Blackadder Goes Forth: Season 1, Episode 2

Corporal Punishment (5 Oct. 1989)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, War
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 424 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Blackadder hatches a cunning plan to avoid starvation and ignore his orders by eating a carrier pigeon.


(as Dir. 232418 Boden, R)


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Episode cast overview:
Jeremy Hardy ...
Stephen Frost ...
Lee Cornes ...
Paul Mark Elliott ...
Jeremy Gittins ...


Faced with the possibility of being ordered to advance, as well as starvation in the trenches, Captain Blackadder decides to kill two birds with one stone by eating a pigeon carrying his orders. Unfortunately, General Melchett has been using his own pet bird to deliver the message, and the loss of "Speckled Jim" sends him on a rampage, determined to punish those responsible. Written by Murray Chapman

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Comedy | War

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Release Date:

5 October 1989 (UK)  »

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(Sepia: closing credits)
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Did You Know?


The line concerning solicitor Bob Massingbird was a post-production overdub: the line-as-spoken in studio referred to "Bob Moxon Browne". There was a real QC Robert Moxon Browne and this could have been seen as the BBC promoting him, thereby flouting BBC guidelines. See more »


When Captain Blackadder is about to be shot by the Friendliest Firing Squad In Flanders, their rifles are not cocked. See more »


Lieutenant George: I'm thick. I'm as thick as the big print version of the Complete Works of Charles Dickens.
See more »


Featured in Blackadder Exclusive: The Whole Rotten Saga (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Corporal Punishment - a complete classic of an episode.
7 November 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Corporal Punishment is easily the best of all the first three Blackadder Series 4 episodes - it has an endlessly quotable script and a funny yet serious theme - generals were prepared to kill men for things as stupid and minor as shooting pigeons. Baldrick's stupidity was at it's most life-threatening in this episode, as shown by his rubbishy escape kit and the line "We didn't receive any messages, and Captain Blackadder definitely did not shoot this delicious plump-breasted pigeon," - right in front of General Melchett, who was enquiring into the matter. The scene in court was hugely funny, and showed that Baldrick and George were always stupid, and would never change. Yes, it is very predictable, and Blackadder himself could have done with a more humane side (a scene in which he broke down completely would have been a very cunning plan), but we can forgive Ben Elton and Richard Curtis that - after all, the character of Blackadder has been displayed these past 20 episodes to not be known to break down and to stay calm and cool in even life-threatening situations. Not even the pigeon-shooting scene was badly done, but we don't watch Blackadder for its brilliant, epic special effects (which it clearly doesn't have) - we watch it for its sharp, dry, witty sense of humour, interesting mix of history and comedy, and the stupidest comedy characters ever (i.e Baldrick). And on the second aspect, Corporal Punishment engages.

Another great episode and addition to the Blackadder series, Corporal Punishment is a huge success, and like the firing squad leader said to Blackadder, "we aim to please". Well, you have done with this episode. Bravo! 10/10

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