I have to confess I love Blackadder and own quite a number of episodes from all the series. I used to watch them all the time but don't see them on TV as much recently. The Blackadder series follows the life of Edmund Blackadder and his servant Baldrick through different eras in history. Blackadder was made in 4 different series and Rowan Atkinson has always played Blackadder throughout with great charm and wit.
Blackadder 1 is set in the times of Edward the first and for me was the worst of the 4 series although still funny. Blackadder is very much a different type of character in this series and although still funny is more downtrodden and not witty and cocky as he is in the others. Blackadder in this series is the Duke of Edinburgh and second in line to the throne. I think at the time this was an experiment so was still in it's infancy stage. It was still funny but not as much as the forthcoming series.
Blackadder 2 was for me when the show really took off and Blackadder came into his own as the smart, witty character we have come to love. In this series he plays a member of the royal court of Queen Elizabeth I and is always finding ways to undermine his fellow members of her court such as the hilarious Stephen Fry as Lord Melchett. The show took off and was hilarious with Blackadder at his sarcastic best and the character really developed here and took on it's own persona.
We then move to series 3 where Blackadder is now the clever and manipulating servant of Prince Regent in Georgian times. This series again is very funny as Blackadder manages to control the Prince who is clueless and very unintelligent. He needs Blackadder to get him dressed or do anything as he's useless. Blackadder of course uses this to his adavantage time and time again through this series as he does best and is greedy and hungy for control. He is also similar to the Blackadder character in which he is again sarcastic and witty.
The final series made was number 4 where Blackadder is not captain in the trenches in World War One with Baldrick as a private under his command. We see another side to the character of Blackadder in this series that has not really come the fore in previous series although is always there under the surface. He is pretty spineless and not very brave in life threatening situations. He spends this entire series trying to find ways not to go out and fight on the front line. The ending of this series really didn't leave any loose ends and is quite sad and if you've never seen it you'll to watch to find out what I mean.
If I had to pick my favourite series it would probaby number 3 as Blackadder is at his best in this one, although they are all very funny after the first series when they were experimenting. If you've never seen Blackadder then see it as it's hilarious and it's great to see Rowan Atkinson in a role other than the customary Mr. Bean that he has made his own in recent years.
A classic British comedy great, Blackadder is a series that nearly didn't make it past the first series. Billed initially as a comic way of looking through history, it intended to portray a dimwit and his various acquaintances in different periods of time. Starring the excellent Rowan Atkinson, it portraayed the title character, Edmund Blackadder, as intellectually inferior to everyone else, hoping that we as viewers would find it entertaining.
The style was greeted with criticism and a mediocre fanbase, and so they decided to switch for the second series, making Blackadder the incredibly clever noble that most of us have come to know and love, and casting Tony Robinson as Bladrick, Blackadder's dimwit sidekick. This setup worked much better, and showed off Atkinson's various acting skills immensely. The actor was to later return as a bit of a dimwit with the Mr Bean series, but for the remainder of the Blackadder seasons, he was the one with the brains.
The show features the Blackadder line throughout important periods of history, with various characters such as Queen Elizabeth included to denote the time period. A regular cast meant that the roles could be developed, and actors such as Tim McInnery, Fry & Laurie, Ade Edmundson et al found their feet brilliantly. Miranda Richardson was also excellent as 'Queenie'. Yet the whole thing wouldn't have worked nearly as well without Atkinson and Robinson, who provided situational comedy as well as clever portrayal of wordplay, the scriptwriters really earning their crust.
It is a series that saw incredible success, running for a good number of series. If you catch a repeat, it's often on the GOLD or Dave channels, and features mildly adult humour at times, so it may not be suitable for younger viewers. It's well worth a watch, and the DVD boxsets are also available to buy to watch the series at your own comfort. A hilarious show that nearly didn't make it, I highly recommend you watch Blackadder, from start to finish.
As I sit here writing this review I am watching the entire series DVD, starting with the 2nd series as Edmund Blackadder bows down to the demands of Queen Elizabeth.
I must say I never liked the first series, I have watched it once and hardly laughed once, since I have never watched it again and go straight to series 2 when deciding to watch this tv show. series 2 was brilliant to me as it was the very first real blackadder series and was the start of something special.
Series 3 was set in the regal times of the late 1700's, Hugh Laurie certainly adds a brilliant aspect to this series that was missing from series 2, the stupidity of the pricne is at most time unexplainable and extremley hilarious as Blackadder gets more and more frustraited with his superior until he flips eventually, the dictionary and election episodes possibly being some of my favourite out of the entire series.
