General Melchett holds a competition to paint a cover for for "King and Country" magazine. Despite his intense dislike of the magazine, Captain Edumnd Blackadder enters the competition as the winner will likely escape the trenches for a while. Unfortunately, Blackadder has no artistic talent and must rely on other skills (specifically: deceit) in order to win. Written by
"Captain Cook" is a great first episode to Blackadder's best series.
I must say, the fourth series is the best of the whole Blackadder legacy. It is very realistic and historically accurate (the constant threat of going over the top, the stupidity of WWI generals, the battle plan in this episode), has hilarious new characters, and reunites the whole Blackadder cast - Tim McInnerny and Stephen Fry are back. Though the best episode is easily the last one, all the Series 4 episodes are 10/10 ones, and while not horrific, give us a good glimpse at what life is like in the trenches, with a funny streak to it.
"Captain Cook" starts off relatively slowly - the usual funny one-liner from Blackadder, another stupid plan from Baldrick, and a call to the headquarters. But after that, it gets great. The introduction of Captain Darling ("What do you want, Darling?") and General Melchett is very funny, and to have Blackadder entering an art competition is an original idea, and one that is handled very well (there is a surprise truth about Lt. George revealed this episode). A great scene is Blackadder's lying to Melchett and Darling about the portrait - it shows his true colours and desires, and depicts him as a cunning, yet unfriendly, man. The one slight problem is how Blackadder and George made up so fast after the lie, but we can forgive that, and a funny scene outside the trenches delivers one of the best comedy lines ever: (George asks "If we should happen to tread on a mine, what do we do?", to which Blackadder replies, "Well, normal procedure, Lieutenant, is to jump 200 feet into the air, and scatter yourself over a wide area." Hilarious!) The ending scene with Melchett and Darling is probably the best scene in the whole show, and shows that the episode has revolved around cooking even after branching out into art and escape from the trenches.
On the whole - Captain Cook is a great episode, and shall be remembered for its great one-liners and the fact that it was the start of Blackadder's best series. Spiffing! 10/10
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