal for Blackadder, who visits the King, and assures him that they'll never find a man willing to execute him.
Of course, there is always ONE man who will take the job--up step S. Baldrick (Tony Robinson), whose 'brain is like the four-headed, man-eating haddock fish beast of Aberdeen.' 'How so?' 'It doesn't exist.'
Threatened with an axe, he comes up with a cunning plan. Blackadder is not thrilled: "Your family's history in the department of cunning is about as good as Stumpy Oleg McNoleg's personal best in the Market Harborough Marathon!" Baldrick suggests that they disguise a pumpkin as the king, then cut it off instead of his head.
Taking on the role of executioner himself, Blackadder again secretly visits the King, and swears to save his life. But in the absence of a better plan, he is forced to go with the pumpkin. The ruse fails, and Blackadder is forced to do the deed for real.
We next see him in his home, cradling the infant Charles II in his arms, gently, lovingly, until Cromwell's men show up and he tosses the thing at Baldrick. Blackadder pulls off his wig, revealing a short, blonde, Puritan haircut underneath, and turns Baldrick in as the Royalist swine.
The episode feels a bit underdone compared to those in the other series, which are absolutely brilliant. But it remains a valuable part of the collection nonetheless, and as one of the least well known additions, deserves a place among its brothers!