I've been looking at my story Two Penny Blue and I think I feel another time travel story coming on...
I fear an affliction has taken a hold on me. I managed to avoid it for a long time – indeed for a while my mother was affected by this fever, but she managed to shake it off after the second series because, ‘I realised that I was being lame and your father nearly lost the will to live.’ But it crept up on me when I least expected it because on ITV3, just as I've got in from work and made myself a cup of tea, Downton Bloody Abbey is on. What next, The Great British Bake Off? WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME!
Even as I type this, Downton Abbey is on in the background. I’m squeezing in a few minutes before I have to go training. But I need to know what will happen to Downton, now that the Earl of Grantham has piddled the money away on a bad investment? Why has no-one told him he’s a prat? Why should the handsome Matthew put up with his wife, the anorexic Lady Mary, being such a brat about his soon-to-be-inherited fortune? Am I the only one who finds Carson the butler hilarious?
Stop it L K, quick, put an action film on, preferably with some martial arts! Stop watching, stop looking at the costumes, the house and the rosy view of the past! Being a servant was crap, just watch Blackadder and Baldrick. Now there was a series based in history! After watching the sanitised version of 15th Century England, The White Queen, during the summer, I couldn't help but re-watch my DVDs of the first series of Black Adder – my favourite series of all. The weasely, skinny Prince Edmund and his daft friend Percy, watched over their smelly servant Baldrick. Who, I might add, isn't as stupid in the first series and comes up with my favourite line in the first episode: ‘Oh dear, Richard the Third.’ And not forgetting Brian Blessed as Richard IV, all gnashing teeth, and his prig of a son, Harry. My favourite episode though, has to come from the second series, ‘Money’, when Blackadder owes money to the Bishop of Bath and Wells and while he’s massaging our hero’s shoulders, he says, ‘Now I am a colossal pervert.’ A brilliant ending to the episode, each line is comedy gold.
You see, that’s what I like in my history, a sense of humour. Take the recent BBC production of The Wipers Times, the true story of the satirical newspaper that was produced by soldiers on the western front of the First World War. It was brilliant, the horrors of the trenches seen through the eyes of the men whose one method of staying sane was through their sense of humour. Editions of The Wipers Times may be nearly a hundred years old but the humour depicted in it feels bang up to date. I’ll probably watch the new series of Downton Abbey when it comes out, but I can’t help but wonder what the Blackadder version would be like.
So if you were going to travel in time, where would you go?