Rowan Atkinson’s madcap, quirky creation Mr Bean is a global phenomenon having been sold to over 200 territories worldwide and has been in continual distribution in many territories for over 20 years. Now available in HD, the show follows Mr Bean as he tries to extricate himself from embarrassing situations but only ends up getting himself in more trouble. Mr Bean has won six awards including the Golden Rose of Montreux and an International EMMY and is written by some of the UK’s leading comic talent including Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and A Funeral, Notting Hill) and Ben Elton (Blackadder, The Young Ones)
Mr. Bean lives in Flat 2, 12 Arbour Road, Highbury, London, England. His first name, which he refers to as Bean, and his profession, if any, are never mentioned. In the first film adaptation, Bean, “Mr.” appears on his passport in the “first name” field, and he is shown employed as a guard at London’s National Gallery. His date of birth is given variously as 15 September 1956, or as 6 January 1955 (the latter being Rowan Atkinson’s actual date of birth).
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”), recorded by Southwark Cathedral Choir in 1990. These opening sequences were initially in black and white in episodes two and three 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. At the end of episodes three and six, he is also shown being sucked right back up into the sky in the respective background scenes (black scene in episode 3 and street scene in episode 6). Atkinson has acknowledged that Mr Bean “has an alien aspect to him”. In the animated series (episode, “Double Trouble”) he is taken inside a spacecraft with “aliens” who look exactly like him and even have their own plushy toys. In an obvious homage, the aliens send him back home in a beam of light and music similar to the opening of the original Mr. Bean series.