Mr.Bean


Mr. bean title card.jpg
Format Physical comedy
Created by Rowan Atkinson
Richard Curtis
Starring Rowan Atkinson
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 14 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Peter Bennett-Jones
Producer(s) Sue Vertue
Running time 24 minutes [1]
Broadcast
Original channel ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original run 1 January 1990 (1990-01-01) – 15 November 1995 (1995-11-15)
Chronology
Followed by Bean
Related shows Mr. Bean (animated TV series)
External links
or http://ww.itv.com/mrbean Official website

Mr. Bean is a British comedy television series of 14 half-hour episodes starring Rowan Atkinson as the title character. Different episodes were written by Rowan Atkinson, Robin Driscoll, Richard Curtis and one by Ben Elton. The first episode was broadcast on ITV on 1 January 1990, with the final episode, “Hair by Mr. Bean of London“, on 15 November 1995.

Based on a character developed by Rowan Atkinson at university, the series followed the exploits of Mr. Bean, described by Atkinson as “a child in a grown man’s body”,[2] in solving various problems presented by everyday tasks and often causing disruption in the process.

During its five year run the series gained large UK audience figures, including 18.74 million for the 1992 episode “The Trouble With Mr. Bean”.[3] The series has been the recipient of a number of international awards, including the Rose d’Or. The show has been sold in 200 territories worldwide, and has inspired two feature films and an animated cartoon spin-off.[4]

Digital channel ITV3 began rebroadcasting the series on 5 January, 2010.

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Origins and influences

The character of Mr. Bean was developed while Atkinson was studying for his MSc at Oxford University. A sketch featuring the character was being performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in the early 1980s.[5] A similar character called Robert Box, played by Atkinson, appeared in the one-off 1979 ITV sitcom Canned Laughter, which also featured a routine used in the film version.[6] In 1987, one of Mr. Bean’s earliest appearances occurred at the “Just For Laughs” comedy festival in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. When program co-ordinators were scheduling Atkinson into the festival program, Atkinson insisted that he perform on the French-speaking bill rather than the English-speaking program. Having no French dialogue in his act at all, program co-ordinators could not understand why Atkinson wanted to perform on the French bill. As it turned out, Atkinson’s act at the festival was a test platform for the Mr. Bean character and Atkinson wanted to see how the silent character’s physical comedy would fare on an international stage with a non-English speaking audience.[7]

The name of the character was not decided after the first programme had been produced, with a number of other vegetable-influenced names, such as “Mr. Cauliflower”, being explored.[8] Atkinson cited the earlier comedy character Monsieur Hulot, created by French comedian and director Jacques Tati, as an influence on the character of Mr. Bean.[9] Stylistically, Mr. Bean is also very similar to early silent films, relying purely upon physical comedy, with Mr. Bean speaking very little dialogue. This has allowed the series to be sold worldwide without any significant changes to dialogue.[7][10]

Characters and recurring props

The title character, played by Rowan Atkinson, is a slow-witted, sometimes ingenious, selfish and generally likeable buffoon who brings various unusual schemes and connivances to everyday tasks. He lives alone in his small flat in Highbury, North London, and is almost always seen in his trademark tweed jacket and a skinny red tie. He also usually wears a digital calculator watch (which he does not like to lose). Mr. Bean rarely speaks, and when he does, it is generally only a few mumbled words which are in a comically low-pitched voice. His first name (he names himself “Bean” to others) and profession, if any, are never mentioned. Atkinson has said at the time of the first film’s release that he imagines Bean’s first name to be Julian, thus making Julian Bean a reference to famous guitarist and lutenist Julian Bream.[improper synthesis?] He has been shown in the first episode to have a strong knowledge of trigonometry.[11] (In the first film adaptation, the ‘name’ “Mr.” appears on his passport in the “first name” field, and he is shown employed as a guard at London’s National Gallery. .[12] In Mr. Bean’s Holiday, however, his name is listed on his passport as “Rowan”.[13]) During the series (for example on the scorecard in “Tee Off, Mr. Bean”) he also names himself as Mr. Bean. The sign in his trousers (seen in “Back To School, Mr. Bean”) says “Bean (Mr.)”

