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 »
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
The writers researched World War I and thought it made a very apt fitting for a comedy: "All the buildup to the First World War was very funny, all the people coming from communities where they'd never bumped into posh people, and all being so gung-ho and optimistic... the first hundred pages of any book about the World War are hilarious, then of course everybody dies." Rowan Atkinson further explained that the trenches of WWI were perfect: "We wanted a place and time that could reproduce to an extent the claustrophobia and sordidness of medieval England, the best way to do that was to set it in the middle of a war." See more »
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 »
The production crew credits at the end are formatted to look like military personnel rolls. Each crew member is listed with a cryptic abbreviation of their job title (as if it were a military rank), a serial number, last name and first initial. For example, production designer Chris Hull is listed as "Dgr. 404371 Hull, C" and makeup designer Caroline Noble is credited as "M/U Dgr. 862641 Noble, C". 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 *****)
22 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this