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Blackadder II, Episode 3
Written by Richard Curtis & Ben Elton
Directed by Mandie Fletcher
Guest stars Tom Baker

Simon Jones

Original airdate 23rd January 1986
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"Potato" is the third episode of Blackadder II, the second series of Blackadder, which is set in Elizabethan England.


In London, everybody is celebrating the return of Sir Walter Raleigh except for Lord Edmund Blackadder and Mrs. Miggins, who is baking an enormous pie, going to court, Edmund finds Sir Walter telling everybody that it is suicide to sail around the Cape of Good Hope, thinking of a plan Edmund tells everybody that he going to do just that. That night, Edmund recruits Captain Redbeard Rum to be his captain, discovering in the process that he has no legs.

Edmund also recruits Lord Percy Percy and Baldrick, Percy not wanting to go because of aquaphobia, admitting that he was savaged by a turbot as a child, Rum gets engaged to Nursie just before they set sail, Edmund then reveals that his plan is to go to France and pretend that they have been around the cape, however it soon emerges that Rum does not know the way to France. Eventually, they end up in Australia where Rum is killed and eaten by cannibals, the others keeping his beard for Nursie.

When they get back after two years, they find that Queenie has gone off explorers and demands presents, Edmund gives Nursie Rum's beard, Queenie a boomerang and Sir Walter and Melchett a bottle of Baldrick's urine presented as an exotic wine.


As in credits



  • When Baldrick asks for the day off to join the celebration for Sir Walter Raleigh's return, Blackadder replies, "Certainly not; who do you think you are, Wat Tyler?" This is a reference to one of the leaders of the Peasant's Revolt in England in 1381, which erupted over poor treatment of servants and serfs.


  • Sir Walter Raleigh begins his tale as he set out from Plymouth in 1552. However, Raleigh wasn't born until some time between 1552 and 1554.
  • The Queen claims to have gotten Shakespeare's help, with the title of her poem. However, Shakespeare was born around 1564 and didn't become known as a playwright until the 1590's, when Elizabeth I was in her 60's. Furthermore, the final episode of the second series has Elizabeth murdered and replaced by Prince Ludwig the Indestructible, in 1566. Shakespeare would have thus been about two years old, when the Elizabeth I of this series died.
  • Although it is currently a topic of debate amongst historians as to whether or not the aboriginal people of Australia were cannibalistic; it is guaranteed that no aboriginal had the metallurgical knowledge to make an iron pot of boiling water, as described by Baldrick.