The Full Wiki

List of Black Books episodes: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Black Books is located in the fictional Little Bevan Street, though exterior filming took place outside Collinge & Clark in Leigh Street, Bloomsbury.

There have been three series of Black Books, each with six episodes. Moran has hinted that there will be no more series,[1] and The Times reports the series has been “killed off”.[2]


Series 1 (2000)

# Title Writer Director Airdate
1 "Cooking the Books" Dylan Moran, Graham Linehan Graham Linehan, Nick Wood Friday 29 September 2000 (2000-09-29)

After his accountant flees from the police, Bernard is faced with the daunting prospect of doing his own taxes, and resorts to pairing his socks, getting drunk with door-to-door evangelists, and trying to seriously injure himself since it will allow him to defer his tax return. Manny, an accountant, enters Black Books for the first time in order to buy the The Little Book of Calm on his way to work and, against all odds, manages to swallow it. Fran is bedevilled by a weird, unfathomable sphere that isn't actually 'a bald furby'. Naturally, chaos ensues. At the end of the episode, we find out that Fran's sphere is actually a lighter which Manny demonstrates.

Guest stars Martin Freeman as Manny's doctor and Rupert Vansittart as the tasteful customer. 
2 "Manny's First Day" Dylan Moran, Graham Linehan Graham Linehan, Nick Wood Friday 6 October 2000 (2000-10-06)

Bernard wakes up from a night on the booze to discover he's accidentally given Manny a job at the bookshop, and spends the day trying to get rid of him. Manny assists in this by proving to be a charming, sociable and extremely competent employee, apparently unaware that it's 'not that kind of operation'. An offering of wine from Manny and the threat of physical violence from Fran, however, persuades Bernard to keep Manny on board.

Guest stars David Cann as the roaring customer and co-writer Graham Linehan, as the "I Love Books" customer. 
3 "Grapes of Wrath" Dylan Moran, Graham Linehan Graham Linehan, Nick Wood Friday 13 October 2000 (2000-10-13)

When the sheer filth of the bookshop becomes too much to handle for him, Manny calls a creepy cleaner and Bernard reluctantly agrees to house-sit for a friend. Unfortunately, the two manage to drink a very expensive bottle of wine that was due to be presented to the Pope, and have to figure out a way of either replacing it before he gets home or think of a present better than a box of pencils to compensate for it. Meanwhile, Fran goes on a date with a very nice man which is, unfortunately, nothing short of disastrous. At the end, Fran goes on a date with the cleaner, Bernard is distracted by his birthday, and jam fails to keep a bit of toast stuck to the ceiling.

Guest stars Kevin Eldon as the cleaner. 
4 "The Blackout" Dylan Moran, Graham Linehan Graham Linehan, Nick Wood Friday 20 October 2000 (2000-10-20)

On his birthday, Manny stays up all night watching The Sweeney and drinking espresso. Thinking he's a seventies cop, he manages to go from eyeing old men suspiciously in the bookshop to being trapped at the local police station helping a real detective put the 'good cop, bad cop' routine on a local villain. Bernard explains how going to a dinner party eventually led to a broken arm while Fran describes the steps from seeing her boyfriend having dinner with another woman to being in hospital with a neck injury.

Guest stars Colin McFarlane as the detective. 
5 "The Big Lock-Out" Dylan Moran, Graham Linehan Graham Linehan, Nick Wood Friday 27 October 2000 (2000-10-27)

After being burgled, Black Books gets a new alarm and security door fitted, but Manny fails to listen to the unlock code, distracted by a little Subbuteo player in the installer's hair ("there was a little man ... in his hair"). This quickly results in Manny being trapped alone inside with only a quickly-emptied bottle of Absinthe and dead bees for company and Bernard locked outside with just enough money for popcorn and a cinema ticket. Meanwhile, Fran has taken the phone off the hook to listen to silky-voiced Howell Granger read the shipping forecast on the radio, leaving Bernard to wander the streets of London penniless, cold and wet, with only an adult video shop and the allure of fast-food employment between him and freezing.

Guest stars Nick Frost as the alarm installer, Peter Serafinowicz as Howell Granger, writer Graham Linehan as a fast food customer and Tony Way as the fast food chain and cinema employee. 
6 "He's Leaving Home" Dylan Moran, Graham Linehan Graham Linehan, Nick Wood Friday 3 November 2000 (2000-11-03)

Bernard finally breaks the last straw with his constant bullying, and Manny decides to leave home, but doesn't even manage to let Bernard know about this without being attacked by a bee in a telephone box and finding himself on the streets. He is soon picked up by a photographer with a beard fetish and is treated to a glamourous life of expensive clothes, satin sheets and crinkle-cut crisps in silver bowls, but such high living comes at a high price.

