Rowan Atkinson has provided hope to the millions of fans of the classic historical sitcom Blackadder that there may yet be a chance for a reprisal of the TV comedy series in the future. The 62-year-old made it known this week that the intriguing new plotline had been outlined by bosses many years ago for Edmund Blackadder and his downtrodden sidekick Baldrick to work for the Tsar of Russia.

History played a major part

As with the hugely successful four previous series of Blackadder, history would have played a major part in the backdrop to the main characters’ comings and goings.

With Blackadder and his associates set to be thrown into Revolutionary Russia in 1917, several familiar historical names were expected to be slotted into the action including Rasputin and Tsar Nicholas II.

Comic star lined up as Rasputin

Bottom and The Young Ones’ star Rik Mayall – who sadly died in 2014 due to an acute cardiac event – is believed to have been lined up to play Rasputin, as bosses no doubt hoped to build on the major impact he had when playing Lord Flashheart in the earlier series.

The history books tell us that Rasputin was a mystic and self-proclaimed holy man who became friendly with the Tsar’s family, utilising that alliance to gain considerable influence at the time. The history books also indicate that Rasputin died in 1916, suggesting that a degree of poetic licence would have been required in the script to fit him into the events unfolding on screen.

Unfortunate death of Mayall

Mayall’s unfortunate death could of course create a major gap in any future hopes to bring the potential project to fruition but Atkinson’s comments that the plan was “called Redadder, which I quite liked,” at least indicate that he considers that the concept may still have some merit.

Atkinson liked the idea

Atkinson added that Blackadder and Baldrick – perfectly portrayed by Tony Robinson in the four series during the 1980s – would have been working for the Tsar.

They had blue stripes around their caps and then the Revolution happened. After the Revolution they are in exactly the same office and they have red caps.” Clearly seeing the irony in the apparent change in allegiances, he commented that “it was quite a good idea.”

Talented Blackadder cast

Blackadder developed something of an ensemble cast during its peak period in the TV ratings, with many of its stars moving on to even greater heights afterwards including Stephen Fry (QI) and Hugh Laurie (House, The Night Manager). Atkinson himself moved on to have substantial global success as Mr Bean, while Robinson (Time Team) was knighted in 2013 for public and political service.