Series 4 set in WW1, as Laurie, Atkinson and Robinson are building up to the big push, going over into no mans land, this is probably my favourite series of the lot, Stephen Fry is abolutley hilarious as the general and who can ever forget the last episode as the fear comes out in Laurie and Robinson.
The 2 specials are also vey good but aren't comparable to the series, the christmas carol is brilliant as we see a good edmund turned bad by viewing his alter egos and the 21st century special, although probably the worst special, is still fairly funny.
A brilliant TV sitcome, from 2 comedy geniuses with supports from about 4 comedy geniuses and a tv show that will never age, Red Dwarf still just pips it for me though.
For British televion at its best, you can do no worse than watch Blackadder. To me, it's one of the funniest and most original shows that has ever been produced. This is not just down to the talent of Rowan Atkinson, but also to the other stars, the writing, the storylines, the sets - just about everything about it screams pure quality.
Each of the four series has been completely different from each other. It's hard for me to say which one I preferred but, if I was forced to choose, I think it would be the series with Hugh Laurie as the Prince of Wales, set in the Regency period. Hugh Laurie excels himself in stupidity and, although I have seen each episode more than once, he still has me in hysterics.
The writing of each series is superb, but then, how can it fail with the talents of Richard Curtis, Ben Elton and Rowan Atkinson himself? Of course, some of Edmund Blackadder's lines could only be delivered by Rowan Atkinson. There's no-one else I could possibly imagine in the role. He has mastered the art of conveying his thoughts with just a tiny change of expression, and his dealings with the idiots that surround him, are what makes the series such a success.
The supporting cast in each of the programmes are some of our finest acting talents. Stephen Fry is superb in whatever role he undertakes, especially as the fawning Melchett; Tony Robinson as Baldrick, the most put-upon servant ever, treated with contempt that he barely recognises, Tim McInnerny, who always plays a complete twit - I especially liked him as Captain Darling in the last series, Blackadder goes Forth. His acting in the very last episode, when he is being sent to join the troops on the frontline, is excellent. It's the last thing he wants to do and he just cannot convince General Melchett (Stephen Fry) that he would really rather not go, thanks all the same. The atmosphere and the mood of the set for this scene is brilliant and really conveys the seriousness of the situation, but you have to keep laughing because Melchett has on this ridiculous net device which he wears over his huge moustache at night, and, of course, he has to keep referring to the Captain as 'Darling' - comedy and pathos both at the same time! Absolutely wonderful. The real sadness is that this episode is the very last one that was ever made. You know the tragic ending; there's no getting out of the situation, and it actually made me cry. There's not many comedies that do that.
Of course, you can't really think about Blackadder without remembering other characters. such as Miranda Richardson, excellent as Queenie, and others who make occasional appearances, such as Rik Mayall, Tom Baker, Robbie Coltrane, Nigel Planer, Ade Edmundson - the list goes on but contains Britain's finest talents.
I wish they had made further series but the last episode put paid to that and ensured that the whole saga ended in a never-to-be-forgotten way. At least we can see re-runs now and again. This is one of the few programmes which, like Only Fools and Horses, another British classic, I don't object to being shown as repeats.
Long live Rowan Atkinson because, without him, we would never have known the sadness and comedy that is Blackadder.
This comedy starred Rowan Atkinson who in each of the series played a decendant of the Blackadder family, the first series was set in medieval times while the final series was set in the trenches of the First World War, in all there were four series. My personal favourite series was the one set in the court of Elizabeth 1st however the final series was also very funny.
This was an excellent comedy, sharply written with some great one liners and some fine comic performances. In all of the incantations Blackadder was a nasty character who was purely out for himslef, in every series he was accompanied by his servant Baldrick played by Tony Robinson, Baldrick main aim in life was to own a turnip of his own and the character really came into his own in the trenches when he was able to provide the concsience of the little man forced to fight in a war he did not understand.
Hugh Lawrie was another regular usually playing the foppish friend to Blackadder and the three formed an excellent trio of comic characters.
These shows are often repeated on the comedy channels and are well worth watching as the humour never grows old.
This is a classic comedy and quite innovative as each series follows the family line of the Blackadder family through history, in each time period Blackadder played by Rowan Atkinson is a nasty bully who is only out for himself and is contantly putting down his servant Baldrick played by Tony Robinson.
The writing in this show is fantastic and the put down lines of Blackadder are laced with sarcasm and ridicule. The final series set in the trenches of the first world war is probably my favourite and it has a slightly darker edge to it with Stephen Fry absolutely brilliant as General Melchitt the mad leader of Captain Blackadders regiment.
