|Written by||Ben Elton & Richard Curtis|
|Directed by||Mandie Fletcher|
|Guest stars||Hugh Laurie, Mark Arden, Lee Cornes, Max Harvey|
|Original airdate||20 February 1986|
|List of episodes|
"Chains" is the final episode of the BBC sitcom Blackadder II, the second series of Blackadder, which was set in Elizabethan England from 1558 to 1603. Power-mad and self-professed "master of disguise", Prince Ludwig the Indestructible kidnaps Lord Edmund Blackadder and Lord Melchett. They escape his clutches but Prince Ludwig infiltrates the palace during a fancy dress ball.
Blackadder and Melchett are kidnapped by the Spaniards and held for ransom. Blackadder does not speak Spanish, so he and the Spanish torturer engage in a lengthy game of charades to determine the exact threats and mode of torture ("If I admit that I'm...head-over-heels in love...with Satan and all his little wizards, then you will...remove my testicles with a blunt instrument [which he learns moments later is a scythe]...and roast them over a large fire." "Si! Si!"). Prince Ludwig the Indestructible, a German pretender to the throne who mispronounces English words, interrupts just as the torturer is about to get started on Edmund; when Edmund does not recognise him, Ludwig reveals that he was once disguised as Big Sally, a waitress at The Old Pizzle in Dover. Edmund is horrified: "But I went to bed with you, didn't I?"
Lord Melchett is dragged in screaming. Melchett does not recognise Ludwig, until Ludwig tells him that he once impersonated Flossie, a sheep at a monastery in Cornwall. Melchett is aghast: "But didn't we...?"
Queenie replies that she has decided to spend the requested ransom money on "a big party." Ludwig agrees to imprison them for life instead of killing them in exchange for information on how to get into the palace during the costume party. When he leaves, Blackadder and Melchett escape and make their way back to England, arriving just in time for the party. Queenie is dressed as Henry VIII, while Baldrick is a pencil case. Edmund promptly stabs "Nursie", who is revealed to be Prince Ludwig masquerading as Nursie dressed as a cow, Ludwig however is still alive and leaves, swearing revenge. Blackadder throws a dagger at him stating "you will die and be buried". Every one asks how Blackadder knew the cow was Ludwig. Blackadder explains that Ludwig was a master of disguise while Nursie is a "sad, insane old woman with an udder fixation". Everyone then asks if Blackadder missed them. He tells Percy he wished it was him who was being tortured instead. To Baldrick he says he was not missed at all, and as for the Queen, he states that life without her is like "a broken pencil"; she asks him to explain, and he replies "pointless".
After the credits, we see that Blackadder has been murdered by a surprise attack, along with Baldrick, Percy, Queenie, Melchett and Nursie. Ludwig stands over the corpses disguised as Queenie and holding a blood-soaked dagger. He claims that impersonating Queenie is a role he will enjoy...if he can "just get the voice right."
- In reality, the Spanish Inquisition never came to Great Britain.
- Rowan Atkinson as Lord Edmund Blackadder
- Hugh Laurie as Prince Ludwig the Indestructible
- Stephen Fry as Lord Melchett
- Tim McInnerny as Lord Percy Percy
- Tony Robinson as Baldrick
- Miranda Richardson as Queen Elizabeth I
- Patsy Byrne as Nursie
- Max Harvey as the Torturer
- Mark Arden as the 1st Guard
- Lee Cornes as the 2nd Guard