Rowan Atkinson and the cast of legendary comedy series Blackadder are back for this one-off documentary special to mark 25 years since the original BBC transmission in 1983. Featuring ... See full summary »
A comedy panel game in which being Quite Interesting is more important than being right. Sandi Toksvig 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 »
Probably the best of the four series, although the last three are all on a par really. The usual excellent one-liners, witticisms and comic characters are there, but with a very serious, tragic context. There is an added pathos, particularly in the last episode, "Goodbyeeee", which is one of the finest half-hours of comedy no less. The second episode, "Corporal Punishment" is surely one of the very best Blackadders, with Blackadder murdering Melchett's pigeon, Speckled Jim... A hilarious episode there. Yes, maybe the plots are more consistent and original in series 2, but this series makes the best use of the historical period, which is, of course, World War 1. Special mention must be made of Rowan Atkinson's consistently excellent portrayal of the cynical Blackadder, Stephen Fry gives one of the finest caricatured performances you'll ever see as the insane Gen. Melchett and the excellent Hugh Laurie impresses as the ever-optimistic yet idiotic Bertie Wooster-type, Young George. A must-see, even if you've seen it so many times before... If you haven't yet seen it, a veritable feast awaits. Rating:- ***** (out of *****)
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