The film was shown at the SkyScape cinema eight times a day throughout the millennium year 2000. It was not until 2001 that it made it’s television debut initially on Sky and on to BBC1, where it was scheduled to be shown on Easter Sunday in 2002, but was postponed until 21st April the same year.
Before it’s premier a row broke out over who had the right to screen it. Sky television claimed that they had paid £4 million for exclusive rights while the BBC argued that it was absurd that the channel from which the program originated would not be screening it and that “The stars agreed to do it on the basis that it would be on BBC One.”
New Year’s Eve, 1999, Blackadder Hall, the present day Lord Edmond Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) is entertaining guests.
As a ruse, Blackadder informs them he has invented a working time machine and makes a bet of £30,000 that he can bring back anything they ask for. His guests – Archbishop Melchett (Stephen Fry), Archdeacon Kevin Darling (Tim McInnerny), Lieutenant George (Hugh Laurie) and Lady Elizabeth (Miranda Richardson) – announce that, if Blackadder is to win, he must bring back a Roman centurion’s helmet, the Duke of Wellington’s boots, and a really smelly pair of 200 year old underpants.
Blackadder’s plan is to dredge the items from his personal store, therefore fooling his guests into paying out the bet. However, nobody is more stunned than Blackadder to discover that the time machine, built by Baldrick (Tony Robinson) after plans by Leonardo Da Vinci, actually works.
First Screened: “SkyScape” cinema, at the Millennium Dome.
TV Channel: Sky One and BBC1
(VCI Home Video)
(Digital Television Premiere)
(Terrestrial Television Premiere)
Release Date (Cinema): 6th December 1999
Transmission Dates (television):
2001 – Sky
21st April 2002 – BBC1
Certain editorial cuts were made to the DVD release to comply with a PG certificate (the original film was cert 15). These scenes can be seen in the made for DVD extra Baldrick’s Diary available as part of the ultimate edition box set.