Mr. Bean was a television series shown from 1990 to 1995. There have also been 2 films, a cartoon series and a book written.
Television SeriesMr. 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 self-titled first episode was broadcast on ITV on 1 January 1990, with the final episode, Goodnight Mr. Bean, on 31 October 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", 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". The series has been the recipient of a number of international awards and has had an enduring effect on popular culture. The show has been sold in over 200 territories worldwide, and has inspired two feature films and an animated cartoon spin-off.
Origins and influences
The character of Mr. Bean was first developed when Rowan Atkinson was studying for his MSc at Oxford University. A sketch featuring the character was being performed at the Edinburgh in the early 1980s. 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. 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.
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. Rowan Atkinson has cited the earlier comedy character Monsieur Hulot, created by French comedian and director Jacques Tati, as an influence on the character of Mr. Bean. 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.
Production and broadcast
The programme was produced by Tiger Television, later renamed Tiger Aspect, for the ITV network by Thames Television from 1990 to 1992 and then by Central from 1993 to 1995. After its original run it has been shown repeatedly on satellite channels such as Telemundo in the US, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central Extra in the UK, Disney Channel in Asia, and internationally.
The record selling UK videos were withdrawn shortly before the release of the Bean movie and DVDs were released on an annual basis as of 2004.
The first episode won the prestigious Golden Rose, as well as two other major prizes at the 1991 Rose d'Or Light Entertainment Festival in Montreux. 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 Rowan Atkinson was nominated three times for "Best Light Entertainment Performance" in 1991, 1992 and 1994. "Mr. Bean" also won the Norwegian comedy award.
List of Episodes
There were a total of 14 Mr. Bean episodes. These were:
- Mr. Bean
- The Return of Mr. Bean
- The Curse of Mr. Bean
- Mr. Bean Goes to Town
- The Trouble with Mr. Bean
- Mr. Bean Rides Again
- Merry Christmas, Mr. Bean
- Mr. Bean in Room 426
- Mind the Baby, Mr. Bean
- Do-It-Yourself Mr. Bean
- Back to School, Mr. Bean
- Tee Off, Mr. Bean
- Goodnight, Mr. Bean
- Hair by Mr. Bean of London
Mr. Bean has also starred in 2 film adaptions:
Bean - The Ultimate Disaster Movie
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 movie grossed over USD$250 million globally on a budget estimated at $22 million.
Mr. Bean's Holiday
News broke in March 2005 that a second Bean film, Mr. Bean's Holiday was in development, with Atkinson returning in the title role. The film had been through several changes of name during its development, including Bean 2 and French Bean. Filming began on May 15, 2006 and began post-production in October 2006. It was released in the UK on March 30 2007. On July 17, 2007, the North American premiere was held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, at the Just for Laughs festival; the launching pad for the Mr. Bean character 20 years earlier. The film was then released nation-wide in North America on August 24, 2007.
The film followed the character on an eventful journey across France for a holiday in the French Rivera, which after a number of misfortunes culminates in an unscheduled screening of his video diary at the Cannes Film Festival. It was directed by Steve Bendelack and, according to Atkinson, is probably the last appearance of the character.
Mr. Bean was revived in a 2002 animated cartoon series, again featuring little actual dialogue, with most being either little soundbites or mumbling.
The series, which consist of 26 episodes (with 2 segments each), expanded the number of additional characters, featuring Mr. Bean's unpleasant landlady, Mrs. Wicket and her evil one-eyed cat, Scrapper. Rowan Atkinson provided the voice for Bean, and all of the animated Bean actions are taken from Atkinson himself. Other characters' voices are provided by Jon Glover, Rupert Degas, Gary Martin and Lorelei King.