Newest Review: ... 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 ... more
British comedy at its very very best
Member Name: Mioliere
Advantages: Completely original, fantastic scrips and brilliant acting
Disadvantages: None - except that they haven't made any more
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.
Summary: Really uplifting when you're in need of a good old laugh