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'Head' Title Card
Blackadder II, Episode 2
Written by Richard Curtis & Ben Elton
Directed by Mandie Fletcher
Guest stars Holly De Jong,
Bill Wallis,
Linda Polan,
Patrick Duncan
Original airdate 16th January 1986
Episode chronology
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"Bells" "Potato"
List of episodes

"Head" is the second episode of Blackadder II.


Lord Edmund Blackadder is teaching Baldrick to add in his home when Lord Percy arrives with a message telling Edmund to come see the queen, when Edmund arrives Lord Melchett and Queenie tell him that the Lord high executioner is dead and must be replaced. Melchett recommends Edmund for the job, leaving him arranging the executions for the week, Lord Effingham and Sir Francis Drake on Monday, Lord Farrow on Wednesday, and Buckingham and Ponsonbey on Friday.

Edmund decides to move Farrow to Monday so he can have half the week off, he tells this to the staff in the tower, the last meal cook, the jailer and the executioner, the latter turning out to be Baldrick. After the executions on Monday Edmund tells the staff to do whatever they want until Friday. Meanwhile, Lady Farrow asks the queen to see her husband who she does not know has been executed, the queen grants this request and tells her that if Edmund won't let her see him, she can give him his own death warrant.

On Tuesday, Lady Farrow comes to see her husband, and Edmund, not wanting to be executed, puts a bag over his head and sticks his arm in his shirt, seeing as Farrow only had one arm, lady Farrow believes this charade and tells Edmund that Farrow's brother is petitioning for his release. Edmund goes to see the queen and learns that she has agreed to release him, Edmund follows Percy's idea to drag Farrow's body and head to the queen and say that he 'said something traitorous' and that they cut his head off in the corridor.

The queen decides to go to traitor's cloister to see if there are any heads on spikes to see, Edmund realises that Farrow's head is there and tells Percy to get the body while he gets the head, Edmund walks with the queen, collects the head and conceals it by putting it down his tights, as the queen goes away, Percy tells Edmund that the head is not Farrow, but Ponsonbey and that Baldrick has killed the wrong person, Edmund realises that the queen has gone to visit Ponsonbey and ends up pretending that he is Ponsonbey, realising at the last second that Ponsonbey has one leg and a speech problem.


Percy's beard, that was shaved off in the previous episode ("Bells") is back, fully grown again. Despite being clean-shaven for the rest of the second series. This is because the airing order of "Head" and "Bells" were swapped around.


  • Nursie refers to Elizabeth's sister Mary (Mary I of England) having her head chopped off - in fact it was her cousin, Mary Queen of Scots, whom Elizabeth had executed. Mary I died of natural causes, with Elizabeth succeeding her.
  • Edmund Blackadder is seen sitting in a revolving chair almost a hundred years before they were invented, as it was Thomas Jefferson who actually designed the first swivel chair.


  • Both Prince Edmund and the events of the first series’ episode, "The Black Seal", are mentioned in the closing theme’s lyrics for this episode, making this the first of very few occasions when a direct reference to a previous series is made.