"Blackadder Goes Forth" without the laugh-track

Has anyone released a DVD of “Blackadder Goes Forth” without the laugh-track? I think it’s one of the finest TV shows ever made, and it’s often hilarious - but good Ford, at times it’s about as black as comedy can get, and the laugh-track is off-putting. Hell, it comes near to ruining the series finale - the jokes are funny, but they’re

gallows humor. The characters know that they are about to die, horribly, and the laugh-track is just hideously inappropriate. The canned laughter sounds psychotic.

So, does anything exist like what I’m looking for?

It’s a studio audience. I suppose they might have “enhanced” the laughter afterwards, but you won’t find a laughter-free version.

I became a fan of Tony Robinson from Time Team. I’m curious now to see how funny he is when he performs. I need to watch the Blackadder series. Should I start with the first series The Black Adder? Or does it matter if I watch the four series in order?

I’d suggest just starting with the first series & continuing in order. The first one is somewhat different from the others–Tony Robinson’s character is smart, for one thing! In the later series, he’s amazingly thick.

But I love them all…

It is worth mentioning that Blackadder did not earn its popularity due to the first season. It’s markedly different in tone from the next three seasons, which are what people think of when they think of Blackadder.

Well, I saw & liked the first season of Blackadder. Then, found the other ones even better.

But his plans are so cunning.

One thing to consider is that

[spoiler]while it was not unexpected to have characters die at the end of the season, it was not usually all of them dying. (like on the second season)

In the third season Blackadder actually becomes the prince and only the real prince dies. So the audience was expecting that someone or many would find a way out and more black humor and laughs were coming up. It was shocking for the audience to realize that this time no one was coming back, so no one was laughing at the end.[/spoiler]

Last scene:

What was interesting is that the end was going to be different with maybe only Blackadder surviving!

Clip of the editor and actors looking at the original (embarrassing) footage and the editors finding the great dramatic ending almost by luck:

The first series also requires a little bit more knowledge of Shakespeare to fully appreciate it than subsequent series do.

I think watching the series in order is the best way to appreciate it. But if you find the character of Edmund Black Adder unbearably obnoxious after the first episode, feel free to skip right to the Elizabethan year. There’s no continuity between series other than a few principal actors (playing different characters). Prince Edmund’s descendants (though how he managed to have any is a mystery) are much less buffoonish.

ETA: Gigobuster, not sure why you bothered boxing one line of a post that already manages to spoil the third and fourth series.

Whoops, sorry, the spoiler was supposed to add more lines than the ones I left.

I’ll put this in a spoiler box just to be safe. I’ve always found this funny:

The Black Adder starts out as a prince. In the second series Blackadder is no longer a prince, but a member of Queen Elizabeth’s court. In the third series he’s a butler to the prince. In the fourth, he is an Army captain. I just thought it was funny that he sunk in rank with each season.

Thanks for posting this. I’d never heard this story and it’s all very illuminating to see how sometimes art comes out of happenstance.

Maybe in absolute terms, but the dynamic is pretty much the opposite. In the first series he’s a worm, forever scheming, and failing, to rise in station (or accomplish much of anything, really). In the second series, he’s subject to Elizabeth’s whims, but pretty much manages to avoid disappointing her. In the third series, he has Baldrick to kick around, and can pretty much manipulate the Prince Regent into doing what he wants. In the trench during the fourth series, he’s clearly in charge.

Good point, Robot Arm. I’d never looked at it that way. In a 1999 special, by the way…A Blackadder finally becomes king in his own name – and marries a model!

Damn, even in that clip I started tearing up. It’s the segue into the modern field of poppies that does it.

Best damn TV ever, and I like a lot of classic TV.

The boxed set I bought has been watched many times.

Let’s see him try and manipulate House.

IMHO, you should start with *Blackadder II *and stop there.

I’d advise the opposite. I started with Dish and Dishonesty from series 3, and really liked it. So I bought series one and hated it because it was so different. I think season three is a great way to start myself. I would call it the strongest of the four series. Though season two is up there as well.