Mr. Bean is a British sitcom television programme series of fourteen 25-minute episodes written by and starring Rowan Atkinson as the title character. Different episodes were also written by Robin Driscoll, Richard Curtis and one by Ben Elton. Thirteen of the episodes were broadcast on ITV, from the pilot on 1 January 1990, until ‘Goodnight Mr. Bean’ on 31 October 1995
Student: Done your revision?
Mr. Bean: Uh, oh, yes. I concentrated on trigonometry.
Student: I’ve done calculus, mainly.
Mr. Bean: Oh, I believe they concentrated on calculus last year.
Student: Oh! Oh dear.
[Mr. Bean sniggers]
The character (as represented by Atkinson) plays a single note on a synthesizer in the performance of “Chariots of Fire”, during the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. Instead of his usual brown tweed sports jacket, he wears white tie and tails like the other musicians around him.
Mr. Bean’s car, a 1976 British Leyland Mini 1000, developed its own character of sorts over the series and was central to several antics, such as Mr. Bean getting dressed in it, driving while sitting in an armchair strapped to the roof, starting it with a number of locks and keys, or attempting to avoid a car park fee by driving out through the entrance.
At first, it was an orange 1969 BMC Mini MK II (registration RNT 996H), but this was destroyed in an off-screen crash at the end of the first episode. From then on, the car was a 1976 model (registration SLW 287R), Austin Citron Green in colour with a matte black bonnet.
The Mini also had a number of innovative security measures. For example, Bean uses a bolt-latch and padlock, rather than the lock fitted to the car, and removes the steering wheel instead of the key. These formed a running joke in several episodes, at one point deterring a car thief. However, after changing parking spaces with an identical car in ‘Back to School Mr. Bean’, his car is crushed by a tank. Fortunately for him, his padlock still remains, and he hurries off to ‘hijack’ another car with the same colour scheme.
First episode date: 1 January 1990
Theme song: Mr. Bean Theme Song
Writers: Rowan Atkinson, Robin Driscoll, Richard Curtis, Paul Weiland
Two films featuring Bean have been released. The first, Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie, was directed by Mel Smith and released in 1997, with Atkinson reprising his title role. This broke from the program’s tradition by using a subplot with more developed characters – instead of being the sole centre of attention, 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 more than US$250 million globally ($45 million in the USA) on a budget estimated at $22 million.
In February 2001, an unproduced script outline for a Mr. Bean movie set in Australia was rumored to have been developed by screenwriter Richard Curtis.
In March 2005, news broke out that a second Bean film, Mr. Bean’s Holiday, was in development, with Atkinson reprising his title role. The film had been through several changes of name during its development, including Bean 2 and French Bean. Filming began on 15 May 2006 and began post-production in October 2006. It was released in the United Kingdom on 30 March 2007.