Monday, 3 November 2014

It was twenty five years ago today...

...that the final episode of one of the BBC's best comedy series ever aired.


Despite one of our Government Ministers making a complete ass of himself over it, this still ranks as one of the most powerful pieces about the First World War in mainstream TV.

Part of the reason it works, I think, is the contrast between the silliness that Blackadder was famous for, and that end scene. But an even larger part is that we've watched and laughed with that dysfunctional bunch of soldiers for the whole series... they are, in an odd way, ours.

10 comments:

  1. Like so many great bits of tv/film, it happened by accident. The first take looked horrible against a polystyrene set, but the unions wouldn't let them back into the studio for a re-shoot, so they stretched out what they had.

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  2. We have the DVD set of all the Blackadder series out from the library right now. Blackadder Goes Fourth is next to watch. That final scene still ranks as one of the most poignant TV episodes I've ever seen.

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  3. I remember watching it the first time it was broadcast and I remember my eyes filling up in those last few moments. If I recall correctly it was actually voted the greatest moment on TV a couple of years back.

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  4. Special indeed. Cant believe it was that long ago though

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  5. I remember watching it, waiting for a cunning plan, a last minute reprieve, lucky escape or some deus ex machina... but no. Still a moving scene.

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    1. I think that was what was so different, like most comedy plots it was usually circular, so the characters always end a show no better or worse than they began.

      As soon as he said "1917" as the date of the end of the war, the penny dropped for me and it went from comedy to tragic pathos.

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  6. ...while, somehow, still managing to be painfully funny, which was the sheer genius of the show.

    The last touch, which has only just dawned on me after rewatching it God knows how many times over the years...

    For all they're a bunch of hopeless cowards? They still went over the top.

    "...They fell with their faces to the foe."

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    1. Cowards? Come Sir! Reluctant heroes perhaps, or unwilling to throw away their lives in futile sacrifice, but none of them are seen cowering in the trenches, nor refusing to go up in a plane and even when faced with potential death at the hands of Richtofen, Blackadder stands proud. ;-)

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  7. The fact they put it out on 2nd November 1989 just before Armistice Weekend made it all the more hard hitting

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