Mr. Bean often seems unaware of basic aspects of the way the world works, and the programme usually features his attempts at what would normally be considered simple tasks, such as going swimming, using a television set, redecorating or going to church. The humour largely comes from his original (and often absurd) solutions to problems and his total disregard for others when solving them, his pettiness, and occasional malevolence.

At the beginning of episode two onwards, Mr. Bean falls from the sky in a beam of light, accompanied by a choir singing Ecce homo qui est faba (“Behold the man who is a bean “). These opening sequences were initially in black and white in episodes 2 and 3, and were intended by the producers to show his status as an “ordinary man cast into the spotlight”. However, later episodes showed Mr. Bean dropping from the night sky in a deserted London street, against the backdrop of St. Paul’s Cathedral suggesting Bean is an alien. Atkinson himself has acknowledged that Bean “has a slightly alien aspect to him”;[14] in the animated series, he was actually shown to be an alien.

Teddy

Bean and Teddy

Teddy is Mr. Bean’s teddy bear, perhaps Mr. Bean’s best friend. The bear is a dark brown, knitted oddity with button eyes and sausage-shaped limbs, invariably ending up broken in half or in various other states of destruction and disfiguration. Although Teddy is inanimate, Mr. Bean often pretends it is alive. For example, when Mr. Bean hypnotizes Teddy, he snaps his fingers and the bear’s head falls backwards as if it has fallen asleep instantly (Bean used his finger to prop Teddy’s head up). Mr. Bean behaves as if the bear is real, buying it a Christmas present or trying not to wake it in the mornings. The bear is often privy to Mr. Bean’s various schemes and doubles as a good dish cloth or paint brush in an emergency; it has been decapitated (“Mr. Bean in Room 426“) and shrunk in the wash (“Tee Off, Mr. Bean“).

Over the years, Teddy has undergone changes. When it debuted on “The Trouble with Mr. Bean“, it had a smaller head. Two episodes later, its head reached its current size, but its “eye” wasn’t present until Bean placed gold thumb tacks on its face. The “eyes” have since been replaced with two small white buttons sewn over Teddy’s face, giving it a distinct image; first seen in “Merry Christmas, Mr Bean”.

Car

Mr. Bean’s car, a British Leyland Mini 1000, has developed a character of sorts. At first, an orange 1969 BMC Mini MK II (registration RNT 996H) was Mr. Bean’s vehicle, but this was destroyed in an off-screen crash at the end of the first episode. From then on, the car was a 1977 model (registration SLW 287R), lime-green with a black bonnet. It made its first appearance in “The Curse of Mr. Bean“.

The Mini was central to several antics, such as Mr. Bean getting dressed in it or driving while sitting in an armchair strapped to the roof or attempting to avoid a parking garage toll by driving out through the entrance. It also had a number of innovative security measures; Mr. Bean fitted the door with a bolt-latch and padlock, rather than using the lock fitted to the car, and removing the steering wheel, which formed a running joke in several episodes, at one point deterring a car thief. The car, confused with another demonstration car of the exact same model and colours (but no padlock) (registration ACW 497V), which was crushed by a tank in “Back to School, Mr. Bean“, but returned in later episodes, perhaps having actually been the identical demonstration car from that point on. In The Best of Mr. Bean, Mr. Bean reveals undamaged parts of the crushed mini, which he has kept in his loft under a white sheet. After a flashback of his mini being crushed, Mr. Bean replaces the white sheet and salutes it.

Mr. Bean has a long-running yet unexplained feud with the driver of a light blue Reliant Regal Supervan III (registration GRA 26K), which will usually get turned over, crashed out of its parking space and so forth. This conflict originated in the first episode, when the Reliant’s driver held the Mini up on the way to a mathematics exam, and subsequently became a running joke throughout the series.

