Season 3 Episode 1

Dish and Dishonesty

Aired Wednesday 9:30 PM Sep 17, 1987 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
71 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Blackadder becomes involved in politics by getting Baldrick elected MP, in an effort to stop the new Prime Minister, Pitt the Younger, from striking the Prince off the Civil List.

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  • I'll be honest with you - I've seen better episodes of Blackadder.

    The only real laughs in this episode come from Baldrick, ie - when he’s attached to the spit and how his first name is Sod Off! I’ll explain:

    Blackadder: Okay Baldrick I need you first name

    Baldrick: Dunno

    Blackadder: What do you mean you don’t know, you must have some idea!

    Baldrick: It could be “Sod Off”!

    Blackadder: What?

    Baldrick: Coz whenever I would play with the other kids in the gutter they would call me “Sod Off Baldrick”!

    Blackadder: Okay, “Sod Off Baldrick” it is!

    A mediocre episode with a handful of laughs but I have seen better ones. I'll be honest with you - I've seen better episodes of Blackadder.moreless
  • This is a fine example of what Blackadder is all about.

    The hilariously witty Edmund Blackadder, butler to Prince Regent George is constantly frustrated at one Baldricks antics. However, this episode sees Blackadder use Baldrick to help him save the Prince Regent from Bankruptcy. He makes Baldrick an MP, and cheats, using Baldrick as a puppet to win a rotten borough. They take the election without a problem, with 16,472 votes, however the idea of Baldrick being a politician very much backfires, when the mouse-brained moron obligedly votes for PM Pitt the younger, a snobby young 13 year old.

    This forces Blackadder to put Baldrick on a spit over a fire, berate himself, and think of something better. Fortunately Mrs Miggins reminds him of the House of Lords, and Blackadder returns to the Prince Regent, telling him that they should appoint a new Lord, hinting himself as that Lord. However, thick George thinks that Blackadder is referring to Baldrick when he describes "a man in your service, one who has done sterling work matching the political intentions of the evil Pitt". Blackadder goes out and buys a £1000 catskin robe, which unfortunately goes to waste after he finds out that George had chosen Baldrick.

    This episode has all the good humor and hilarious storyline of a classic, and is recommended highly.

    High Point: "Well if it isn't the lord privvy toast rack!"

    Low Point: N/Amoreless
  • And you thought politics was bad today. Step back to the age of kings, when people dealt with their opponents the old-fashioned way: they killed them.

    On any given day, Blackadder can't wait to get his hands around the neck of his incompetent servant Baldrick and strangle him.

    This time, however, Blackadder needs the man's help.

    As usual, the Adder is desperate to save his own hide, and eager to put somebody else in front of any danger. If his patron, the Prince, is removed from the Civil List, Blackadder can look forward to a fate lacking either freedom or oxygen. Not keen on these choices, the knave determines to fix the election.

    He gets Baldrick to stand for MP. Both men discover that success in politics can be murder.moreless
Vincent Hanna

Vincent Hanna

Mr. Vincent Hanna

Guest Star

Denis Lill

Denis Lill

Sir Talbot Buxomly

Guest Star

Simon Osborne

Simon Osborne

Pitt the Younger

Guest Star

Helen Atkinson-Wood

Helen Atkinson-Wood

Mrs. Miggins

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The opening scene suggests that Pitt the Younger succeeded Pitt the Elder as Prime Minister directly. Their tenures were separated by fifteen years. Indeed, Pitt the Elder (for whom the City of Pittsburgh is named) died five years before the elections of 1783 named Pitt the Younger the PM.