The other series that I liked was when Blackadder was at the court of Elizabeth the first, she was portrayed as and spoilt infantile leader prone to having those close to her beheaded if they irritated or bored her.
Unfortunately the series set in the frst world war effectively killed off the character so there are no new series to enjoy however the DVD collections are worth getting hold of and repeats are currently being shown on UK Gold on cable or satellite.
...or so the tagline for the first series pronounced.
Black Adder has become regarded as a comedy milestone, and rightly so as it ranks up there in the hall of fame alongside such glorious creations as Only Fools and Horses, One Foot in The Grave and Fawlty Towers. There have been four series of this historical comedy, all set in different periods of British history and all with their own merits and unique flavour. The core of each episode revolves around the interaction of three main characters, Black Adder himself, played by Rowan Atkinson, his servant Baldrick, aka Tony Robinson and a third participant in the comic triangle who varied from one series to another. The main drive of the show was the machinations of the title character, his devious and cunning plans, which are usually foiled by the ineptitude of those around him. The four series follow the exploits of one member of this mythical dynasty and have gone down as the stuff of comedy legend.
SERIES ONE _ BLACK ADDER "Love thy neighbour as thyself, unless he's Turkish, in which case, kill the bastard!"
first the sing along ....
The lyrics to the theme song are: "The sound of hoof beats 'cross the glade / Good folk, lock up your son and daughter / Beware the deadly flashing blade / Unless you want to end up shorter / Black Adder, Black Adder, he rides a pitch black steed / Black Adder, Black Adder, he's very bad indeed / Black: his gloves of finest mole / Black: his codpiece made of metal / His horse is blacker than a vole / His pot is blacker than his kettle / Black Adder, Black Adder, with many a cunning plan / Black Adder, Black Adder, you horrid little man."
The first series stands apart from the other three as it differs in many ways and is often regarded by many as the least popular. It has a different feel to the production, combining outside location shots, which were not to feature in the later series and a different character dynamic. This first series was the result of the productive mind of Richard Curtis, who would later pen such stalwarts of British cinema as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill. Later series would find him collaborating with Ben Elton, who in his own words was brought in to "write the knob jokes". Set during that period of English political upheaval known as the Wars of the Roses, we are introduced to Prince Edmund, "the Black Adder, a snivelling little toady who survives the brutal times through the cunning of his servant Baldrick. For the other three series Black Adder would be the brain behind the schemes and Baldrick the lackey, but for this initial run the medieval Hong Kong Phooey theme is in place. The third member of the entourage is Lord Percy, played by Tim McInnery an equally idiotic hanger on.
The basic premise for this series is that as history is written by the winner, as the saying goes, the true events of history are often lost. In this case our whole understanding of this period in history is a false account written by Henry Tudor, and the real events are set down here. Edmund is the son of Richard Duke of York who history tells us died in the Princes in the Tower incident, in this version of events he goes on to become Richard IV. Our snivelling hero is told by three witches that he will become king and so takes the moniker The Black Adder (after being advised against his first choice of The Black Vegetable) and tries to manoeuvre his way on to the throne. There are some great historical gags, and many adaptations from Shakespeare, such as when Richard III rallies his troops before his final battle at Bosworth
" And Gentleman in London still at bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here. And hold their manhood cheap. While others speak of those who fought with us, on Ralph the Liar's Day"
All in all its some exceptional scripting, a cast of notable actors, such as Brian Blessed and Peter Cook and half hour chunks of quality comedy that will appeal to many, especially those with an ear for history.
SERIES TWO -BLACK ADDER II -"Never have I encountered such foul, mindless perversity. Have you considered a career in the church? "
Due to the limited commercial success of the first series substantial changes were made to the next series. The budget was cut, it was performed before a studio audience and outside locations were to be a thing of the past. Ben Elton joined the writing team and the roles of the two main characters were reversed. Edmund Blackadder, descendant of the earlier prince is now the brains and his faithful family retainer Baldrick is now the idiot dogs body. Only Edmunds closest friend Lord Percy retains his character place. Set in Elizabethan times, the changes made to the show seemed to distil the humour and set the way for the other series to follow. It also introduced some regular faces to the show, Stephen Fry plays Lord Melchet, advisor to the Queen, brilliantly played as a spoilt brat with the mentality of a public school teenager by Miranda Richardson.
Blackadder is now a dashing peacock of a courtier, a total transformations from his ancestor we met before. What stands out with this script is the memorable put downs,
Baldrick: But I've been in your family since 1557.
