The Fear of God can exclusively reveal that RTE has bought the rights to the popular 1980s BBC comedy series “Blackadder.” The original series starred Rowan Atkinson as various generations of the eponymous sardonic schemer, alongside Tony Robinson as the hapless sidekick Baldrick, and Hugh Laurie as an upper-class twit.
RTE’s plans for the show include bringing it up to the present day, setting in in Ireland, with “Eddie Blackadder” as the coach of a fictional national rugby squad called “Ireland.”
We have even managed to get a glimpse of the script of the first episode, a segment of which is transcribed below.
EPISODE 1: THE WORLD CUP OF CRAP IDEAS
The scene: An office, somewhere in Dublin 4. Eddie Blackadder is poring over game plans, with his head in his hands, in apparent despair. A knock on the door.
BLACKADDER: Come in!
The door opens and Baldrick, Blackadder’s dim-witted assistant enters.
BLACKADDER: (impatiently) What do you want Baldrick?
BALDRICK: I just wanted to see if you needed any help, sir. What with the World Cup coming up and all that.
BLACKADDER: What help do you think you could give me, Baldrick? For God’s sake, we’re two weeks away from the start of the World Cup, and I have to find some way that we can beat France and Argentina.
BALDRICK: Well you see sir, I have a cunning plan.
BLACKADDER: (throwing eyes to heaven) A cunning plan, eh? Well I hope it’s a bit better than your last one. The one where you suggested the tight five swap places with the backs in order to fool the opposition.
BALDRICK: Oh no, sir! This one’s much better.
BLACKADDER: Well that wouldn’t be difficult would it? John Hayes didn’t exactly manifest himself with the speed and grace of a gazelle when we put him on the wing, did he? Well come on, then. What has that fetid, pulpy mass inside your skull come up with this time?
BALDRICK: Well, sir, you know that we’re playing the Namibians first?
BALDRICK: And then the Georgians the following week?
BLACKADDER: Yes, Baldrick, I’m quite familiar with our fixture schedule, thank you very much. What are you getting at?
BALDRICK: Well, sir, I was thinking, why don’t we play absolutely crap in those two matches? Just enough to win, mind, but both completely unconvincing displays, with loads of unforced errors, dropped balls, missed passes, missed touchfinders and the like.
BLACKADDER: Why on Earth should we do that? Do you want us to run the risk of being beaten by the minnows of the group? The French and the Argies would be laughing up their sleeves at us. The press would have a field day. If your ideas were a team in the World Cup of Crap Ideas, Baldrick, they would win their group with maximum bonus points, arriving in a blaze of glory at the final to be crowned World Crap Ideas Champions!
BALDRICK: But sir! By playing crap, we would lull the French and the Argies into a false sense of security. They’d think we were complete crap and field weakened teams against us. But then we’d start playing properly, taking them completely by surprise and beating them!
BLACKADDER: (turning and walking slowly towards the window, a sly smile on his face) You know Baldrick, that’s brilliant. They would just expect us to be crap, and we’d catch them unawares. That is such a brilliant idea, I can’t believe that I hadn’t thought of it till now…
BALDRICK: But sir, it was my idea…
BLACKADDER: Are you still here, Baldrick? Don’t you have jockstraps to scrub or something?