|Mr. Bean is a British comedy television series consisting of 14 half-hour episodes. The leading role in the serial is played by British actor Rowan Atkinson. The series script was conceived by Rowan Atkinson, Robin Driscoll, Richard Curtis and Ben Elton. The first episode of Mr. Bean was broadcasted on January 1, 1990 and the last (“Goodnight, Mr. Bean”) - on October 31, 1995.
Sketches from the life of eccentric Mr. Bean are shown in the series. He solves various household problems, but the solution methods at times reach a point of irrationality and sometimes lead to small accidents.
Within five years of screening, the serial won large numbers of admirers in Great Britain. For example, in 1992 “The Trouble with Mr. Bean” series had an audience of 18.74 million. Also the series has received a set of international awards including the “Rose d’Or”. Screening rights were bought by more than two hundred countries worldwide. Two feature films were released: “Bean” and “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” and also a series of short animated films.
A selfish, nervous, ridiculous person with strange grimaces and instincts - such is Mr. Bean. He lives alone in a small flat in Highbury, North London and wears a tweed jacket and a narrow claret red tie. Mr. Bean is not talkative, though sometimes he mumbles something in low voice. His name (he always introduces himself as just “Bean”) and profession, if it exists, remain unknown to the audience. Mr. Bean’s passport is shown in the feature film and “Mr” is mentioned in the “first name” field in his passport and he works as guard in London’s National Gallery.
Atkinson talks about the character: “He is too timid and short-of-confidence and hence universal. On the other hand, he represents a specific English temperament. He is a child, only in an unsuitable body. Children are masters of rearrangement, and Mr. Bean is also rather active and when something he doesn’t like happens, he tries to change it. Within these limits, you can even call him a bold person.
Any ordinary situation, in which happens to Mr. Bean turns into show of genius and simultaneously idiocy. Whether he's gettting ready for work or preparing a turkey to decorate a festive table or just going to the library - this clumsy mumble with a penguin-like gait usually gets into funny situations.
The appearance of Mr. Bean is seamlessly weaved with his character.
It is interesting not only how Mr. Bean finds solutions to the problems, created from nowhere, but also how he completely ignores other people. Sometimes, Bean likes to gloat over his surroundings and at times harms them without noticing.
Protruding ears, staring eyes, smoothed hairstyle and an improbable nose, with which Mr. Bean often inhales air, like a sniffing polecat, make the audience laugh no less than they do at the silly tricks of the hero.
At the beginning of each episode Mr. Bean falls from the sky in a ray of light. In the first series (“The Return of Mr. Bean” and “The Curse of Mr.Bean”), this caption was black-and-white and the creators stated that they simply wanted to “focus the attention on main lead”. However, very soon the caption was changed. Mr.Bean was shown as descending in ray of light onto one of the twilight London streets opposite St. Paul's Cathedral like an extraterrestrial envoy. An obvious hint is found in one of the episodes released after the cartoon film, that Mr.Bean is an alien from another cosmos. And Rowan Atkinson himself asserts that “something extraterrestrial exists in Mr. Bean”.
Televising Mr. Bean was conceived by Rowan Atkinson during his student years at Oxford University (1980s). Edinburgh can be considered as the native place of Mr. Bean, where a theater festival took place annually at which young talented students used to gather. However, the present name of the character (Mr. Bean) was thought of only just before the telecast of the first series. Even other “vegetable” names were also considered but somehow the names “could not pass the editing”, for example, Mr. Cauliflower. Rowan Atkinson stated that the character of one of the old French comedies “Monsieur Hulot”, the role of which was portrayed by French comedian Jacques Tati , had inspired him to create Mr. Bean. Stylistically, Mr. Bean resembles a silent movie (situational comedy or action comedy) since the serial is practically without dialogue. This allowed televising the serials around the world practically without translation.