This time Professor Branestawm (Harry Hill) has a rival. He's not the only inventor in town. Can he beat the rascally Professor Algebrain (Steve Pemberton) in an inventing competition?
When Lady Pagwell (Diana Rigg) dies, leaving a substantial sum to fund local inventing, it could mean the end of Professor Branestawm's money troubles.
But scheming local councillor, Harold Haggerstone, (David Mitchell) will stop at nothing to thwart Branestawm and insists that Pagwell holds an inventing competition to decide who gets the money.
So Haggerstone tries to hire his own, rival inventor. Professor Mary Oxford, from Cambridge (Rosie Cavaliero) fails to impress with a nuclear powered paperweight. The ‘Invisibaliser’ presented by Professor Awfulshirt (Matt Berry) causes havoc (and much invisibleness). But when Professor Alegbrain (Steve Pemberton), from an unspecified European country, turns up, Haggerstone thinks he's on to a winner.
Branestawm, meanwhile, is having problems of his own. Not only is he struggling to come up with an invention that will really knocks the judges socks off, he’s upset his faithful young assistant, Connie (Madeline Holliday). He’s so wrapped up in his work that he’s been neglecting her and she’s torn between helping him and working with the seemingly charming and attentive Professor Algebrain.
But Algebrain is a huge disappointment to Haggerstone. He seems unable to invent anything that isn’t absolutely lethal. He has a masterplan up his sleeve, though – he will simply steal one of Professor Branestawm's inventions. And Branestawm has plenty: A tongue-twister, a machine for shrinking bills and making cheques bigger, a universal skeleton key made out of a real skeleton, and electric glasses that can see into the future (not to mention a machine that actually does knock peoples' socks off!)
Algebrain steals the glasses & locks up Connie, Colonel Dedshott (Simon Day) and the Professor in Branestawm’s inventory. However, they escape using Branestawm's skeleton key and there’s a chase to the town hall for a final show down, with Algebrain on his single-wheeled monovelo and Branestawm in hot pursuit on his penny-farthing.
Along the way, there’s an attack by an unruly mob of wild waste paper. The professor gives a typically chaotic talk on inventing at the BBC. And Algebrain demonstrates his combined bath and guillotine.
As well as the new guest stars, all the brilliant cast from last Christmas’s Professor Branestawm film return to Pagwell, including Sophie Thompson as Connie’s mum, Vicki Pepperdine as the professor’s housekeeper (Mrs Flittersnoop), Adrian Scarborough as the vicar (trying to raise funds to protect the Lithuanian tiny stupid owl) and Charlie Higson as the irascible local mayor.
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