Black Books (2000–2004)
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Cooking the Books 

Bernard is struggling to cope with getting down to menial but essential tasks for his book shop, such as the accounts when a chance meeting with a customer, Manny, helps him out. Meanwhile,... See full summary »


Dylan Moran (by), Graham Linehan (by)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dylan Moran ... Bernard Black
Bill Bailey ... Manny
Tamsin Greig ... Fran
Tony Bluto ... Nick Voleur
Stephen Boswell Stephen Boswell ... Priest
Daisy Campbell Daisy Campbell ... Julie
Dominic Carter ... First hooligan
Jeillo Edwards Jeillo Edwards ... Midwife
Martin Freeman ... Doctor
John Macneill ... Policeman (as John MacNeill)
Eamonn O'Neill Eamonn O'Neill ... Jehovah's Witness
James O'Neill James O'Neill ... Jehovah's Witness
Michael Parkhouse Michael Parkhouse ... Mr. Blackbelly
Muriel Pavlow ... Old Woman
Jack Pierce ... Hooligan


Bernard is struggling to cope with getting down to menial but essential tasks for his book shop, such as the accounts when a chance meeting with a customer, Manny, helps him out. Meanwhile, the owner of the shop next door, enlists the help of Bernard and his customers to find out exactly what an object from her shop is and in doing so misses an important appointment. Written by Robyn Cowen

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TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 September 2000 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


The Gag about tax receipts turned in to a jacket was actually used in a "tax time" commercial, with full suit of receipts. See more »


Manny: [while assimilating the Little Book of Calm] When you rest, you are a king surveying your estate. Look at the woodland, the peacocks on the lawn. Be the king of your own calm kingdom.
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User Reviews

Off and Running
15 April 2017 | by HitchcocSee all my reviews

I see someone is awfully critical of this episode, but it is the first one, and how about an opportunity to develop the characters. In this one, Bernard, who runs a bookstore but seems to hate books and the customers that buy them, is faced with doing his taxes. He keeps terrible records and people fear his pleadings. There are two other character introduced, Manny and Fran. Fran finds himself in a strange place when he accidentally swallows a book of aphorisms, called "The Book of Calm." He now can spout a clichéd responses to nearly any situation. Fran runs a junk shop next store. She spends most of the episode trying to figure out what a globe-like thing does. Funny things happen when Bernard tries to find ways to not deal with his taxes. A couple of Christian men on their journey are astounded when they are let in to talk about Jesus. It turns out that Bernard knows a great deal more. Things get even more wacko when he realizes that if he is seriously injured he can put off his filing. So he sets out to cause trouble and get beaten up. Manny is starting to look like a messiah with his pronouncements. All in all, I thought it was pretty funny.

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