About Christmas TV History

Monday, July 24, 2023

Christmas in July 2023: Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988)



Merry Christmas in July! It is Day #24 in the month-long celebration of Christmas entertainment. Each day this month I will be sharing brief reminisces about Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies that are a creative or imaginative adaptation of Charles Dickens' tale A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition will be released soon). 

Continuing with my discussion of parodies, let's look at the hour-long special Blackadder's Christmas Carol--the one-off story from the Blackadder series starring Rowan Atkinson. This British-made program made its debut in the United States on A&E in 1989. If you're familiar with Blackadder, you know that the lead character Blackadder is a vile, scheming man throughout history. 


Rowan Atkinson as Ebenezer Blackadder.


Here, Ebenezer Blackadder is the kindest, most generous man in nineteenth-century London. He’s so generous that he’s given away all his food and money to others to enjoy and now he and his servant Baldrick are left with nothing for their Christmas celebration. 


Robbie Coltrane plays the Ghost of Christmas who visits Blackadder in bed.

When the Ghost of Christmas visits Blackadder and shows him visions of his conniving, thieving ancestors, he sees the bountiful rewards of being selfish and stingy. Blackadder decides to change his ways and pursue the earthly rewards of a villainous lifestyle! 

This reverse-Christmas Carol is clever parody of Dickens’ classic tale, and a fun explanation for Blackadder’s generational behavior of wickedness.

The cast includes Rowan Atkinson as Ebenezer Blackadder, Tony Robinson as Mr. Baldrick, Robbie Coltrane as the Spirit of Christmas, Miranda Richardson as Queen Elizabeth/QueenAsphyxia XIX, Miriam Margolyes as Queen Victoria, Jim Broadbent as Prince Albert, Stephen Frye as Lord Melchett/Lord Frondo, and Hugh Laurie as Prince George/Prince Pigmot.

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for an upcoming release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com

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