Promotional photograph for Blackadder Goes Forth,
|Country of origin||UK|
Blackadder is the generic name that encompasses four series of a BBC One historical sitational comedy, along with several one-off installments. The first series was written by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson, while subsequent episodes were written by Curtis and Ben Elton. The shows were produced by John Lloyd for BBC One. The series ran from 15 June 1983 to 2 November 1989.
Each series is set in a different time era, from the medieval religious witch-hunts, through the petty whims and insanities of various British monarchs to the bloodshed and horror of World War I. However, each Blackadder follows the fortunes (or misfortunes) of a character named Edmund Blackadder (played by Atkinson), who is a member of a British family dynasty present at many significant periods and places in British history.
Although the character of Blackadder is quite unintelligent in the first series, he is increasingly clever and perceptive in subsequent generations, while decreasing in social status. Each Blackadder is a cynical, cowardly opportunist concerned with maintaining and increasing his own status and fortunes, regardless of his surroundings. The character is thus employed as a cynical, almost modern voice capable of puncturing the pretensions and stupidity of those around him, thus emphasizing the more ludicrous and insane follies of history.
The lives of each of the Blackadders are also entwined with their servants, all from the Baldrick family line (played by Tony Robinson). Each generation acts as the dogsbody to its respective Blackadder. They decrease in intelligence (and in personal hygiene standards) just as their masters' intellect increases.
- Adapted from the Wikipedia article on Blackadder.