I would start with season 2 and go through to 4. I’ve never seen all of season 1. Is it even worth it?
By the way, the Blackadder Christmas Carol is also fun, but not a good starting point.
And he gets more intelligent and competent the further he gets from actual power. In the first series, for all his scheming and plotting, he’s an absolute jellybrain. By the second series, he’s actually acquired a brain, but he’s not nearly as smart as he thinks he is. By the third season, he’s practically running things, and the only thing stopping him is the idiocy of others rather than his own. By the fourth series he’s confident and competent and knows how this is going to end. Unfortunately, he’s so far out of power that all he can do with his prodigious intellect is delay the inevitable.
Not so much in my opinion though I turned a friend on to Blackadder and he quite enjoys all of it, including season one. Maybe it’s an acquired taste.
I agree–I liked seeing him get smarter but less powerful. Like how in series two, he’s quite a bit smarter but still doesn’t realize Bob is female. But in series four as soon as he sees Bob, he’s all, “Okay, this is a dude” and no one else realizes, but him.
The laughs ended when an audience realized the rest isn’t supposed to be funny. Any laughs after that either reflect an intentional gag or, well, they didn’t arrive, did they?
I’ve wasted too much of my life on The Great War and that is the perfect summation. In five years there was never enough difference between the jokes and the jibes.
I’m looking forward to seeing this series, Thanks everyone.
You either shall or shan’t enjoy it. Probably “enjoy,” but with a feeling of foreboding.
Okay, as ones imagination enters the 20th century it can either continue along blithely or accept what will happen. The latter blows chunks.
When they originally aired that episode, there was definitely no laughter in that scene at all. It was added on later. Even the youtube clips of the final scene don’t have laughter. I’m not sure, but I don’t think the whole series had a laugh track originally - it wasn’t that common in British comedies then.
Happens to me every time.
I’m a heretic, I know, but IMO the last episode is the only worthwhile episode of the fourth series. All the rest are tired rehashes of jokes that played better in II and III. The main characters are caricatures. Baldrick is only dumb, scatalogical and grotesque. Worse, Blackadder’s dialogue is completely predictable – every other line is basically “he’s as something as a somethingy something at a something convention.” Only George adds something marginally new, taking the Prince and adding a more touching innocence to the characterization.
More evidence of how boring this series was is the return of gimmick characters…
such as Bob and Flashheart
…which to me feels desperate. Neither returning character was anything like as funny as his or her earlier appearance. Of course the last episode was touching, but that’s not enough to make me care for the rest of the blechy episodes.
So for these reasons I prefer series I to series IV. At least the first series had original ideas, even if it was much broader and not as incisive as II and III.
Flashheart was one of the best characters in the entire 4th season (despite being in only one episode). His encounter with the Red Baron made my nearly piss my pants laughing as a kid.
“Hey girls! Look at my machinery!”
Is the OP saying that there is a version out there with laughter during that final scene? I didn’t get that impression.
Blackadders II, III and IV all definitely had laughter from studio audiences. I don’t know about the first series, I didn’t see much of it.
QueenAl, series 1 was filmed on location and had no original laugh track. I watched it when it was first broadcast, and I don’t remember laughter - one of the many reasons the serious fell a bit flat with the general population originally. All other series were filmed in front of live studio audiences, so I’d imagine the laugh track is indivisible from the rest of the sound.
Are we watching the same scene? I hear laughter even at Baldrick’s lame splinter joke.
I mean the part after that, where they emerge from the trench (otherwise, QueenAl’s comment that “even the YouTube clips of the final scene don’t have laughter” doesn’t make sense). I’m pretty sure the occasional laughter leading up to it has always been there, since it is the sound of the actual audience.
Presumably before the last episode. He did marry that Hungarian princess, after all.
Whereas IMHO, you couldn’t be more wrong.
I agree with those who say start from the beginning. Especially as someone asked about Tony Robinson, but even beyond that I think the progression of the recurring themes, actors, and jokes, are worth seeing in their proper order and context.
Plus, some of my favourite setups and payoffs are in the first series; the Spanish Enfanta’s interpreter; Edmund as the Archbishop of Canterbury convincing dying men that Hell is the better option; Mad Gerald; Edmund’s disguise when amongst the peasants and looking for the Witchsmeller Pursuivant. Comedy gold!
And the other series have a distinct lack of Brian Blessed. And Shakespearean riffs.
Shakespeare is listed as one of the writers for Season 1.
Besides, you can’t have a holiday feast without A Large Ham!
Yes, it seems that I’m not going to have time to deal with the drains, I wonder if you might handle that, thanks.