Both the Mini and the Reliant re-appeared as characters in the animated Mr. Bean cartoons. The Reliant’s registration in the animated series is DUW 742 or sometimes A 631 LDE. In the film Mr. Bean’s Holiday yet another Mini appears – a lighter yellow/green than the original with a black sunroof, registration YGL 572T. Also seen is a left hand drive version of his Mini, owned by the character Sabine which has a French registration. In the animated series, his Mini’s registration plate number is STE 952R.

Corgi have created a number of scale models of the mini, and a few with a Mr. Bean figure. These include both the original and animated series.

[edit] Irma Gobb

Mr. Bean’s “girlfriend” Irma Gobb, played by Matilda Ziegler, appeared in a number of episodes. She is treated relatively inconsiderately by Bean, who appears to regard her more as a friend and companion than a love interest. However, he does become jealous when she dances with another man at a disco in “Mr. Bean Goes to Town“, and she certainly expects him to propose to her on Christmas Day in “Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean“, with his failure to do so resulting in her leaving him for good (she does not appear in any subsequent episodes). The character later appeared in the animated series. The spin-off book Mr. Bean’s Diary (1993) states that Mr. Bean met Irma Gobb at a local library.[15]

[edit] Other characters

Although Mr. Bean is the only significant human character in the programme, other characters appear, usually as foils for his various antics. Other than his girlfriend, Mr. Bean’s only friends appear to be Hubert and Rupert, who appear as Bean’s New Year’s party guests in the episode “Do-It-Yourself, Mr. Bean” (although they altered his living room clock and fled to the party in the flat opposite, gaining real friends in the process) and Robin Driscoll appears in many episodes as various characters. However, several notable British actors and comedians appear alongside Atkinson in sketches as various one-off supporting characters, including Richard Briers, Angus Deayton, Nick Hancock, Paul Bown, Caroline Quentin, Danny La Rue, Roger Lloyd Pack, David Schneider and Richard Wilson.[16]

Production and broadcast

The programme was produced by Tiger Television, later renamed Tiger Aspect, for Thames Television from 1990 to 1992 and then for Central from 1993 to 1995. Rather than being shown as a series, each episode of Mr. Bean was produced individually, and broadcast at intermittent intervals on the ITV network in the United Kingdom across six years, often around New Year. The episode “Hair by Mr. Bean of London” has not been broadcast on ITV, but was instead reserved for video release. After its original run it has been shown repeatedly on PBS and satellite channels such as Telemundo in the US, the CBC in Canada, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central Extra and ITV3 in the UK, Disney Channel in Asia, and internationally.[17]

The record selling UK videos were withdrawn shortly before the release of the Bean film and DVDs were released on an annual basis as of 2004.

Music

Mr. Bean features a choral theme tune written by Howard Goodall and performed by the Choir of Southwark Cathedral (later Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford). The words sung during the title sequences are in Latin:

  • Ecce homo qui est faba – “Behold the man who is a bean” (sung at beginning)
  • Finis partis primae – “End of part one” (sung before the advertisement break)
  • Pars secunda – “Part two” (sung after the advertisement break)
  • Vale homo qui est faba – “Farewell, man who is a bean” (sung at end)

The theme was later released on Goodall’s album Choral Works. Goodall also wrote an accompanying music track for many episodes.

The Pars Secunda section was only featured in the DVD releases of Mr. Bean, and is not sung in the re-runs of Mr. Bean shown on television. Finis Partis Primae was only featured in episodes 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 of Mr. Bean on television, although the DVD releases added the tune in several other episodes later on. And in episodes 7, 11, 12 and 14, the closing song (Vale homo qui est faba)was played as an instrumental, although on episode 11 the final lyric (qui est faba) was sung at the end.

The first episode of Mr. Bean did not feature the choral theme tune, but instead an up-beat instrumental piece, also composed by Howard Goodall, which was more an incidental tune than a theme. It was used while Bean drove between locations intimidating the blue Reliant, and as such, was sometimes heard in later episodes whenever Bean’s nemesis is seen.