Edmund Blackadder: So has syphilis. Now get out
One of the signs of a good comedy is its quotability and not since Monty Pythons Flying Circus had we been presented with such a wealth of comedy quotes, to be heard being brandished in every school yard and work place through out the country. Whether our heroeswere trying to sail across the seven seas, holding a secret stag party or taking on the role of executioners, the comedy was brilliantly relentless.
SERIES THREE- BLACKADDER THE THIRD " If you want something done properly, kill Baldrick before you start"
Hot on the heels of the second series the show returned with the current owner of the famous name down on his luck and in service as butler to the Prince Regent, a vain and stupid foil for Blackadders venom, played by Hugh Laurie. Baldrick is still in tow as the other piece of the comedic jigsaw. The format is similar to the previous show, after all now they had found the winning formula why change things. We see Blackadder trying to get rich off of the back of the gullible regent in many more ingenious ways, trying to make Bladrick an M.P.or trying to woe a suitable bride for the prince. In many ways this is one of the most accurate of the series historically, the prince regent did take control of the throne during his fathers bout of madness and some of the characters lampooned tell a lot about the times. Samuel Johnson, William Pit and Wellington all pass through the events and all manage to steal their scenes, not an easy thing with such a stellar cast.
SERIES FOUR BLACKADDER GOES FORTH "I'm the last of the tiddly-winking leapfroggers from the golden summer of 1914. "
In many ways the final series was the most dark and poignant. The hero of this series finds himself as a captain in the first world war holed up in the trenches with his batman Baldrick and his lieutenant George, played as a simple and well meaning fellow again by Hugh Laurie. Two of the regulars are back in the fold, Fry and McInnery as the HQ planners who our heroes are constantly trying to foil. Many ways are found to try to get out of the war, from becoming war artists to pretending to be mad a plan that will never work as Blackadder points out, "who would notice another mad man around here?". There are two great pairings in this, the jaded and career soldier Blackadder balances nicely with the upper class and enthusiastic George. Also back at HQ Lord Melchet (a sort of General Haig figure) makes a substitute father figure for the put upon Captain Darling. The piece of the show that always sticks in my mind is the ending, despite all of their schemes and plots the day comes when they have to go "over the top" and the final scene sees them running slow motion to certain death, not what yo would expect from a lesser comedy.
Captain Blackadder: Don't forget your stick Lieutenant
Lieutenant George: Rather, sir. Wouldn't want to face a machine gun without this.
this one interchange between the two sort of sums up the hole absurdity of the situation, there's nothing so ludicrous as reality I suppose.
Blackadder spanned nearly a decade and evolved from a cult show for deranged history buffs to prime time viewing for all and allowed for some memorable characters and scripts along the way, we may never see its like again. Fifth series anyone?
Blackadder is a fine example of one of the best classic comedies ever made. With characters like Blackadder himself (played by Rowan Atkinson), Baldrick (by Tony Robinson) and Percy in series' 1 & 2 (by Tim McInnerny). The 2nd of the 4 series was the best with episodes like Potato, Money and Chains. The funniest episode in Blackadder 2 is Money , where Blackadder owes the black bank money, he is tricked by the Queen and Lord Melchett and he tries everything to get the money even selling his house and he ends up blackmailing the monk, hw get enuogh money to buy back his house.
