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
Tim McInnerny's character was originally named Captain Cartwright. Stephen Fry had the idea to change it to Darling (named after a boy at his school) and created a running gag which is frequently used throughout the series. 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 »
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 »
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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