  • QUOTES (26)

    • Blackadder: I will be back before you can say… Anti-disestablishmentarism.
      (He leaves the room)
      Prince George: Oh, i doubt that. Antidism… Antidismintale…
      (The sceen goes black and the subtitle shows "Two Days Later")
      Prince George: Anti distinctly minty…

    • (Filling in this MP application form)
      Edmund: Now any history of insanity in the family? Tell you what, I'll cross out the in. Any history of sanity in the family? None whatsoever. Now then; criminal record…
      Baldrick: Absolutely not.
      Edmund: Oh, come on, Baldrick, you're going to be an MP, for God's sake! I'll just put fraud and sexual deviancy. Now; minimum bribe level…
      Baldrick: One turnip. Oh, hang on; I don't want to price myself out of the market.

    • Edmund: We must buy Dunny-on-the-World at once and thus control the voter. I shall need a thousand pounds.
      Prince George: A thousand pounds? I thought you said it was a…'tuppenny ha'penny' place.
      Edmund: Well, yes, sir, the land will cost tuppence-ha'penny, but there are many other factors to be considered: stamp duty, window tax, swamp insurance, hen food, dog biscuits, cow ointment; the expenses are endless.
      Prince George: Fine. Well, the money's in my desk.
      Edmund: No, sir. it's in my wallet.
      Prince George: Oh, splendid! No time to lose, eh?
      Edmund: My thoughts precisely, sir.

    • (Talking about bribing Sir Talbot)
      Edmund: However, if we are to get him to support us, he will need some sort of incentive.
      Prince George: Hmm. Anything in mind?
      Edmund: Well, you could appoint him a High Court judge.
      Prince George: Is he qualified?
      Edmund: He's a violent, bigoted, mindless old fool.
      Prince George: Sounds a bit overqualified.

    • Mrs. Miggins: Oh, has there been a general election, then, Mr. Blackadder?
      Edmund: Indeed, there has, Mrs. Miggins.
      Mrs. Miggins: Oh, well, I never heard about it.
      Edmund: Well of course you didn't; you're not eligible to vote.
      Mrs. Miggins: Well, why not?
      Edmund: Because virtually no one is: women, peasants, (looks at Baldrick) chimpanzees, lunatics, Lords...
      Baldrick: That's not true; Lord Nelson's got a vote!
      Edmund: He's got a boat, Baldrick.

    • Blackadder: Sir Talbot represented the constituency of Dunny-on-the-Wold, and, by an extraordinary stroke of luck, it is a rotten borough.
      Prince George: Really! Is it! Well, lucky-lucky us. Lucky, lucky, luck. Luck luck luck luck cluck cluck cluck. Luck luck luck. Cluck cluck cluck cluck. Luck luck. Luck. Cluck, cluck, cluck. Cluck.
      Blackadder: You don't know what a rotten borough is, do you, sir?
      Prince George: No.
      Blackadder: So what was the chicken impression in aid of?
      Prince George: Well, I just didn't want to hurt your feelings.

    • George: I say, that's a bit of a strange get-up you've got there, isn't it, Blackadder?
      Blackadder: Yes, I'm just off to a fancy dress party. (frustrated) I'm going as Lady Hamilton's pussy.

    • Blackadder: I will be back before you can say… Antidisestablishmentarism.
      (He leaves the room)
      Prince George: Oh, i doubt that. Antidism… Antidismintale…
      (The sceen goes black and the subtitle shows "3 days later")
      Prince George: Anti distinctly minty…

    • Vincent Hanna: Prince George … who is described in his party news-sheet as a great moral and spiritual leader of the nation; but is described by almost everyone else as a fat flatulent git.

    • Vincent Hanna: Now it's time, I think, for a result. Tension is running very high here. Mr. Blackadder assures me that this will be the first honest vote, ever, in a rotten borough. And I think we all hope for a result that reflects the real needs of the constituency. And behind me, yes, I can just see the returning officer moving to the front of the platform.
      Blackadder: As the acting returning officer for Dunny-on -the-Wold...
      Vincent Hanna: Er, the acting returning officer, Mr. E. Blackadder of course, and we are all very grateful indeed that he stepped in at the last moment, when the previous returning officer accidentally brutally stabbed himself in the stomach while shaving.

