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"Blackadder Goes Forth" Captain Cook (1989)

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

"Captain Cook" is a great first episode to Blackadder's best series.

10/10
Author: general-melchett from United Kingdom
4 November 2006

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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Good start but pales next to what follows later this series.

7/10
Author: Dr Moo from United Kingdom
3 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Series four is very different to the others. BA1 saw him striving for the throne of England. BA2 saw our hero aiming to keep up his good reputation with the queen. BA3 saw him stuck with two idiots where all he could do was hope to occasionally get hold of some cash. Here, all he wants to do is survive. The result is a much darker set of six episodes and arguably the most divisive of all the four series.

Personally, I love "Blackadder Goes Forth". Its dark satire about the most horrible period of human history is brilliant and it gets off to a cracking start with an episode about the horrors of life in the trenches. In the first scene the joke is about having the bullet with your name on it so as not to get shot by it and that sets the tone for what's to follow.

This is an episode that sees Baldrick's awful cooking (a joke revisited in "Blackadder Back & Forth") as a joke at the start but the episode eventually comes full circle and uses it as the solution to all Edmund's problems. The plot sees Edmund lie about being a good painter (stealing George's work as his own in an extremely funny moment: Permission to speak really quite urgently sir otherwise I might just burst!) and loving 'King & Country' (Soft, strong and thoroughly absorbent. I knew it would be right up your ally!). In doing so he proves that he should be taken out from the trenches immediately. It's a joke that will be reused in "Major Star" about Charlie Chaplin, but that time and this have the setup lead to different situations so we can excuse it.

The other greatest bits of this episode is the normal procedure for standing on a mine, the introduction of Darling (that's Captain Darling to you) and the cooking instructions for Rat Au Van. Good start to the series, but the next episode completely outdoes it in every way. Shame that the food jokes are so juvenile and silly really.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Not funny.

4/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
7 June 2010

Although the fourth Blackadder series is very highly rated, I never was a huge fan of this installment. Maybe most of the problem is I am a history teacher and I can't possibly think of a less funny period in history than WWI (perhaps WWII, but this is up for debate). After all, making trench warfare and death funny is a toughie! As for this particular episode, I found it to be amazingly unfunny. Most of the laughs seemed to be about cooking rats, turds and the like.

The show is like subsequent ones in that Captain Blackadder's goal is to get himself off the front lines--thus sparing himself from a horrible death. In this case, he learns about an art contest to make a cover for a patriotic rag. While he has absolutely no talent, he learns that George is very good--and he hopes to claim George's painting is his own. When he IS selected to paint the cover, he thinks his fortunates have improved--though he actually is being selected for a suicide mission! At the end of the show, you learn that Blackadder, George and Baldrick all avoid front-line action by posing as chefs and going to work at headquarters. At this point, there are more turd jokes and jokes about making custard from a cat.

I first saw this series when it debuted and have loved the other Blackadder shows. However, just like it debuted two decades ago, I found this amazingly unfunny compared to the other shows. My opinion stands--at least for episode one.

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