8.8/10
47,940
77 user 10 critic

Blackadder Goes Forth 

TV-PG | | Comedy, War | TV Series (1989)
Stuck in the middle of World War I, Captain Edmund Blackadder does his best to escape the banality of the war.
Reviews
Popularity
2,947 ( 510)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1989  
Top Rated TV #59 | 3 wins. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Rowan Atkinson ...  Captain Edmund Blackadder 6 episodes, 1989
Tony Robinson ...  Private S Baldrick 6 episodes, 1989
Stephen Fry ...  General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett 6 episodes, 1989
Hugh Laurie ...  Lieutenant The Honourable George Colthurst St. Barleigh 6 episodes, 1989
Tim McInnerny ...  Captain Kevin Darling 6 episodes, 1989
Edit

Storyline

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 to 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 Bloggers!

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | War

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening band plays the first line of the 18th-century March of the British Grenadiers before segueing into the Blackadder theme. See more »

Goofs

Captain Darling is supposed to have the same rank as Blackadder, but wears a uniform with red lapels and a red band on his cap, which would make him at least a major. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant George: But this is brave, splendid and noble...
[Blackadder doesn't react - there's a long pause]
Lieutenant George: ...Sir
Captain Blackadder: Yes, Lieutenant.
Lieutenant George: I'm scared, sir
Private Baldrick: I'm scared too, sir
Lieutenant George: I'm the last of the tiddly-winking leapfroggers from the golden summer of 1914. I don't want to die... I'm really not over keen on dying at all, sir.
Captain Blackadder: How are you feeling, Darling?
Captain Darling: Ahm- not all that good, Blackadder. Rather hoped I'd get through the whole show, go back to work at Pratt and Sons, keep wicket for the Croydon Gentlemen, marry Doris. Made a ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Soundtracks

British Grenadier
(uncredited)
Traditional
(incorporated in the theme)
See more »

User Reviews

 
A True History Lesson
25 August 2002 | by Sonatine97See all my reviews

This forth and final series is perhaps the best of all the Black Adder episodes; it is also more of a tragi-comedy than just plain old slapstick perhaps because at the time (1989) the events of WW1 were very much in the minds of a lot of people, whether it be surviving soldiers or relatives.

As such there was some controversy when it was first broadcast by the BBC for its apparent lack of respect to those who fought and lost their lives for the sake of freedom & democracy.

However, in retrospect, this isn't strictly true because even with Episode One there is a tangible shift in tone from previous Black Adder series. Yes some of the slapstick tomfoolery is still there, mainly at the expense of poor gormless Private Baldrick. But in addition a lot of the supposedly funny lines do have quite serious undertones, and bely the real truth of the sheer lunacy & farce that went on during the real war.

For those that know their 20th Century history, WW1 was seen as a complete disaster for all and sundry, especially for the British soldiers in the trenches, primarily because they were being commanded & told how to fight a war by the most repulsive upper-class morons that call themselves Generals that ever wore a uniform.

This was plainly represented by the bumbling fool, General Melchett (a wonderfully bemusing performance from Stephen Fry). Melchett simply has no idea of what life really is like for the troops on the front-line while he prattles on 35 miles behind the front-line in some safe palatial mansion where the most dangerous hazard to his life is whether he can unscrew a cork out of a champagne bottle without it hitting him in the face.

Melchett is a complete buffoon but only Captain Blackadder realises this; everyone else thinks the General knows what he is doing purely because of his rank & social standing. So it is no wonder that Blackadder wants to mutiny because it's a hard choice deciding who the real enemy is - the Germans or his own Generals.

For example:-

General Melchett: Are you looking forward to the big push?

Private Baldrick: No sir, I'm absolutely terrified.

General Melchett: The healthy humour of the honest, Tommy. Don't worry my boy, if you should falter, remember that Captain Darling and I are behind you.

Edmund Blackadder: About thirty-five miles behind you.

This dark humour is wonderfully interwoven with the usual witty lines thanks largely to the writers, Richard Curtis and Ben Elton. It is typically anti-war but with good reason, as Blackadder declares in one episode:-

"with 50,000 men being killed every week who is going to miss one dead pigeon!"

The madness of this war also draws our attention to those very same front-line troops such as Blackadder, Baldrick & Lieutenant George. Their living conditions are disgusting & the fear of being shot or bombed out of their trench a very real possibility.

The humour is just an adjunct to the real horrors that are going on in their lives, and this is beautifully concluded in the very sad finale. No longer did the critics argue this series lacked any respect because come the final few minutes of Episode Six we were treated to the sad demise of all those soldiers fading into time and replaced by the infamous poppy fields that strewn Northern France.

Blackadder Goes Forth is far more intelligent than a lot of sitcoms; the writing and acting is exceptionally good, and also underpins the true human sacrifice the millions of soldiers gave to their King & country while the smug & arrogant Generals went home to more medals, honours and riches than ever before.

School children of today find reading about history boring & not very relevant. But thanks to this series I am sure young & old alike will find this far more interesting, absorbing, damming & shocking than any written word on the subject could ever say.

War Is Hell!

****/*****


91 of 100 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 77 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

BBC [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 1989 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Blackadder Goes Forth See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Holiday Movies on Prime Video for the Whole Family

Prime Video has you covered this holiday season with movies for the family. Here are some of our picks to get you in the spirit.

Get some picks



Recently Viewed