Guest starring Omid Djalili as Trebor the photographer. Also features David Walliams as a customer at the beginning of the episode. 

Series 2 (2002)

# Title Writer Director Airdate
7 "The Entertainer" Dylan Moran Martin Dennis Friday 1 March 2002 (2002-03-01)

Fran decides to learn the piano and enlists the services of an elderly blind Russian tutor. His harsh methods and her inability to master it after five minutes inclines her to quit in short order. Manny discovers he can play the piano purely on instinct, and against all odds Bernard gets a date with an attractive woman. As a result, Fran and Bernard bribe Manny to hide inside the piano, armed with only spoons, in an attempt to make themselves look good.

Guest starring Nina Conti as Bernard's date. 
8 "Fever" Dylan Moran, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley Martin Dennis Friday 8 March 2002 (2002-03-08)

A heat wave sweeps London, causing Bernard to obsess about beautiful girls and to seek a "Summer Girlfriend", Fran to suffer from insomnia and Manny to panic about his 'Dave's Syndrome', a curious condition that purportedly triggers at 88°F (31°C). Naturally, Bernard refuses to believe a word of Manny's "attention seeking nonsense" and tries to get Manny as hot as possible. Fran discovers the walls of her flat are literally closing in as her unscrupulous landlord creates another flat from the stolen space. Bernard pretends to be her lawyer in an attempt to rectify the situation but quickly falls for the new lodger, Summer Girl Alice. At the end of this episode, Bernard asks Fran when they will admit they are deeply attracted to one another. Fran replies, 'only when one of us is dead', and Manny's condition triggers, with disastrous consequences.

Guest starring Johnny Vegas as Fran's landlord and Rose Keegan as Fran's neighbour. 
9 "The Fixer" Dylan Moran, Arthur Mathews Martin Dennis Friday 15 March 2002 (2002-03-15)

While Fran is in desperate need of a job, Manny gets a call from an old friend, Gus—a rather diminutive underworld figure. Gus agrees to get Fran a job working for a guy named Nugent in exchange for the bookstore hosting a reading of his nephew Danny's new book. Alas, Fran hasn't a clue what she is supposed to be doing at her new job and Danny is a hulking great illiterate whose ghostwritten autobiography describes the pain he's inflicted on many others in great detail and which he will happily inflict on Bernard and Manny if they can't teach him to read within two days. Fran gets promoted. Bernard worries about his thumbs.

Guest stars Ricky Grover as Danny, Rob Brydon as B. Nugent and Big Mick as Gus. 
10 "Blood" Dylan Moran, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley Martin Dennis Friday 22 March 2002 (2002-03-22)

Fran delves into genealogy to uncover her Eastern European roots and, in getting to know her newly discovered family, soon wants to get rid of them. Meanwhile Manny and Bernard try to re-invent the shop, firstly as a trendy upmarket café-bookshop (with sofas that swallow you) and then, apocalyptically, as an upscale restaurant. Matters are not helped by the fact the shop is overrun by a horde of unseen creatures that Manny and Bernard must make an effort to destroy.

Guest starring Mark Donovan as Cousin Gregor. 
11 "Hello Sun" Dylan Moran Martin Dennis Friday 29 March 2002 (2002-03-29)
Fran takes up Yoga with Eva (Jessica Hynes), and whilst very good at piously lecturing everyone at how much better she feels, isn't actually that good at controlling her own urges. Bernard, meanwhile, discovers a copy of the complete works of Freud and begins tormenting Manny by diagnosing his various neuroses — but is unpleasantly surprised when this leads to Manny unexpectedly gaining the confidence to finally stand up to him. 
12 "A Nice Change" Dylan Moran Martin Dennis Friday 5 April 2002 (2002-04-05)
When around-the-clock building commences next door, Bernard, Manny and Fran decide to go on holiday. Manny wants adventure, Fran wants relaxation, and Bernard just wants somewhere exactly like the bookshop. Packed and ready to go, a lapse in Manny's memory means that they are forced to buy cheap tickets, which means that they're about to see a lot of international airports

Series 3 (2004)

# Title Writer Director Airdate
13 "Manny Come Home" Dylan Moran, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley Martin Dennis Thursday 11 March 2004 (2004-03-11)

Fran comes home after a holiday in Cornwall to find that following the introduction of Manny's hand to a sandwich toaster, Bernard is living amongst mouldy books and dead badgers, and Manny is working next door at the extremely glossy Goliath Books, where he is decidedly out of place amongst creepy manager Evan and his army of hyper-efficient pastel-shirted followers. Armed with only a "doo-ti-to-doo" card (a card that elicits said sound when inserted into the corresponding slot on a computer) and an endless supply of muffins, Manny manages to resist Fran's rather self-serving attempts to drag him back to Bernard so that she has somewhere to hang out. Bernard's physical condition deteriorates rapidly without Manny's care ("I feel like I've been beaten up, underwater"), but Manny is soon questioning his choice of career as Evan demands an unthinkable sacrifice.