The BBC has produced many quality comedy sitcoms, which have become household names throughout the world. Each programme has its own unique sense of humour. Blackadder is one of the most successful comedies to come from Britain and stars Rowan Atkinson (also renowned for Mr Bean). Blackadder?s sense of humour mainly focuses on sarcasm and farcical situations. This is a review of the fourth and final series of Blackadder which incidentally I consider to be the best in the series. For anyone who is not familiar with Blackadder, there are four series which cover the periods from 1485 to 1917. Blackadder goes forth is set during the First World War between 1914 and 1917. For anyone who has not heard of Blackadder here is a brief description of the characters. The main character in all the series is Edmund BlackAdder (Rowan Atkinson). In this particular series Blackadder is a captain in the British army. He is not keen on fighting in the war, and so takes every opportunity to try to escape. He shares a trench with George (Hugh Laurie), a war abiding Lieutenant who likes to do everything by the book. Also staying with Blackadder is Private Baldrick (Tony Robinson), a smelly young lad who is not very bright. Baldrick?s favourite phrase is ?Sir, I have a cunning plan!? There are two other characters that feature extensively in the series as well. They are General Sir Anthony Hogmanay Melchett (Steven Fry), and Captain Kevin Darling (Tim McInnerny). Melchett is Blackadder?s commanding officer and often gets him to do tasks. Here is rundown of each episode: Episode 1 - Captain Cook This is a good episode to start the series off. If you find this episode funny then you will enjoy the series. It shows a perfect example of what makes Blackadder so funny. There are lots of sarcastic comments from Blackadder, and the episode also has its fair share of gross moments. The episode concentrates on building the morale of the troops. Melchett has a plan to
boost morale by getting a man to paint a picture of a battle scene for the next issue of ?King and Country? magazine. Melchett quizzes Blackadder about whether is knows of a man capable of painting the picture. In true Blackadder style, the crafty captain forges a plan which he thinks will get him out of the trenches. Blackadder has visions of painting pictures away from the war in places like Paris and so volunteers for the job with a little help from George and Baldrick. The job doesn?t exactly turn out as Blackadder had expected, and he soon wishes that he had stayed in the trenches. Episode 2 - Corporal Punishment This is probably my favourite episode in the series. The phone lines don?t appear to be working any more so Captain Darling send a message to Blackadder by carrier pigeon. However Blackadder is not particularly keen on birds and shoots the pigeon. He soon regrets the killing when he realises that he faces a death sentence. There is a communication crisis at the moment so shooting a carrier pigeon results in a court martial. To make matters worse the pigeon was Melchett?s favourite one so Blackadder is sentenced to death. Is this the end of Blackadder? Not if George has his way. George has a relative that could get Blackadder off the charge and save his life in the process. Episode 3 - Major Star Melchett has a plan to host a concert to boost the troop?s morale, and looks for a man to organise the event. The reason for the low morale is that news has broken that the Russians have pulled out of the Eastern Front leaving the way free for the Germans. Once again Blackadder sees this as an opportunity to get out of the trenches and sets about trying to persuade his captain that he is the man to organise the concert. Surprisingly the concert proves to be a success, especially with the popularity of the leading lady Georgina. This episode is probably the weakest in the series. It doesn?t have as many funny moments as other episodes
and some scenes are just too silly. For example the leading lady is actually George dressed as a woman and no one really seems to notice this. Episode 4 - Private Plane This episode introduces us to squadron commander Lord Flasheart (Rick Mayall). He is the envy of all men as he is a hit with the women. Basically he is a sex-mad pilot who has a vulgar mouth. I am quite surprised that this episode made it into the series as it is based on themes which are a lot more adult than other episodes. The episode centres on Blackadder?s attempt to join the ?Twenty-Minuters?. The ?Twenty Minuters? are renowned for doing very little flying each day (twenty minutes!) and this sounds ideal for Blackadder. Blackadder and Baldrick join the group and instantly get thrown in at the deep end. They are asked to fly straight away and accidentally end up in a German prison. They are held captive by Baron von Richthoven (Adrian Edmondson), who is the legendary German pilot. George learns of his friends? troubles and teams up with Flasheart to save the day. Episode 5 - General Hospital George gets injured in a freak accident and ends up spending time in hospital. At the same time Melchett receives information that there is a spy about who is giving information about every move the British army make. More importantly is that he also suspects that the spy is in the hospital so Blackadder is sent in to find the suspect. The obvious choice seems to be Mr. Smith (Bill Wallis), a patient with a German accent. Blackadder becomes friendly with Nurse Fletcher-Brown (Miranda Richardson) and learns that finding the spy might be harder than he first thought. Episode 6 - Goodbyeee This is the final episode in the series and last episode ever made (that?s if you don?t count the millennium special). There was another episode made for the millennium but Goodbyee is considered the last true Blackadder episode. The war is not looking good for the Brit
ish and rumours are spreading through the camp that the last push is about to begin. Blackadder is desperate not to be involved so he sticks a couple of pencils up his nose and underpants on his head. Why you may ask? He think that this behaviour will convince Melchett that he?s gone insane and he will be sent home to England. The fourth series of Blackadder was written by Ben Elton and Richard Curtis. Blackadder has always been built around sarcasm but this series is a lot more crude. Fans of Blackadder won?t be disappointed by this final series and viewers who haven?t seen it before will not need any prior knowledge of the programme. This is one of the best comedy programmes to come from Britain. The best thing about this series is that there are no weak episodes. Each episode has its funny moments and will keep you entertained for a few hours.
