Televisual Advent Calendar #23 – Blackadder

As cunning as a fox who’s just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University?

Blackadder goes Forth
Blackadder goes Forth BBC

This is my 2019 Televisual Advent Calendar. I did a musical version in 2011 and a cinematic one in 2012. It is in no particular order and I make no apologies for the TV series that I am blogging about. These TV series have either made me think, I have enjoyed or have had some impact on me. These are scripted TV series, some are drama, some are comedy, some are both. I found it really hard to narrow this down to just 24.

I never saw the first season of Blackadder until much later, so really only started watching from the second season.  This was a wonderful piece of comedy writing and excellent acting from Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson. 

Rowan Atkinson as Blackadder BBC
Rowan Atkinson as Blackadder BBC

The second season was set in the Elizabethan era and Miranda Richardson played the part of the Queen superbly. I loved the machinations of Blackadder only too often to be foiled at the last moment.

The third season saw Blackadder as butler to the Prince Regent. Hugh Laurie was wonderful as the bumbling mad prince, though this time more often than not the machinations of Blackadder ended in disaster.

The fourth season saw our “hero” as Captain Blackadder in the horror of the trenches of the Great War. Could a comedy set in that period work, I think it did. The escapades  of our heroes as they try to avoid going “over the top” often worked, but not in the way they thought it would. I really enjoyed seeing the bumbling general staff looking at war as a game of cricket, Stephen Fry was particularly good at the, in some ways, horrifying, General Melchett.

Stephen Fry as General Melchett BBC
Stephen Fry as General Melchett BBC

That poignant final episode of season four, one of the most moving pieces of television ever, nothing more to be said.

Get Blackadder on DVD.
Get Blackadder on Amazon Video.
Get Blackadder on iTunes.