In the episode “Tee Off, Mr. Bean” Howard Goodall’s choral theme tune for another Richard Curtis comedy, The Vicar of Dibley, is heard playing on a car stereo. In Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean., while playing with Queen’s Royal Guards figurines and the nativity set, he hums “The British Grenadiers“, which was quoted in the theme to Blackadder Goes Forth.[18]

Mr. Bean appears in a music video made for the 1991 Comic Relief fund raising single by Hale and Pace called The Stonk.[19] Mr. Bean also appeared in the music video for Boyzone‘s single Picture Of You in 1997.[20] The song featured on the soundtrack to the first Bean movie.

Mr Bean also made a Comic relief record in 1992. This was (I want to be) Elected and was credited to “Mr Bean and Smear Campaign featuring Bruce Dickinson“. This was a cover of an Alice Cooper song and reached number 9 in the UK singles chart.[21]

Awards

The first episode won the Golden Rose, as well as two other major prizes at the 1991 Rose d’Or Light Entertainment Festival in Montreux.[22] In the UK, the episode “The Curse of Mr. Bean” was nominated for a number of BAFTA awards; “Best Light Entertainment Programme” in 1991, “Best Comedy” (Programme or Series) in 1992, and Atkinson was nominated three times for “Best Light Entertainment Performance” in 1991, 1992 and 1994.[23] “Mr. Bean” won the Norwegian comedy award “Tidleg Sædavgang”.

Spin-offs

Bean

Main article: Bean (film)

In 1997, Bean, a film version directed by Mel Smith, also known as Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie, was produced. This broke from the programme’s tradition by using a subplot with more developed characters — instead of being the sole centre of attention, Mr. Bean here interacted with a suburban Californian family he stayed with while overseeing the transfer of Whistler’s Mother to a Los Angeles art gallery. The film grossed over USD$250 million globally on a budget estimated at $22 million.[24]

Rowan Sebastian Atkinson (born 6 January 1955) is an English comedian, actor and writer, most famous for his work in the sitcoms Blackadder and Mr. Bean, and the satirical sketch show Not The Nine O’Clock News. He has been listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy,[2] and amongst the top 50 comedy acts ever in a 2005 poll of fellow comedians.[3]

Contents

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Early life

Rowan Sebastian Atkinson was born on 6 January 1955 in Consett, County Durham, England.[4] His parents were Eric Atkinson, a farmer and company director, and his wife Ella May (née Bainbridge), who married on 29 June 1945.[4] He has two elder brothers, Rodney Atkinson, a Eurosceptic economist who narrowly lost the United Kingdom Independence Party leadership election in 2000, and Rupert Atkinson.[5][6]

Atkinson was brought up Anglican.[7] He was educated at Durham Choristers School, followed by St. Bees School, and studied electrical engineering at Newcastle University.[8] He continued with an M.Sc. at The Queen’s College, Oxford, first achieving notice at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1976.[8] At Oxford, he also acted and performed early sketches for the Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS), the Oxford Revue and the Experimental Theatre Club (ETC), meeting writer Richard Curtis[8] and composer Howard Goodall, with whom he would continue to collaborate during his career.

Radio

Atkinson starred in a series of comedy shows for BBC Radio 3 in 1978 called “Atkinson People”. It consisted of a series of satirical interviews with fictional great men, who were played by Atkinson himself. The series was written by Atkinson and Richard Curtis, and produced by Griff Rhys Jones.[9]

Television

After university, Atkinson toured with Angus Deayton as his funny man in an act that was eventually filmed for a television show. After the success of the show, he did a one-off pilot for ITV in 1979 called Canned Laughter. Atkinson then went on to do Not the Nine O’Clock News, produced by his friend John Lloyd. He starred on the show along with Pamela Stephenson, Griff Rhys Jones and Mel Smith, and was one of the main sketch writers.

