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Odile Le Clezio,
Bernard Bottle, a mild mannered art buyer, is fired by his greedy boss, abandoned by his girlfriend and discovers a genie in an old bottle. The genie immediately embraces the modern world and helps Bernard on the side.
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Edmund Blackadder and Baldrick his dogsbody are transplanted this time to Dickensian England in this one-off episode. He is kind, gentle and caring, but visits from an assortment of ghosts soon have him back to his old ways. Written by
A fantastic idea, this one. Take the old chestnut 'A Christmas Carol', give it a shake-up, and turn it on its head.
Ebenezer Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson in fine form as ever) is a good guy, who gives away anything to anyone, and is truly chock-full of the Christmas spirit. Time for the Spirit of Christmas (a rip-roaring turn from Robbie Coltrane) to work his magic, invoke the spirits of Ebenezer's ancestors and descendants, and inform him of the errors of his ways.
We're reminded of Blackadder's former incarnations, in Tudor and Regency times, and of the cunning plans and twists of the long-gone relatives. We meet again with the likes of Queenie (Miranda Richardson), Melchett (Stephen Fry), Nursie (Patsy Byrne), and Prince George (Hugh Laurie). And of course the Cratchit character - Baldrick, who else! - suffers more and more as the story unfolds.
A scary turn from Miriam Margoyles and Jim Broadbent (Victoria and Albert), and a mind-boggling look into the distant future completes the transformation.
Not shown often enough, this is a real plum-pudding of a piece.
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