Guest starring Simon Pegg as Evan. 
14 "Elephants and Hens" Dylan Moran, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley Martin Dennis Thursday 18 March 2004 (2004-03-18)

Fran leaves for the weekend to go to her friend Becky's hen party while Bernard and Manny, inspired by their latest children's books event, decide to write and illustrate a book for children. Bernard's first effort comes to over 1,000 pages, covers Stalin, a lens grinder, a broken marriage and a journalist in search of the truth and is possibly a little complex for kids. The subsequent masterpiece The Elephant and the Balloon could however lead them to international fame — and all the problems that come with it. Fran's hen party, meanwhile, is as disastrous as can be expected, thanks to a combination of Bananarama, a game of truth and bottle of alcohol possessing "a polar bear... bleeding on the label" (known as Life Cry). The booze starts flowing, and with it come the tears and recriminations…

Guest starring Lucy Davis as Becky, Olivia Colman as Tanya & Charlie Hicks as Timmy. 
15 "Moo-Ma and Moo-Pa" Dylan Moran, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley Martin Dennis Thursday 25 March 2004 (2004-03-25)

Manny's extremely irritating parents, 'Moo-Ma' and 'Moo-Pa', unexpectedly drop by to stay after Bernard deletes Manny's answerphone messages. Bernard is immediately infuriated by their mere existence, not to mention their very annoying quirks and songs, but his patience — and Fran's nerves — are about to be tested when it's revealed that Manny's letters home have greatly embellished his actual accomplishments in life.

Guest starring Annette Crosbie as Moo-Ma, Sam Kelly as Moo-Pa and Nick Frost as a voice on the answerphone. 
16 "A Little Flutter" Dylan Moran, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley Martin Dennis Thursday 1 April 2004 (2004-04-01)

After a small win on the Grand National Bernard quickly gets addicted to gambling, leaving Fran and Manny in a bitter competition to sell as many books as possible. Soon horses aren't enough and Bernard finds himself taking part in an illegal poker game against a group of ruthless, often successful gamblers, including Dave 'Mouse Ear' Smith. Being utterly hopeless at cards, Bernard (now nicknamed The Gold Mine) loses everything, leaving Fran and Manny to hatch a plan to come up with the money before Bernard's debtors "Evict" him from his shop, £20,000, and / or legs.

Guest starring Keith Allen as 'Mouse Ear' Smith. 
17 "Travel Writer" Dylan Moran, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley Martin Dennis Thursday 8 April 2004 (2004-04-08)

Manny organises a book launch party at the shop with charismatic-but-smug travel writer Jason, and everyone starts falling for him and his stories of far-away adventure. Bernard, however, has other problems — following the death of his landlord, his building is now owned by a small cat to whom he must pay rent. Driven to destroy the cat's burgeoning real estate empire, he attempts to persuade an animal-loving pest exterminator to turn kitty hitman. His attempts fail and cause the exterminator to commit suicide. An attempt by Bernard to finish the job only results in Manny being injured.

Guest starring Julian Rhind-Tutt as Jason. 
18 "Party" Dylan Moran, Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley Martin Dennis Thursday 15 April 2004 (2004-04-15)
On a slow Friday night, Manny suggests that the gang go to a party which will be attended by Rowena, a girl he likes very much. Instantly jealous, Bernard overcomes his natural reluctance with curiosity to see what kind of "so-called person" could find Manny attractive, Manny arms himself with an array of items to strategically leave about the house to give him an excuse to call her, and Fran checks her perfect new hairstyle. They return much later armed with a bizarre selection of alcohol, messed up hair, and a desire to dance very badly. An excess of beetroot liqueur gives Manny the courage to confront Bernard regarding his disdain for Manny's affection for Rowena — this brings forth a shocking revelation from Bernard, which is soon tarnished as Fran tells Manny the truth about Bernard. 


  1. Bernard's Letter — The reply that a typically furious Bernard writes to the editor of a publishing firm after they refuse to publish the novel that he had spent the entire weekend writing.
  2. Commentary — Every episode in the first and second series has a commentary from Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig.
  3. Black Dolls — A doll-version of Black Books, where Fran takes Manny into the real world, where she feeds him drugs and grapes. Manny eventually decides that the real world is too tough for him, and after a 'talk' from Bernard he promises to stay in the shop.


External links



Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address