The success of Not the Nine O’Clock News led to his starring in the medieval sitcom The Black Adder, which he also co-wrote with Richard Curtis, in 1983. After a three-year gap, in part due to budgetary concerns, a second series was written, this time by Curtis and Ben Elton, and first screened in 1986. Blackadder II followed the fortunes of one of the descendants of Atkinson’s original character, this time in the Elizabethan era. The same pattern was repeated in the two sequels Blackadder the Third (1987) (set in the Regency era), and Blackadder Goes Forth (1989) (set in World War I). The Blackadder series went on to become one of the most successful BBC situation comedies of all time, spawning television specials including Blackadder’s Christmas Carol (1988) and Blackadder: The Cavalier Years (1988).

Atkinson’s other famous creation, the hapless Mr. Bean, first appeared on New Years Day in 1990 in a half-hour special for Thames Television. The character of Mr. Bean has been likened somewhat to a modern-day Buster Keaton.[10] During this time, Atkinson appeared at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal in 1987 and 1989. Several sequels to Mr. Bean appeared on television in the 1990s, and it eventually made into a major motion picture in 1997. Entitled Bean, it was directed by Mel Smith, his former co-star from Not the Nine O’Clock News. A second movie was released in 2007 entitled Mr. Bean’s Holiday, the last of the Mr. Bean films.

Atkinson has fronted campaigns for Hitachi electrical goods, Fujifilm, and Give Blood. Most famously, he appeared as a hapless and error-prone espionage agent in a long-running series for Barclaycard, on which character his title role in Johnny English was based.

Film

Atkinson as Mr. Bean, in Brussels, next to the Manneken Pis.

Atkinson’s film career began in 1983 with a supporting part in the ‘unofficial’ James Bond movie Never Say Never Again and a leading role in Dead on Time with Nigel Hawthorne. He appeared in former Not the Nine O’Clock News co-star Mel Smith’s directorial debut The Tall Guy in 1989. He also appeared alongside Anjelica Huston and Mai Zetterling in Roald Dahl‘s The Witches in 1990. In 1993 he played the part of Dexter Hayman in Hot Shots! Part Deux, a parody of Rambo III, starring Charlie Sheen.

Atkinson gained further recognition with his turn as a verbally bumbling vicar in the 1994 hit Four Weddings and a Funeral. That same year he featured in Walt Disney‘s The Lion King as Zazu the Red-billed Hornbill. Atkinson continued to appear in supporting roles in successful comedies, including Rat Race (2001), Scooby-Doo (2002), and Love Actually (2003).

In addition to his supporting roles, Atkinson has also had success as a leading man. His television character Mr. Bean debuted on the big screen in 1997 with Bean to international success. A sequel, Mr. Bean’s Holiday, was released in March 2007 and may be the last time he plays the character.[11] He has also starred in the James Bond parody Johnny English in 2003. Keeping Mum (2005) was a departure for Atkinson, starring in a straight role.

Mr Bean – Blind Date.avi (20.13 MB) [308 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean – The Bus Stop.avi (8.17 MB) [290 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean – The Library.avi (13.56 MB) [174 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean – Torville And Dean.avi (9.49 MB) [178 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean 1 – Mr Bean.avi (36.93 MB) [163 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean 10 – Do-It-Yourself Mr Bean.avi (36.35 MB) [139 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean 11 – Back To School Mr Bean.avi (35.93 MB) [148 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean 12 – Tee Off Mr Bean.avi (36.26 MB) [122 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean 13 – Goodnight Mr Bean.avi (34.97 MB) [116 hits] {SS}

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Mr Bean 14 – Hair By Mr Bean Of London.avi (37.55 MB) [121 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean 2 – The Return Of Mr Bean.avi (35.86 MB) [107 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean 3 – The Curse Of Mr Bean.avi (35.33 MB) [109 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean 4 – Mr Bean Goes To Town.avi (34.36 MB) [108 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean 5 – Mr Bean Rides Again.avi (34.36 MB) [97 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean 6 – The Trouble With Mr Bean.avi (36.23 MB) [112 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean 7 – Merry Christmas Mr Bean.avi (36.82 MB) [93 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean 8 – Mr Bean In Room 426.avi (35.64 MB) [93 hits] {SS}
Mr Bean 9 – Mind The Baby Mr Bean.avi (35.55 MB) [118 hits] {SS}

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