This is a brilliant comedy series! There are four series- "The Blackadder", "Blackadder the II", "Blackadder the III" and "Blackadder goes Forth". The first series is set in the Middle Ages, the second in Tudor England, the third in Regency England, and the forth in the trenches of WWI. There are two main characters that are in all four series- Edmund Blackadder (played by Rowan Atkinson), a prince in the first series, a lord in the second, butler to the Prince Regent in the third, and a captain in the forth. The other recurring character is Baldrick (played by Tony Robinson), Edmund's dogsbody- a "dungball in a dress", according to Edmund. In the first two series, they are accompanied by Lord Percy Percy (Tim McInnery). McInnery makes a return in the third series as a bit part (the Scarlet Pimpernel), and a full part in the forth, as Captain Kevin Darling. Some of the humour in the series can be quite rude, and some bad language is used, but most of the time it is fairly clean. The series itself is hillarious, but the first series is not as good as the rest. The humour really starts to improve in the second series, the third is hillarious with mad Prince George ("the sausage-sucking Kraut"), and the forth series has Edmund trying to get out of "going over the top", which in the end, he does indeed go over the top with the rest of the men. It is regarded as one of the most emotional scenes of the war ever depected on television. This is a brilliant comedy series, an equal of Fawlty Towers! I heartily recommend this series to anyone, but if you are easily offended, then you might want to give it a miss. But you should still watch it!
Just when you thought that Richard Curtis and Ben Elton had become far too self-indulgent to give the British public what they really want in the form of more of the superb Blackadder series along comes the Millenium Done and that year 2000 business to make things right again. Blackadder Back & Forth was designed to be shown in the Millenium Dome to showcase British history(wonder if htis is what they expected) but obviously it wasn't to be long before it found its way onto the shop shelves as well. Its a shame that a series which was quite this damn popular, quite so ingenious and quite so damn hilarious was discontinued after only 4 brief outings, but discontinued it was and now I suppose we only have 'shorts' such as this to look forward to. It could have been disasterous, reunting these actors and these writers after such a lengthy break and I have to admit I was expecting this video to be a flop, which is why it took me so long to check it out, and after watching 10 minutes of it, thats exactly how it seemed... But then in a 40 minute video, when the series were only half hour episodes, the opening 10 minutes are really only a reintroduction and an opening up of the reasoning behind the plot. It opens in modern times, with Blackadder and of course Baldrick yet again up to one of their scams in a 'Time Machine' type plot. Its New Years Eve, 1999 and Blackadder has assembled a group of dinner guests to celebrate the coming of the new millenium...and to scam them out of large sums of cash of course - nothing changes. The elaborate, but simple plan is that Baldrick has built a time machine and he wagers that it not only works, but that they will go and bring back evidence from the past that it has worked to prove it! Typical luck though is that Baldrick has in fact modelled the machine of exact plans from Leonardo Da Vinci and the damn thing does work...and is out of control. another cunning plan goes wrong. Cue then an excuse to visit
several different time periods in history, poke fun at the Romans, the Scots, the French, Elizabethans, Robin Hood and to beat up Shakespeare for his cruelty to children... Blackadder Back & Forth is then quite literally, Blackadder(and Baldrick) bouncing back and forth through time, revisiting some of the eras we remember from the television series(notably World War One is missing) and picking up a few more along the way. It starts off badly, the initial ten minutes of seeing all the characters we know and love updated to contemporary times simply doesn't work. Sure, they have the same personalities, but it just doesn't 'feel' right and there is a distinct lack of funny lines in this section as well - it starts off feeling all very forced and you'd be forgiven for getting that sinking feeling. But it gets better. The first port of call is Elizabethan England, straight into Queenie's throne room with everything looking no different than it did when that series ended and from that point onwards everything just snaps back into place - the sarcastic humour, the caustic wit, the irreverance, the superb quotable and memorable lines, it all comes flooding back. Where ths video works, it works very well and is nothing short of hilarious, but its far from perfect - it doesn't have the same affect as the series did. Undoubtedly much of the reason behind this is because of the budget involved. The series was based around rather crappy sets, with the gags being solely in the wordplay and quite often how crappy the sets were! With a large budget and the likes of Kate Moss, Colin Firth and the BBC's Royal Correspondant Jenny Bond making celebrity cameos, seemingly because they could get them(and Adrian Edmondson and Mrs. Miggins missing, presumably because they couldn't), some of the scripting has become a little lazy, the attention diverted elsewhere. Equally, you could argue that the actors have grown and matured, as have t
he writers and Blackadder was never really about maturity, in fact, far from it. The biggest let down for me though was the length. Back & Forth could so easily have been a whole new series, the Roman period in particular could have been an aspect to have covered for Blackadder 5 - no doubt Elton and Curtis could have done it far better than Frankie Howard with that Up Pompeii nonsense anyway! But even just the jumping back and forth in the time machine could easily have been enough for a whole new series, or at least a much longer video. Each scene seems like a snippet of a longer, better episode. 5 mins with Queenie, 5 mins with Robin Hood, 5 mins of the Holy Roman Empire...its just not good enough and it all feels very hurried. Its disappointing, but still funny though, hilarious in parts and sadly its the best you are going to get seeing as the writing team are more preoccupied with other projects these days. I've refrained from delving too deeply into the video, I'll leave it to others to ruin it by quoting endless gags from it, but expect the usual Blackadder humour if you are a fan, expect historical irreverance, huge dollops of sarcasm and laughs a plenty if somehow you've managed to miss the series all your life and expect to hate it as much as you ever did if it was never your cup of tea. Its not as funny as the original series were and at 40 minutes long you might feel somewhat ripped off for a tenner as well, but if you are a fan, then you just have to have it. Buy the other 4 vids first though.
