A comedy panel game in which being Quite Interesting is more important than being right. Stephen Fry is joined each week by four comedians to share anecdotes and trivia, and maybe answer some questions as well.
It is 1917, and lunatic General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett is leading the British troops at the front lines against the Germans, while everyone waits for Field Marshall Haig's big push. There are various emotions throughout the camp about it. For Captain Kevin Darling, Melchett's bull-dog-like right-hand man, it makes no difference, as it appears he will be safe and sound with the general when the big push occurs. For Lieutenant George Colhurst Saint Barleigh, he is overly excited at thrashing the Germans. For Private S. (probably for Sod-Off) Baldrick, it's a terrifying experience he is not looking forward to. For Captain Edmund Blackadder, however, it's something he's too cowardly too face. Self-centered, arrogant, and sarcastic, Blackadder is always constantly searching for a way out of this silly war, and will try various, often crazy, variations on escape, all of which will take a turn he never expected. Sharing a dugout with George and Baldrick, his main obstacle for ... Written by
During rehearsals, the script was exhaustively discussed and redrafted by the cast, with Richard Curtis having the final say on the content. Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Rowan Atkinson were comic writers/actors themselves, and having worked together on previous Blackadder series were not afraid to question the script and make suggestions. However, this caused tensions to arise between the writers and the cast; in interviews Ben Elton felt that they had allowed the cast to question every aspect of the script, while Tony Robinson claims "the writers felt we were unilaterally altering the script for the worse; by the end, they felt we had run away with it." The ill-feeling between the writers and actors, coupled with the draining scripting and rehearsals led to everyone deciding not to make more Blackadder shows. See more »
Throughout the series, Blackadder and George, both front-line officers in the trenches, are show with their rank insignia displayed on their cuffs, whereas Melchett and Darling, staff officers, are shown with their rank insignia on their shoulders. In reality, this would have been reversed: Cuff insignia was the standard, but front-line officers were allowed to wear theirs on their shoulders to make them less conspicuous to snipers. Shoulder insignia eventually became an army-wide personal option in 1917, and made permanent in 1920 when the cuff insignia was abolished completely. See more »
In the opening credits, Captains Blackadder and George lead a battalion in parade past General Melchett and Captain Darling (with Private Baldrick in the marching band playing a triangle). The closing credits are a grainy 1920s newsreel of the same battalion heading into battle, with Melchett and Darling walking casually but quickly in the other direction... See more »
This final Blackadder series to date (I'm not counting Back and Forth, that one off for the end of the 20th century, because it was disappointing) was set in the Great War, where Blackadder and his fellow soldiers (Baldrick and George - Tony Robinson and Hugh Laurie) had to cope with the blithering idiocy of General Melchett (the incomparable Stephen Fry) who liked nothing better than shouting and belittling his private secretary, Cpt Darling (played winningly by Tim McInnerny, who had of course been a regular fixture of Blackadder's first two series).
With an episode which involved George dragging up for a camp show, the famous final episode which sent our heroes over the top, and the episode where Blackadder made a play to leave the war to become troop artist in Paris, this series was a worthy sign-off to a long-running comedy classic.
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