    • Vincent Hanna: And now, finally, a word with the man who is at the center of this by-election mystery: the voter himself. (Reads from his papers) And his name is: Mr. E. Bla... (Turns towards Blackadder) Mr. Blackadder, you are the only voter in this rotten borough?
      Blackadder: Yes, that's right.
      Vincent Hanna: How long have you lived in this constituency?
      Blackadder: Since Wednesday morning. I took over from the previous electorate when he very sadly accidentally brutally cut his head off while combing his hair.

    • Sir Talbot Buxomly: The fact is you are regent, appointed by God, and I shall stick by you forever, even though infirmity lay me waste and ill health curse my every waking moment (Sits down).
      Prince George: Well, good on you sir, and don't talk to me about infermity! Why sir, you are the hardy stock that is the core of Britain's greatness, you have the physique of a demigod, purple of cheek, plump of fetlock, the shapely ankle and the well filled trousers: the tells of a human body in perfect working order!
      Blackadder: (Feeling Buxomly's pulse) He's dead sir.

    • Prince George: For me socks are like sex. Tons of it about and I never seem to get any.

    • Blackadder: I have a plan so cunning that you could stick a tail on it, and call it a weasel.

    • Blackadder: If you want something done properly, kill Baldrick before you start.

    • Vincent Hanna: Master William Pitt, the Even Younger, are you disappointed?
      Pitt the Even Younger: Yes, I'm horrified. I smeared my opponents, bribed the press to be on my side, and threaten to torture electorate if we lost. I fail to see what a more decent politician would have done.

    • Vincent Hanna: Well perhaps he can answer one question: What does the 'S' in his name stand for?
      Blackadder: Sod off.
      Vincent Hanna: Fair enough. None of my business really.

    • Pitt the Younger: I now call on the Leader of the Opposition to test me on my Latin vocab.

    • Pitt the Younger: Mr. Speaker, Members of the House, I shall be brief, as I have rather unfortunately become Prime Minister, right in the middle of my exams.

    • Blackadder: (banging Baldrick's head against the table top) Give me the bloody money, Baldrick, or you're dead!
      Baldrick: Give me the bloody money, Baldrick, or you're dead, my lord.
      Blackadder: Just do it, Baldrick. Otherwise, I shall further enoble you by knighting you rather clumsily with this meat cleaver!

    • Sir Talbot Buxomly: (deriding Pitt the Younger) Young scalawag!
      Prince: Ah, so you don't approve of his plans to abolish me.
      Sir Talbot Buxomly: I do not sir. Damn his eyes! Damn his britches! Damn his duck pond!

    • Edmund: A marvellous thing, democracy. Look at Manchester: population, sixty thousand; electoral role, three.

    • Edmund: Give the likes of Baldrick the vote and it'll be back to cavorting druids, death by stoning and dung for dinner.
      Baldrick: Oh I'm having dung for dinner tonight.

    • Blackadder: Sir, may I be allowed a short violent exclamation?
      Prince George: Oh yes, certainly
      Blackadder: DAMN!

    • Prince George: He's not going to win is he?
      Edmund: No sir, because firstly we shall fight this campaign on issues, not personalities. Secondly, we shall be the only fresh thing on the menu. And thirdly, of course … we'll cheat.

    • Blackadder: And which Pitt would this be? Pitt the Toddler? Pitt the Embryo? Pitt the Glint in the Milkman's Eye?

  • NOTES (3)

    • Vincent Hannah was famous in the 1980's for his real-life coverage of by-elections. In this episode, he guest stars as his own Great Great Great Grandfather, according to the credits.

    • Season 3 is the only season that Tim McInnerny does not co-star in.

    • Hugh Laurie joins the cast as George, the prince regent.
      Helen Atkinson-Wood Joins the cast as the long mentioned but never seen Mrs Miggins.


    • The election night scene in the episode is an allusion to the parliamentary election process in modern England, including the representation of smaller parties, which represent specific interests and rarely win.

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