Great comic lines of our time No 26: "I have a cunning plan..." "Really, Baldrick, and is it as cunning as Mr Fox in Cunning Town?" Cynical wit, sarcastic barbs, and impossibly large trousers as popularised by the Elizabethan ACTOORS - this is the world of Edmund Blackadder, one of the most timeless and popular of all BBC comedy series, a huge, thoroughly enjoyable historic panorama of spite, hatred and huge laughs. Perfectly formed and fashioned by the rubber faced Rowan Atkinson's world weary ennui and Tony Robinson's long suffering, masochistic, downtrodden persona, one of the most comic formulae of all time was born when the boys behind this little masterpiece decided to make a historical comedy series. It took them a while to really get in the swing of things and the Blackadder of the Middle Ages, The Black Adder, featuring the larger than life bluster of Brian Blessed as Edmund's father the king, was pretty hit and miss stuff. It certainly had some excellent bits here and there but they were too few and far between amongst the simpering and leering of Atkinson playing the doltish black sheep of the family. However, it was when we moved on to the beruffed world of Elizabethan England, featuring Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry, a cameo from Rik Mayall and Blackadder finally finding his voice and his obnoxious world view that things really took hold and we saw the true comic genius of the most evil man alive. Series two was a sustained triumph in which things really started to cook. The standard was maintained with the move on to Georgian England in the court of the Thicky Prince when Hugh Laurie's dimwitted Prince Regent replaced Miranda's wicked virgin queen. The fourth and final series transplanted us to the muck and blood of the trenches in World War I and allowed some of the laughs to be supplanted by the satirical digs at the futility of war and the exploitation
of the Common Man by the Big Nobs. It was tragi comedy, but no less admirable for all that and the astonishingly bitter denouement with its genuine pathos came as a real shock, closing the series on the lowest of low notes. Along this marvellous journey we are carried away on a huge tidal wave of blistering comedy, with some of the most memorable moments of comedy of all time. Driving it all along is the enormous genius of Atkinson, aided and abetted by Robinson, the ultimate straight man, Blackadder and Baldrick, the Laurel and Hardy of their day. There's more than a hint of the Dimwit and the Pompous One in the work of the duo, although pomposity has been replaced with the most wicked case of sarcasm ever to descend upon a human being. The endless stream of put downs and insults which pour so readily from the sneering lips of Blackadder will live long in the memory and were what made this series so special and so important. Even the bland and wasteful Sky one off special with Atkinson as a time traveller pulling together the threads of his previous works cannot erase the memory of series two, three and four. We salute you Edmund, and all who have quailed before your charm. PS Atkinson co-wrote series one with Richard Curtis who had such a marvellous success with Four Weddings And A Funeral. The other series saw Ben Elton take over from Atkinson and operate in tandem with Curtis.
Blackadder П is one of my favourite ever British comedy. It is one of the best things to come out of the BBC. The videos have the following programs, Bells, Head, Potato, Money, Beer and Chains. It?s England 1558 ? 1603. The filthy genes of the Blackadder dynasty bubble back to the surface of the melting pot of history as Lord Edmund, arrogant peer-about-town, swaggers back with a bog head and small beard in search of grace and favour from stark raving mad Queen Bess. Accompanied by small rabble of bottom-breath Baldrick and pea-brained Percy ? the serpentine Load Blackadder lowers the whole tone of England?s Golden Age. It stars Rowan Atkinson as Lord Blackadder with Tony Robinson as Baldrick, Tim Mclnnerny as Lord Percy, Miranda Richardson as Queenie, Stephen Fry as Lord Melchett and Patsy Byrne as Nursie. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.
The Blackadder series has to be in my eyes the funniest comedy of all time. Generally with most things the more they make the worse they get, not so with Blackadder. The first series was somewhat dull as Blackadder himself was a bit of a weasel and only managed to survive my shear luck, it was still funny but only just worth watching. When they brought out Blackadder the Second many people were somewhat skeptical but it really knocked them for six! It was set in Elizabethan times and Blackadder himself had kind of been given a make over. Now Instead of being a stupid pathetic little weasel, he had turned into a cunning fox. This greatly added to the comedy as he spent most of the time in each episode taking the piss out of Boldric and Percy his two dumbass friends that followed him everywhere. By the time Blackadder the Third was released most people had heard of and loved Blackadder. The Third was set in Georgian times, with Blackadder playing the role of the Prince of Wales' butler. It was even better than the second, with more witty humour and cleaver little jokes than ever before. But the best was yet to come. Blackadder goes fourth was set in the First World War and is truly a masterpiece in comedy. Although the jokes are generally towards the terrible management of the war and the idiocy of George and Baldric it remains funny throughout the whole six episodes. Every single character had been thought out and perfected by the actors, who performed their roles perfectly. Blackadder is most definitely the funniest comedy ever made although it is aimed at a more mature audience of around 16 +. if you haven’t seen any before, (which I really doubt) or have only seen series one then you have to watch Blackadder goes fourth at least as you don't know what you're missing. 10/10
British comedy went very, very nasty in the last twenty years of the Twentieth Century with that whole Alternative Comedy thing – it became the done thing to take a very harsh and sarcastic approach to your fellow man and there was real blood shed at times, really nasty stuff – and didn’t we just adore it! Out of all that stuff there was one man and one series which towered over everything else in terms of the bitter put down, the pointed dig, the spiteful knife in the back – yes of course, it’s Rowan Atkinson and BBC 1’s Blackadder series, one of the most revered of all comedy series and all built around the savage and horrendously nasty tongue of the central character, Edmund Blackadder, a beast who grew steadily worse and worse through all his vicious incarnations. It began in the 80’s when Atkinson teamed up with Richard Curtis to pen a historical comedy series set in the Dark Ages, with this Blackadder one of the king’s sons, but the dim one, in marked contrast to the Blackadder of later times. The king of this series was played by that total master of the over the top, Brian Blessed, complete with very wild hair and enormous voice. In this first series it was Blackadder who was the Mr Thicky and Baldrick (played throughout the history by the very, very excellent Tony Robinson) who was the brains of the outfit. In those days, Baldrick did indeed think of cunning plans. The first series was not a raging success, although it had some good bits but was totally at odds with what came later as Ben Elton joined Curtis on the writing side and the series went very, very differently. They re-emerged in Elizabethan times with Blackadder now a beruffed dandy, trying to be the favourite of Good Queen Bess, played in characteristically tantrum driven style by the superb Miranda Richardson. The series also featured Stephen Fry as Melchett, Rik Mayall as Flash Heart and Tim McInnery as Lord Percy.
Now this was immense comedy of a very high standard and we got some of the best performances ever by Atkinson who seemed to slip into the role of Mr Acid Tongue as if he was born to it. There were only six episodes of the Elizabethan Blackadder, but it remains as one of the peaks of BBC sitcom, though it’s much too good to be branded with that particular description. The next series featured Blackadder as butler to the Prince of Wales, played by Hugh Laurie as the thickest man alive. It wasn’t quite of the superb standard as the second series but ran it very close as Atkinson continued to develop the role along with the scripts of Elton and Curtis, which played up the mean, money making, scheming butler and the Turnip loving Baldrick to perfection. The final series, Blackadder Goes Forth, was a much darker piece, with our happy troops transported to the deathly trenches of World War I and contained some quite pointed satirical digs at the futility of War and the pomposity of the Status Quo. Blackadder was now a cowardly creature intent on preserving his life, but he was no less acidic than he had ever been. It was a strongly written piece, but for laughs not a patch on either the second or third series, although I don’t think that was the point. We also got a one off Xmas special with Blackadder as a Mr Goody Two Shoes who is turned nasty by the visitation of the three spirits and a Sky produced later spectacular with Mr B as a time traveller, but that was a sad mistake. Such a quick run through the history of the Blackadders cannot do this wonderful series anything like true justice, but there is nothing better than Blackadder at full throttle and nothing contains as much evil bile and hatred. TRUE GENIUS…